Rugby’s next superpower: Elsewhere in emerging Europe

Our weekly digest of articles about emerging Europe published elsewhere this week, all of which caught our eye and all of which are well worth your time. Listing them here, however, does not necessarily mean that we agree with every word, nor do they necessarily reflect Emerging Europe’s editorial policy.

Georgia: Rugby’s Next Superpower

From obscurity to prominence in just over a decade, the rise of Georgian rugby has been meteoric and unexpected, as a two-part film from World Rugby explains.

Watch the film here.

Georgi Asparuhov: The Bulgarian artist who stunned England at Wembley

Bulgaria’s best ever footballer scored a fantastic solo goal against England in 1968 but died in a car crash three years later.

Read the full story here.

Ukrainian Autocephaly and the Moscow Patriarchate

How Russia’s religious hierarchs reject the new Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

Read the full story here.

Sarajevo Faces Tolerance Test with First Pride March

The first-ever pride march in Bosnia and Herzegovina this weekend will be a major step forward for tolerance and human rights – if the local authorities support it and counter-protesters don’t cause violence.

Read the full story here.

Easing Travel Between Georgia and Breakaway Abkhazia

Curbs on ethnic Georgians’ movement to and from breakaway Abkhazia are fuelling internal disputes and tensions with Tbilisi. South Ossetia’s recently calmed crisis shows the risks of ignoring the problem. Abkhazia’s election – though widely considered illegitimate – is a good moment for a course correction.

Read the full story here.

Bulgaria Scolds Russian Narrative On Soviet Role In Liberating Europe

Bulgaria has taken issue with an upcoming World War II exhibition the Russian Embassy is organizing in Sofia dedicated to “75 years of the liberation of Eastern Europe from Nazism,” saying instead the region was under “Soviet army bayonets” during a half century of repression.

Read the full story here.

Why Polish People Hate Rules

Warsaw has had a long and tumultuous history, which meant that its inhabitants had to come up with ingenious ways to survive.

Read the full story here.

Eastern Europe’s Tricky Balance on Avoiding Overtourism

The days of seeing overtourism as “a nice problem to have” are over. While they are still intent on building thriving tourism economies, some Eastern Europe tourism officials are also learning from the mistakes of their western neighbours.

Read the full story here.

‘The Painted Bird’: Venice Review

War is brutal, and so, despite its good intentions, is The Painted Bird, a film based on Jerzy Kosinski’s controversial book about a young Jewish boy who wanders through a rural Eastern Europe that has been ravaged and dehumanised by the horrors of World War II.

Read the full review here.

The Cheeky Girls: How We Made The Cheeky Song (Touch My Bum)

‘It has been voted the worst song ever. I think that’s just people’s way of saying it’s the best’.

Read the full story here.