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The 90-year-olds who built a city: 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.

The 90-year-olds who built a city. In 1947, 50,000 volunteers helped create Dimitrovgrad, a new city that symbolised the brave new world of communist Bulgaria. Many still live there.

Read the full story here.

In Romania, magma lurks below an ‘extinct’ volcano. Rocks in the upper crust beneath Ciomadul are, on average, 15 per cent molten, with some areas reaching as high as 45 per cent.

Read the full story here.

Two articles this week looked at how Estonia’s golden image threatened by rise of far-right nationalists, with liberals fearing the impact of anti-immigrant party EKRE on Europe’s ‘coolest’ post-communist country.

The first article, in the Financial Times, can be read here. The second, in Foreign Policy, is here.

A cabinet reshuffle in Croatia may buy time for the conservative-led government of Andrej Plenković but a susceptibility to scandal and tensions within his own party will continue to threaten his fate as the country nears an election due in late 2020.

Read the full story here.

Thirty years ago, 200 people lived in the Moldovan village of Dobrusa. But most have since left or died. After a twin killing in February, there’s only one survivor still standing.

Read the full story here.

Have you ever seen a Pole on British television? Poles are the biggest immigrant group in Britain, numbering between 900,000 and one million, so you might think they would be all over the TV. But no, there are hardly any.

Read the full story here.

Armenian Gevorg Gasparyan has invented straws from bamboo stalks as an alternative to plastic. He calls his fight against plastic a “green revolution”.

Read the full story here.

In 1994, the last Russian troops left Germany and the Baltic states, bringing a symbolic end to the Cold War. The same year saw the Rwandan genocide, and American entrepreneur Jeff Bezos launched an online bookseller called Amazon. And a 49-year-old former collective farm director with a deep, nasal voice and a knack for populist pronouncements won the first – and so far only – democratic presidential election in Belarus. Aleksander Lukashenko was sworn in on July 20, 1994, beginning the first of five presidential terms – and counting.

Read the full story here.