The stranded babies of Kyiv: 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 stranded babies of Kyiv and the women who give birth for money

Lockdown exposed the scale of the commercial baby business in Ukraine, and now women hired for their wombs are speaking out.

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Belarus blues: Can Europe’s ‘last dictator’ survive rising discontent?

After decades in power, a bungled Covid-19 response has triggered a genuine electoral challenge.

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Baltic states protest Russia’s historical revisionism on Molotov-Ribbentrop pact

Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have protested moves in Russia they say are a whitewashing of historical facts about the 1939 nonagression pact between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany that led to their annexation by Moscow.

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China calling: Slovaks wonder what’s behind Beijing’s media offensive

While experts debate the scope and aim of Chinese media offensive in Slovakia, surveys show that it is already having an effect on public opinion.

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Poland puts computer game This War of Mine on school reading list

Poland’s government will add the computer game This War Of Mine to the official reading list for children in schools, the prime minister announced this week during a visit to the developer of the game, Warsaw-based 11 bit studios.

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Why fears of Hungarian separatism are stirring in western Ukraine

In a move that has drawn the ire of opposition politicians in Ukraine, a new administrative district will contain a majority of ethnic Hungarians for the first time in the nation’s history.

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Generation war: Russia’s militarised children

Through propaganda, special training and a systematic educational approach, young Russians are becoming part of the Russian government’s offensive policy.

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War and peace: Trump’s Balkans initiative

Planned White House talks later this month between the presidents of Kosovo and Serbia leave the European Union (EU) playing catch-up as chief peacemaker in its own Balkans backyard.

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By tearing down our statues, Albanians stopped learning from the past

The removal of communist-era statues gave the illusion of freedom but obscured how history still shapes the present.

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‘They will leave me jobless.’ Why declining press freedom in Bulgaria should worry us all

Press freedom in Bulgaria has nosedived over the last 10 years. Is its decline a warning of challenges to come across Europe as a whole?

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Romania reimagined: Cultural projects built for modernity

Romania’s modern architecture merges global perspectives with local traditions. From pre-modern styles to post-revolution work that began in the early 90s, the country’s built environment is incredibly diverse. From cities like Bucharest to Cluj-Napoca and Timișoara, modern projects are being designed between historic structures.

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Shengelia living out boyhood dream by playing for Georgia

Tornike Shengelia remembers his young, carefree days in Georgia. He played basketball and loved every minute of it. He also, on occasion, watched his national team in action. One day, he imagined, he’d make the Georgia squad himself and be able to line up with his teammates on the court before games and sing the national anthem.

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