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.
Geopolitics complicates Ukraine’s vaccine quest
In the global struggle for Covid-19 vaccines, Ukraine has emerged as a marginalised borderland. As has happened so often throughout Ukrainian history, the country finds itself on the frontier between the European community of nations and the vast authoritarian empires of Eurasia.
Estonia leads world in making digital voting a reality
As everyday transactions and services migrate online, some countries have sought to expand the digital revolution to elections, creating internet voting systems that they say can deliver free, fair and secure results. Online voting has been trialled in several countries, but only Estonia has embraced it.
Kosovo’s vetting strategy for diaspora voters adds to election chaos
For the hundreds of thousands of people who fled Kosovo during and since a battle for independence from the Yugoslav constituent republic of Serbia in the late 1990s, it won’t matter who’s on the ballot for an upcoming election if they can’t even register to vote.
Following war with Armenia, Azerbaijan gains control of lucrative gold mines
Thirty days into the brutal war between Armenia and Azerbaijan last autumn, a small, London-listed company staked its claim to what lay beneath the killing fields. Anglo-Asian Mining had been waiting for decades. Since 1997, the company has held the rights, granted by Azerbaijan, to three gold deposits beyond its reach, in territories controlled by Armenians.
Why Putin is using a gas line to finance his corrupt regime
The consequence of being cut off from the world’s largest and most dynamic economy is bad enough, but perhaps equally damaging is the pariah status associated with being on the wrong end of Washington’s Treasury Department.
Czech communists show fealty to China
The Czech Communist party’s brazen siding with China worries parts of the political establishment and the security services, especially given it provides support to the minority government in return for influence on policy.
Turkmenistan: Hands across the water
The job of driving Turkmenistan’s march toward the market economy lies with the parastatal Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, but the way the state uses its heavy hand to condition the fate of the economy does not inspire hope for promised market reform.
Warsaw: Eastern Europe’s capital of crime fiction
Warsaw is one of Europe’s major cities of culture – art, film and, of course, literature. And within Warsaw’s literary tradition is a fair amount of crime.
The Latvian artist archiving Riga’s queer history
London-based artist Konstantin Zhukov returned home to set up Open Studio, an artistic enquiry into the queer history of his home country.
How vodka tourism shaped and shattered Soviet-Finnish relations
In the West, the Soviet Union was often seen as grey and dour, the last destination for a frivolous holiday. But for decades, Finnish tourists have been enjoying all the benefits of Russian hospitality — and for a small percentage of revellers, that meant making the most of cheap bars, relaxed licensing laws, and copious vodkas with lime.
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