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“This was the last straw” – Interview with Michael Strelchyk about “social parasite” tax and the limits of Belarusian patience


In February, a wave of grassroots protests rocked Belarus prompted by the introduction of a “social parasite” tax by the Belarusian government. The government argued that, since most social services are free in Belarus, everyone must contribute to financing them, including the unemployed and those, who do not look for a job and live off their own or their family’s ...

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SDG implementation in Georgia: Main challenges and opportunities


Sustainable Development Goals represent the United Nations’ post-2015 response to the new, as well as the old but persisting social, economic and environmental challenges the world faces today.

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Are conflicts in the South Caucasus ethnic?


There is no negative intrinsic value to ethnical diversity that would make it a cause of conflict. Otherwise, every ethnically diverse society would be expected to be in conflict, while the reality suggests that for each case of ethnic rivarly, there are many other cases of different ethnic groups coexisting peacefully.

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Albania’s nature: A business or a heritage?


The rivers Vjosa, Radika and the whole territory in-between are part of the Scardo-Pindic mountain network which has not been subject to intensive commercial development. This raises a pertinent questions about where Albania’s priorities lie with regards to the protection of environment.

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Values shift in Ukraine: any evidence yet?

Around a year ago, I made an argument predicting the value shift in Ukraine. I was and am absolutely aware that it is dangerous to give any kind of predictions in social sciences, especially when it comes to Ukraine. Nevertheless, I emphasized the value shift that I observed during and after (if it is over yet) the Revolution of Dignity ...

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Freedom Day, Independence Day and the Art of Exclusion


Today many Belarusians celebrate Freedom Day (Dzień Voli) commemorating a creation on that day in 1918 of Belarusian People’s Republic – first attempt to bring about an independent Belarusian state. Debates about whether it was a successful project or a failed state endure even today, with both sides resorting to history, political theories and international law to prove their respective ...

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The Untold Story of Ukraine’s War: The Women of Maidan

Maidan activist

“Men fight wars, and women mourn them,” claims Anastasia Taylor-Lind, a documentary photographer. Tayor-Lind positions Ukrainian women on the periphery of the revolution, contributing to the complete erasure of women’s participation in Euromaidan. In reality, women played a crucial role in the revolution.

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Vyshyvanki, security and consumerism

A magnificent vyshyvanka on a magnificent Belarusian man. Photo:

Identity politics is on the rise everywhere in Europe. From the UKIP in Britain and Front National in France to the Jobbik in Hungary, the national has become a valuable political currency that, when used properly, can be converted into political support, votes and, of course, power. Even in Belarus the national, oppressed and silenced for around two decades, is slowly crawling ...

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Maidan by Sergey Loznitsa: Ukrainian people have the issue to resolve


Maidan is the movie about Ukrainian revolution by Sergey Loznitsa. It was first premiered at Cannes in May 2014, and will probably become the most widely seen documentary about the events that took place in Kyiv in winter 2013-14. What does the picture show?

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E-Democracy in Ukraine: what is it?

GERMANY, Bonn, "Online" - Human miniatures on a computer keyboard.

After the Maidan, many people in Ukraine put the question “what is now?” on the table. The society is stirred up, with the significant part of its citizens being actively engaged in civic life: some groups are writing new laws, some groups are gathering support for the army in the East, and some are showing their discontent with the Maidan, because “nothing has ...

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