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The 9th of May: to celebrate, commemorate or both?


When all news headlines are dedicated to recently held elections in Ukraine, I am musing over an event that happened around one month ago. This year’s public discussion on the Victory Day, which most post-Soviet countries officially celebrate on the 9th of May, and its coverage in Ukrainian and Russian media are extremely interesting topics to think over. The situation ...

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“Having to choose between freedom and fear, my family chose the first”, Interview with a Crimean refugee


Crimea is not as homogenised in terms of Russian-lovers as some media tend to portray. It is not only Crimean Tatars who were against becoming a part of Russia, but also Ukrainians, Russian-speaking ones, who were forced to leave Crimea when they disagreed to receive Russian citizenship.

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New monuments in Kyiv: An open proposal to Ukrainian people


Viktor Yanukovych is gone, and today, as I write this, Ukrainians are enjoying the start of a new chapter in their history by touring the grounds of his Mezhihirya mansion and collecting documents and testimony that will incriminate him and his cronies.  At the same time, we are painfully aware that not all who rallied against Yanukovych’s kleptocracy/dictatorship survived, and ...

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Euromaidan as a descedent of Zaporizhian Sich

pic_Z_A_Zaporozhian Sich (drawing after Riegelman)

Zaporizhian Sich was a protected territory near modern Kakhovka reservoir (Zaporizhia region, Eastern Ukraine) where the unregistered Ukrainian army, so called Cossaks, was located in the 16-18th centuries. Present-day Euromaidan in Kyiv strikingly resembles Sich in many aspects of its social environment, but also has some distinctive features.

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Viva Belarus without Lukashenko


“Viva Belarus” is the name of the event organized by polish MEP Marek Migalski on the 15th of October at the European Parliament in Brussels. The homonymous movie screening was followed by the panel and cocktail discussion with the director of the film, Krzysztof Lukaszewicz; co-writer of the script, Franak Viacorka; and Marina Adamovich – a wife of a former presidential candidate ...

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The interpretation of Soviet historico-cultural heritage in Belarus and Lithuania: from great martyrs to independent changers


In this little piece, I would like to compare memory politics in Belarus and Lithuania in the context of interpretation of Soviet historico-cultural legacy.

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EU’s dilemma of lashing out at LGBT abuses in global perspective

Faris_Robert-LGBT_JPEG-1024x522 (1)

This weekend such European cities as Amsterdam and Stockholm firmly demostrated respect for LGBT rights by hosting the yearly pride parades. 

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Music and Control


Last weekend Lviv, one of the most beautiful and popular with tourists Ukrainian city, hosted the rock festival ‘Stare Misto (Old City)’. This event symbolizes one more step towards the formation of more mature Ukrainian underground culture, which is still quite young. Since 2007 this festival has been held annually, except of the last year when it was canceled due ...

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You have no right to play here


Just two weeks ago I wrote an article about three most controversial pieces of Belarusian legislation. Now we can readily add another stupid law to the list. On June 5, 2013 Lukashenka signed presidential decree 257 that concerns the procedure of organization of so-called “mass cultural events”. Now if you want to organize a fest or a single concert you ...

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Human Rights in Azerbaijan: The Legacy of Eurovision


It was with a conflicted sense of bitterness that I watched countless British Tory MPs espouse their latest vitriol towards all things European this week. Nothing new, there, you might say. The noticeable overlap between Europhobes and homophobes may leave some of their less articulate members – Nadine Dorries and Peter Bone to mention just a couple – panicking under ...

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