Congress of Controversies

As Moldova finishes hosting the anti-LGBT World Congress of Families, many are still wondering about the financing of the event and the affiliation with the president. From Ziarul de Garda.

By Aliona Ciurca
18 September 2018
Around the Bloc
Manafort Documents Reveal Smear Campaign Against Tymoshenko

The Yanukovych consultant worked with an Israeli official on the scheme, U.S. indictment says.

19 September 2018
Around the Bloc
Azeri, Armenian Leaders Enlist Sons in Karabakh Conflict

Nikol Pashinyan lauds son’s decision to serve on the front line, declares Karabakh should be part of Armenia.

Nikol Pashinyan lauds son’s decision to serve on the front line, declares Karabakh should be part of Armenia.Nikol Pashinyan lauds son’s decision to serve on the front line, declares Karabakh should be part of Armenia.Nikol Pashinyan lauds son’s decision to serve on the front line, declares Karabakh should be part of Armenia.Nikol Pashinyan lauds son’s decision to serve on the front line, declares Karabakh should be part of Armenia.Nikol Pashinyan lauds son’s decision to serve on the front line, declares Karabakh should be part of Armenia.The son of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliev has joined the armed forces, a rather unusual step for the offspring of senior officials, writes.


Coincidentally, or not, the son of enemy Armenia’s prime minister recently joined his country’s army too.


When Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced his 18-year-old son Ashot’s enlistment in May and said he would serve in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, Baku called the move “cheap populism,” Eurasianet says.


Ilham Aliev’s son Heydar was sworn in as a member of the State Security Service on 16 September in a ceremony attended by his parents and other family members.


Unlike the younger Pashinyan, Heydar Aliev will not be stationed in a conflict area. He will serve with a unit based in Baku, in what Eurasianet calls “an apparent exception to the usual rule that conscripts serve outside their home region.”


While some Azeris hail Heydar’s patriotic step, others say he is setting a bad example. Journalist Khadija Ismayilova – once jailed after exposing corruption in high places – wrote on Facebook: “The country is at war. The president is sending his son not to the army, but to the State Security Service. That is, he does not trust the army with his son,” JAMnews says.




·         In July, Chief of the Armenian General Staff Artak Davtyan said 320 Armenian citizens had returned home since Prime Minister Pashinyan urged young Armenians who have gone abroad or otherwise skirted military service to come home and join the armed forces. Davtyan said 156 of the group had previously evaded their mandatory military service, JAMnews reported.


·         Since taking office at the head of a reform movement, Pashinyan has kept Yerevan’s close relations with unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh and even broached the normally taboo subject of incorporating it into Armenia. “I see Karabakh as part of Armenia,” he recently told Russia’s Armenian business community. Karabakh has functioned practically as an Armenian protectorate since the war with Azerbaijan ended in 1994.


·         A top aide to Ilham Aliev commented on Ashot Pashinyan’s deployment to the Karabakh region yesterday on Facebook. "It is necessary to ask the prime minister who says that the ‘NKR’ [Nagorno-Karabakh Republic] is an ‘independent state’ and about the need for Azerbaijan to negotiate with this ‘state’: why does your son serve in this ‘independent state’? Taking this step, he actually confirms not only the fact of occupation, but also recognizes that it is Armenia that is a party to the conflict,” Ali Hasanov wrote, as cited by Azernews.

19 September 2018
Around the Bloc
Danish Bank Chief Resigns as Estonian ‘Laundromat’ Scandal Grows

Bank says it knew of suspiciously large transactions involving Russian clients of its Estonian operation.

19 September 2018
Around the Bloc
U.S. Defense Chief Urges ‘Yes’ Vote in Macedonia Referendum

Jim Mattis accuses Russia of trying to scuttle deal with Greece.

18 September 2018
Around the Bloc
Poland in More Hot Water Over Judicial Reforms

Warsaw could be hit with further EU sanctions this week, reports say.

18 September 2018
Around the Bloc
Serbian Gay Prime Minister Attends Gay Pride Despite Opposition

While some gay rights activists have criticized her for not pushing the LGBT agenda, Ana Brnabic has been insistent on the need to fix what she says are more pressing issues.  

17 September 2018
Around the Bloc
Slovenia Gets Its First Minority Government

Some fear the diversity of Sarec’s coalition agreement might prove too unstable and lead to early elections.

17 September 2018

Russia is cracking down on minority languages – but a resistance movement is growing.

By Guzel Yusupova
14 September 2018
The Beginning of the End for Orban in the EPP?

While this week’s vote indicates that Hungary’s strongman is drifting further away from the mainstream European People’s Party, any defection – forced or voluntary – would puncture his political influence on the continent.

By Political Capital
14 September 2018
Economy & Business
PremiumChinese Investment in Poland: Still Just Wishful Thinking

Polish hopes for a massive inflow of Chinese investors, establishing new factories and creating thousands of jobs, have not yet materialized.

By Lukasz Sarek
3 September 2018
Conflict & Diplomacy
Ancestral Homes Out of Bounds

Despite repeated complaints, Georgia is still preventing Ossetians now based in Russia from visiting the villages where they once lived not so long ago. From JAMnews.

By Zhanna Tarkhanova
31 August 2018
Armenia’s Political Parties Prepare to Test Their Strength

The vote for Yerevan mayor previews key parliamentary elections to come and tests the new government's vow to make elections fair. From Eurasianet.

By Bradley Jardine
24 August 2018
PremiumThe Secrets of Homemade Wine
A video report explores traditions related to winemaking in Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine.
22 August 2018
Ethnic Discrimination or Just Solving a Demographic Problem?

Abkhazia's Azkhara Foundation stands accused of providing assistance on an ethnic basis to local residents with big families. From JAMnews.

20 August 2018
PremiumPublic Outcry Over Animal Rights in Turkey
A stray dog that had its paws and tail severed has sparked a new debate over abuse. By Cagri Sari
17 August 2018
The Luxury of Oligarchy in the Swamp of Poverty
A video report explores the plague of oligarchy in Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. From Ziarul de Garda.
15 August 2018
Economy & Business
Caspian Agreement May Trigger Cascade of Energy Projects

After decades of wrangling, the five Caspian states appear ready to cooperate. From Eurasianet.

By Peter Leonard
13 August 2018
Economy & Business
Kyrgyzstan’s North-South Road to Corruption

A new investigation reveals another side of Chinese infrastructure projects in Central Asia: elite corruption. From openDemocracy.

By Satina Aidar
9 August 2018
PremiumMore Than a Neighborly Gesture

Massive financial assistance from Romania has not only led to the renovation of hundreds of kindergartens in Moldova, dampening a major reason for emigration, but also imported best practices in local financial management.

By Madalin Necsutu and Ilie Gulca
8 August 2018
PremiumBetween Polesie and the Cosmos: Diary of Escape Becomes a Hit in Belarus

Wake up! A postmodern Thoreau urges his fast-growing fan club.

By Olga Bubich
7 August 2018
PremiumHow a Turkish Grandmother Turned Green Ambassador

Unlikely activist does her own research into the effects of coal-fired power plants and ends up informing the nation.

By Uygar Gultekin
1 August 2018
Mining Dispute Threatens Armenia’s Post-Revolutionary Political Consensus

The controversy pits the grassroots activists who brought a reformist government to power against foreign investors who promise the economic growth Armenia needs. From Eurasianet.

By Bradley Jardine and Grigor Atanesian
26 July 2018
PremiumBelarusian Media: Between the State and the Nosy Neighbor

Lukashenka’s government is steadily enlarging its sphere of control over domestic media while trying to limit Russian influence.

By Veranika Laputska
23 July 2018
Grandmothers on Loan

A Moldovan volunteering initiative gives abandoned children the loving Moldovan grandmothers they never imagined they would have. From Ziarul de Garda, a news and analysis site.

By Liliana Botnariuc
19 July 2018
Neighborly Cheer

Are the people from the former Yugoslavia pleased with Croatia's success in the World Cup? Yes they are. From Global Voices.

By Marko Angelov
18 July 2018
PremiumSerious Fun

Slowly but surely, activists across Eastern Europe and Eurasia are learning how games can change the minds and hearts of their fellow citizens.

By George Leech
12 July 2018
PremiumTemporarily “Home”

A personal story of domestic violence illustrates the value of housing for the victims, but Moldova still has far to go before the country reaches European standards in tackling the problem.

By Victoria Borta
10 July 2018
PremiumNo Quick Solutions for Turkish Asylum Seekers in Europe

Applications have soared since the 2016 failed coup attempt.

By Zeynep Yunculer
5 July 2018
Conflict & Diplomacy
A War for Hearts and Minds
Almost 10 years on from the 2008 war, Georgian civil society – both informal and formal – is increasingly engaging in the country’s breakaway territories. From openDemocracy. By Tatiana Kozak
3 July 2018


Middle Europa
A Decade’s Lessons Learned. But By Whom?

Some people find it easy to forget just how destructive the financial crisis of 2008-9 was, but not the Latvians.

12 September 2018
Middle Europa
Unlucky Eight for the Czechs? Premium

Coming to terms with so many conflicting anniversaries in 2018 is even harder when national narratives and knowledge of history are lacking. 

29 August 2018
Balkan Eye
The Komsu Concept Premium

The tangled history of Turkish-Bulgarian ties shows that crises can often have a bright side.

21 August 2018
Middle Europa
In the Eye of the Romanian Storm Premium

The country is experiencing a palpable sense of change, and there is a general trepidation that it could be for the worse.

7 August 2018
Balkan Eye
Neighbors in the Mirror Premium

A role reversal in recent years hasn’t done much to dampen the age-old competition between Bulgaria and Serbia.

3 August 2018
Middle Europa
Green Light for Putin? Premium

U.S. President Donald Trump's siding with Russia at the Helsinki summit could spell bad news for Central Europe and the Balkans, where Moscow's influence is already conspicuous.

24 July 2018
Fourth Estate
Don’t Shoot the Messenger Premium

The arrest of a German journalist in Romania in connection to his work is a bellwether of the harassment whistleblowers face in Central and Eastern Europe.

11 July 2018


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The Moldovan Diaries is a multimedia, interactive examination of the country's ethnic, religious, social and political identities by Paolo Paterlini and Cesare De Giglio.

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It is a unique and intimate map of the nation.


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