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Introducing Viktor Milos

Introducing Viktor Milos

Hungary’s Viktor Orbán is seen to be infecting Miloš Zeman’s politics. It may be time to call it a day for the Czech Republic as we’ve known it for the last 20 years. Not to tire readers with the recent history of Czech internal affairs, but one thing is clear: If the country headed west […]

Latvia’s non-citizens

On 23 March, roughly 400 people formed a non-citizens congress in the Latvian capital Riga, demanding full political rights for so-called “non-citizens”. This resulted from Latvia’s Russian minority voicing its anger over escalating institutional discrimination. Nearly 300,000 people, 13% of Latvia’s population, have non-citizen status and as a result, have special passports and restrictions placed […]

Two Russians Cycle the World

Two Russians Cycle the World

Circumnavigating the world is hard work however you do it, let alone on a bicycle. But for two Russian cyclists in Vienna last month en route on a 21,000-kilometre tour of the globe, it was the mission that kept them going. Alen Khairullin, 26, and Pavel Grachyov, 47, pedaled off in November last year from […]

Pipeline gets go-ahead

Pipeline gets go-ahead

The South Stream Pipeline, a €15.5 billion Russian gas pipeline to Europe, has received the final signatures it authorising it’s construction slated to begin on 7 Dec. The pipeline will carry Russian natural gas to Europe with an annual supply of 15.75 billion cubic metres with an eventual full capacity of 63bcm by 2018. South […]

Putin’s Final Act

Putin’s Final Act

Vladimir Putin’s new presidential term is just beginning, but it is increasingly looking like the beginning of the end. Whenever Russia’s people pour into the streets en masse, as they currently are doing, from that point on, things never work out well for the authorities. In 1917, Russian Emperor Nicholas II had to abdicate in […]

Talks on Transnistria

Talks on Transnistria

Representatives from Germany, Russia and Moldova continued talks at a quaint lakeside town in Bavaria to discuss the future of a Russian-speaking breakaway region in Moldova. The meeting took place from 20 to 22 Jun in Rottach-Egern on the Tegernsee as part of the OSCE’s “5+2 Talks” focusing on the future of Transnistria, a 100km-long […]

Styrian oil made in Russia?

Styrian oil made in Russia?

Austria’s southern province Styria, well known for its apples and pumpkins, is up against cheap imported “Steirisches Kürbiskernöl”– the dark-green and viscous pumpkin seed oil with its characteristic nutlike flavour – on sale in supermarkets and misleadingly labelled as being of local origin. These were the conclusions of an investigation by the consumer organisation Verein für […]

Vienna’s Russians: Remote and Resigned

Online social networks are today’s stage for political discourse. This became relevant for Russia when suspicions of fraud by the ruling party in parliamentary elections last December brought some 50,000 protesters to the streets, organised over the internet. Since then, there has been a string of demonstrations in urban centres, not seen in Russia since […]

Encounter: Vienna Noir

It’s 2:00 in the morning, and I’m sitting in a beat-up VW Golf outside an abandoned orphanage on the outskirts of Vienna. The volume on the radio is turned way down and my friend is frantically tapping the steering wheel, his eyes straying towards the flickering lights inside the compound. “I told them not to […]

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