The GRU has left a trail of violence across Europe. Revelations that it was behind the 2014 explosions in Vrbětice worsen relations not only between Prague and Moscow, but also pro and anti-Kremlin camps within the Czech Republic. The weak Babiš government may fall even before the parliamentary election in October.
Osteuropa is an interdisciplinary monthly for the analysis of politics, economics, society, culture, and contemporary events in eastern Europe, east central Europe, and southeastern Europe. More about the journal here.
How Russia has tipped the balance in Belarus
Since Putin’s demonstration of support for Lukashenka, time seems to be on the side of the Belarusian dictator. As long as he can rely on Kremlin backing, nothing short of a general strike will force him out, argues the Russian sociologist Lev Gudkov in interview with ‘Osteuropa’.
The nationalist opposition in Belarus has been marginalized, argues Coordination Council member Olga Shparaga. National heroes and vertical power structures no longer have popular appeal. The focus is instead on peaceful cooperation, social inclusion and the soft power of women.
Events in Belarus have departed radically from the script. Putin may have been gambling on a destabilized Lukashenka, but not on a full-blown national uprising, speculates writer and artist Artur Klinaŭ. Everything now depends on the strength of the Belarusian people.
After 26 years of rule, the autocrat Alyaksandr Lukashenka has lost the support of the Belarusian people. Even if the regime is able to stay in control, it will pay an incalculable price for its brutal enforcement of the status quo. Belarus expert Astrid Sahm talks to ‘Osteuropa’ about the events and what comes next.
Oleg Sentsov’s hunger strike has reached a critical stage. Sentsov is calling for the release of all Ukrainians imprisoned in Russia on political grounds. The human rights initiative OVD-Info, in collaboration with the Memorial Centre, has compiled documentation on the 88 prisoners, most of whom are from Crimea.