“Scratch a Russian liberal and you’ll find an educated conservative”: an interview with sociologist Greg Yudin

Note from the LeftEast editors: In this interview conducted by Gleb Napreenko, published in Russian in the Colta.ru-hosted Discordance: a Journal of Social and Art Criticism and generously translated for LeftEast by Kristina Mayman, sociologist Greg Yudin speaks about the deceitfulness of opinion polling, the fear of the elites for the people, and the political suicide of the intelligentsia. Gleb Napreenko: There is a widespread idea in today’s Russia about a certain conservative majority that supports Putin and his politics. This idea is based on opinion polls – it is they that demonstrate to us t ..

The Freedom to Say “No”: Interview with dismissed Turkish academic and Yeniyol editor Uraz Aydin

Note from the LeftEast editors: For the last several months in Turkish politics, the party-state’s agenda has been dominated by two interconnected operations: consolidation of power and elimination of opposition. The former will culminate in the constitutional referendum of April 16 this year, which will, if successful, transform Turkey from a parliamentary into a presidential republic, further strengthening Erdogan’s personal rule and making it nearly impossible to electorally challenge AKP hegemony in the foreseeable future. Whole cities are plastered with giant “Evet!” (Yes!) posters, w ..

Romanian Soldiers and 1917: Memoirs from the other Side of the Revolution

Introduction and Context  The Two Revolutions The following text is a short fragment of an eye-witness account of the 1917 Revolutions: Voicu Nițescu’s Twenty Months in Russian and Siberia published in Brașov (Romania) in 1926. The book, a rather long-winded work of three volumes, is not the work of an enthusiast: there is hardly any sympathy in it for the February Revolution, let alone Red October. One would search in vain for the heroic undertones of John Reed’s writings or for its stern fervour. For Nițescu, when not a dreadfully murderous enterprise, the Revolution was just a sure recipe for disaster ..

Out in the Cold: Romania and Bulgaria look away from transborder collaboration

This article first appeared in Serbo-Croatian on the web journal Bilten. East-Central Europe and the Balkans experienced a period of exceptionally cold and snowy weather in January 2017. Flights and shipping services were suspended in some areas, there was major disruption to power supplies and other essential infrastructure, and there were a number of deaths due to the cold temperatures. The energy and infrastructure relations between Bucharest and Sofia are marked by a general reluctance to develop them. While flows of people and cargo grow on the border crossings, the price for the lack of mutual projects is ..

Romania: Two Elephants in the Room

Cultural worker, researcher and activist Nebojša Milikić (Belgrade) sat down with Romanian political scientist and International Relations scholar Ovidiu Gherasim-Proca to discuss the ideological confusion and deflected promise of anti-corruption politics in an era of faltering neoliberalism. Against President Klaus Iohannis’s contention that Social Democratic Party corruption was “the elephant in the room,” Milikić and Gherasim-Proca assess the prospects for popular welfare at a time when elite liberal interests can most easily mobilize masses against politicians’ criminal behavior ..

21 Remarkable Women Who Are Changing Eastern Europe

On International Women’s Day most women in Eastern Europe merely receive some flowers and words of gratitude for the work they have done for the family. We asked 21 journalists in 21 countries to introduce us to a remarkable woman from their country. For the article, see: von n-ost Border Crossing Journalism.

Trotsky: The Prickly Lion of the Revolution (an interview with Alexander Reznik)

This interview was conducted on Radio Svoboda and published in Russian on Jan. 27, 2017. It was translated in English for LeftEast by Evgeni V. Pavlov. “Insurrection of the masses does not require a justification. And what took place was indeed an insurrection and not a conspiracy. We openly forged the will of the masses for an insurrection… To those who left from here and who are proposing other courses of action, we have only this to say: You are pitiful isolated individuals; you are bankrupts; your role is played out. Go where you belong from now on — into the dustbin of history!” Thus spoke Leon ..

Nationalism at the rescue of Macedonia’s Criminal Elites

The political temperature has been exponentially rising in Macedonia for some time now. It reached boiling point on March 1st when President Ivanov refused to grant SDSM (Social Democratic Union of Macedonia) the mandate to form a government. Neither the governing right-wing populist VMRO-DPMNE, nor the opposition party SDSM managed to obtain the majority necessary to form Government at December’s elections. It was only recently after SDSM got the support from the MPs from three ethnic Albanian parties that it was able to request the mandate. The refusal to grant it surpasses the President’s power in Macedon ..

Great Albanian Oil Robbery

This piece originally appeared on the Serbo-Croatian language portal, Bilten. It is reproduced here with generous permission from their editors. The last time I wrote about the oil industry in Albania was the spring of 2015. An enormous eruption of natural gas and oil occurred near the village of Patos-Marinzë, in southern Albania, where the Canadian-based company Bankers Petroleum has been drilling for years. Some people got injured, homes were partially destroyed and, more importantly, many inhabitants of the area and of nearby villages have continuously reported an increasing number of diseases linked to this ..