This article by Volodymyr Ishchenko, a member of LeftEast’s editorial collective, was originally published in The Guardian. Volodymyr Zelenskiy has united a polarised country by rejecting angry nationalism – but his politics offer no panacea. A politically inexperienced comedian, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, is in the leadafter the first round of presidential elections in Ukraine – and by a huge margin. He is almost 15 percentage points ahead of the incumbent president, Petro Poroshenko. Zelenskiy’s unconventional campaign, relying primarily on Instagram and a TV show in which he plays a fictional Ukrainian presi ..
Note from LeftEast editors: Last week, Macedonia’s Parliament approved a constitutional amendment to change the country’s name to the Republic of North Macedonia. Under the agreement, the country’s language will be called Macedonian and its people known as Macedonians/citizens of the Republic of North Macedonia. The new name will be used both internationally and bilaterally, so that even the 140 or more countries that recognise the name Macedonia will also have to adopt North Macedonia. In Macedonian, the name is Severna Makedonija. While mainstream media have described this vote as “histori ..
Note from LeftEast editors: The article was originally published on dversia.net in Bulgarian on the 10.09.2017 At this year’s summit of G20, the newly elected French president Emanuel Macron stated that the problem with the slow economic development of Africa was civilizational. As an example, he noted that African women gave birth to 7-8 children, in which he saw a negative economic effect without accounting for its economic roots–the reason must be the “innate backwardness” of the people. Similarly, in Bulgaria the problem with the social and economic segregation of the Roma is viewed as civilizatio ..
Concerning the recent developments in the Balkans, DEA and the Red Network state the following: The background to understand recent events is the initiative of USA-NATO and the EU to impose a new “stability” and control to the region, by establishing an immediate connection of all the countries with the major imperialist organizations. The timeframe that has already been announced (the EU Summit in Sofia at the end of May and the NATO Summit at the end of June) highlights that they are moving in a fast pace to address the difficulties that Western imperialism is facing in the Middle East, and the turn of Turk ..
Note from the editors: Starting next month Bulgaria will assume the presidency of the Council of the European Union. To acknowledge this momentous occasion, this month LeftEast will carry two texts by Jana Tsoneva analyzing the politics of contemporary Bulgaria. This article originally appeared in July on the Serbo-Croatian portal Bilten and is republished here with their generous permission. It is a habit of the lazy mind to associate only ex-Yugoslavia with ethnic conflicts, but in the late 1980s Bulgaria, too, was on the brink of an “ethnic war”. The post-1956 period regime was marked by the increase of ra ..
The following article was first published at the online Serbo-Croatian platform Bilten. On 30 January the future organization of Bosnia and Herzegovina, one of the countries of the region without even a formal full sovereignty, was discussed in the foreign affairs committee of the European Parliament (EP), a body in which no representatives of the country concerned have the right to participate. This is, of course, a standard procedure: despite having no plans in the near future to admit Bosnia and Herzegovina as members, the European Union in its significant and less significant bodies regularly assesses the ..
November 13th of this year saw the second round of presidential elections in Bulgaria. With an overwhelming majority, General Rumen Radev became Bulgaria’s fifth elected president. the outcome of the presidential elections in Bulgaria came to light. We take this opportunity to analyze the political assumptions surrounding the election results. There are multiple ways to interpret the electoral outcomes. First, as a victory of Russia over the European Union. Second, as rise of the anti-systemic vote (usually meant as a reaction against GERB ). Third, as change in the balance between the now-neoliberal-former ..
Note from the LeftEast editors: this article has been published in collaboration with the Serbo-Croat web portal Bilten. Last April Pazardzhik, a Bulgarian town with a population of about 70,000, banned Muslim women from wearing veils. Pazardzhik was followed by Stara Zagora, and proposals for introducing similar prohibitions were made in over a third of the regional cities. It is dubious if municipalities have the constitutional right to introduce regional regulations on clothing, but, regardless, the bans are widely backed. Rumyana Bachvarova, the Minister of Interior, said she supports it because more vigilanc ..
Within days of the failed military coup attempt, president Erdogan announced his “good news” to the Turkish public: a state of emergency for three months. It’s been exceedingly difficult to identify with any of the protagonists of the last couple of weeks in Turkey. Essentially, what happened were two coups in quick succession: one—abortive military, the other—successful civilian and still ongoing. Given Turkey’s experience of military coups, the former augured nothing good. The days of progressive officers overthrowing autocratic governments and introducing democratizing reforms—a la Nasser, Hafizu ..