By David Firestone, 6 August 2010
Forest and peat fires, resulting from sustained record high temperatures and unusually dry weather, have been raging across central Russia for over a week.
By Niall Green, 30 July 2010
The Kremlin has announced plans to begin shipping arms to support the US occupation of Afghanistan along the Northern Distribution Network that passes through Russia.
By Julie Hyland and Paul Mitchell, 30 July 2010
The United Nations International Court of Justice ruled last week that Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia on February 17, 2008 was legal.
By Markus Salzmann, 28 July 2010
The International Monetary Fund and the European Union have tightened the screws on Hungary following a government decision to introduce a levy on banks and insurance companies, and delay the introduction of some of its planned austerity measures.
By Andrea Peters, 21 July 2010
In recent weeks the Russian government has announced its intention to slash the country’s federal deficit by half by 2013, a move that will require drastic reductions in government spending.
By Markus Salzmann, 20 July 2010
The European elite and the IMF are demanding that the Bulgarian government implement the brutal type of cuts already introduced in Romania, Hungary, Latvia and other Eastern European states.
By Markus Salzmann, 19 July 2010
The new so-called “Coalition of Budget Responsibility” plans to implement the severest social cuts in the history of the Czech Republic.
By Marius Heuser, 6 July 2010
Bronislaw Komorowski, the candidate of the governing conservative Civic Platform (PO) party was able to win 52.6 percent of the vote in the second round of the Polish presidential election held on Sunday.
By Markus Salzmann, 3 July 2010
The new government of Slovakia has announced a savage austerity program that amounts to a declaration of war on the population.
By Alex Lantier, 22 June 2010
Bloodshed continued in Kyrgyzstan after ethnic pogroms left thousands dead and 8 percent of the country’s population homeless, and amid continuing political conflict after the April ouster of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev.
By Markus Salzmann, 19 June 2010
Only one week after taking office, the new Hungarian government led by Victor Orban has put forward an unprecedented package of austerity measures.
By Diana Toma, 18 June 2010
Cuts prepared by Prime Minister Emil Boc and the IMF will have a disastrous impact on Romania’s already devastated health care system.
By Niall Green, 12 June 2010
The new administration in Kiev seeks to improve ties with Moscow and the EU, while preparing with austerity measures against the working class.
By our correspondents, 9 June 2010
A strike of public sector workers in Romania took place on 31 May to protest the government’s IMF-imposed austerity program.
By Niall Green, 5 June 2010
The Russian-EU summit held last weekend produced no significant agreements as both sides attempted to shore up their relative positions in the face of Europe’s deepening financial crisis.
By Markus Salzmann, 3 June 2010
The conservative Citizens Party (ODS) and the Social Democratic Party (CSSD) have suffered massive losses in recent parliamentary elections in the Czech Republic.
By Markus Salzmann, 2 June 2010
The Hungarian parliament passed a law last month conferring Hungarian citizenship on ethnic Hungarians who live in neighbouring countries.
40,000 rally against government austerity programme
By our correspondent, 1 June 2010
On May 19, some 40,000 workers took to the street in Victory Square, Bucharest, in the largest demonstration in Romania since the downfall of the Stalinist regime in 1989.
By Markus Salzmann, 26 May 2010
The debt crisis in Greece is placing Eastern European states under increasing pressure.
By Alexander Fangmann, 22 May 2010
Thousands of Slovenian students took to the streets of Ljubljana Wednesday to protest the introduction of a bill in parliament that both limits their ability to work during their studies and places a maximum wage on their earnings.
By Andrei Tudora, 18 May 2010
The scale of the new IMF dictated attacks to be imposed on Romania is unprecedented even by the country’s past standards.
By Fred Williams, 18 May 2010
In the nine days since two explosions killed scores of miners at the Raspadskaya mine a political crisis has been building in the Kemerovo region in southwestern Siberia.
By Fred Williams, 11 May 2010
As many as 90 miners and rescuers have died in a Siberian mine disaster. As in the recent West Virginia disaster, the causes are bound up with increasing productivity and a lowering of safety standards.
By Diana Toma, 8 May 2010
The austerity program agreed by the Romanian government led by Prime Minister Emil Boc is meeting with increasing resistance on the part of the Romanian people.
Twenty years since declaring independence from the USSR
By Niall Green, 4 May 2010
Twenty years after declaring independence from the USSR, the Latvian government is carrying out savage austerity measures in collusion with international financial elite and their representatives in the IMF, the European Union, and the government in Riga.
By Markus Salzmann, 27 April 2010
The right-wing conservative Fidesz (Federation of Young Democrats), led by Victor Orban, won a more than two-thirds majority in the second round of the Hungarian parliamentary election.
By Stefan Steinberg, 19 April 2010
There is an element of the grotesque in both the domestic and international efforts to sanctify the figure of deceased Polish President Lech Kaczynski.
By Markus Salzmann, 14 April 2010
The right-wing Federation of Young Democrats (Fidesz) won an absolute majority, while the neo-fascist Party for a Better Hungary took third place in parliamentary elections held in Hungary on Sunday.
By Andrei Tudora, 13 April 2010
During his recent visit to Romania the director of the IMF stressed the importance of austerity programs and urged the political establishment to take responsibility for such programs, despite public opposition.
By Marius Hauser, 13 April 2010
Poland’s late president Lech Kaczynski, who died Saturday in a plane crash, was a loyal representative of the country’s ruling elite and sought to establish authoritarian forms of rule based on reactionary Polish chauvinism.
By Alex Lantier, 12 April 2010
Polish President Lech Kaczynski and dozens of other government officials died Saturday in a plane crash near Smolensk in western Russia, where they were traveling to a joint commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the World War II Katyn massacre.
By Markus Salzmann, 10 April 2010
Opinion polls are predicting a landslide victory for the right wing Federation of Young Democrats (Fidesz) in Sunday's election.
By Niall Green, 7 April 2010
The Moscow underground double suicide bombing, March 29, in which 40 people were killed, was a tragic and reactionary product of two decades of brutal warfare and repression by the Kremlin in the North Caucasus republics.
By Andrea Peters, 30 March 2010
Bombs exploded in two Moscow metro stations on Monday morning, killing at least 38 people and injuring dozens more. The Kremlin is blaming separatists from the north Caucasus and is using the incidents as an opportunity to step up repression.
By Deepal Jayasekera, 23 March 2010
A short visit by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to India on March 12 resulted in a slew of bilateral agreements and improved strategic relations.
By Markus Salzmann, 12 March 2010
The calling off of a strike by transport workers in the Czech Republic came precisely at the time of the general strike in Greece and when strikes and protests were being held in many other European cities.
By Kumaran Ira, 10 March 2010
France and Russia signed energy, military, and industrial deals as France tried to rally Russian support against Iran and develop its influence in eastern Europe.
By Niall Green, 3 March 2010
The crushing defeat of Viktor Yushchenko in Ukraine’s presidential poll in January and the election of Viktor Yanukovich in the second round vote held February 7 mark the ignominious end of the 2004 “Orange Revolution.”
By Andrea Peters, 20 February 2010
A sharp rise in unemployment in Russia, which now stands at 9.2 percent, is leading to growing social discontent.
By Andrea Peters, 13 February 2010
Ukraine remains embroiled in political conflict after last weekend’s run-off election that gave the presidency to Viktor Yanukovich, who defeated rival Yulia Timoshenko by a margin of just over 3 percent.
By Andrea Peters, 8 February 2010
The Russian economy declined dramatically over the course of 2009, according to recently released data from the federal statistics service.
By Markus Salzmann and Wolfgang Weber, 30 January 2010
A so-called “bad bank” for heavily indebted East European countries had been established in the Austrian capital of Vienna.
By Diana Toma, 25 January 2010
The introduction of free-market relations into the states of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe 20 years ago has led to an unparalleled social and cultural decline.
By Niall Green, 21 January 2010
The humiliating defeat of incumbent Viktor Yushchenko in Sunday’s Ukrainian presidential election represents a serious blow to the strategic interests of the United States.
By Vladimir Volkov and Andrea Peters, 18 January 2010
One month ago, Egor Gaidar, a leading figure in the restoration of capitalism in Russia, died of a heart attack. The policies he implemented had a disastrous impact on the country and resulted in an immense growth in social inequality.
By Niall Green, 16 January 2010
Five years after the “Orange Revolution,” and with the country mired in economic crisis, the same oligarchic politicians vie for power in an election that has generated little enthusiasm among the Ukrainian people.
By Diana Toma and Markus Salzmann, 13 January 2010
Romania’s newly elected government, led by the right-wing Democratic Liberal Party, has made clear that it intends to fulfill the demands laid down by the International Monetary Fund, European Union and national big business interests.
By Andrea Peters, 7 January 2010
In late December, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev announced that his government intended to develop a new generation of nuclear weapons.
By Niall Green, 28 December 2009
Five years after gaining office in the “Orange Revolution,” Viktor Yushchenko faces defeat in an election in which the same oligarchic forces vie for power as in 2004. Meanwhile ordinary Ukrainians endure the ravages of the global economic crisis.
By Diana Toma and Markus Salzmann, 24 December 2009
In Romania, the character of the transformation that occurred in Eastern Europe 20 years ago was more transparent than elsewhere. The Stalinist elite exploited the protests by the population to secure its power and privileges on a capitalist basis.
By Niall Green, 23 December 2009
The scramble for control of access to the oil and gas riches of Central Asia threatens to reanimate the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh.
By John Chan, 21 December 2009
The opening of a gas pipeline linking Turkmenistan to western China is another sign of rivalry among the major powers for domination of energy-rich Central Asia.
By Niall Green, 15 December 2009
Russia’s North Caucasus republics continue to experience ongoing insurgent attacks and abuses by government forces, as the region remains mired in instability and corruption.
By Markus Salzmann, 12 December 2009
The very narrow victory for the current office holder, Traian Basescu, in the second round of the presidential elections in Romania will only deepen the country’s two-month-long government crisis.
By Andrea Peters, 9 December 2009
A fire at a nightclub in Perm, Russia on Saturday night has taken the lives of 118 people so far, with over a hundred more still hospitalized and dozens among them listed in critical condition.
By Niall Green, 9 December 2009
Reflecting tensions and antagonisms building up in Europe, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev is calling for a new European treaty to replace the existing structures of NATO and the OSCE.
By Justus Leicht, 9 December 2009
The controversy surrounding the expulsion of Germans from Eastern Europe at the end of the Second World War has re-emerged in the dispute over the figure of Erika Steinbach.
By Diana Toma and Markus Salzmann, 28 November 2009
The presidential elections which took place last Sunday in Romania reveal that 20 years after the fall of the despised Stalinist Ceauşescu regime the country is far removed from any sort of stability or genuine democracy.
By Markus Salzmann, 27 November 2009
Recent reports indicate that the economies of many central and eastern European states are headed for new shocks.
By Andrea Peters, 25 November 2009
The impact of the global financial crisis on the Russian economy is fueling conflicts within the country’s ruling elite over the administration of state resources.
By Markus Salzmann, 24 November 2009
Recent reports indicate that the economies of many central and eastern European states are headed for new shocks.
By Diana Toma and Markus Salzmann, 19 November 2009
The ongoing political crisis in Romania has reached a new high point just days before the presidential elections scheduled for November 22. What is taking place is a bitter struggle between rival cliques within the ruling elite over power, influence and money.
By Niall Green, 29 October 2009
Five years after the “Orange Revolution,” the Ukrainian economy is in the deepest crisis since the post-Soviet economic and social implosion of the 1990s.
By Marcus Salzmann, 27 October 2009
Five weeks prior to scheduled presidential elections, the Romanian government led by the Democratic Liberal Party prime minister, Emil Boc, has collapsed following a vote of no-confidence in parliament.
By Vladimir Volkov, 24 October 2009
Following a wave of labor actions across Russia in the summer and early fall, workers at auto giant AvtoVaz are protesting mass layoffs.
By Markus Salzman, 12 October 2009
The Romanian government has collapsed as strikes and protests expand.
By Paul Mitchell, 8 October 2009
A number of reports have pointed to the increasing threat of Bosnia and Herzegovina collapsing, and even about the possibility of war breaking out.
Georgian attack unjustifiable under international law
By Niall Green, 2 October 2009
Following a 10-month investigation, a European Union report has found Georgia the aggressor in its 2008 war with Russia, directly refuting claims made not only by the Georgia government, but also by its backers in Washington and the US media.
AvtoVAZ to lay off 28,000, Aeroflot 2,200
By Niall Green, 1 October 2009
Russia’s largest car maker will axe more than one quarter of its total workforce, destroying 27,600 jobs. In a double blow, Aeroflot airline announced that it plans to cut 2,215 staff.
By Niall Green, 23 September 2009
As in the disputed presidential election of November 2004, bitter disputes between rival sections of the ruling elite—and the interests of foreign powers—are dominating the campaign for Ukraine’s presidential election to be held in January.
By Niall Green, 18 September 2009
President Obama announced the suspension of plans to develop two bases in Poland and the Czech Republic as part of a missile defense shield. The move is seen as a political gesture to secure Russian support in Afghanistan and Iran.
By Peter Kloze, 18 September 2009
Confronted by a ballooning budget deficit, the Polish government has decided to intensify its drive to privatise key sectors of state-owned industry.
By Bill Van Auken, 15 September 2009
Sunday’s announcement by President Hugo Chávez that Venezuela has reached a $2.2 billion deal to purchase Russian tanks and missiles is symptomatic of the growing international tensions in Latin America.
By Vladimir Volkov, 17 August 2009
The dismal failure of Putin’s pension reform is having a profound impact on the social consciousness of the Russian working class.
By Jordan Shilton, 11 August 2009
Economies in the Baltic region are set to suffer steep declines in output this year. On July 28, Lithuania released economic figures for the second quarter of 2009, revealing a year-on-year contraction of 22.4 percent of GDP.
By Markus Salzman, 8 August 2009
In the Republic of Moldova, opposition parties oriented to the West won with a slender majority in the country's second parliamentary election within four months.
By Niall Green, 1 August 2009
The Nabucco natural gas pipeline will traverse Turkey to supply Western Europe, bypassing Russia.
By Niall Green, 31 July 2009
A recent spike in violence between Russian security forces and local militants indicates that Moscow has no plans to loosen its military grip in the North Caucasus.
By Markus Salzmann, 14 July 2009
The Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) is introducing so-called “village guards” throughout the countryside. These will be armed and will carry out the functions of the police.
By Markus Salzmann, 13 July 2009
The right-wing “Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria” won the parliamentary elections held in Bulgaria last Sunday, with the governing coalition led by the Bulgarian Socialist Party suffering a heavy defeat.
By Niall Green, 8 July 2009
The US-Russia summit marked an attempt to improve relations between the two countries, but did not resolve any of the fundamental differences between them.
By Markus Salzmann, 17 June 2009
The election result for the neo-fascist Jobbik organization in Hungary demonstrates how extreme right organizations have been able to exploit the economic and political crisis in Eastern Europe.
Twenty years after the collapse of Stalinism
By Markus Salzmann, 5 June 2009
Just days before the European elections June 7, representatives from politics and business met in Vienna to celebrate 20 years since the fall of the Stalinist regimes in Eastern Europe.
By Marius Heuser, 29 May 2009
Ceremonies currently taking place marking the 20th anniversary of the collapse of the Stalinist regime in Poland have been overshadowed by shipyard workers protests in Gdansk.
Besancenot in Poland
By Marius Heuser and Tadeusz Sikorski, 22 May 2009
In a speech given in Katowice, Poland, the head of the NPA (New Anti-capitalist Party) justified his alliance with a group that has no connection with socialism and which includes openly right-wing forces.
By Paul Mitchell, 21 May 2009
The US administration is moving to reassert its authority in the Balkans as a divided European Union fails to push through the measures that were agreed in the Dayton Accord for this key strategic region.
By Markus Salzmann, 9 May 2009
Five years after their acceptance into the European Union amid a fanfare of expectations and celebration, 10 central and Eastern European countries are amongst the worst hit victims of the international finance crisis.
By Chris Marsden, 28 April 2009
The IMF has predicted a deepening recession in Europe, with the euro zone’s economy contracting by 4.2 percent this year, significantly worse than its January forecast of a 2 percent decline.
By Markus Salzmann, 24 April 2009
Former “Young Manager of the Year” takes over as new head of Hungarian government in a coup organized by the outgoing prime minister.
By Stefan Steinberg, 17 April 2009
A fire at a homeless shelter in Poland last Sunday night killed 21 people and left many other residents badly injured. The three-storey building in Kamien Pomorski, housing 77 homeless people, including women and children, was turned into a charred skeleton.
By Markus Salzmann, 15 April 2009
The justified anger of broad layers of the Georgian population against its right-wing, corrupt government only finds a very distorted expression in the current protests being led by an opposition alliance recruited in the main from former Saakashvili supporters.
By Markus Salzmann, 13 April 2009
Bloody street fighting in the wake of parliamentary elections in Moldova has focused international attention on the former Soviet republic.
By Paul Mitchell, 11 April 2009
More revelations have emerged about tortures and murders carried out by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) during the NATO bombing of the former Yugoslavia in 1999 and the occupation that followed.
By Bill Van Auken, 7 April 2009
In his two-day visit to Turkey, President Obama sought to distance himself from the disastrous foreign policy legacy of George W. Bush while pursuing the same strategic interests of US imperialism that motivated the wars launched by his predecessor.
By Sinan Ikinci, 1 April 2009
Losses for the ruling AKP reflect a growing political polarisation in Turkey. The results represent the first electoral setback for the AKP since 2002.
By Markus Salzmann, 31 March 2009
The resignation of the Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany is a result of the rapidly deteriorating economic situation that has led to political turbulence throughout Eastern Europe.
By David North, 30 March 2009
The capitulation of Serbia to the US-NATO onslaught brings to an end the last major strategic experience of the 20th century. Its bloody conclusion endows the century with a certain tragic symmetry. It began with the suppression of the anti-colonial uprising of the Chinese Boxers. The century closes with a war that completes the reduction of the Balkans to the status of a neo-colonial protectorate of the major imperialist powers.
By Stefan Steinberg, 27 March 2009
The Czech government led by Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek narrowly lost a vote of confidence in parliament March 24 and the government coalition will be forced to step down.
By Marius Heuser, 4 March 2009
Twenty years after the restoration of capitalism, the Polish economy is facing economic collapse as foreign capital flows out of the country.
By Vladimir Volkov, 4 March 2009
The Kremlin’s initial declarations about Russia’s supposed immunity from the global economic crisis have been replaced with statements of fear about economic destabilization and social unrest.