Why there is still a dictatorship in the middle of Europe and what we can do about it.

Photo by Jana Shnipelson on Unsplash

Belarus is commonly referred to as “Europe’s last dictatorship” among scholars, as Alexander Lukashenko has served as the first and only president of Belarus for more than 26 years now (Liabedzka, 2008; Marples, 2005). Freedom House describes Belarus as “an authoritarian police state in which elections are openly rigged and civil liberties are curtailed” (Freedom House, 2020).

During the currently ongoing state-wide protests against the Belarusian government which started in May 2020, tens of thousands have been detained, at least 1406 were…

A review of the elements shaping foreign news coverage at the largest metropolitan daily newspaper in the United States.

Photo by Joey Zanotti on Flickr

Los Angeles Times (afterwards referred to as “the Times”) is a privately-owned daily newspaper, and an online digital outlet based in California, founded in 1881 (Los Angeles Times, 2012). The Times has the fifth-biggest circulation and is the largest metropolitan daily newspaper in the United States; it is the largest American newspaper not headquartered on the East Coast (Cision, 2019; Los Angeles Times, 2021).

In this report, I am going to review the factors that influence international news reporting at the…

Navalny remains in a medically induced coma since August 20

Alexei Navalny had become the most prominent face of Russian opposition in the last decade — his Anti-Corruption Foundation’s (FBK) investigations gain millions of views and anti-government meetings gather tens of thousands.

The loudest Vladimir Putin’s critic has been in a coma for almost two weeks now. The Charité Hospital, at which Navalny is being treated, has issued a statement indicating that he was, indeed, poisoned.

It is almost certain that Putin was aware of the upcoming poisoning.

This investigative piece, published by Proekt Media a few days ago, uncovers the meticulous surveillance system developed by the Russian Federal Security Service to keep track of every step Navalny makes.

This article, published…

After the Foreign Affairs Ministers’ conference on August 14, the EU rejected the results of Belarus presidential elections and announced personal sanctions for “those responsible for violence and falsification”.

The response comes after 5 days of protests and violence sparked by the elections that were “neither free nor fair”, as the EU itself describes them.

With more than 6,000 people detained and two dead, the response seems too little too late. But even that is better than no response at all, as some political experts forecasted.

Protests have been met with brutal violence from OMON (Special Purpose Police Unit)

Still, there are many more steps to be taken in order to help the…

There is about to be a genocide in Europe. The world needs to act now.

Center of Minsk on the night after the official election results were announced

This election year, everything changed in Belarus. Alexander Lukashenko, a dictator who’s been in power for 26 years has been faced with opposition from three real candidates — an unprecedented political activity for Belarus.

Two of them were thrown in prison, the third had to flee the country.

But there was a glimpse of hope — one of the candidates’ wife — Svetlana Tikhanovskaya — who decided to run for president in place of her imprisoned husband.

Daugavpils is the city with the least confirmed coronavirus cases (per 100,000 people) in Latvia, despite being the second most-populated. What may be the reason for the city’s successful fight against the virus? Did its citizens do something special that we can all learn from? First, a bit of statistics.

Daugavpils is an 82,000-people city on the south-east of Latvia. Just like the rest of the world, its life was disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. Albeit in comparison with the rest of the world, things could have been way worse.

As of April 19, there are 8 confirmed cases in…

‘Never Rarely Sometimes Always’ premiered and competed at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival for the U.S. Dramatic Competition Grand Jury Prize, where it won a Special Jury Award for Neo-Realism. It was also selected to compete for the Golden Bear in the main competition section at the 70th Berlin International Film Festival, where it won the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize (the second most prestigious prize at the festival).

Autumn (Sidney Flanigan) says as many words throughout ‘Never Rarely Sometimes Always’ as there are in a Tarantino dialogue. This does not make her character look less real than Beatrix Kiddo. Just like the ‘Kill Bill’ protagonist, the 17-year-old Pennsylvanian who suddenly finds out she is pregnant, has a clear goal in mind and is ought to go through hell to achieve it.

Autumn gets catcalled off the stage of a high school talent show in the first scene of the movie. She gets neglected by her stepfather in the second one. Autumn only has two friends: her cousin Skylar…

Dota 2 The International 2014 playoffs, held at KeyArena in Seattle, WA.

Almost all of the world stadiums are either empty or used as hospitals right now (except Belarus, the leader of which sees COVID-19 as ‘another psychosis’ rather than a real threat).

However, there is one branch of sport that is still carrying-out its competition, in almost the same way as it would in the pre-virus times — esports.

The pandemic did affect esports, with all the upcoming live events being cancelled. Among them: the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) and the Overwatch League, which were ran in the format of regular leagues, similar to those of the NHL or…

The world seems as united as it can be, fighting a common enemy — the coronavirus. We all can relate to each other, whether working from home in the UK or going grocery shopping wearing a mask in Australia. Still, every country has its own story of the virus.

Up until the 11th of April, Italy has been the country with most confirmed deaths due to coronavirus. Last month, Italy became the European centre of the virus, overtaking China in confirmed cases on the 26th of March. As a response, the Italian government has put more than 60 million people…

This feature was originally published in April 2019

It’s been five days since the first round of Ukraine’s presidential elections. The ballots have been counted and Volodymyr Zelensky — a comedian with no political experience — is in the lead with 30%, followed by the current president Petro Poroshenko with 16% and a former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko with 13%. The latter is out of the race, while the comedian and the president are going into the second round — the vote will take place on the 21st of April.

How did we get here?

“People are frustrated,” says Chatham House’s Ukrainian expert Anna Korbut…

Nikita Shurkhovetsky

Journalist. Activist. From Latvia. Currently studying at City, University of London.

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