December 10, 2007

Deadline: Kosovo

Kosovo declared that it would declare independence from Serbia as of today, December 10. Whether or not this happens, it has far-reaching ramifications for relations among Southeast European countries, their ethnic groups, and internationally. Here's a round-up of recent news:

The Economist: "Awaiting Independence"
NY Times/Reuters: "EU Close to Unity on Kosovo"
Time: "At an Impasse Over Kosovo"
CNN: "Kosovo defiant as U.N. talks fail"

This is an interesting article on other geo-political ramifications - this time between Russia and Georgia- of the Kosovo debate:
From The Economist: "If Kosovo goes free"

Glimpse into Russia's future?

The media is reporting on Russian President Vladimir Putin's endorsement of a candidate to succeed him in the upcoming presidential elections in March. It's Dmitri A. Medvedev, currently the First Deputy Prime Minister. See the news:

NY Times: "Putin Supports First Deputy as Successor"
"Excerpts From an Interview With Dmitri A. Medvedev"

Radio Free Europe: "Putin Declares Medvedev His Preferred Successor"

December 3, 2007

Russian election news

The dominating news story coming out of Russia this Monday morning is coverage of the parliamentary elections. Amidst allegations of electoral trouble-making, and oppressive control of media and unequal coverage for all candidates, Putin's party United Russia appears very strong and popular.

Check out these links various sources for coverage:

NPR: "Russia's Putin Helps Party to Landslide Victory" and "Election Monitors Question Putin's Victory"

New York Times: "Russia Vote Criticized; Putin’s Plans Still Unclear"
"Voices From Russia: a Sampling of Voters’ Views"

International Herald Tribue: "Landslide election ushers in questions for Russia"

BBC: "Monitors denounce Russia election"

Transitions Online (this is a great source of news from East Europe and former Soviet Union, and you can subscribe to a e-news bulletin):
"The Easy Way Out"

Midwest Russian Poets

A group of Russian poets who have settled in the Midwest - Gennady Sergienko, Olga Shenfeld, and Lia Chernyakova - made their way to Hyde Park last week. Our friend Sasha Belyi, a student at UC, and DJ at WHPK 88.5 FM Chicago, interviewed them on the radio. I got my hands on the audio file for the show and posted it here: