A Kiev-based Ukrainian friend, after meeting a delegation of young Russians, emails me: "totally terrible, young Russian diplomats. Manipulation, propaganda, gloating over victory in Eastern Ukraine, this new generation even worse than before. We will have big trouble with Russia for a very long time."Read more
Vladimir Putin learned lessons from the Balkan wars of the 1990s that the rest of the world ignored or has forgotten. He invokes an obviously false parallel between the NATO bombing of Serbia and liberation of Kosovo in 1999, and his own annexation of Crimea.Read more
As the world watches the Ukrainians in their effort to defend themselves from Russia and become a fully European nation, close attention to the situation in Kiev and the crisis in Crimea is notable in the Balkan Muslim countries—Kosovo, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina—and in two with significant Muslim minorities, Montenegro and Macedonia.
The small republic of Kosovo, with a population of less than two million—90 percent ethnic Albanians, of whom 80 percent are Muslim—is the Balkan zone offering the greatest resistance to radical Islam. Some vignettes from recent interviews may impart the flavor of the debate over Islamism in the country:Read more
The 2012 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, the European Union (EU), was lauded by the Norwegian selection committee for having “contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.” Among various attainments, some decades in the past and others arguable, the Norwegians also praised the EU for its purported achievements in the Balkans, in a manner that appears simply dishonest.Read more
While most of the informed Western public is aghast at the economic and political chaos that appears to be overtaking the government in Athens, southeast Europe has seen aggravated Islamist turmoil in the Balkan Muslim-majority lands and minority communities on and near Greece’s borders.Read more
On November 11, Al Jazeera announced from its home offices in Doha, Qatar that it had broadcast its first “Al Jazeera Balkans” news bulletin at 5 p.m., Bosnian time. A press release described Al Jazeera’s southeast European enterprise as “the first regional news channel,” which, the report continued, “fills a large gap in the market. News till now has been country specific.”Read more
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