eastern europe

February 24, 2014

Eager internet users shun Google in favour of other search engines in China, Russia and South Korea (among others). In countries using the Latin alphabet, however, there is only one place where Google comes second: the Czech Republic.

Ukraine's new interim President Oleksandr Turchynov has said the country will focus on closer integration with the EU. Mr Turchynov was appointed following the dismissal of President Viktor Yanukovych by MPs on Saturday. Mr Yanukovych's rejection of an EU-Ukraine trade pact triggered the protests that toppled him. The interim president also said he was "ready for dialogue" with Russia, which has backed Mr Yanukovych.

With Ukraine's parliament dismantling the last vestiges of ousted President Viktor Yanukovych's government, the Obama administration warned Russia against sending troops into the country and told Moscow that it should allow Ukrainians to freely determine their own future. Appearing on Meet the Press Sunday, National Security Advisor Susan Rice was adamant about limiting Russia's role in Ukraine going forward.

Three months after the first anti-government protests in Ukraine, the country has experienced its deadliest day of political violence, with nine people dying in clashes between demonstrators and police. The beating heart of the pro-Europe, anti-Russia 'Euromaidan' movement is in Kiev's Independence Square (in Ukrainian, Maidan Nezalezhnosti), and the square is currently in flames after a day of police firing rubber bullets at protesters wielding molotov cocktails and fireworks.

Diplomacy is evolving, rapidly adapting to a world in which real time communication is faster than ever and the “rules of engagement” are not limited only to foreign policy and military strategy, but also to social media and public diplomacy. It is a different kind of engagement, a veritable framework to provide the conditions necessary for ambassadors and diplomats to open and nurture a true dialogue with their publics, both at home and abroad.

Wave 6, the latest edition of social media research by Universal McCann media agency, highlights an interesting difference in various nations’ attitudes towards privacy in social networking sites. Of course, any conclusions based on opinion polls tend to oversimplify the image of reality. However, the study seems to provide additional arguments in favour of two theses. Firstly, social media play an important role in terms of building social capital in countries where other forms of self-expression are limited.

“With 20% of Georgian territory occupied and two Russian embassies operating in the occupied territories, diplomatic relations with Russia will not be restored”, the new Minister of Foreign Affairs Maia Panjikidze told journalists after the meeting with the employees of the foreign ministry.

Envisaged as a cultural exchange between Australia and Serbia, this recital put Ensemble Liaison's Australian-born members, clarinettist David Griffiths and pianist Timothy Young, on stage with two Serbian-born artists: the group's resident cellist, Svetlana Bogosavljevic and guest violinist, Nemanja Radulovic.