Czech Prime Minister Andrez Babis loses election in surprise defeat

Czech voters gave Prime Minister Andrej Babiš a narrow surprise defeat on Saturday, October 9 during the country’s general election. Babiš and his party, ANO 2011, lost after the two partner parties in his coalition, the Communist and Social Democratic parties, failed to get elected according to the proportional representation system used to elect the lower chambers.

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Prison Officials Designate Navalny as a “Terrorist” and an “Extremist”

On October 11, the officials of a Russian prison in Vladimirskaya Oblast, which is located about 60 miles east of Moscow, designated the opposition leader Alexei  Navalny as a “terrorist” and an “extremist” according to Reuters. He was given these designations after the same commission revoked his previous status as an “escape-risk,” a status which necessitated more tedious “accounting.”

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Seton Hall Professor Joins Panel on Memory Politics

Chatham House, an international affairs think tank, hosted a panel discussion on October 5 called Memory Politics: The Challenge of Commemoration in Post-Soviet Eastern Europe and the Caucasus. The panel was moderated by L’ubica Pollakova of Chatham House and featured Dr. David Wood, a professor from Seton Hall University’s School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Dr. Hans Gutbrod of Ilia State University, and Dr. Olesya Khromeychuk of the Ukrainian Institute London. 

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Russia Builds Up Troops Near Ukrainian Border

The Russia-Ukraine conflict continues to escalate, with a new buildup of Russian troops and military hardware on the shared border of the two countries. Strains began Russo-Ukrainian relations after President Vladimir Putin annexed and seized control of Crimea in 2014, increasing Russian military presence in the area. This, along with Putin’s support for separatists in eastern Ukraine, has caused a seven-year-long conflict between the Ukrainian army and Russian-backed separatists that has claimed at least 14,000 lives, according to CBS News. 

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FOCUS on Separatist States: Nagorno-Karabakh

Violence erupted in late 2020 between Armenia and Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed territory self-declared as the Republic of Artsakh by its majority Armenian population. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the region became a tinderbox waiting to erupt into conflict following the 1994 ceasefire.

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Russia Builds Up Troops Near Ukrainian Border

The Russia-Ukraine conflict continues to escalate, with a new buildup of Russian troops and military hardware on the shared border of the two countries. Strains began Russo-Ukrainian relations after President Vladimir Putin annexed and seized control of Crimea in 2014, increasing Russian military presence in the area.

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FOCUS on Vaccine Diplomacy: Russia

The global effort against COVID-19 is intensifying as countries race to vaccinate their populations and use vaccine diplomacy to improve relations with foreign nations. Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine now has emergency authorization in more than 30 countries and a peer-reviewed efficacy rate of 91.6 percent in Phase 3 trials, reports the New York Times Vaccine Tracker. Researchers are currently working on a single-dose version of Sputnik V, which would be called “Sputnik Light.”

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The United States Has Far More to Worry About than Russia’s Protests

Activist Alexei Navalny, Russia’s main opposition leader, is known for exposing corruption in Russia and campaigning against the ruling United Russia Party. The spark that captured global attention was when Navalny found President Putin’s secret country house built with Russian citizens’ money. Pensions in Russia are reduced every year and the economy continues to suffer–the citizens were rightly furious.

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