On 19-23 August the sixth annual Summer Academy organised by the British Labour Party, Foundation Max van der Stoel, European Forum for Democracy and Solidarity and partners in Ukraine from the New Social Democratic Platform was held Lviv, Ukraine. The Summer Academy is organised for young social democrats from Eastern Europe and is aimed to help the participants learn new skills in political ideology, campaigning, communication and debating as well as gain enough confidence and knowledge to be able to repeat the training themselves. The participants were selected from social democratic parties from 4 countries - Georgia, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine. Trainers from the UK and The Netherlands facilitated the training together with trainers from Moldova and Ukraine (who were themselves alumni of previous Summer Academy editions).
In Kyiv three members of the National Guard died as a result of injuries sustained by a grenade explosion during protests in the Ukrainian capital on Monday. A further 140 people, mostly law enforcement officers, were hospitalized after a group of protesters tried to storm the parliament and clashed with the National Guard. The far-right Svoboda party organized protests with the participation of other far right-wing/populist groups, which took place after the parliament voted in favor of a proposed constitutional amendment expanding autonomy to the separatist-held territories in Eastern Ukraine, in accordance to the terms of the second Minsk cease-fire agreement. President Petro Poroshenko puts the blame on ultra-nationalist groups as Svoboda and Right Sector and called the violence “a stab in the back” and “an anti-Ukrainian action”. His prime minister Arseniy Yetsenyuk stated that “so-called pro-Ukrainian political forces” were weakening the country by “opening a second front inside the country”.
The Russian chief prosecutor's office examined whether the Soviet Union acted legally when it recognised the Baltic states' independence in 1991. A source related to the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office, accepted an enquiry previously made by two members of the Russian Duma (parliament) - Anton Romanov, and Yevgeny Fyodorov; both members of President Vladimir Putin's United Russia party. In their letter, Fyodorov and Romanov, said the 1991 decision to recognise Baltic independence had been taken "by an unconstitutional body". The State Soviet was an interim assembly formed in September 1991, and comprised the Soviet president and the leaders of 10 of the country's republics. But the Soviet Constitution allowed no provisions for the creation of such a body. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday that the move had not come from the Kremlin "We were not familiar with this initiative in the Kremlin, and I am struggling to understand the essence of it," he told reporters. Even though, the Russian Prosecutor General's Office decided these claims have no legal grounds, it has raised strong reactions among Baltic states and their allies.
In an open letter, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova, Chiril Gaburici, stated he will resign if the government refuses to replace the leaders of the General Prosecution, the National Bank, and the National Committee of Financial Market. The statement comes after a one billion dollar scandal raised public embarrassment on the government and national banks, followed by mass protests.
On Wednesday, the 13th of May, FMS organized a debate on the opposition in Russia in De Balie, Amsterdam. Joined by approximately sixty gripped by the domestic situation in Russia, we were welcomed by Arjen Berkvens, the moderator for the discussion. He introduced the speakers for the evening: Russian opposition leader Gennady Gudkov, PhD-candidate Honorata Mazepus (Leiden University) and Russia-expert Tony van der Togt (Institute Clingendael).
Roemenië is een van de sterkste ‘groeiers’ in de Europese Unie van de afgelopen jaren. Ook qua staatsschuld en begrotingstekort staat het land er relatief goed voor. Dit blijkt onder andere uit een overzicht van The Economist. Toch zijn er redenen tot zorg, want de economische groei komt grotendeels van een paar grote buitenlandse investeerders. Echt autochtone productie van goederen en diensten loopt achter bij die van andere voormalige Oostbloklanden.
Afgelopen weekend organiseerde de FMS een campagnetraining in Moldavië, voor de jongeren van onze zusterpartij, de Democratische Partij (DPM). In juni vinden in Moldavië lokale verkiezingen plaats, dus trainers Samir Spanja en Hester Assen kregen een groep jongeren voor zich die actief betrokken zijn bij de lokale campagne.
Op 19 april organiseerde de FMS een filmmiddag over de invloed van Putin in Oost Europa. Deze Blinibioscoop werd georganiseerd in samenwerking met COVOR. Tijdens deze middag werd de documentaire Vladimir Putin's Long Shadow getoond. Op de middag in Rotterdam kwamen ruim 80 enthousiaste bezoekers af.
On 16 April 2015, two pro-Russian journalists were killed in Kyiv. Olex Buzyna, a pro-Russian journalist, was murdered in the yard of his house by two unidentified gunman. His death comes directly after another journalist, Sergey Sukhobok, was also killed. Both men played a role in the ‘’Anti-Maidan’’ movement, which opposed pro-European protests in 2014. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has voiced concern over the ongoing killing spree. The deaths are the latest in the string of murders that afflict Kyiv.
Date: Sunday 19 April 2015
Time: 15:00-18:00 (Doors open at 14:30)
Location: Podium O950, Oostmaaslaan 950 (Rotterdam)
We invite you to a film-screening – “Blinibioscoop” - and debate on Putin’s influence on Russia’s neighbouring states. The FMS will organize this event in cooperation with COVOR.
During this afternoon the documentary ‘Vladimir Putin’s long shadow’, a 2015 CBC News-production, will be shown. The documentary tells the story of Putin’s rise to prominence. It shows Putin’s history, from a former KGB-agent to Russian President, and most notably his methods to achieve various goals. The documentary concludes with Putin’s role and involvement in Russia’s neighbouring countries.