FP Bulgaria issue 1 (30)

February 2010

The first online only issue of FP Bulgaria.

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After Europe (in Bulgarian)


Author(s): Ivan Krastev

The Bulgarian edition of "After Europe", published by Obsidian Publishing House.

After Europe


Author(s): Ivan Krastev

In this provocative book, renowned public intellectual Ivan Krastev reflects on the future of the European Union—and its potential lack of a future.

Democracy Disrupted


Author(s): Ivan Krastev

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Civil Society in Central and Eastern Europe: Challenges and Opportunities. Bulgaria Country Report

05 June 2017

Author(s): Ruzha Smilova

Civil Society in Central and Eastern Europe: Challenges and Opportunities Edited by Peter Vandor, Nicole Traxler, Reinhard Millner, and Michael Meyer. ERSTE Foundation publication

Democratic Innovation and the Politics of Fear: 25 Lessons from Eastern Europe

05 June 2017

Author(s): Daniel Smilov

Daniel Smilov's contribution to The Governance Report 2017, published by Oxford University Press

Political Finance in East, Central and South East Europe & Central Asia

Funding of Political Parties and Election Campaigns: A Handbook on Political Finance © International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance 2014, 16 July 2015

Author(s): Daniel Smilov

The New European Disorder

ECFR, 11 November 2014

Ivan Krastev and Mark Leonard

Author(s): Ivan Krastev

Bulgaria: EP Elections a Rehearsal for Early National Elections

23 May 2014

EPIN publication with a general introduction and case studies from 11 Member States (Bulgaria, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Spain and the UK) "Between Apathy and Anger: Challenges to the Union from the 201

Author(s): Antoinette Primatarova

Bridge Over Troubled Waters? The Role of the Internationals in Albania

12 October 2012

Publication of Antoinette Primatarova and Dr Johanna Deimel with contributions by Margarita Assenova

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Putin’s Next Playground or the E.U.’s Last Moral Stand?

New York Times, 28 January 2019

Author(s): Ivan Krastev

The Metamorphosis of Central Europe

Project Syndicate, 21 January 2019

Author(s): Ivan Krastev

A European Goes to Trump’s Washington

New York Times, 30 November 2018

Author(s): Ivan Krastev

Steve Bannon’s New Best Friend in Europe

New York Times, 19 August 2018

Author(s): Ivan Krastev

Imitation and Its Discontents

Journal of Democracy, 05 August 2018

Author(s): Ivan Krastev and Stephen Holmes

The Pope vs. the Populists

New York Times, 12 July 2018

Central Europe is a lesson to liberals: don’t be anti-nationalist

The Guardian, 11 July 2018

Author(s): Ivan Krastev

3 Versions of Europe Are Collapsing at the Same Time

Foreign Policy, 10 July 2018

Author(s): Ivan Krastev

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World War II Finally Ends

"Prospect" magazine, issue 170
30 April 2010

World war II finally ends

World war II finally ends
Ivan Krastev

On 10th April 2010, the second world war finally ended. It lasted over 70 years, killed millions of people and tortured the memories of millions more. Ironically, it ended almost exactly 20 years after its successor, the cold war. President Lech Kaczynski of Poland and 95 other members of the country’s elite were its last victims.

The Katyn massacre proved the key to the end of the war. In 1940, the Russians killed more than 22,000 Polish officers in Katyn, a small town just west of Smolensk, in Russia. Yet Katyn was not only a terrible crime: it was followed by lies and manipulation. In the words of Adam Michnik, a Polish opposition leader during communism, it “divided Poles and Russians more than any other event of the 20th century.”

Katyn was a struggle for the identity of post-communist Russia, Poland and Europe too. Russia’s post-cold war identity is made up of oil, recollections of Soviet greatness and the promise that it can once again become a great nation. Memories of the Soviet defeat of Nazism lie at the heart of Russia’s self-respect: they justify the very existence of the Soviet Union, and were so important that the Kremlin erased evidence of the pro-Nazi Molotov-Ribbentrop pact (1939-41) and actions that followed from it, such as Katyn. It has been easier for Russia’s leaders to admit Stalin’s crimes against his own people than admit that he was once Hitler’s ally.

For both Poland and eastern Europe, Katyn stands for the struggle to tell the truth about what happened in their lands between 1933 and 1953. This was the heart of darkness in Europe; Yale historian Timothy Snyder named it “the ignored Holocaust,” in which Ukrainians, Belarusians, and Poles suffered disproportionately compared to the Russians and the Germans.

Any reconciliation between Poles and Russians has always required challenging both Russian and western myths. The tragedy of Smolensk has made that easier, provoking collective empathy in Russia and Poland. President Medvedev declared a day of national mourning in Russia, and attended the funeral of the Polish president despite the transport problems caused by volcanic ash. Prime Minister Putin rushed to the scene and was warmly received by Poles.

Russia’s leaders had realised, even before the Smolensk crash, that they had little to lose by accepting Stalin’s responsibility for Katyn. They are now confident enough to have a more nuanced view of Stalin’s legacy, but they also think the west still downplays the suffering of the eastern front. By recognising what happened at Katyn, the event can become part of Russia’s agony as well as Poland’s. To symbolise this shift, Russia’s state television aired twice in a week (the second time with a huge audience) Andrzej Wajda’s 2007 epic film Katyn, about the crime and ensuing cover-up. Polish leaders, people on the street and the Catholic church have endorsed reconciliation. Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz even declared the rejoining of Poles and Russians as “the task of our generation.”

Of course, such an unusual outburst of sympathy has created expectations for radical change in Russian-Polish relations. Yet this will not magically solve all the problems that divide these two nations. History demonstrates that emotional breakthroughs—such as the Turkish-Greek earthquake diplomacy of 1999—have limits. That said, the promised coming together of Warsaw and Moscow also has a bigger geostrategic context.

The 2008 war between Russia and Georgia demonstrated the fragility of the European order. But accord between Russia and Europe could help to reverse Europe’s marginalisation in a world shaped by Americans and Asians. Just as western Europe came together against a Soviet threat, the current reconciliation is shaped by a fear of European irrelevance. It seems Russia has lost its illusion of greatness, while Poland has lost its illusion that its security can come only from America. Both are being forced to rediscover Europe, not simply as a field of rivalry but also as a place of common interest and identity. It is hard to know how all this will end: Russia continues to be big, insecure and undemocratic and Poland continues to be politically divided and nervous. But it is now up to these two countries to do in the east what France and Germany did in the west some 60 years ago.

Link to the article in the website of a "Prospect" magazine: http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/2010/04/russia-katyn-putin-kaczynski-poland/