Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center

  • By Changing Alphabet, Kazakhs Take Another Step Toward the West

    Kazakhstan has decided to switch alphabets, from Cyrillic to Latin script, by 2025. After decades of Russian and Soviet domination, countries are developing their own cultural code, though some feel uneasy about the change. Yet the Latin alphabet will only boost Kazakhstan’s international integration and its economic, technological, and scientific development. Plus, Latin script isn’t new to Kazakhstan.

    In April 2017, President Nursultan Nazarbaev recommended that the development of the new Kazakh language alphabet, based on Latin script, be completed by the end of the year. All official documents, books, and periodicals in Kazakh should be published in Latin letters by 2025. Agreeing on a
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  • The Reform Story Isn’t Over in Kyiv

    In the West, many people are ready to write off Ukraine. They wrongly believe that Ukraine’s reforms are stagnating, corruption is widespread, and the country is at war. But Ukraine’s reforms are definitely not done.

    To understand Ukraine’s promise, one must first grasp the country’s situation in 2014 when the reforms began. Two decades of a corrupt and lawless oligarchic system had been holding Ukraine back, as had the legacy of seventy years of a dysfunctional communist regime. Add to this the annexation of Crimea, a trade war initiated by Russia, and the Russian-backed military conflict in eastern Ukraine, and the picture is one of a country with major hurdles before it.

    But Ukraine has persevered and overcome those hurdles. After a drop of 17 percent in the country’s GDP in 2014-2015, the economy grew by 2.3 percent last year—an increase that exceeded forecasters’ expectations. Even the IMF forecast only 1.5 percent GDP growth for 2016.


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  • Why Are Russian Opposition Leaders Democrats at Home and Imperialists Abroad?

    The US Congress has approved $100 million to counter "Russian influence and aggression" and support civil society organizations in Europe and Eurasia. According to the legislation, the funding will be used to "support democracy programs in the Russian Federation, including to promote internet freedom, and shall also be made available to support the democracy and rule of law strategy" under State Department policies.

    Last year, the US Congress ruled that assistance to Ukraine should not be used to finance the Azov battalion because of its alleged links to a neo-Nazi group. The US government should apply that same level of scrutiny to Russian groups and political parties to determine if they are suitable recipients of US taxpayers’ money.

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  • Cohen Joins Fox News to Discuss Israeli Concerns Over US Weapons Deal with Saudi Arabia

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  • Aslund Quoted in CNBC on Trump-Putin Relationship

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  • Something Is Very Wrong in Kyiv

    Ukraine Brags about Reforms and Harasses Activists

    Oleksandra Ustinova does not scare easily. Ustinova—Ustik to her friends—is a member of the board of the most outspoken watchdog in Kyiv and has led lobbying campaigns which successfully pushed through anticorruption reforms in Ukraine. She’s also a recognizable face with her straight blond hair and light blue eyes. Ustinova is used to facing resistance from Ukraine’s corrupt old guard, but she’s still shocked by what she’s seen in recent months: a targeted campaign of intimidation by the powerful Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) against her and other activists.

    The SBU has used a number of techniques to intimidate her. Her flight details when she returned from a vacation in Sri Lanka appeared in the media. Only the SBU could know this information; the
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  • From Russia with Hate: The Kremlin’s Support for Violent Extremism in Central Europe

    In 2016, the mayor of Ásotthalom, a small Hungarian town close to the country’s southern border, celebrated the opening of Gagarin Street with an obelisk to Soviet astronaut Yuri Gagarin and a speech about Russia’s greatness. The mayor was László Toroczkai, an extremist politician who serves as the vice president of the far-right Jobbik party; he is known for having organized vigilante groups to beat up refugees and banned Muslims and gay people from his village.

    A high-level diplomatic guest attended the event: the leader of...

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  • Crimea’s Virtual Blackout Means Anything Goes

    On Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula, the Russian authorities are suppressing freedom of speech so that no one will really know what has happened there. Journalists in particular are under threat.

    The case of Ukrainian journalist Mykola Semena is one example of the situation in Crimea, which Russia has illegally occupied since 2014. His opinions were published in 2015 by Radio Liberty, a US government-sponsored news outlet that the Russian authorities dislike. His crime: he discussed Russia’s annexation of Crimea and supported a blockade of the peninsula. On April 19, 2016, Semena’s house was searched by the FSB, the Russian security service. Within a couple of days, they brought charges against him. His case is in Russian court now, and he faces a sentence of up to five years in prison.

    Since then, Semena’s health has been...

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  • Aslund Quoted in Newsweek on Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak Possibly Relinquishing Role

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  • Ambassador Daniel Fried Joins Atlantic Council As Distinguished Fellow

    WASHINGTON, DC – The Atlantic Council today announced that Ambassador Daniel Fried has been named a distinguished fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Future Europe Initiative and Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center.

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