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  • Rashid

Beyond the Headlines. Episode 1: Protest in post-Soviet states

Updated: Dec 1, 2020

Reflection on current affairs in Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Moldova

Wed. Dec. 2nd

12.30 – 13.30 hrs

Webinar, reservation required via [link]

Insights while waiting on the coffee machine, a change of thoughts because of that smart comment from one of your fellow colleagues or students, or just that bit of extra context that Twitter or Facebook lack. COVID times make it harder for us as an academic community to pace down for a minute and share our perceptions on current affairs in the world. What is happening beyond the headlines of the news? And what are the lesser-known but no less important changes that are taking place while you are working from home, surviving a pandemic?

The topic:

The uprising for democracy in Belarus has been going on for over 100 days with thousands of imprisoned, tortured and killed. In another former Soviet state, Kyrgyzstan, the regime resigned after only 3 days of protests, with many uncertainties for this ‘Island of democracy in Central Asia’. Meanwhile in Moldova, pro-EU and former opposition leader Maia Sandu won the elections less than two weeks ago. An update on (former?) satellites of Mother Russia.

Rashid Gabdulhakov will introduce the current situation in Kyrgyzstan – a lesser-known former-Soviet state, its search for identity and the role and influence of social media. Adrian Pleșca will address recent power transition in Moldova and Dr. Mariëlle Wijermars will speak about the events in Belarus and the role digital technologies have played in the protests.

Speakers' bios:

is an Assistant Professor in Cyber-Security and Politics at Maastricht University and a Visiting Researcher at the University of Helsinki. She conducts research on Russian Internet governance and its human rights implications and on technological innovation in Russian news media. Mariëlle is co-editor of The Palgrave Handbook of Digital Russia Studies (Palgrave Macmillan, in press) and Freedom of Expression in Russia's New Mediasphere (Routledge, 2020)."

is a PhD Candidate at the Department of Media and Communication of Erasmus School of History Culture and Communication. Gabdulhakov is investigating online vigilante practices in Russia and beyond. He is a member of the international team of scholars working within the ‘Digital vigilantism: Mapping the terrain and assessing societal impact’ project funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research.

is an EUR student from Moldova, known for his political activism & social entrepreneurship. Founder of #orasulmeu NGO (Chisinau). During his high school years, he developed several local initiatives in Moldova such as: the successful campaign for night public transport in the capital city of Chisinau; campaign for architectural preservation of old Chisinau’s heritage; campaign for youths’ participation in the local budget formation. During the 2014-2017 protests in Moldova served as Honorary Member of the Council of the National Assembly that resisted against the kleptocratic regime of Vlad Plahotniuc.


More stories and more points of view to make more sense of the world. Irregular but no less irrelevant; Beyond the Headlines.

During lunch break; context with your sandwich and exchanging views over a coffee. Bring your own lunch and insights, we provide you with context and a summary from a (EUR-)expert on the subject matter.

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