President Petro Poroshenko on Monday proposed a series of major concessions to end the uprising by pro-Russian rebels in restive eastern Ukraine, offering the separatists a broad amnesty and special self-governance status for territories they occupy.
The proposal also includes protections for the Russian language and would allow the separatist-controlled regions to elect their own judges, create their own police forces and cultivate deeper ties to Russia — while remaining part of Ukraine.
It would effectively formalize a concession of power to the rebels after sweeping military setbacks in August and September forced Poroshenko to sue for peace. Although Ukraine appeared on the verge of ending the rebel uprising weeks ago, a reinvigorated separatist campaign — which Ukraine and NATO claim has been backed by Russian arms and troops — left the Ukrainians facing devastating losses. Russia denies aiding the rebels.
Much more at the source.
Forty years ago today the Soviet authorities sent hired thugs, water cannons and a bulldozer to break up an illicit underground art show in Moscow. The result was an international outcry that resulted in a historic change in how art was perceived in the Soviet Union. Joseph Backstein, the doyen of Moscow’s contemporary art scene, shares his memories of the Bulldozer Exhibition and contemplates its lasting significance.
Immigration to Britain is good for Romania because it reduces the country’s unemployment rate, the country’s president has suggested.
Traian Băsescu said the exodus of Romanian nationals to the UK had improved his country’s balance of payments as they sent money back home.
“The reality that a part of Romanian peoples decide to find more work outside of Romania is something helping us very much – maintaining the unemployment at a reasonable rate,” he said.
He said the money sent back by Romanian workers had supported the economy, saying: “During the crisis period the remittances for Romania practically kept our foreign trade balance calibrated.”
The president said migrants from his country are not reliant on state benefits, and are determined to pay their own way in life. But they are unlikely to return until wages in Romania – which average around £420 a month – are in line with the rest of Europe.
Members of the Estonian Secondary School Working Brigade on the first day of the working summer, 1968.
A fresh round of U.S. and European Union sanctions will not inflict immediate economic shock in Russia but could undermine the country’s fiscal stability in the long term if the measures are not rolled back, economists and industry experts say.
The sanctions aimed at punishing the Kremlin for its role in the Ukraine crisis restrict access to Western capital and technology for major companies in Russia’s financial, energy, and defense sectors.
They will likely accelerate capital outflow from Russia and could lead to recession as borrowing costs for top banks increase and investment in the Russian economy decreases, economist Sergei Guriev told RFE/RL.
Gomel, Belarus, toward the end of the Soviet period. The top photo was taken in 1985, the bottom two in 1990
I’m Lovin’ It (Most of the Time): A Brief History of McDonald’s in Serbia
Russian courts on Wednesday ordered the closure of three McDonald’s restaurants in Moscow for the maximum 90 days allowed by law, including the first location to open in the Soviet Union back in 1990. Officials said the three American culinary outposts were being shuttered for health violations, but the mounting case against McDonald’s in Russia has been widely interpreted as retaliation for Western sanctions. Some media outlets have reported that the more than 430 McDonald’s restaurants in Russia are all due to be inspected soon. Whatever the Big Mac’s fate is in Russia, McDonald’s already has a history of stirring up major controversy in the former Yugoslavia, where the fast food chain has been both loved and loathed, a source of national pride and a detested symbol of US foreign policy.In March of 1988, Belgrade, Yugoslavia became the first city in the communist world to open a McDonald’s restaurant. American newspapers were still steeped in quaint Cold War clichés at the time, and ran headlines like “First Big Mac Attack Against Communism!” and “McMarxism?” Nearly half a century after two brothers named Mac n’ Dick opened the first McDonald’s restaurant in California’s Inland Empire, “Mickey D’s” received a heroes’ welcome in communist Yugoslavia. With lines wrapped around the block and police forces brought in for crowd control, the opening of the first McDonald’s in Eastern Europe was by all accounts the most successful restaurant launch in Belgrade history. More than 6,000 people were served on opening day, setting a new record for Europe.
And thus began the long and deeply conflicted relationship between McDonald’s and the people of Belgrade.
Young woman wearing a Hungarian style costume - and (funnily) long, fingerless cotton thread gloves.
Photographer: Vasas Sándor
Érsekújvár, Árpád utca 58.
(Today Nové Zámky, Slovakia)
I like the pretty Art Nouveau design backmark of the studio.
Dedicated to her friend.
“Terikémnek 1907 ápr. 14-én”