Serbia’s first Gay Pride march for four years has been held in the capital Belgrade, amid huge security, including special forces and armoured vehicles.

Waving rainbow flags, hundreds took the short march through empty streets.

Authorities had cancelled the event every year since marchers were attacked in 2010 - nine years after Gay Pride was first held in Belgrade.

Serbia is keen to show increasing tolerance as it seeks to join the EU, the BBC’s Guy De Launey says.

Keeping Brussels happy is undoubtedly the motivation for allowing the Gay Pride march to go ahead, our correspondent in Belgrade says.

Participants marched through the centre of the city to the National Assembly, where ambassadors from numerous European countries addressed the crowd.

"I feel phenomenal. Our efforts of the past three years have borne fruit," organiser Boban Stojanovic told Reuters news agency.

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At a beauty pageant in Rahovec, Kosovo.

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Rijeka Crnojevića, Montenegro.
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This probably isn’t a photograph that would show up on the Montegero tourism website, but to be honest, it reminds me of my village in Bulgaria, which has lost most of its population to emigration. As a result, there are many empty and abandoned houses, but I still think of it as a beautiful and scenic place. This photo evokes that same feeling for me.

Rijeka Crnojevića, Montenegro.

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This probably isn’t a photograph that would show up on the Montegero tourism website, but to be honest, it reminds me of my village in Bulgaria, which has lost most of its population to emigration. As a result, there are many empty and abandoned houses, but I still think of it as a beautiful and scenic place. This photo evokes that same feeling for me.

(Source: Flickr / bikerchisp)

Panská skála is a columnar basalt formation in north central Czech Republic. It might look manmade, but it’s the result of natural geologic processes.

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I really cannot march, I have other things to do instead of marching. Even, if I didn’t have things to do, I wouldn’t march. That is my choice. It is my choice if I go out with my kids on Sunday, or to go… to work. My obligation is to guarantee safety to my people. However it is my democratic choice not to take part in the Parade and it doesn’t come to my mind to go there.
Lithuania Feels Squeeze in Sanctions War With Russia

In the sanctions war between Russia and the West, Kasia Jankun’s 80 dairy cows seem to be losing.

The sanctions, which are taking a toll on Russia’s economy, cut both ways. And Ms. Jankun and other small farmers in this Baltic nation of three million people are bearing an overwhelming share of the pain from a Russian ban on European dairy products.

Former Soviet bloc countries that, like Lithuania, are part of the European Union and the NATO military alliance might seem safe from the Russian strong-arming that made Ukraine so vulnerable. But in economic standoffs, it is often the most vulnerable that suffer most.

The loss of the Russian market created an oversupply of milk, which pushed prices in Europe well below the break-even point for farmers like Ms. Jankun, whose 250-acre farm in eastern Lithuania lies at the end of a dirt road in rolling country dappled by groves of pine and alder.

“If nothing changes by spring, at these prices, it’s bankruptcy, ” Ms. Jankun, 50, said recently, as she served visitors thick slices of homemade cheese that she sells at outdoor markets to make up for lost income.

Eat, bray, love: amorous donkey couple reunited after protests at separation

Unfinished buildings, Croatia. 

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Romania: The return of the European bison

Romania’s last bison were hunted out by 1790 as the species headed towards extinction across Europe. They disappeared from Britain by the 12th century and from western Europe by the 15th century. In 1919, hunters shot the continent’s last remaining wild specimen in Poland’s Bialowieza Forest. Only 54 survived in captivity to become the nucleus for all future reintroduction programmes. All of the 3,200 wild bison reintroduced into Europe come from an incestuous gene pool of just 12 families.

Other bison reintroductions have taken place in Romania, but this joint initiative at Armenis, run by WWF and the Dutch organisation Rewilding Europe, is the first to reintroduce them properly to the wild, rather than into protected reserves.

“We want to create a self-sustaining, viable population of 500 bison by 2025 that will roam free and breed,” said Hagatis. To stir up the genetic soup, the Armenis herd is assembled from bison brought in from Italy, Sweden, Belgium and Germany.

This is a travel piece, which I’m not usually interested in, but it’s neat to learn about this project.

Ukraine's Cryptic, Clever (And Always Insulting) Lexicon Of War

As the separatist conflict simmers in eastern Ukraine, supporters from both camps fight on in another war — a war of words. The result is a torrent of new slurs — often cryptic, at times clever, always insulting.

Here are some of the most common terms:

Banderovtsy, banderlogi

Russian synonyms for ”neo-Nazis,” literally followers of World War II-era Ukrainian nationalist Stepan Bandera.

The “logi” suffix lends an additional pejorative connotation.

From the onset of the pro-European Maidan protests in Kyiv, Russian authorities have repeatedly branded the demonstrators — and more generally any Ukrainians supporting efforts to steer their country out of Moscow’s orbit — “banderovtsy.”

A hero to Ukrainian nationalists, Bandera collaborated with Nazi Germany in a bid to create an independent Ukrainian state. The Nazis subsequently arrested him and his associates. 

He was assassinated in 1959, a killing widely attributed to the Soviet KGB secret services.

Okay read this piece though.