Finland: The Authorities Move Against, Russian Owned, Airiston Helmi

On 22 September the Finnish National Bureau for Investigation (NBI) launched a series of raids on property owned by the company Airiston Helmi. Seventeen premises in the Turku region of south-west Finland were searched. The NBI directed raids were supported by the police, coastguard, and army. The raids involved over a 100 members of the … Continue reading Finland: The Authorities Move Against, Russian Owned, Airiston Helmi

Russia: Putin under Pressure at Home and Abroad

Vladimir Putin has sought to preside over a carefully managed political system. A series of recent events, however, suggest increasing incoherence and loss of control within Russia’s political elite. These have included an election won and then lost by Russia’s ruling party, a public feud between a general and Russia’s leading anti-corruption campaigner, the poisoning … Continue reading Russia: Putin under Pressure at Home and Abroad

Bosnia: Senior Member of Governing Bosnian Serb Party Sanctioned by US as Election Approaches

On 10 September Nikola Spiric, Vice-President of the Party of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD) and MP in the Bosnian Parliament, was banned by the State Department, along with several members of his family, from entering the United States. The SNSD is the governing party in the Republika Srpska (RS) and is headed by Milorad Dodik, … Continue reading Bosnia: Senior Member of Governing Bosnian Serb Party Sanctioned by US as Election Approaches

Sweden: Polls Suggest Post-Election Deadlock as End of Campaign Approaches

With voting in the Swedish elections taking place on 9 September the Social Democrats appear to be taking the lead, but with the populist anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats close behind them and polling strongly. The post-election negotiations on the formation of a new government look set to be difficult, and contentious with both the centre-left and … Continue reading Sweden: Polls Suggest Post-Election Deadlock as End of Campaign Approaches

Moldova: Opposition Succeeds in Staging Mass Protest Rally in Spite of Government Spoiling Tactics

On 26 August the National Resistance Movement, a coalition of pro-European opposition parties, was gathered over 20,000 of its supporters in the Moldovan capital Chisinau for a major anti government protest. They were able to achieve this in spite of the fact that the government had deployed a series of techniques designed to discredit the … Continue reading Moldova: Opposition Succeeds in Staging Mass Protest Rally in Spite of Government Spoiling Tactics

Bosnia: Attack on Journalist Causes Anger at Dodik As Elections Approach

On the evening of 26 August Vladimir Kovacevic, a journalist, was attacked in Banja Luka, the administrative centre of the Republika Srpska, by two men armed with metal bars. The attack took place twenty minutes after Kovacevic, from the Independent BN TV based in Bijeljina in eastern Bosnia, had left a protest rally which was … Continue reading Bosnia: Attack on Journalist Causes Anger at Dodik As Elections Approach

Serbia: Arrest of Paramilitary Leader Highlights Issue of Pro-Russian Volunteers

On 23 August Bratislav Zivkovic, the leader of the ultra-nationalist Serbian Cetnik Movement, was arrested by the police in the southern town of Krusevac on suspicion of taking part in the war in Ukraine. Zivkovic’s detention highlights the wider controversy over the role of pro-Russian Serbian volunteers in the Ukrainian conflict. A Chetnik’s Progress: Bratislav … Continue reading Serbia: Arrest of Paramilitary Leader Highlights Issue of Pro-Russian Volunteers