Eastern Europe

On the eve of the presidential elections

Ukrainian far right mobilized in inter-oligarchic infighting

By Jason Melanovski and Clara Weiss, 21 March 2019

Incumbent president Petro Poroshenko currently occupies third place in polls leading up to the March 31 election.

Anti-Semitic propaganda distributed at Polish parliament as government witch-hunts Holocaust historians

By Clara Weiss, 16 March 2019

The Polish government is engaged in an unprecedented witch-hunt of historians of the Holocaust and promotion of anti-Semitism.

Moldova election heralds political instability

By Andrei Tudora and Tina Zamfir, 6 March 2019

The election signalled the culmination of a protracted process of disintegration of the forces that defined the political establishment in Moldova over the last 20 years.

Greek parliament votes in support of Macedonia name change

By Katerina Selin, 30 January 2019

The Prespa agreement is aimed at paving the way for Macedonia’s rapid integration into NATO and the European Union.

Autoworkers strike in Hungary

By Markus Salzmann, 28 January 2019

Thousands of auto workers began a one-week strike on Thursday at an Audi plant in Györ, western Hungary.

Autoworkers strike in Hungary

By Markus Salzmann, 28 January 2019

Thousands of auto workers began a one-week strike on Thursday at an Audi plant in Györ, western Hungary.

Presidential campaign officially begins in Ukraine

By Jason Melanovski, 28 January 2019

The Ukrainian presidential election is dominated by pro-imperialist, right-wing candidates who are hated and despised by the overwhelming majority of the population.

020 Hungary autoworkers strike

26 January 2019

Further protests against Orbán government in Hungary

By Markus Salzmann, 9 January 2019

On Saturday, in freezing temperatures, about 10,000 people demonstrated again in Budapest against the right-wing government of Prime Minister Victor Orbán.

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Tymoshenko tours Washington to garner support for presidential bid

By Jason Melanovski and Clara Weiss, 11 December 2018

The ultimate goal of Tymoshenko’s visit to Washington was to promise to continue with the United States’ militarization of the country and the Black Sea.

Ukraine: Poroshenko declares martial law to crack down on political and social opposition

By Jason Melanovski and Clara Weiss, 1 December 2018

The army has been put on high alert and the presence of police has been substantially increased in major cities.

Merkel backs Ukrainian provocations against Russia

By Peter Schwarz, 1 December 2018

Chancellor Angela Merkel has sharply attacked Russia at the German-Ukrainian Economic Forum, declaring that Putin is fully responsible for the present conflict.

Ukraine’s provocation in the Azov Sea

By Clara Weiss and Andre Damon, 29 November 2018

The Ukrainian military, with the support of high-level figures within the US state, has instigated a major international crisis ahead of this week’s G20 summit.

Thousands of Austrian metal workers on strike

By Markus Salzmann, 21 November 2018

Metal workers are striking for higher wages and against the tightening of labour laws by the right-wing government.

Ukrainian politician dies after fascist acid attack

By Jason Melanovski, 12 November 2018

The brutal killing of Handziuk and the ongoing cover-up are a stark exposure of the reactionary nature of the regime brought to power in the US-backed coup in 2014.

Ukraine’s depopulation crisis

By Jason Melanovski, 1 November 2018

More than a quarter-century after the dissolution of the USSR, emigration continues unabated in Ukraine as workers flee poverty and war.

Polish regional elections point to growing political instability

By Clara Weiss, 25 October 2018

The election results in Poland point to growing disillusionment with the right-wing PiS party and hostility toward the main parties of the pro-EU opposition.

Russia: Putin ally Kudrin pushes for rapprochement with the imperialist powers

By Clara Weiss, 13 October 2018

Underlying the push toward improving ties with imperialism are the growing class tensions in Russia itself.

Relations deteriorate between Hungary and Ukraine

By Jason Melanovski, 9 October 2018

Two of eastern Europe’s right-wing governments clash in a dispute over passports, language laws and military exercises.

Kremlin suffers defeats in regional elections

By Andrea Peters, 6 October 2018

The electoral upsets that took place in September come as evidence mounts of growing discontent with Russia’s ruling party.

New documents on Yeltsin-Clinton conversations further expose US “meddling” in Russian politics

By Clara Weiss, 22 September 2018

The Clinton Foundation has released hundreds of pages of documents about conversations between US president Bill Clinton and Russian president Boris Yeltsin.

Manila moves toward major arms purchase from Russia

By Joseph Santolan, 25 August 2018

The Pentagon, which has been systematically escalating military tensions with Russia, has not taken kindly to Washington’s former colony improving relations with Moscow.

Russian Duma presses ahead with pension reform in face of overwhelming popular opposition

By Clara Weiss, 24 August 2018

While 90 percent of the population opposes the reform, the Duma debate was dominated by its proponents.

Russian Duma presses ahead with pension reform in face of overwhelming popular opposition

By Clara Weiss, 23 August 2018

While 90 percent of the population opposes the reform, the Duma debate was dominated by its proponents.

Death toll rises from Greek forest fires

By John Vassilopoulos, 23 August 2018

Fire victims have demonstrated outside parliament to protest inadequate assistance from the Syriza government.

After Helsinki, Democrats incite “deep state” action against Trump

By Bill Van Auken, 17 July 2018

Trump’s appearance alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki unleashed a wave of denunciations from Democrats and the media, with former top intelligence officials calling for his ouster.

As Jeff Bezos’ wealth reaches $150 billion

Unions strangle strike efforts by European Amazon workers on Prime Day

By Will Morrow and Genevieve Leigh, 17 July 2018

Prime Day is treated as a virtual public holiday by the corporate media, akin to Black Friday, but it is synonymous with increased exploitation for Amazon and other shipping workers.

Outrage in Russia over pension reform

By Clara Weiss, 21 June 2018

Ninety-two percent of the population oppose the government’s plan to raise the retirement age.

Russian authorities ordered destruction of documents on Stalin’s terror

By Clara Weiss, 18 June 2018

Archival material about people who were kept in the Soviet forced labor camp system and subsequently released has been systematically destroyed, on the basis of a secret decree from February 2014.

New Armenian Prime Minister Pashinyan takes belligerent stand on Nagorno-Karabakh

By Clara Weiss, 17 May 2018

Pashinyan’s reckless moves toward military conflict expose the fraudulent character of the Western media coverage of Armenia’s supposed “democratic revolution.”

Putin begins his fourth term as Russia’s president

By Clara Weiss, 9 May 2018

Putin’s fourth term as president will inevitably be characterized by increasing social struggles in Russia.

Armenian parliament rejects pro-Western opposition leader’s bid to be prime minister

By Clara Weiss, 2 May 2018

The main roots of the political crisis lie in the advanced preparations for imperialist war in the region.

Russian government blocks messaging app Telegram

By Clara Weiss, 17 April 2018

The attack on encrypted communication is part of the international drive by governments to censor the Internet and expand mass surveillance.

Right-wing nationalist Orban wins Hungarian election

By Peter Schwarz, 10 April 2018

Expectations that the Fidesz Party would lose support due to corruption scandals and claims by pollsters that the mood in the country was shifting did not materialise.

Russia: Protests against officials erupt in wake of Kemerovo fire

By Clara Weiss, 28 March 2018

The horrific fire at the Kemerovo “Winter Cherry” shopping mall and entertainment center on March 25 has brought social and political tensions in Russia to a boiling point.

Russia: At least 64 dead, including many children, in horrific shopping mall fire

By Clara Weiss, 27 March 2018

Like the Grenfell fire last summer in London, the fire at the Kemerovo shopping mall on Sunday is a social crime for which the ruling oligarchy bears full responsibility.

London, NATO step up war threats against Russia over Skripal poisoning

By Alex Lantier, 19 March 2018

NATO authorities issued a barrage of political and military threats at Russia, a nuclear-armed power, without providing any evidence for their allegations.

Putin wins Russian presidential elections amid growing international and domestic instability

By Vladimir Volkov and Clara Weiss, 19 March 2018

The Russian presidential elections took place amid unprecedented geopolitical tensions, and a prolonged decline in popular living standards.

Putin’s state of the nation speech highlights crisis of Russian oligarchy

By Clara Weiss, 6 March 2018

Menaced by US imperialism and gripped by economic crisis, the Russian state headed by Putin offers no solution to the historic impasse facing the country.

Polish president signs bill censoring free speech about the Holocaust

By Clara Weiss, 7 February 2018

The action will have a “chilling effect” on all forms of political speech and scientific research opposed by the ultra-right Polish authorities.

European Union skeptic wins Czech presidential election

By Markus Salzmann, 2 February 2018

Acting Czech President Milos Zeman narrowly won the second round of the presidential election last Friday and Saturday.

US media glorifies small protests by right-wing Putin opponent Alexei Navalny

By Clara Weiss, 1 February 2018

Though tens of thousands protested last year against social inequality and corruption, Navalny has been unable to tap into the massive social discontent, largely due to his fascistic politics.

A series of attacks at Russian schools

By Clara Weiss, 31 January 2018

Within one week, three schools witnessed outbreaks of violence, and one school a stabbing. Dozens of children and several teachers were wounded.

Polish government seeks to criminalize mention of Polish crimes during the Holocaust

By Clara Weiss, 30 January 2018

The far-reaching assault on free speech is part of the systematic effort of the right-wing PiS government to strengthen fascist forces and, along with that, falsify the history of Poland.

Romanian prime minister resigns amid rising social tensions

By Andrei Tudora and Tina Zamfir, 17 January 2018

There is an increasing mood of militancy among Romanian workers, with autoworkers at Ford locked in a struggle against management, the union and the government.

Trump authorizes $41.5 million sale of lethal US weaponry to Ukraine

By Niles Niemuth, 23 December 2017

The decision to allow Kiev to purchase “lethal defensive weapons” portends an escalation in the nearly four-year-old war against pro-Russian separatists entrenched in the country’s eastern provinces.

Wildcat strike stops production as workers eject union leaders at Ford Romania

By Eric London, 23 December 2017

The spontaneous walkout took place the day after Ford and the union agreed to a sellout contract with similar terms as those imposed on workers in the US and Canada.

China invests billions in Eastern Europe, heightening tensions with Germany

By Peter Schwarz, 30 November 2017

Chinese investments in Eastern Europe have met with strong criticism from the European Union. Berlin in particular increasingly views China as a rival rather than a partner.

Kremlin instructs Russian industry to prepare for war mobilization

By Alex Lantier, 24 November 2017

A century after World War I, amid another catastrophic political collapse of world capitalism, countries across Europe and the world are again preparing for total war.

NATO summit escalates preparation for war with Russia

By Alex Lantier, 10 November 2017

NATO is planning for a major land war in Europe against Russia, which fields the world’s second-largest nuclear arsenal after the United States.

NATO intensifies its preparations for war with Russia

By Philipp Frisch, 7 November 2017

Against the backdrop of US aggression against North Korea, NATO is intensifying its preparations for war with Russia, the world’s second largest nuclear power.

Massive fire in Rostov, Russia destroys 123 houses

By Clara Weiss, 29 August 2017

Residents said they believe the fire was allowed to burn out of control with the aim of driving out impoverished residents in preparation for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Polish government demands war reparations from Germany

By Clara Weiss, 22 August 2017

Especially since the inauguration of US president Donald Trump, the relations between Warsaw and Berlin have considerably deteriorated.

Youth clashes with police in Paris suburbs point to explosive social tensions

By Francis Dubois, 22 August 2017

The incidents at Aulnay-sous-Bois point to growing tensions between police and the population of the estate where police sexually assaulted a youth in February.

A letter from a reader on social conditions and the Fiat workers’ strike in Serbia

5 August 2017

The WSWS received a letter from a reader describing the social situation facing workers and the rural population in Serbia today.

After sellout of Fiat-Chrysler Serbia walkout unions agree to three-year strike ban

By Markus Salzmann, 29 July 2017

The contract signed by the unions and backed by the Serbian government is designed to maintain the country as a cheap labour platform for transnational corporations like FCA.

After Trump visit to Poland: PiS government adopts new authoritarian measures

By Clara Weiss, 24 July 2017

Less than three weeks after Trump’s visit, the ruling PiS has pushed through legislation that will place the judicial system under its control.

Union shuts down Serb auto strike

By Verena Nees, 22 July 2017

The unions shut down the strike after it had inspired workers at other factories to engage in job action and won widespread sympathy within the Serb population.

050 End of Fiat strike in Serbia

21 July 2017

The importance of the VW Strike in Slovakia

By Ulrich Rippert, 1 July 2017

Auto workers at the Volkswagen plant in Bratislava, Slovakia resumed work at the beginning of this week. Eight thousand of the 12,300 workers at the plant had struck for six days and paralyzed production.

030 Letter from striking Slovakia VW worker

24 June 2017

Amid threat of US-Russia clash in Syria

NATO warplane buzzes jet carrying Russian defense minister over Baltic Sea

By Barry Grey, 22 June 2017

Any one of the virtually daily NATO-Russian encounters in the air could result in a fire-fight or collision, whether by intention or accident, which could quickly ignite a full-scale war between nuclear powers.

Over 8,000 VW autoworkers launch unlimited strike in Slovakia

By Dietmar Henning, 22 June 2017

The autoworkers are engaged in the first strike since VW began operations in the Eastern European country in 1991.

Trump’s visit to Poland: A return to the pre-war Intermarium strategy

By Clara Weiss, 17 June 2017

Trump’s visit is a clear signal that the US is increasingly relying on an alliance with Eastern European countries in face of mounting tensions with Germany and France.

Bulgaria: New government to include fascist parties

By Markus Salzmann, 20 April 2017

The right-wing conservative GERB party has agreed to form a coalition with an alliance of fascist parties known as United Patriots (UP).

Russian truckers’ strike enters third week amid police crackdown

By Clara Weiss, 10 April 2017

Finding support among broad layers of Russia’s impoverished population, the strike reflects the social tensions building up under conditions of deepening economic and political crisis.

European powers extend offensive against Russia into Balkans

By Paul Mitchell, 14 March 2017

The contemporary conflicts and tensions in the Balkans increasingly echo the period before the First World War over a century ago.

Germany deploys troops to Lithuania in NATO build-up against Russia

By Johannes Stern, 8 February 2017

The German-led battle group is the first German battalion in Eastern Europe since the Wehrmacht’s war of annihilation against the Soviet Union during the Second World War.

Amid anti-Russia media campaign

First permanent deployment of US troops on Russian border since Cold War

By Andre Damon, 16 January 2017

Some 4,000 US troops, together with tanks, artillery and armored vehicles, arrived in Poland over the weekend, further escalating tensions with Russia ahead of the inauguration of Trump.

New report documents extreme poverty in Poland

By Clara Weiss, 11 January 2017

The report reveals the miserable living conditions facing broad sections of the working class and the peasant population who lack access to basic elements of civilization.

Devastating HIV epidemic hits Russia

By Clara Weiss, 10 January 2017

A quarter century after the dissolution of the USSR in December 1991, an HIV epidemic, closely bound up with massive heroin consumption, is raging in Russia.

In wake of Trump election, Baltic states push for military build-up against Russia

By Markus Salzmann, 25 November 2016

The leaders of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia are demanding EU members drastically increase their military spending.

035 Response of Baltic states to US election

24 November 2016

Polish bourgeoisie divided over US election

By Dorota Niemitz and Clara Weiss, 15 November 2016

Sharp divisions in the reaction to Donald Trump’s election victory exposed differences over foreign policy among Poland’s ruling elites.

Fighting continues in eastern Ukraine

By Jason Melanovski, 15 November 2016

The recent period has seen a spike in hostilities in the breakaway Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

NATO announces largest troop deployments against Russia since Cold War

By Alex Lantier, 8 November 2016

On the eve of the US election, NATO officials announced plans to place hundreds of thousands of troops on alert for military action against Russia.

New York Times promotes war hysteria over Estonia

By Bill Van Auken, 2 November 2016

The Times piece amounts to war propaganda, echoing the hysterical claims of the Baltic states that a Russian invasion is imminent and glorifying the legacy of Nazism.

215 NYT defends estonian terrorism

2 November 2016

Hungary: Right-wing commemoration of 60th anniversary of workers’ uprising

By Markus Salzmann, 28 October 2016

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban commemorated the 60th anniversary of the Hungarian uprising with a nationalist tirade against immigrants.

Poland: Tens of thousands protest proposed anti-abortion bill

By Clara Weiss, 5 October 2016

If passed, the bill would implement a ban on abortions, including for minors and victims of rape.

Hungary’s anti-refugee referendum fails after low turnout

By Markus Salzmann, 3 October 2016

The refugee referendum marked the high point of a vicious anti-refugee campaign waged by the Hungarian government and the entire European Union.

Pentagon chief outlines preparations for nuclear war with Russia

By Bill Van Auken, 28 September 2016

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter delivered a chilling speech in favor of nuclear escalation to US Air Force personnel in charge of launching strategic bomber and missile attacks.

Polish Parliament approves ban on abortion

By Clara Weiss, 28 September 2016

The latest ban on abortions is deeply reactionary and represents an attack on the democratic and social rights of the working class.

Polish and British governments exploit attacks on Polish immigrants

By Clara Weiss, 15 September 2016

Attacks on Polish immigrants in the UK are being exploited by the Polish and British ruling class to strengthen their alliance, amid deepening divisions within the EU.

German Luftwaffe begin NATO patrols over the Baltic

By Johannes Stern, 5 September 2016

NATO’s growing operations in Eastern Europe heighten the danger of direct conflict with a nuclear-armed Russia.

Biden’s blank check to the Baltic states: US will wage war on Russia in your defense

By Andre Damon, 24 August 2016

Vice President Biden said Washington’s commitment to militarily defend the tiny states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia was a matter of America’s “sacred honor.”

German media steps up anti-Russian agitation

By Ulrich Rippert, 17 August 2016

Over the past week, virtually every leading newspaper in Germany has published articles denouncing Russia for its intervention in Syria, Ukraine, or both.

The Score of War: A haunting documentary film on Ukraine

By Bernd Reinhardt, 17 August 2016

In April of last year, the Ukrainian violinist and composer Mark Chaet, accompanied by a small film crew, travelled from Berlin to his home in Eastern Ukraine.

Trudeau bolsters Canadian support for Ukraine’s far-right regime

By Roger Jordan, 15 July 2016

During a two-day visit, Trudeau signed a free trade agreement with the Poroshenko government and signaled support for it “reclaiming territory” through war.

NATO summit plans escalation against Russia in Eastern Europe, Middle East

By Alex Lantier, 11 July 2016

NATO is planning a major military escalation, based on plans for a perpetual state of war in the Middle East and preparations for all-out war with Russia in Europe.

Death toll in Istanbul airport attack rises to 41

By Alex Lantier, 30 June 2016

The massacre is the tragic yet predictable outcome of the NATO powers' backing of Al Qaeda-linked forces in their war for regime-change in Syria.

US Navy to continue Black Sea incursions, brushing aside Russian demands

By Thomas Gaist, 18 June 2016

Rather than countering “Russian aggression,” the breakneck militarization of the Black Sea is rooted in the drive by the US and European powers to control the Eurasian landmass.

NATO orders four additional battalions to Russian border

By Thomas Gaist, 14 June 2016

The deployments are among the most provocative actions taken by the NATO high command in the course of its anti-Russian buildup, now well into its second year.

Massive NATO war game risks conflict with Russia

By Johannes Stern, 9 June 2016

NATO’s largest exercise since the end of the Cold War began Tuesday with 2,000 British, Polish and American troops parachuting from planes near the northern Polish town of Torun.

Ninety years since the coup of Piłsudski

The Strategy of the Intermarium—Part 4

NATO’s preparations for war with Russia

By Clara Weiss, 3 June 2016

This is the final part of a series reviewing the history of the Intermarium, which was developed as a bourgeois nationalist antipode to the United Socialist States of Europe as proposed by Leon Trotsky.

Ninety Years Since the Coup of Piłsudski

The Strategy of the Intermarium—Part 3

The Intermarium and Poland’s integration into the US war alliance against Russia

By Clara Weiss, 2 June 2016

This is the third part of a series reviewing the history of the Intermarium, which was developed as a bourgeois nationalist antipode to the United Socialist States of Europe as proposed by Leon Trotsky.

Ninety years since the coup of Piłsudski

The Strategy of the Intermarium—Part 2

The Intermarium from 1921 to 1989

By Clara Weiss, 1 June 2016

This is the second part of a series reviewing the history of the Intermarium, the main basis of which emerged in the period leading up to World War I, as a bourgeois nationalist antipode to the United Socialist States of Europe as proposed by Leon Trotsky.

Ninety years since the coup of Piłsudski

The Strategy of the Intermarium—Part 1

The Intermarium and the Russian Revolution

By Clara Weiss, 31 May 2016

This is the first part of a series reviewing the history of the Intermarium, the main basis of which emerged in the period leading up to World War I, as a bourgeois nationalist antipode to the United Socialist States of Europe as proposed by Leon Trotsky.

NATO rearmament in Eastern Europe increases danger of world war

By Johannes Stern, 19 May 2016

In the run-up to its July summit in Warsaw, NATO is building up its capabilities in Eastern Europe, heightening the danger of a nuclear conflict with Russia.

Poland’s Patriot Act: PiS government proposes new anti-terrorism law

By Dorota Niemitz, 27 April 2016

Cynically utilising the recent terrorist attacks in Brussels, the Polish government is hastily introducing its own version of the USA Patriot Act.