Argument

Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, February 22, 2016

To keep up with Democracy Lab in real time, follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Anna Nemtsova cautions that the United States’ embrace of Moldova’s pro-European government is putting it close company with some unsavory characters. Anna Borshchevskaya urges the West to prioritize creating safe zones for Syrian civilians as a first step towards ending ...

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To keep up with Democracy Lab in real time, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Anna Nemtsova cautions that the United States’ embrace of Moldova’s pro-European government is putting it close company with some unsavory characters.

Anna Borshchevskaya urges the West to prioritize creating safe zones for Syrian civilians as a first step towards ending the war.

Nick Danforth explains Turkey’s war against the Kurds in terms of the electoral ambitions of its ruling party.

Daniel Lansberg-Rodriguez and Francisco Marquez Lara ask whether, forced to spend much of their lives standing in line for basic goods, Venezuelans are reaching a breaking point.

Maxim Eristavi explains why last week’s last-minute failure to oust Ukrainian Prime Minster Arseniy Yatsenyuk is proof that the oligarchs are still firmly in charge.

And now for this week’s recommended reads:

The New York Times’ Jeffrey Gettleman covers last week’s Ugandan elections, in which President Museveni’s “dictatorship light” received another lease on life. Also in the Times, Nicholas Casey travels through Venezuela, documenting the country’s economic collapse.

In Granta, Peter Pomerantsev dives into the propaganda battle for hearts and minds on both sides of Ukraine’s war with Russian separatism.

Afrobarometer’s Boniface Dulani warns in Quartz that South Africans’ faith in their democracy is declining. In Prospect Magazine, Justice Malala blames the country’s president, Jacob Zuma, for the country’s anemic economic growth, rising unemployment, and deteriorating race relations.

For the Interpreter, Paul Goble summarizes Maria Snegovaya’s interview for a Russian television station, in which she argues that Putin’s regime is not nearly as stable as people think.

For Carnegie Europe, Thomas de Waal offers a somewhat skeptical progress report on Mikheil Saakashvili’s tenure as governor of Odessa.

Paul Friesen highlights six African elections to watch in 2016 for NDI’s “DemocracyWorks” blog.

In an arresting photo gallery for Vice, Anna Nini and Orestis Seferoglou document young Greek farmers’ desperate protests against the government’s pension reforms.

And finally, in Vogue, Liana Satenstein reports on the revival of homegrown Ukrainian fashion since the Euromaidan revolution.

In the photo, Ugandan voters who were unable to vote on the first day queue outside polling stations in Kampala on February 19, 2016.

Photo credit: CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images

Ilya Lozovsky is assistant editor of Democracy Lab. Prior to joining Foreign Policy, he worked as program officer for Eurasia at Freedom House, providing emergency support to human rights activists and organizations across that continent. @ichbinilya

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