Eastern Europe

A guard patrols Poland's border with Ukraine.

Poland Needs Migrant Workers. The Pandemic Has Kept Them Away.

Despite the government’s anti-immigration rhetoric, many Polish businesses rely on workers from other parts of Eastern Europe.

People walk their dogs as they pass by election posters of Polish President Andrzej Duda (R) and opposition candidate Rafal Trzaskowski (L) in a suburb of Warsaw, on June 25.

Will Poland’s Presidential Race Deal a Blow to Nationalist Conservatives?

President Andrzej Duda is locked in a surprisingly close race with Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski. Their rivalry is the latest battle between the country’s poorer and more religious rural regions and its wealthier, socially liberal cities.

Milos Zeman and Xi Jinping

No, China Has Not Bought Central and Eastern Europe

While some Central and Eastern European governments have taken pro-Beijing positions, their considerations are far more domestic than international.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki shakes hands with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban during a meeting at the Palace on the Isle in Warsaw's Lazienki Park on May 14, 2018.

Why Populists Understand Eastern Europe

Liberals have changed the region for the better—but don’t perceive its sense of loss.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel looks on during exercises of a NATO tank unit in Münster, Germany, on May 20, 2019.

NATO Has a New Weak Link for Russia to Exploit

North Macedonia just became NATO’s newest and weakest member. That makes it a ripe target for interference.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Chinese President Xi Jinping attend a meeting.

China Has Its Eyes on Serbia

Beijing is using the coronavirus pandemic to expand its influence into the EU’s backyard.

A man and his family walk past closed vegetable stalls.

The Coronavirus Could Topple Governments Around the World

The coronavirus pandemic might not disrupt politics in wealthy Western democracies, but it is likely to unleash political instability—and even regime change—in developing countries already suffering from an economic crisis.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Keep Calm—and Carry On Spreading the Coronavirus

Britain has been exceptionally slow to respond to the pandemic. Trump's decision to omit the U.K. and Ireland from his European travel ban won't help halt the spread of the virus.

Slovak President Zuzana Caputova arrives for a welcome ceremony by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier at Schloss Bellevue in Berlin on Aug. 21, 2019.

The End of Eastern Europe’s Great Liberal Hope

Slovakia’s progressive president was supposed to spur a regional revival of liberalism—now her party has even failed to qualify for parliament. What went wrong?

Volodymyr Zelensky arrives at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City.

The End of Volodymyr Zelensky’s Honeymoon

Changing Ukraine is much harder than its president thought. Here is how Zelensky should reboot his presidency and secure his place in history.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Mikhail Mishustin

‘Russia’s Political Transition Has Arrived Ahead of Schedule’

The entire Russian government has resigned as Putin charts his country’s political future—one that will certainly still include a leading role for him.

French President Emmanuel Macron (right) jokes with U.S. President Donald Trump (center) next to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (left) as they arrive for the NATO summit in Brussels on July 11, 2018.

Don’t Blame Turkey for NATO’s Woes

Emmanuel Macron thinks the Atlantic alliance is brain-dead, but its problems have deeper roots than the recent U.S.-Turkish spat over Syria.

Gergely Karacsony addresses an audience in Budapest, Hungary, after his victory in the capital city's mayoral election.

Europe’s Populist Governments Have a Problem: Their Capitals

City-level opposition could be the key to defeating populism in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and beyond.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with his Lithuanian counterpart, Saulius Skvernelis.

Lithuania Is Forming a New Relationship With Its Past—and With Israel

As political ties flourish, the country is taking tenuous steps to confront its Holocaust history. But it hasn’t gone far enough.

Smoke rises from the Syrian town of Ras al-Ain on the third day of Turkey's military operation.

Our Top Weekend Reads

Turkey bombs Syrian Kurds, Poland goes to the polls, and the NBA bows to Chinese pressure.

European flags wave in front of the Berlaymont building in Brussels on Jan. 14. (Michele Spatari/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

For Eastern Europe, Brussels Is the New Moscow

After upcoming elections in Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Romania, healing Europe’s east-west divide will be more urgent than ever.

Protesters hold a giant Polish national flag during a demonstration against a judicial reform pushed through by the right-wing government but criticised by the EU as a threat to judicial independence on July 24, 2018 in Warsaw.

Poland Is Purging Its Prosecutors

The PiS government is rooting out, relocating, and demoting political critics in the name of judicial reform.

Bosnian women flee Jajce, Bosnia and Herzegovina, on Oct. 31, 1992.

For Bosnian Women, No Justice—and No Seats

In the Balkan wars, women were targets. In postwar governments, they’ve been pushed out of sight.

Ukraine's then-president, Petro Poroshenko, listens to then-presidential candidate and comedian Volodymyr Zelensky during an election debate in Kiev on April 19.

Once Again, Ukraine Steps Into the Unknown

A comedian-turned-president, a rockstar-turned-party leader, and a sea of new faces in the parliament: Meet the new political reality in Ukraine.

Member of the European Parliament Nigel Farage (L) speaks with European Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans (R) prior to a debate concerning Hungary's situation during a plenary session at the European Parliament on September 11, 2018 in Strasbourg, France.

Europe Must Not Allow Enemies of Democracy to Choose the Next EU Commissioner

The illiberal leaders of Hungary and Poland falsely claim Frans Timmermans would divide Europe. What they really fear is his commitment to the rule of law.