It seems we set record in history of our journal. Its current issue included articles by authors from seven countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Czech Republic, Russia, Slovakia, Turkey and Ukraine. Their contributions we could divide into several thematic groups.
There are two articles connected with the armed conflict in Ukraine. They deal with phenomena of volunteers, who are from the same country but fight on opposite sides of the front. Particularly sociological analysis of the group of Russian volunteers supporting separatists in Luhansk and Donetsk regions, written by Igor Yakovenko, presents an interesting view of these people who have come to Ukraine led by very different motivation. Their adversaries on Ukrainian side, not only from Russia but also from other post-Soviet states, explain their motivation by themselves in reportage by Bohdana Kostyuk.
Petr Venzera tries to answer a bit provocative question: Is Putin really so sophisticated? He concludes that Putin´s loses in the conflict with the West have outweighed gainswhat may cause troubles for him in the near future.
There were several elections on the territory of CIS countries in last months but local elections in Ukraine have been given preference. There were several reasons for this decision: unpredictable result, first elections after reform of the system of regional and local self-government and complex milieu in which they were organized. Article by Bohdan Oleksyuk brings first analysis and interview with a Member of Supreme Council of Ukraine Anatoliy Matvienko is focused not only on elections but also on the reform of local self-government.
Last group of articles deals with South Caucasus region. Using historical background, Ahmed Alili analyses possible ways of the relationship between Azerbaijan and Iran in new current context. Author presents two scenarios but as he himself admits to predict further development is rather difficult now.
Stepan Grigoryan describes historical sources of national pride of Armenians but concludes that this pride cannot be sufficient if Armenians want to build democracy in their country. However, author is more or less optimistic and sees a positive movement in Armenian civil society.
Caspian region is well-known as the region supplying Europe with oil and gas. Seray Özkan describes potential which this region can have as an important part of new Silk Road heading from Beijing to Europe.The project faces some problems but its usefulness for all participating countries will be a good reason why the project will be concluded successfully.
Not very successful attempt to analyse situation inside the Visegrad Group which was published by one of Russian think-tanks is reviewed by Tomáš Strážay. He uses opportunity and describes also various positions of Visegrad countries towards Russian aggression against Ukraine. At the same time he stresses that V4 countries are able to reach consensus in this case as various Visegrad declarations concerning Ukraine have demonstrated. Therefore the formula V4 is more valid than 3+1.
New issue presents mosaic of topics and opinions and we hope that everybody, who is interested in course of events in the eastern part of Europe, will find inspirational ideas and useful information here.