Beyond the Headlines

What is happening beyond the headlines of the news? And what are the lesser known but no less important changes that are taking place while you are working from home, surviving a pandemic? More stories and more points of view to make more sense of the world. Irregular but no less irrelevant; Beyond the Headlines. 

The uprising for democracy in Belarus has continuously going on for over 100 days with thousands of imprisoned, tortured and killed. In another former Soviet state, Kyrgyzstan, the regime resigned after only 3 days of rough protests, with many uncertainties for this ‘Island of democracy in Central Asia’. While meanwhile in Moldova, pro-EU and former opposition leader Maia Sandu won the elections less than two weeks ago. An update on (former) satellites of Mother Russia.

Rashid Gabdulhakov introduces the current situation in Kyrgyzstan – a lesser known former-Soviet state, its search for identity and the role and influence of social media. Adrian Plesca addresses recent power transition in Moldova. And Mariëlle Wijermars speaks about the events in Belarus and the role digital technologies have played in the protests. 

Beyond the Headlines


Rashid Gabdulhakov

Rashid Gabdulhakov is a PhD Candidate at the Department of Media and Communication of Erasmus School of History Culture and Communication. Gabdulhakov is investigating online vigilante practices in Russia and beyond. He is a member of the international team of scholars working within the ‘Digital vigilantism: Mapping the terrain and assessing societal impact’ project funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research.


Adrian Plesca

Adrian Plesca is an EUR student from Moldova. Founder of #orasulmeu NGO (Chisinau). He developed several local initiatives such as: the successful campaign for night public transport in the capital city of Chisinau; campaign for architectural preservation of old Chisinau’s heritage; campaign for youths’ participation in the local budget formation. He served as a Honorary Member of the Council of the National Assembly that resisted against the kleptocratic regime of Vlad Plahotniuc.


Dr. Mariëlle Wijermars

Dr. Mariëlle Wijermars is an Assistant Professor in Cyber-Security and Politics at Maastricht University and a Visiting Researcher at the University of Helsinki. She conducts research on Russian Internet governance and its human rights implications and on technological innovation in Russian news media. Mariëlle is co-editor of The Palgrave Handbook of Digital Russia Studies (Palgrave Macmillan, in press) and Freedom of Expression in Russia's New Mediasphere (Routledge, 2020)."

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