Last week, the run-up to the elections in Kosovo remained peaceful. In Montenegro, anti-government protests resumed after a long hiatus. In Greece, riots and protests broke out in overcrowded migrant camps after a significant increase in arrivals. In Russia, protests against the local election irregularities and government crackdown on protesters and activists continued. In Ukraine, dozens of protests were held against the agreement reached on Donbass, while fighting in that region continued at similar levels to the week prior.
In Kosovo, despite political tensions in the northern Kosovo-Serb regions, no protests or violent incidents were reported in the run-up to the snap parliamentary elections of 6 October.
In Montenegro, the ‘97000 Resist’ anti-government protests resumed after a long hiatus but remained at a low level.
In Greece, riots broke out in the overcrowded camp of Moria after a mother and child died in a fire (DPA/MIA, InfoMigrants, 3 October 2019). According to UNHCR data, migrant arrivals increased by one-third to over 12,000 in September, causing local camps to overcrowd (UNHCR, 1 October 2019). Peaceful protests were held in several camps to draw attention to the situation inside the camps. In addition, a new anarchist group – ‘Revolutionary Anarchist Armed Strugglers’ (GANA) – claimed responsibility for the bombing of a nightclub in Athens with no reported casualties. The group claims it acted against human traffickers and that it took precautions to avoid casualties.
The drillship ‘Yavuz’ – accompanied by Turkish naval vessels, submarines, and drones – entered an area near the southwestern coast of Cyprus. The government of Cyprus describes the move as a “severe escalation” in its ongoing dispute with Turkey over drilling rights in the region (Greek Reporter, 3 October 2019).
In Russia, large protests in support of prosecuted protesters and activists were held in Moscow (BBC, 29 September 2019), as well as small-scale protests in solidarity with political prisoners in other regions (RFE/RL, 29 September 2019). Protests against the results of the September municipal elections continued in several regions (MBK, 5 October 2019).
In Ukraine, dozens of protests “against capitulation [to Russia]” were held across the country criticizing recent agreements reached by the Trilateral Contact Group in Minsk (EuroMaidan Press, 3 October 2019). Protesters, including veterans and supporters of far-right groups like National Corps, took to the streets in response to the ‘Steinmeier Formula’, which calls for local elections in Donbass and self-governing status as part of a long-term peace plan (RFE/RL, 2 October 2019). Meanwhile, fighting between Ukrainian government forces and separatist rebels in Donbass continued at similar levels to the week prior, with 203 armed clashes and 153 shelling incidents resulting in four reported fatalities.
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