Georgia’s military blitz in Ossetia and Russia’s heavy-duty armed response could have set the hands of history’s clock back by several years.Has the crisis been solved? Not yet and not definitively,at least not as we go to press.eastdevotes two articles to the issue: Sergio Romano’s editorial and an exhaustive analysis by Piero Sinatti. Both writers start from the consideration that the information available to Western public opinion on Russia is often piecemeal and one-sided: a strong and non-conformist approach that will certainly spark discussion. And discussion is precisely what is required in a world in which the concentration and manipulation of information could tame and impoverish politics as well as journalism. The Dossier focuses on a decade of the euro,the European single currency. We asked some very high-profile experts to discuss the issue :European Central Bank executive board member Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, former “Economist” editor Bill Emmott, Italian Democratic Party senator and economist Nicola Rossi,sociologist Aldo Bonomi, the author of European Union: The Unofficial History Riccardo Perissich and the economists Stefano Micossi, Matteo Ferrazzi and Alessia Muzio.
Finally, a new feature intended to give the magazine a more authoritative and perceptive edge and a more markedly international profile: this issue marks the start of the correspondents’ committee, made up of intellectuals and journalists who correspond to the style and objectives of east, many of them well-known not only in their own countries but at the European level. The first six members of the new committee are the Iranian Farian Sabahi, who teaches Islam and Democracy at the Political Science faculty of Turin University; besides east, Farian also writes for “La Stampa” and “Il Sole24Ore”; Wojciech Jagielski,a Polish journalist and special correspondent for the Polish daily “Gazeta Wiborcza”, who also works with “Le Monde” and the BBC;Lev Dmitrievich Gudkov,a Russian and one of the major social scientists of our time,who teaches at Moscow University and is the author of several books; Gorge Schopflin, a Hungarian, formerly a Political Science lecturer at Jean Monnet University College in London and now a Hungarian Civic Union MP; Moni Ovaia, an Italian Jew of Bulgarian origin,a playwright, actor, singer, essayist and polemicist; Predrag Matveievic, born in Mostar of a Russian father and a Croatian mother, an essayist and Literature professor who formerly taught at the Sorbonne and in Zaghreb and now teaches at La Sapienza University in Rome; he is the author of Breviario Mediterraneo, essential reading for all those wishing to understand the roots of Europe.
The so-called “five-day war” between Russia and Georgia of last August is not necessarily the prologue of a new Cold War. Rather, it may mark the beginning of a phase in which Western democracies gain a more realistic insight into Russian politics and the ways to cohabit with the country of Vladimir Putin and Dmitrij Medvedev.
As the Olympic Games were taking place in China and hopes for the beginning of a new dawn of human rights were being dashed, Russian and Georgian armies were perpetrating atrocities against the civilian population of South Ossetia. And in Iran, where execution by stoning seems on its way to becoming a thing of the past, such is not the case with mass executions.