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Christopher J. Ward

Yanina Karpenkina

This article examines Soviet housing policy in the annexed former Polish territories of Western Belorussia and Western Ukraine, which the ussr absorbed in September 1939. The author focuses on Western Belorussia and in particular on Bialystok, which was the largest and most economically developed city in the region. Bialystok and the Bialystok region contained the largest number of refugees, soviet soldiers, party clerks and technical specialists from the Soviet Union. This article looks at the area’s acute housing problem, which resulted in the theft of property and illegal eviction of apartment owners. The Jewish population of Western Belorussia found itself in the epicenter of events, since it was well represented among the refugees, particularly among the illegally evicted housing owners. The author analyzes the housing policy in Western Belorussia prior to the start of the German-Soviet War in 1941, the position of the Jewish population during this period, and the impact of the acute “housing problem” on the Sovietization of the local population.

Petr Cheremushkin (Пётp Чepёмушкин )

This is a review essay of Dariusz Tołczyk’s book Gułag w oczach Zachodu (The Gulag in the Eyes of the West), which was published in Polish in 2009. This controversial work examines the question of why, for at least the first half of the twentieth century, the West has turned a blind eye to the Stalinist repression. Tołczyk notes that the West paid little attention to the complaints of the Baltic countries and Poland about Stalin’s Great Terror. The reviewer states that the formation of an improved Western image of first Soviet Russia and then the Soviet Union from 1917 to the Gorbachev years by a West that is currently worried about the Putin regime, is Tołczyk’s, a Polish author residing in the United States, main theme.

Teresa Maria Cierco

This article analyzes the conditions and challenges for security sector reform (ssr) in Macedonia since 2001. One of the main pressures which the Western community has been able to wield for reform and for post-conflict normalization in Macedonia has been the conditional offer of integration into key Western organizations – the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (nato) and the European Union (eu). In the absence of a widespread domestic consensus, the sustainability of ssr relies on the leverage that nato and the eu can bring to bear. But, with no date to begin negotiations with the eu and with the Greek veto to Macedonia entrance to nato, what can happen to ssr in the country? Moreover, how can local ownership of ssr be cultivated in Macedonia where the international community has played the lead role in initiating reform? Addressing ssr developments in Macedonia, the article surveys the challenges in two key component areas of the country’s security sector – armed forces and police – arguing that, without clear perspectives of joining nato or the eu in the near future, ssr in Macedonia is seriously compromised.