School celebrations, patriotic marches and national holidays. All accompanied by ever-present weapons and green uniforms. In countries of the Central Europe patriotism increasingly means militarism, and civil values are being displaced by the cult of weapons and combat. Nobody controls this movement. VSquare special report shows, that states are supporting amateur militarists on an unprecedented […]
Slovenskí Branci suddenly took off their uniforms and have gone into politics. Jan Gebert’s movie is a story of the birth of a leader, of what must happen to a person who is just doing trainings in the forest and becomes a military leader. Of a man with a smiling face, but such a face can be hiding an arising danger.
For at least seven years, an unofficial but yet uniformed paramilitary group has been recruiting young men in Slovakia. Minister of Defense filed a motion to inspect the legality of Slovenskí Branci’s activities because of military-like trainings with unclear goals, as well as possible abuse of military technology.
A student of a uniformed class shoots more often than a soldier. In special camps and in military units, young people are expected to learn military tactics, to parade in a marching formation, patrol, throw dummy grenades, prepare action on the battlefield. Ministry of defense’s program for uniformed classes is very ambitious.
At nine o’clock on a Saturday morning in January, some hundred civilians gather in one of the biggest military training grounds in Europe, Orzysz in Poland. They are taking part in hard training in frost and snow, at temperatures around minus 20 degrees. What is this event, who organizes it, who and why attends it?
Polish politicians have a mouth full of clichés about the entry of big Chinese businesses into the country. The only person looking after their interests today is Marek Suski, the head of the Prime Minister’s political cabinet. He is doing it unofficially. And he has no idea about China or business.
NOTES FROM THE REGION
Viktor Orban has been working on strengthening the military of Hungary for years, and he has also been trying to make the military more popular among citizens. Now he’s going to be successful.
Slovak army even as a part of NATO have significant number of soldiers sympathizing with Russia. When would Slovakia face problem growing inside their defence force?
VSquare is an independent, cross-border journalism initiative dedicated to improving the quality of investigative reporting and independent press in the Visegrad Region.
Reporters Foundation (Fundacja Reporterów) was established in 2010 by a group of leading Polish reporters. For many years its main mission was to train and support journalists from Eastern Europe, especially from Ukraine – through workshops, conferences and journalism awards. Support to strengthen cooperation between reporters and the skills of investigative journalists in Central Europe is an important part of Foundation’s philosophy.
The Czech Centre for Investigative Journalism (České centrum pro investigativní žurnalistiku) was founded in 2013 by Czech journalists to promote cross-border investigative projects, train journalists and address the need of local journalism to follow new media trends. Center was part of global investigative journalism projects such as Pulitzer Prize winning Panama Papers, Swissleaks or Global Laundromat.
“Atlatszo” means transparent in Hungarian. Established in 2011, atlatszo.hu produces investigative reports, files freedom of information requests and commences freedom of information lawsuits in cases where its requests are refused. Atlatszo is Hungary’s first investigative non-profit journalistic organisation financed by nonpartisan and non-governmental sources.
Aktuality.sk is an online news outlet owned by
Ringier Axel Springer, in the last few years have devoted a lot of
energy to building strong investigative team.
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Polish journalist, since 2012 working with Newsweek Polska magazine. Co-founder of Fundacja Reporterów (Reporters Foundation), member of the investigate-europe.eu, working with OCCRP. Based in Warsaw.
Polish journalist, co- founder of Fundacja Reporterów (Reporters Foundation). Worked as a foreign correspondent covering Russia; former head of investigative desk at Dziennik daily. Based in Warsaw.
Czech journalist, founder of the Czech Center for Investigative Journalism. Closely working with OCCRP. A co-recipient of the Global Shining Light Award. Based in Prague.
Polish journalist, reporter at Superwizjer TVN, since 2016 working with Fundacja Reporterów (Reporters Foundation), in 2016 shortlisted for Grand Press award. Based in Warsaw.
Hungarian journalist, works with the investigative outlet Atlatszo. She won the Junior Prima Prize in 2012. Former Fulbright/Humphrey Fellow. Based in Budapest.
Hungarian journalist at direkt36.hu. Covers foreign policy, national security, Russian influence. Former Hubert H. Humphrey/Fulbright fellow at Arizona State University.
Polish journalist, since 2012 in Wprost weekly. Covers politics, coordinator at Fundacja Reporterów (Reporters Foundation). Shortlisted for Grand Press and Mediatory awards. Based in Warsaw.
Polish journalist, since 2016 working for onet.pl. Former journalist at Rzeczpospolita daily and editor-in-chief of Polska Zbrojna, war correspondent in Afghanistan. Based in Warsaw.
Peter Sabo is investigative reporter of Aktuality.sk. He is uncovering corruption using mostly data-driven approach. He was wroking in IT sector as analyst before joining Aktuality.
Reporter of Aktuality.sk focused on corruption and data-based analytical journalism. Worked as an investigative data analyst for the TI Slovakia and Stop Corruption Foundation.
Eva is a journalist working for investigace.cz based in Prague. Investigace.cz is NGO covering organized crime topics and the only Czech partner of OCCRP. She works on projects connected to Slovakia.