After the collapse of the Soviet Union, small groups of people with enormous power – now popularly termed “oligarchs” – captured the state in Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. What makes oligarchy regimes unique? How are they formed? And what direction are Georgian, Moldovan, and Ukrainian societies moving in?

Those questions are explored in the following documentary produced by Ziarul de Garda (ZdG), an investigative media outlet from Moldova. This is the first of a series of multimedia works that Transitions will publish in the coming months, the results of an Internews cross-border project called “Neighbors.”

YouTube video

Five teams from three countries – ZdG, the Association of Environment and Ecotourism Journalists (Moldova), Channel 24 (Ukraine), Studio Monitor (Georgia), and a group of independent journalists (also from Georgia) – have produced reports on topics of regional interest: urban development, propaganda, the occupied territories, wine production, public transport, and renewable energy.  

“The three countries had a common past, but the list of features that unite them today is also immense: from separatist conflicts to problems with export markets and energy sources, to dubious government systems and oligarchs,” said Angela Sirbu, project director. “Our project is an opportunity for journalists from Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine to rediscover these similarities and remember that what they notice about their neighbors is, in fact, the image of their own country.” 

The project is implemented by the Independent Journalism Center (Moldova), Internews Ukraine, and Internews Georgia, in partnership with the Internews Network. Internews Ukraine provided editorial and management supervision. 

The production team from Ziarul de Garda includes Alina Radu (editor in chief and manager), Marina Ciobanu (reporter), and Viorica Tataru (camerawoman).