Ulana Suprun is rebuilding Ukraine’s ailing and graft-riddled health system. Photograph: Ukrainian Health Ministry.

Unclear how top challengers in March 31st vote would pursue key reforms

Hungary’s prime minister Victor Orban estures as he addresses a press conference at the end of a European People’s Party meeting at the European Parliament in Brussels on March 20th. Photograph: by Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty

Fine Gael and EPP allies accused of ‘political trick and fudge’ before European elections

Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic  in court on Wednesday in The Hague, where a UN tribunal increased his sentence for war crimes from 40 years to life. Photograph:  Peter Dejong/AFP/Getty Images

UN court says ex-Bosnian Serb leader responsible for ‘gravest crimes’ of 1990s war

Russian president Vladimir Putin addresses the crowd at  a concert marking the fifth anniversary of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, in  Simferopol. Photograph: Yuri Kadobnov

Ukraine vows to retake region as EU and Nato condemn Russia’s breaching of law

A riot policeman the far side of a broken window at the Radio Television of Serbia (RTS) headquarters in Belgrade after people protested over the smothering of democratic freedoms. Photograph: Andrej Cukic

Serbians rally for 15th time since November to call for president’s demise and free polls

Viktor Orban at  national day celebrations in Budapest. Photograph: Lisi Niesner/Reuters

Orban says Europe will ‘belong to Europeans’ through Christianity and ‘strong nations’

A protest rally marks the first anniversary of the murder of investigative reporter Jan Kuciak and his fiancee Martina Kusnirova in Bratislava, Slovakia, February 21st, 2019. Photograph: David W Cerny

Killing of Jan Kuciak and his girlfriend triggered mass protests and political crisis

Migrants wait for medical assistance at a migrant facility in Bihac in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Photograph:  Darko Bandic/AP

Rights group warns of spring surge in migrant numbers on ‘Balkan route’

Manfred Weber, above, said Orbán must end the poster campaign and his harsh anti-EU rhetoric. Photograph: Laszlo Balogh/Getty Images

Fine Gael and other centre-right parties seek punishment of Hungary’s Fidesz nationalists

Far-right demonstrators clashing with riot police outside the presidential administration building in Kiev on  March 9th. Photograph: Serhii Nuzhnenko/Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty via AP

National Corps activists seek reform over claims of graft linked to Poroshenko ally

Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban in Budapest on February 10th, 2019. Photograph: Bernadett Szabo/Reuters/File

EPP chief Weber says parties ‘can leave or must be kicked out’ if they don’t share values

A  2018 billboard showing Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orban, which reads, “First he just wanted to take our money, now the unity of Europe is at stake”, outside the European Parliament in Brussels. Photograph:  Francois Lenoir/Reuters

Fine Gael is one of 13 parties seeking Fidesz's exclusion from EU conservative bloc

Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko: the confectionary billionaire’s already-poor record on anti-graft reform has suffered a battering in recent days. Photograph: Mikhail Palinchak/AFP

Graft and cronyism claims are damaging to President Petro Poroshenko’s re-election bid

A supporter of the opposition party throws a flare during an anti-government protest in front of the parliament in Tirana, Albania yesterday. Photograph: Florion Goga/Reuters

Prime minister Rama digs in and eyes EU accession talks as the West calls for calm

Bulgarian prime minister Boiko Borissov  and  Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev, during an official welcome ceremony in Sofia, Bulgaria, on Monday. Photograph:Vassil Donev/EPA

Moscow's major energy projects divide the EU and anger the US

A supporter of the opposition party at an anti-government protest in front of the parliament in Tirana, Albania. Photograph: Florion Goga/Reuters

‘Balkan spring’ activists say EU backs autocrats who promise stability but erode rule of law

 Crimean Tatar community with the Ukrainian flag in Bakhchisarai, south of Simferopol, on March 14th, 2014, two days before a referendum in Crimea to join Russia. Photograph: Viktor Drachev/AFP/Getty Images

Five years of Kremlin rule have brought repression to Muslim community

Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko: there are claims he has  failed to tackle graft and governs through backroom deals with cronies. Photograph: Valentyn Ogirenko

Petro Poroshenko accused of failing on reforms as re-election battle looms

Laura Codruta Kovesi: Romania’s ruling Socialists fiercely oppose her bid to lead the new European Public Prosecutor’s Office, having seen her successfully pursue some of its leading members as head of the country’s anti-corruption agency. Photograph: Stephanie Lecocq/EPA

Boost for Laura Codruta Kovesi amid fierce opposition from Bucharest

Citizens vote at a polling station in Bardar village, on February 24, 2019, as Moldovans vote to elect new parliament members. Photograph: Daniel Mihailescu/AFP/Getty

Pro-EU party sees massive fraud in ballot won by Moscow-friendly Socialists

Romanian prime minister Viorica Dancila said she would meet leaders of magistrates’ associations on Monday to discuss the disputed reforms. Photograph: Octav Ganea/Reuters

EU raises concerns and judicial staff to halt work over government's latest decree

Andrei Nastase and Maia Sandu: Photograph: The Democrats, led by tycoon Vladimir Plahotniuc, claim to be the only pro-EU party that can stop the Socialists taking Moldova back into the embrace of Moscow.

Pro-Russian Socialists eye power as West loses patience with Democrats party

People attend a protest  on the first anniversary of the murder of journalist Jan Kuciak and his partner Martina Kusnirova, in Bratislava, Slovakia. Photograph: Vladimir Simicek/AFP/Getty Images

Campaigners demand to know identities of those behind the killing of Jan Kuciak

Flowers being laid at the Maidan activists “Heavenly Hundred Heroes” memorial in Kiev. Photograph: Sergei Supinsky

Kiev officials criticised at home and abroad five years after revolution's bloody end

Father Mikhail at St Michael’s monastery in central Kiev,  which served as a refuge and hospital for protesters during the 2013-14 Maidan revolution. On February 20th, 2014, the bodies of demonstrators shot dead by the police were brought there

Kiev Letter: Dead and wounded protesters were brought to St Michael’s five years ago

Slovakian prime minister Robert Fico, who leads the ruling Smer party,  now says new judges should be approved only after a new Slovak president takes office in June. Photograph: Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters

New constitutional judges are blocked after ex-premier's bid to join the bench fails

Laura Codruta Kovesi’s bid to lead the new European Public Prosecutor’s Office has been opposed due to her alleged misdemeanours at the national anti-corruption agency. File photograph: Adrian Catu/AFP/Getty Images

Brussels demands fairness as Bucharest opposes Laura Codruta Kovesi's candidacy

Workers erect a new road sign  at the Greece-Macedonia Bogorodica border crossing near Gevgelija on Wednesday. Photograph: Konstantinos Tsakalidis/Bloomberg

Historic name-change deal with Greece wipes state of Macedonia off map

 Vladyslav Manger, the head of the Kherson Regional Council, in court in  Kiev, Ukraine, yesterday. Photograph:  Stas Kozlyuk/EPA

Killing of anti-corruption campaigner Kateryna Handziuk prompted international outrage

Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orban (right) receives US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is on an official visit to Hungary. Photograph: EPA/Balazs Szecsodi

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warns of threats from ‘authoritarian powers’

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo intends to raise concerns over the national and regional presence of Huawei in talks with Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán. Photographs: AFP/Getty Images

US secretary of state and vice-president to visit central Europe to seek more co-operation

Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik rejects rulings that the Srebrenica massacre was genocide. Photograph: Elvis Barukcic/AFP/Getty Images

Bosnian Muslims angered by Serb rejection of Srebrenica genocide rulings

  Prime minister of Hungary Viktor Orban  kisses German chancellor Angela Merkel on the hand after the Visegrad Group Summit  press conference  in Bratislava, Slovakia. Photograph: Jakub Kaminski/EPA

In talks with central European leaders, Merkel says Irish interests must be protected

Macedonia’s foreign minister Nikola Dimitrov (left) and Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg after the signing ceremony of the accession protocol at Nato headquarters in Brussels. Photograph:  Stephanie Lecocq/EPA

Balkan state set to be Nato's 30th member despite Russian complaints

Laura Codruta Kovesi, former head of Romania’s anti-corruption agency, has been named by a selection panel of experts as its first choice to lead the European Public Prosecutor’s Office. Photograph: Daniel Mihailescu/AFP/Getty Images

Scandal-hit government opposes Laura Codruta Kovesi's bid to lead EU agency

Russian president Vladimir Putin: offering no concessions on arms deal withdrawal. Photograph: Alexei Nikolsky

US and Russia halt compliance with 1987 pact and trade blame over missile range

 Huawei called its exclusion   “a discriminatory act based on a groundless and misleading warning issued by [the country’s agency for cybersecurity] ... If no resolution is found, Huawei will consider all its options.” Photograph:  Thomas Peter/Reuters

Telecom giant faces US charges and rising suspicion amid trade war

A demonstration against recent legislative measures introduced by Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban,  in Budapest. Over the past months thousands of Hungarians have taken to the streets to call for Mr Orban’s resignation. Photograph:  Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Prime minister Viktor Orban's government boycotts debate in European Parliament

Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko takes a selfie with students in Kiev after saying he will run again in the next election in March. Photograph: Sergey Dolzhenko/EPA

Petro Poroshenko says war-scarred Ukraine will apply for EU membership in 2024

Milorad Dodik, Bosnian-Serb member of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s tripartite presidency, in October 2018. File photograph: Milan Radulovic/AFP/Getty Images

Pro-Russian nationalist Milorad Dodik denounces bid to rename Serb-run region

Greece’s prime minister Alexis Tsipras (right), accompanied by Greek alternate minister of foreign affairs George Katrougalos (left) and other members of his government applaud following a vote that ratified the Prespa Agreement at the parliament in Athens. Photograph: Michael Varaklas/AP

‘North Macedonia’ to step up EU and Nato bids despite Russian anger

Three  judges of Obolon District Court announce a sentence for  former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, in Kiev, Ukraine, on Thursday. Photograph: Sergey Dolzhenko

Former leader, who fled to Russia after Kiev bloodshed in 2014, denies guilt

 Romanian prime minister Viorica Dancila waits to deliver her speech at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, earlier this month. Photograph: Patrick Seeger/EPA

Leader of ruling Social Democrats is among those who will benefit from planned reforms

One of two gas tankers  burning in the Kerch Strait between the Crimean and Russian borders in the Black Sea on Monday. Photograph: EPA/Kerch FM

US says ships covertly delivered Russian oil to Bashar al-Assad's regime

Nord Stream pipeline operator back in 2012: Nord Stream 2, a pipeline under the Baltic Sea, will double the gas Russia can deliver directly to Germany. Photograph: Olga Maltseva

US denounces Russia-Germany gas pipeline that could freeze out Ukraine

Demonstrators march on the Chain Bridge during a protest against the recent amendments to the labour code, dubbed “slave law” by opposition forces, in Budapest, Hungary, on Saturday.  Photograph: Marton Monus/EPA

Nationalist government defies opposition alliance and unions' strike threat

The head of the  Hasidic Unified Hungarian Israelite Congregation (Emih), chief rabbi Slomo Koves, lights candles to commemorate the liberation of the Budapest Jewish ghetto in January 2017. Emih insists that it is “righteous” to try to retrieve Jewish remains from the Danube. Photograph: Szilard Koszticsak/EPA

Israeli divers use cameras and sonar to look for remains of Jews killed in Budapest

Russian president Vladimir Putin walks with Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic outside the palace in Belgrade, Serbia. Photograph: Stoyan Nenov

Belgrade welcomes Vladimir Putin with a huge rally, fighter jets and the gift of a puppy

People attend a march in Belgrade, Serbia  on the first anniversary of the murder of opposition Serb politician Oliver Ivanovic   in the town of Mitrovica in Kosovo. Photograph: Kevin Coombs/Reuters

Government-backed rally to welcome Russian president Putin to Belgrade on Thursday

Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras speaking in parliament on Tuesday.  He is expected to retain power and press on with ratification of the accord. Photograph: Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images

Athens rejects Russian criticism of historic name-change agreement

Kosovo’s prime minister Ramush Haradinaj near the monument dedicated to missing persons in Pristina, Kosovo, on new year’s eve. Photograph: Armend Nimani/AFP/Getty Images

Specialist chambers at The Hague to tackle cases from 1998-9 war in Kosovo

Protesters light flares in front of a banner reading in Serbian Cyrillic “It has began” in Belgrade, Serbia on Saturday. Photograph: Andrej Cukic/EPA

Anti- and pro-government demonstrators plan rival rallies this week

Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban. There will be two civilisations in the EU. A mixed Muslim-Christian one in the west and a traditional European-Christian in central Europe,” he said on Thursday. Photograph: Bernadett Szabo/Reuters

Nationalist leader says migration debate to dominate European elections in May

Demonstrators wave old Macedonian flags at a protest against a process of renaming the country North Macedonia. Photograph: Robert Atanasovski/AFP

Athens has yet to clear pact that would help renamed ‘North Macedonia’ join Nato and EU

Metropolitan Epifaniy  (second from left), participates in Christmas liturgy with Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko (fourth from right) at St Sophia’s cathedral in Kiev on Monday. Photograph: Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images

Crowds gather in Kiev on Orthodox Christmas Day to see church independence decree

Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban: “slave law” enforces   hundreds of hours of overtime without full or immediate compensation. Photograph: Akos Stiller/New York Times

Unions support demonstrators accusing Orban of destroying democracy

A worshiper enters the basement of the Church of the Archangel Michael in Rivne, Ukraine, where the Moscow-led Orthodox branch holds services. Photograph: Brendan Hoffman/New York Times

Moscow warns disputes over church property could cause bloodshed

 People attend an anti-government protest in Belgrade, Serbia on Saturday. Photograph: Srdjan Suki/EPA

President Aleksandar Vucic accused of undermining democracy and rule of law

Romanian Social Democrat Party leader Liviu Dragnea and Romania’s prime minister, Viorica Dancila. Photograph: Daniel Mihailescuu/AFP/Getty Images

First term in presidency comes against backdrop of domestic political turbulence

Anna Donath, deputy leader of Hungary’s Momentum party, at a recent anti-government rally. Photograph courtesy of Momentum

Opposition alliance comes together to plan rallies, strikes and blockades to start 2019

Demonstrators during a protest against a proposed new labour law, billed as the “slave law”, in front of the parliament building in Budapest, Hungary, on Friday. Photograph: Bernadett Szabo/Reuters

‘Slave law’ and court reform opposed by wide range of government critics

A protest against a proposed new labour law, billed as the “slave law”, outside the headquarters of Hungarian state television in Budapest. Photograph: Bernadett Szabo/Reuters

Under-fire government blames protests over so-called slave law on ‘Soros putschists’

Demonstrators outside parliament  in Budapest, on Sunday. Photograph: Laszlo Balogh/Getty Images

‘Slave law’ ignites anger against government accused of usurping rule of law

Newly elected Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine  Epifaniy Sergiy Dumenko conducts the first liturgy since the creation of a new Ukrainian church independent from Russia in the Saint Michaels Golden-Domed Cathedral in Kiev on December 16th, 2018. Photograph:  Genya Savilov

‘It is a church without Putin,’ declares Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko

Ukrainians loyal to the Moscow Patriarchate of the Orthodox Church held prayers outside parliament in Kiev on Friday. Photograph: Dan McLaughlin

Religion politicised as most clerics loyal to Moscow to boycott ‘unification council’

People attending a protest against the new labour law in front of the Parliament building in Budapest on December 13th, 2018. Photograph: Bernadett Szabo

Budapest’s nationalist government rejects criticism and blames Soros for protests

Russian president Vladimir Putin and Moldova’s president Igor Dodon in St Petersburg on December 6th, 2018. Photograph: Olga Maltseva

Russia offering amnesty to Moldovan migrants who go home for key February vote

Romanian president Klaus Iohannis salutes the honour guard during a military parade marking 100th Romania’s Great Union Day, in Bucharest. Photograph: Robert Ghement/EPA

Brussels said to want a ‘truce’ between scandal-hit government and critics

Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban: government’s voice is dominant in print and broadcast media, as it promotes anti-immigration and Eurosceptic messages and marginalises criticism of corruption. Photograph: Martin Divisek

PM says merger of almost 500 titles and outlets act of ‘national strategic importance’

The prime minister of Serbia, Ana Brnabic, speaking during the COP24 UN climate change conference  in Katowice, Poland, on December 3th, 2018. Photograph: Reuters/Kacper Pempel

Nato, which leads peacekeeping force in Kosovo, says military upgrade is ‘ill-timed’

Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg called on Russia to immediately release the Ukrainian sailors and ships it had seized. Photograph: Yves Herman/Reuters

Military alliance rebuffs Kiev’s call to send warships urgently to flashpoint area

A stairs inside the Central European University  building in Budapest: the university has been forced to move to Vienna. Photograph: Attila Kisbenede

Fine Gael has ‘grave concerns’ over college expulsion by Hungarian ally Viktor Orban

Russian president Vladimir Putin in Argentina for the G20 gathering. Photograph: Marcos Brindicci/Reuters

Putin rejects international calls to free 24 Ukrainian sailors and three ships

A  Ukrainian helicopter engages in military drill near the village of Urzuf close to Mariupol in eastern Ukraine: martial law has been imposed in border regions for 30 days. Photograph: Sega Volski/AFP

Merkel plans to discuss hostilities with Putin after Trump cancels G20 summit talks

Seized Ukrainian military vessels in a port of Kerch, Crimea. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

How did we get here, who is to blame and what might happen next?

Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko called on Nato states to send naval ships to the Sea of Azov to support Ukraine. Photograph: Mykola Lazarenko/AP

Germany backs ‘dialogue’ as Kiev calls for Nato ships in Sea of Azov

Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko meets servicemen as he visits the 169th training centre “Desna” of the Ukrainian army ground forces in Chernihiv Region, on Wednesday. Photograph: Mykola Lazarenko/Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via Reuters

Kremlin blames Kiev and its western allies for Black Sea clash that sparked new crisis

A Ukrainian sailor (right) is escorted by a Russian intelligence agency FSB officer to a courtroom in Simferopol, Crimea on  Tuesday. Photograph: AP Photo

Much of Ukraine to impose martial law on Wednesday amid rising tension

   President Petro Poroshenko    after the Ukrainian parliament voted to  introduce  martial law in regions close to the Black Sea, Sea of Azov and along of the border with Russia, for a period 30 days.  Photograph: Stepan Franko/EPA

US condemns Moscow’s ‘outrageous violation’ as Black Sea tensions soar

St Andrew’s church in Kiev, which was attacked with petrol bombs this month after it was given over to the use of the Constantinople Patriarchate, in recognition of its support for Ukrainian church independence from Russia. Photograph: Daniel McLaughlin

Rift emerges in Orthodox world as Kiev prepares to secure church independence

People attend a rally for the Soros-founded Central European University, in front of Hungary’s parliament building in Budapest on November 24th, 2018. Photograph: Bernadett Szabo/Reuters

Pressure from Orban nationalist government set to force out Central European University

Oliver Ivanovic, who was murdered on January 16th. On Friday police detained suspects for suspected involvement in the killing. File photograph: Armend Nimani/AFP/Getty Images

EU official discusses ‘urgent need for calm and de-escalation’ with Belgrade and Pristina

Kosovo prime minister Ramush Haradinaj at the parliament in Pristina on Thursday. Kosovo’s move to slap Serbian imports with a 100 per cent tariff triggered a new surge of tensions between the former  foes. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Kosovo targets Serbia's imports after Belgrade blocks its bid to join Interpol

Budapest-Nyugati palyaudvar train station in Budapest, Hungary.

Beijing eyes high-tech firms in western Europe and big transport projects further east

Then Macedonian prime minister Nikola Gruevski (left) with his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban in Skopje in 2011. Photograph: Ognen Teofilovski/Reuters

Facing jail at home, Nikola Gruevski claims to have been given refuge in Budapest

Maidan Square in Kiev, on December 23rd, 2013, while the protest was under way.  Photograph: Mykhailo Liapin/AFP/Getty

Authorities accused of blocking reform and inquiries into attacks on Ukraine civil society

A white spot marks the place of  a painting stolen from the Kunsthal museum in Rotterdam on October 16th, 2012. Photograph: Robin Utrecht

‘Tête d’Arlequin’ has been missing and feared burned since 2012 heist in Rotterdam

Demonstrators call for the resignation of Czech prime minister Andrej Babis, on Saturday, the day marking the 29th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, in front of Prague Castle. Photograph:  Michal Cizek/AFP/Getty Images

Billionaire prime minister flies to see his son after kidnap claims stun Czechs

Photographs of Slovak investigative journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancee, Martina Kusnirova, in the office of the Aktuality.sk news outlet in Bratislava where he worked. They were shot dead in February.

Questions remain over who ordered Jan Kuciak's killing and government response to crisis

 Czech prime minister Andrej Babis: mounting pressure to step down. Photograph:  EPA/Martin Divisek

Andrej Babis says ‘mentally ill’ son went voluntarily on Crimean holiday

Former Macedonian prime minister Nikola Gruevski (left) and  Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban. Mr Gruevski is reported to have said on his Facebook  page  that he  was in Hungary, seeking political asylum. Photograph: Aleksandar Kovacevski/EPA

Unclear how Nikola Gruevski entered tightly guarded, anti-immigration Hungary

 Romanian prime minister Viorica Dancila  and Social Democracy Party (PSD) leader Liviu Dragnea. “I assure you that Romania is ready” for the presidency, said Ms Dancila. Photograph: Robert Ghement/EPA

President Klaus Iohannis calls government an "accident" that has "gone off the rails"

People attend a campaign meeting for  Denis Pushilin, in Donetsk. Photograph: Aleksey Filippov/AFP/Getty Images

Moscow defiant as US and Europe denounce separatist ballots in Donetsk and Luhansk

Acting head of the  Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR) Leonid Pasechnik during his pre-election address this week ahead of the upcoming vote for a new leader in Luhansk, Ukraine. Photograph: Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters

US unveils new sanctions over Moscow's role in Crimea and the Donbas region

Prime minister of Hungary Viktor Orbán. Photograph: Kimmo Brandt/EPA

Hungarian police end investigation linked to prime minister Viktor Orbán’s son-in-law

People holding placards reading “Who are Gandzyuk’s killers?” in front of the ministry of internal affairs of Ukraine. Photograph: Genya Savilov/AFP/Getty

Deadly acid attack on Kateryna Handziuk ignites anger over crime and corruption

Protesters demonstrate in front of Ukraine’s ministry of internal affairs in remembrance of  anti-corruption campaigner Kateryna Handziuk. Photograph: Genya Savilov/AFP/Getty Images

Kateryna Handziuk’s death leads to domestic and international outcry and calls for action

Ukrainian anti-corruption activist Kateryna Handziuk, who died on Sunday.

Poroshenko urges law enforcement agencies to find and punish her killers

Migrant children protest in the vicinity of Maljevac border crossing with neighbouring Croatia, near the northern Bosnian town of Velika Kladusa, on October 24th.  Photograph: Elvis Barukcic/AFP/Getty Images

Anti-immigration leaders in central Europe follow US lead in opposing global framework

 Greek alternate foreign minister Giorgos Katrougalos  shakes hands with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’s Bujar Osmani  as deputy foreign minister for Greek diaspora Terens Quick looks on. Photograph: Alexandros Vlachos

Skopje government drafts constitutional changes as nationalists cry foul

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