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On 6 October Viktoria Marinova, a local journalist, was raped and murdered in the northern Bulgarian city of Ruse. Since the end of September Marinova had been hosting a local television programme dedicated to investigative journalism. Her first guests were members of a group of investigative journalists who, together with their Romanian colleagues, had been examining the embezzlement of EU funds by (among others) the Bulgarian construction company GP Group owned by Georgi Vasilev, an oligarch linked to various politicians.
On 15 October, the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) decided to sever relations and eucharistic communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople (PC). This decision is a reaction to the decision by the Synod of Bishops of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, which on 11 October annulled its decision of 1686 to transfer the metropolis of Kiev to the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate, and confirmed that it would continue to work for the establishment of an autocephalous Orthodox Church in Ukraine.
The increased wave of migration from Ukraine to Poland which began in 2014 is slowly beginning to decelerate. This migration is still mainly temporary in nature, and it is difficult to assess to what extent it may become fully residential.
On 14 October residents of Bavaria, one of Germany’s richest federal states, elected 205 members of the local parliament. First place was once again taken - unalterably since 1954 - by the CSU, which garnered 37.2% of the votes. However, the support level for it fell as much as 10.4 percentage points as compared to 2013. Second place, with 17.5% support, was taken by the Green Party (+8.9 percentage points). The Free Voters (Freie Wähler, a party formed by independent candidates) was supported by 11.6% of residents of Bavaria (+2.6 percentage points).
On 11 October, a synod of the bishops of the Orthodox Church’s patriarchate of Constantinople (Ecumenical) confirmed the canonicity of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, denied Moscow’s sovereignty over Kiev, and finally confirmed that in the near future Ukrainian Orthodoxy would obtain autocephaly (complete independence). The clergy felt that in the seventeenth century the patriarchs of Moscow had illegally annexed the Orthodox metropolis of Kyiv to the area of their jurisdiction (the canonical territory).
A conflict over a snap parliamentary election which, according to the constitution, is not scheduled until 2022 is taking place in Armenia. The dispute escalated when, on 2 October, the parliament accepted amendments to the act on regulations of the house’s work imposing restrictions on holding early elections. In response to this, tens of thousands of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s supporters took to the streets on his appeal, blocking the building of the National Assembly.
The British investigative portal Bellingcat launched a campaign in September as part of which the identities of the Russian military intelligence officers responsible for aggressive diversionary moves are being gradually revealed; this has surprised the Russian side.
On 3 October, a plenary debate was held at the European Parliament in Strasbourg devoted to the state of rule of law in Romania, in which the Prime Minister of Romania Viorica Dăncilă took part, among others.
The parliamentary elections in Latvia (6 October) were won by the Social Democratic Party Harmony, which mainly represents an electorate of the country’s Russian-speaking inhabitants. Harmony was chosen by 19.8% of the electorate, which means the loss of a single seat; the party will have 23 in the 100-seat parliament.
Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi opposition journalist who had co-operated with The Washington Post (among other media) went missing on 2 October in Istanbul. According to the Turkish services, he was detained in the grounds of Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul where he was settling formalities linked to his planned wedding with a citizen of Turkey. Then he was reportedly tortured and murdered in the consulate’s building. His case came as a shock to the Western media and public opinion in Arab countries.