We have arrived in Europe, the most magical and romantic region in our imagination. But wait, we are starting from Eastern Europe where the picture is slightly different from the imaginary Europe we usually envision. According to the United Nations, a total of 10 countries comprise Eastern Europe, with a single country that exerts tremendous influence over the remaining nine, Russia. After World War II, communism emerged in Eastern Europe with these countries either becoming a constituent of the Soviet Union, or joining the Warsaw Treaty Organization headed by Poland. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Eastern Europe finally began to slowly follow the path of reform that the other European countries had taken much earlier.
Some Eastern European countries chose to maintain close ties with Russia, while others headed straight for the protections of NATO and the European Union without looking back. But there are still some that cannot decide and waver between being pro-Russia or pro-Europe. This is Eastern Europe: countries newly emerging from an old era and eager to embark on their own paths forward.