Revolutions of 1989
The Revolutions of 1989 formed part of a revolutionary wave in the late 1980s and early 1990s that resulted in the end of communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe and beyond. The period is sometimes called the Fall of Nations or the Autumn of Nations, a play on the term Spring of Nations, sometimes used to describe the Revolutions of 1848; the events of the full-blown revolution first began in Poland in 1989 and continued in Hungary, East Germany, Bulgaria and Romania. One feature common to most of these developments was the extensive use of campaigns of civil resistance, demonstrating popular opposition to the continuation of one-party rule and contributing to the pressure for change. Romania was the only Eastern Bloc country. Protests in Tiananmen Square failed to stimulate major political changes in China, but influential images of courageous defiance during that protest helped to precipitate events in other parts of the globe. On 4 June 1989, the trade union Solidarity won an overwhelming victory in a free election in Poland, leading to the peaceful fall of Communism in that country in the summer of 1989.
In June 1989, Hungary began dismantling its section of the physical Iron Curtain, leading to an exodus of East Germans through Hungary, which destabilised East Germany. This led to mass demonstrations in cities such as Leipzig and subsequently to the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, which served as the symbolic gateway to German reunification in 1990; the Soviet Union dissolved in December 1991, resulting in eleven new countries, which had declared their independence from the Soviet Union in the course of the year, while the Baltic states regained their independence in September 1991. The rest of the Soviet Union, which constituted the bulk of the area, became the Russian Federation in December 1991. Albania and Yugoslavia abandoned Communism between 1990 and 1992. By 1992, Yugoslavia had split into five successor states, namely Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, renamed Serbia and Montenegro in 2003 and split in 2006 into two states and Montenegro.
Serbia was further split with the breakaway of the recognised state of Kosovo in 2008. Czechoslovakia dissolved three years after the end of Communist rule, splitting peacefully into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1992; the impact of these events was felt in many Socialist countries. Communism was abandoned in countries such as Cambodia, Ethiopia and South Yemen. During the adoption of varying forms of market economy, there was a general decline in living standards for many former Communist countries. Political reforms were varied, but in only four countries were Communist parties able to retain a monopoly on power, namely China, Cuba and Vietnam. Many communist and socialist organisations in the West turned their guiding principles over to social democracy and democratic socialism. Communist parties in Italy and San Marino suffered and the reformation of the Italian political class took place in the early 1990s. In South America, the Pink tide swept through the early 2000s; the European political landscape changed drastically, with several former Eastern Bloc countries joining NATO and the European Union, resulting in stronger economic and social integration with Western Europe and the United States.
Socialism had been gaining momentum among working class citizens of the world since the 19th century. These culminated in the early 20th century when several states and colonies formed their own communist parties. Many of the countries involved had hierarchical structures with monarchic governments and aristocratic social structures with an established nobility. Socialism was undesirable within the circles of the ruling classes in the late 19th/early 20th century states, its champions suffered persecution. This had been the practice in states which identified as exercising a multi-party system; the Russian Revolution of 1917 saw the first communist state in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, when the Bolsheviks overthrew the provisional government. During the period between the world wars, communism had been on the rise in many parts of the world in towns and cities; this led to a series of purges in many countries to stifle the movement. Violent resistance to this repression led to an increase in support for communism in Central and Eastern Europe.
In the early stages of World War II, both Nazi Germany and the USSR invaded and occupied the countries of Eastern Europe after the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. Germany turned against and invaded the USSR: the battles of this Eastern Front were the largest in history; the USSR joined with the Allies and in conferences at Tehran and Yalta, the Allies agreed that Central and Eastern Europe would be in the "Soviet sphere of political influence.". The USSR fought the Germans to a standstill and began driving them back, reaching Berlin before the end of the war. Nazi ideology was violently anti-communist, the Nazis brutally suppressed communist movements in the countries it occupied. Communists played a large part in the resist
Albania the Republic of Albania, is a country in Southeast Europe on the Adriatic and Ionian Sea within the Mediterranean Sea. It shares land borders with Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, North Macedonia to the east, Greece to the south and a maritime border with Italy to the west. Geographically, the country displays varied climatic, geological and morphological conditions, defined in an area of 28,748 km2, it possesses remarkable diversity with the landscape ranging from the snow-capped mountains in the Albanian Alps as well as the Korab, Skanderbeg and Ceraunian Mountains to the hot and sunny coasts of the Albanian Adriatic and Ionian Sea along the Mediterranean Sea. The area of Albania was populated by various Illyrian and Ancient Greek tribes as well as several Greek colonies established in the Illyrian coast; the area was annexed in the 3rd century by Romans and became an integral part of the Roman provinces of Dalmatia and Illyricum. The autonomous Principality of Arbër emerged in 1190, established by archon Progon in the Krujë, within the Byzantine Empire.
In the late thirteenth century, Charles of Anjou conquered Albanian territories from the Byzantines and established the medieval Kingdom of Albania, which at its maximal extension was extending from Durrës along the coast to Butrint in the south. In the mid-fifteenth century, it was conquered by the Ottomans; the modern nation state of Albania emerged in 1912 following the defeat of the Ottomans in the Balkan Wars. The modern Kingdom of Albania was invaded by Italy in 1939, which formed Greater Albania, before becoming a Nazi German protectorate in 1943. After the defeat of Nazi Germany, a Communist state titled the People's Socialist Republic of Albania was founded under the leadership of Enver Hoxha and the Party of Labour; the country experienced widespread social and political transformations in the communist era, as well as isolation from much of the international community. In the aftermath of the Revolutions of 1991, the Socialist Republic was dissolved and the fourth Republic of Albania was established.
Politically, the country is a unitary parliamentary constitutional republic and developing country with an upper-middle income economy dominated by the tertiary sector followed by the secondary and primary sector. It went through a process of transition, following the end of communism in 1990, from a centralized to a market-based economy, it provides universal health care and free primary and secondary education to its citizens. The country is a member of the United Nations, World Bank, UNESCO, NATO, WTO, COE, OSCE and OIC, it is an official candidate for membership in the European Union. In addition it is one of the founding members of the Energy Community, including the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation and Union for the Mediterranean; the term Albania is the medieval Latin name of the country. It may be derived from the Illyrian tribe of Albani recorded by Ptolemy, the geographer and astronomer from Alexandria, who drafted a map in 150 AD, which shows the city of Albanopolis located northeast of the city of Durrës.
The term may have a continuation in the name of a medieval settlement called Albanon or Arbanon, although it is not certain that this was the same place. In his history written in the 10th century, the Byzantine historian Michael Attaliates was the first to refer to Albanoi as having taken part in a revolt against Constantinople in 1043 and to the Arbanitai as subjects of the Duke of Dyrrachium. During the Middle Ages, the Albanians called their country Arbëri or Arbëni and referred to themselves as Arbëreshë or Arbëneshë. Nowadays, Albanians call their country Shqipëria; as early as the 17th century the placename Shqipëria and the ethnic demonym Shqiptarë replaced Arbëria and Arbëresh. The two terms are popularly interpreted as "Land of the Eagles" and "Children of the Eagles"; the first traces of human presence in Albania, dating to the Middle Paleolithic and Upper Paleolithic eras, were found in the village of Xarrë close to Sarandë and Dajti near Tiranë. The objects found in a cave near Xarrë include flint and jasper objects and fossilized animal bones, while those found at Mount Dajt comprise bone and stone tools similar to those of the Aurignacian culture.
The Paleolithic finds of Albania show great similarities with objects of the same era found at Crvena Stijena in Montenegro and north-western Greece. Several Bronze Age artefacts from tumulus burials have been unearthed in central and southern Albania that show close connection with sites in south-western Macedonia and Lefkada, Greece. Archaeologists have come to the conclusion that these regions were inhabited from the middle of the third millennium BC by Indo-European people who spoke a Proto-Greek language. A part of this population moved to Mycenae around 1600 BC and founded the Mycenaean civilisation there. In ancient times, the territory of modern Albania was inhabited by a number of Illyrian tribes; the Illyrian tribes never collectively regarded themselves as'Illyrians', it is unlikely that they used any collective nomenclature for themselves. The name Illyrians seems to be the name applied to a specific Illyrian tribe, the first to come in contact with the ancient Greeks during the Bronze Age, causing the name Illyrians to be applied pars pro toto to all people of similar language and customs.
The territory known as Illyria corresponded to the area east of the Adriatic sea, extending in the south to the mouth of the Vjosë river. The first accou
A prison known as a correctional facility, gaol, detention center, remand center, or internment facility, is a facility in which inmates are forcibly confined and denied a variety of freedoms under the authority of the state. Prisons are most used within a criminal justice system: people charged with crimes may be imprisoned until their trial. In simplest terms, a prison can be described as a building in which people are held as a punishment for a crime they have committed. Prisons can be used as a tool of political repression by authoritarian regimes, their perceived opponents may be imprisoned for political crimes without trial or other legal due process. In times of war, prisoners of war or detainees may be detained in military prisons or prisoner of war camps, large groups of civilians might be imprisoned in internment camps. In American English and jail are treated as having separate definitions; the term prison or penitentiary tends to describe institutions that incarcerate people for longer periods of time, such as many years, are operated by the state or federal governments.
The term jail tends to describe institutions for confining people for shorter periods of time and are operated by local governments. Outside of North America and jail have the same meaning. Common slang terms for a prison include: "the pokey", "the slammer", "the can", "the clink", "the joint", "the calaboose", "the hoosegow" and "the big house". Slang terms for imprisonment include: "behind bars", "in stir" and "up the river"; the use of prisons can be traced back to the rise of the state as a form of social organization. Corresponding with the advent of the state was the development of written language, which enabled the creation of formalized legal codes as official guidelines for society; the best known of these early legal codes is the Code of Hammurabi, written in Babylon around 1750 BC. The penalties for violations of the laws in Hammurabi's Code were exclusively centered on the concept of lex talionis, whereby people were punished as a form of vengeance by the victims themselves; this notion of punishment as vengeance or retaliation can be found in many other legal codes from early civilizations, including the ancient Sumerian codes, the Indian Manusmriti, the Hermes Trismegistus of Egypt, the Israelite Mosaic Law.
Some Ancient Greek philosophers, such as Plato, began to develop ideas of using punishment to reform offenders instead of using it as retribution. Imprisonment as a penalty was used for those who could not afford to pay their fines. Since impoverished Athenians could not pay their fines, leading to indefinite periods of imprisonment, time limits were set instead; the prison in Ancient Athens was known as the desmoterion. The Romans were among the first to use prisons as a form of punishment, rather than for detention. A variety of existing structures were used to house prisoners, such as metal cages, basements of public buildings, quarries. One of the most notable Roman prisons was the Mamertine Prison, established around 640 B. C. by Ancus Marcius. The Mamertine Prison was located within a sewer system beneath ancient Rome and contained a large network of dungeons where prisoners were held in squalid conditions, contaminated with human waste. Forced labor on public works projects was a common form of punishment.
In many cases, citizens were sentenced to slavery in ergastula. During the Middle Ages in Europe, castles and the basements of public buildings were used as makeshift prisons; the possession of the right and the capability to imprison citizens, granted an air of legitimacy to officials at all levels of government, from kings to regional courts to city councils. Another common punishment was sentencing people to galley slavery, which involved chaining prisoners together in the bottoms of ships and forcing them to row on naval or merchant vessels. From the late 17th century and during the 18th century, popular resistance to public execution and torture became more widespread both in Europe and in the United States. Under the Bloody Code, with few sentencing alternatives, imposition of the death penalty for petty crimes, such as theft, was proving unpopular with the public. Rulers began looking for means to punish and control their subjects in a way that did not cause people to associate them with spectacles of tyrannical and sadistic violence.
They developed systems of mass incarceration with hard labor, as a solution. The prison reform movement that arose at this time was influenced by two somewhat contradictory philosophies; the first was based in Enlightenment ideas of utilitarianism and rationalism, suggested that prisons should be used as a more effective substitute for public corporal punishments such as whipping, etc. This theory, referred to as deterrence, claims tha
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
The Department of Neutralization of Armed Elements known by its acronym RENEA, is the main Albanian counter-terrorist and critical incident response unit. The force was constituted in the early 1990s in response to the growing crime levels in the country after the fall of communism. RENEA's responsibilities are rescue operations, hostage situations, counter-terrorism and response to violent forms of crime. Since 1990, the unit has lost four men in action and more than forty wounded, their skills are regarded and well thought-of inside Albania and in the West, they are reported to have one of the highest OPTEMPOs in all of Europe and they have been trained by GSG 9. Following the emergence of capitalism in Albania after 1990 and in order to eradicate all semblances to and associations with the communist state, many investigators and police officers were dismissed; this confused situation soon allowed organized and individual crime to flourish to the point that it soon became the norm of everyday life.
Kidnapping, drug-related crime and human trafficking were at an all-time high, the Albanian fledgling democracy did not have the legal and organizational experience to combat these problems — in fact its infrastructure was non-existent. During communism, the force, entrusted with CT and other special missions was Unit 326, but because of its role in suppressing public unrest during the popular uprising against communism, it had been neglected; the new public order authorities recognised the need for a small professional force, after exhaustive trials and training established what subsequently came to be known as RENEA. It was known as Unit 88, it was composed of eighty members, or operatives, who were elected from the 600 original members of Unit 326. The rest of the operators joined subsequent special intervention groups; the real number is estimated to be about 200 members. Its organization was military in nature, dividing each team in groups of four, after the reputable British SAS system.
In case of an open conflict, the police were expected to assume military duties. However, after the administrative reform of the Albanian Police, such duties were excluded from the police curriculum. RENEA was reorganized, this time modelling itself after sister units such as GSG-9, GIS, NOCS, GIGN etc; the tactics are still SAS-based, but not the actual duties. The unit is composed of negotiators, divers, rock-climbing, snipers and a small nucleus of logistics operatives. Organization: Support CommandDirectory of Operational Movable Forces, first level: Sector of planification and coordination of the operations Sector of trainingDepartments and Special Units, second level:The department of neutralization of armed elements The department of helicopters Anti-explosive unit Unit of negotiationCompositionRapid reaction Unit Shkodra Rapid reaction Unit Tirana Rapid reaction Unit Fier The selection process is held only once a year and lasts twelve weeks. Subsequently, recruits are trained for an additional nine months in other skills such as linguistics, signals and hostage negotiations.
Candidates continue undergoing strict psychological and physical tests. Only after a period of three years may the recruit become a RENEA operator cleared in participating in hostage rescue operations. About 90 per cent of candidates come from other branches of the police and the National Guard, while the rest are military; the military candidates that pass selection must complete a six-month course on jurisprudence. The maximum age for selection is 26 years and candidates are expected to have been members of their respective previous units for no less than two years; the first two weeks are called the "shake-down", in which everyone takes part. Only the negotiators and part of the logistics group are exempted. Candidates undergo long and complicated psychological and durability tests designed to weed out weaker applicants. "Shake-down" is harsh, consisting of forced marches in full combat gear. True to their SAS origins, the operatives must carry a 35 kg backpack, AK-47 with eight full magazines and magazines, gas mask, radio.
Their training routes take part in the worst weather, in some of the toughest terrain that Albania has to offer: in the northeastern mountain range, the marshes of Vlora, the swamps of Durrës and Lezha. 75 per cent of the candidates fail at this initial phase. The last day is reserved for infiltration tests; the candidates that have accomplished the first phase are left helpless in some remote part of Albania, at a safe distance from the capital, with 200 commandos and national guardsmen at their heels. Each is expected to make it back to headquarters in Tirana unintercepted. If they are caught they go home. Training and tests change according to the whims of the instructors, who are themselves veterans of the unit, they have a reputation for being unmerciful. Sheepie was the trainer for about 20 years until they deemed his training tactics to hard and inefficient. Ferriku is the actual commander of the unit. From 1991, the unit's negotiators have resolved, without resorting to violence, more than 500 of the 600 cases involving kidnappers and armed occupations.
All negotiators must have served for minimum of ten years with the police force and are persons of good temperament and mental balance, with knowledge of all dialects and regional mentalities. They all either hav
The Albanian State Police is the national police and law enforcement agency which operates throughout the Republic of Albania. The collapse of the Communist system and the establishment of political pluralism post-1991 brought important changes to the structure of the Albanian Police; the Ministry of Public Order and the General Directorate of Police were established in April 1991, the new law of July 1991 established the Public Order Police. Nearly 80% of police manpower, i.e. personnel who had served under the previous system, were replaced by new recruits. On November 4, 1991, the Albanian Police was accepted as a member of Interpol; the emergency number is 129. The original Albanian Police was founded on 13 January 1913 by the government of Ismail Qemali, Albania's first prime minister. Following the collapse of the Albanian economy in January–February 1997 in the wake of the implosion of the Ponzi pyramid banking schemes promoted by the government, increasing insurgency in early March led to the Police and Republican Guard deserting en masse because it became clear they were unlikely to be paid, leaving their armouries unlocked, which were promptly looted by parties unknown, believed to have been the local crime bodies and self-appointed militias: many of the weapons surfaced in the ethnic fighting in Kosovo.
The resulting anarchy led a number of nations to use military forces to evacuate citizens, culminating in the UN authorising Operation Alba, a short-term military stabilisation force led by the Italian Army, tasked with facilitating the repatriation of foreigners and laying the foundations for another International Organisation to undertake the longer-term restabilisation. The political debate settled in Europe within the body responsible for the defence diplomatic coordination of the Continent, the Council of the Western European Union. In a 2-hour meeting which convened at 1400 hrs on 2 May 1997, the WEU Council decided on the immediate establishment of the Multinational Advisory Police Element, sending a pathfinder officer, a Norwegian Police Colonel, the same evening; the Italian force in Operation Alba predicated the Command structure of MAPE passing into the Italian Carabinieri, General Pietro Pistolese commanding the Genoa region, bringing his team with him. Four phases followed, reconstruction, support of the Albanian Police control during the Kosovo Crisis, build-down and handback in early 2001, somewhat accelerated ahead of the transfer of the WEU's operational responsibilities to the Council of the EU on 30 June 2001.
The reconstruction principally involved the reconstruction of the Judicial system and the training of Police, but the Finance section accommodated economic specialists acting as the principal feedback into the correction of the Judicial system. The Command Team formed the core of the European Union Border Assistance Mission Rafah from 2005 onwards. According to a survey produced in 2009 for the United States Agency for International Development Albanian's perception of the police was as follows: On a scale of 0-100 with 0 being Very Honest and 100 being Very Corrupt, Policemen were given a score of 63.1 points When asked to what extent the police help to fight corruption, 0 being Not at All and 100 being Helps a Lot, the Police were given a score of 45.5 When asked about trust in institutions, 0 being No Trust at All and 100 being Trust a Lot, the Police were given a score of 47.8 When asked if during the previous year they had been asked for a bribe 7.8% said Yes "When asked how they were treated by the police, the proportion of respondents that replied "Poorly" or "Very poorly" was 26.6%, a decrease of 10.9 percentage points from 37.5% in 2005"Given that this was within eight years of the departure of the MAPE rebuilding mission, great concern must be expressed about the capacity of the police force to maintain the legal norms required of an aspirant EU State.
In 2014, the Ministry of Internal Affairs started a modernization process of the Albanian police, to modernize its equipment and methods. The first step was the acquisition of new police vans and cruisers, the next one was the installment of body cameras on police officers to improve their service and to be analysed after an operation. Uniforms of the every uniformed department of the Albanian police were overhauled and the logo was changed also. Several operations were held from the years 2014 to 2016, in various criminally active regions of Albania to restore confidence and belief of the Albanian public to support the actions of police. Body cameras are becoming an integral part of the Albanian police, used on various drug busts and high-profile operations, released afterwards to the public In 2015, the State Police underwent reorganizational reforms which were expected to continue for several years, it implemented a new hierarchical structure composed of nine hierarchic ranks. Glock 34 TT-33 Beretta 92 Beretta PX4 Storm Beretta ARX 160 HS Produkt VHS Heckler & Koch MP5 Heckler & Koch MP7 AK-47 Sako TRG M10 Law enforcement in Albania General Directorate of Civil Emergencies Sigurimi
Shkodër or Shkodra known as Scutari or Scodra, is a city in the Republic of Albania. It is the capital of the surrounding county of Shkodër, one of 12 constituent counties of the republic; the city is one of the most ancient cities in the Balkans and the fourth most populous city in the country and exerts strong influences in culture, religion and entertainment of northern Albania. Geographically, the city of Shkodër sprawls across the Mbishkodra plain between the freshwater marshlands of Lake Shkodër and the foothills of the Albanian Alps. Like most of the Dinaric Alps, the mountains are dominated by dolomite rocks; the lake, named after the city of Shkodër, is the largest lake in Southern Europe close to the Adriatic Sea. The city is trapped on three sides by the rivers Kir in the east, Drin in the south and Buna in the west; the region that today corresponds to the city territory was founded in the 4th century BC by the ancient Illyrian tribes of the Ardiaei and Labeates. It is evidenced by the inscriptions that were discovered in the Rozafa Castle.
During that time the city was known under the name Scodra. The city has developed on a 130 metres hill, strategically located in the outflow of Lake Shkodër into the Buna; the Romans annexed the city after the third Illyrian War in 168 BC, when Gentius was defeated by the Roman force of Anicius Gallus. In the 3rd century AD, Shkodër became the capital of Praevalitana due to the administrative reform of the Roman emperor Diocletian. With the spread of Christianity in the 4th century, the Archdiocese of Scodra was founded and was assumed in 535 by Byzantine Justinian I. During many different epochs it has retained its status as a major city in the wider region, due to its strategic position close to the Adriatic Sea and the Italian port cities, but with land-routes to other important cities and towns in neighbouring regions; the etymology of the term Shkodër is a subject. The name was first attested in antiquity in the Latin form Scodra, the Ancient Greek Σκόδρα and the Ancient Greek genitive Σκοδρινῶν, discovered on coins from the 2nd century BC.
Although the ultimate origin of the term is uncertain. The further development of the name has been a subject of discussion among linguists over the linguistic provenance of the Albanian people and the Albanian language. While Eqrem Çabej and Shaban Demiraj treat the development from Skodra to modern Shkodra as evidence of regular development within the Albanian language, Matzinger argues that it fails to display certain known phonological changes that would have to have happened if the name had been continually in use in proto-Albanian since pre-Roman times. In modern times, the term was adapted to Italian as Scutari. In Serbo-Croatian, Shkodër is known as Skadar, in Turkish as İşkodra. Shkodër is the largest city in northern Albania, lying near latitude 42° 4' N, longitude 19 ° 31' E. Geologically, Shkodër extends strategically on the Mbishkodra Plain between the marshlands of Lake Shkodër and the foothills of the Albanian Alps, the southernmost continuation of the Dinaric Alps; the northeast is dominated by Mount Maranaj standing at 1,576 metres above the Adriatic.
Hydrologically, the city is trapped on three sides by the rivers Kir in the east, Drin in the south and Buna in the west. Rising From Lake Shkodër, Buna flows into the Adriatic Sea; the river joins the Drin for 2 kilometres southwest of the city. In the east, Shkodër is bordered by Kir, which originates from the north flowing into the Drin, that surrounds Shkodër in the south; the location of Shkodër has been of great strategic importance in its history. It has helped the city to its wealth in its history or made it the subject of conflicts between foreign powers. Lake Shkodër forms the frontier of Albania and Montenegro; the lake became the symbol of the consistent economic and social divide of the city. Although, the lake is the largest lake in Southern Europe and an important habitat for various animal and plant species. Further, the Albanian section has been designated as a Nature Reserve. In 1996, it has been recognised as a wetland of international importance by designation under the Ramsar Convention.
River Buna connects the lake with the Adriatic Sea, while the Drin provides a link with Lake Ohrid in the southeast of Albania. It is a cryptodepression, filled by the river Morača and drained into the Adriatic by the 41 km long Buna. According to the Köppen climate classification, Shkodër experiences mediterranean climate, wet enough in July to be a humid subtropical climate, with continental influences; the average yearly temperature varies from 14.5 °C to 16.8 °C. Although, mean monthly temperature ranges between 1.4 °C to 9.8 °C in January and 19.3 °C to 32.4 °C in August. The average yearly precipitation is about 1,700 millimetres, which makes the area one of the wettest in Europe; the earliest signs of human activity in the lands of Shkodër can be traced back to the Bronze Age. The favorable conditions on the fertile plain, around the lake, have brought people here from early antiquity. Artefacts and inscriptions, discovered in the Rozafa Castle, are assumed to be the earliest examples of symbolic behaviour in humans in the city.
Although, it was known under the name Scodra and was inhabited by the Illyrian tribe of the Ardiaei, which ruled over a large territory between modern Albania up to Croatia. Queen Teuta, King Agron, King Gentius, were among the mos