What’s happening to the middle class in Eastern Europe?

Southeast Belarus has faced stigma and challenges due to the residual effects of the Chernobyl disaster but is starting to see development return. Photo: UNDP Belarus/Siarhiej Leskiec

If you talk to someone whose country emerged from behind the Iron Curtain 30 years ago, you are likely to hear complaints about how things are a lot less equal today than they used to be.

Communism may have deprived people of their rights and limited their opportunities. But the absence of huge gaps between rich and poor seems to have been widely appreciated. Many…