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GRETA on Ukraine – Human Trafficking Report

A very short entry today relating to the latest GRETA report on Ukraine and human trafficking. A long 68 page read – but worth it for those with an interest in human trafficking, as this blog historically – and still – has, away from the more general every day entries. That said human trafficking related entries […]


Kremlin DCFTA expectations

There is no better way to outline the Kremlin plans regarding the future of the DCFTA between the EU and Ukraine than to let The Kremlin officially state it: And so, there it is.  The Kremlin position as of 15th September – the day prior to AA and DCFTA ratification. Russia demands a legally binding […]

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A picture paints a thousand words……but

The saying goes, a picture paints a thousand words.  So here is the picture in question.   Indeed, it is President Poroshenko holding aloft the Ukraine-EU Association agreement mutually ratified by the Ukrainian RADA and European Parliament yesterday. Yet for any good picture to remain that way, it requires a robust (and hopefully attractive) frame […]

International News & Commentary


MH17 report – The how, but not the who

Today saw the release of the preliminary findings of the downing of the MH17 flight over eastern Ukraine. To be blunt, these preliminary findings confirming very much what everybody suspected – no crew error, no mechanical failure, no flying in unauthorised airspace etc. “Based on the preliminary findings to date, no indications of any technical […]

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Ukraine Today (UT) TV – English language

Today, the 23rd anniversary of the independence of Ukraine, sees the launch of the English language TV station “Ukraine Today“, a station owned by the oligarch Igor Kolomoyski, owner of several other TV channels in Ukraine. The station will also be broadcast in other languages very soon apparently, with German and French being the next […]

Krasnodon crossing

Upping the ante – Wagons roll

Today it appears The Kremlin has lost patience with the either the combatants in eastern Ukraine, the ICRC insistence of safe passage assurances from both sides prior to entry, and/or a seemingly deliberate stalling by Ukrainian border guard and customs service of the Russian humanitarian convoy.  A stalling that enables Ukrainian military to continue to […]

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EU & FSU News & Commentary


Ambramovich selling his Ukrainian assets?

Whilst the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine is anything but, European and US sanctions are still to begin to bite properly, and the future of The Donbas looks at best to be set in some form of frozen conflict providing The Kremlin with de facto control of the region – other interesting things are happening amongst […]


Interesting but incomplete – Carnegie

This blog has some good friends within Carnegie, and especially so within Carnegie Moscow – in fact some of its members have publicly dedicated articles to this blog in the past – rather humbling it should be noted. However, this Carnegie article, whilst making some reasonable points for debate, also seemingly deliberately, missing a crucial […]


The end of the beginning? Probably not

On 9th November 1942, at The Lord Mayor’s Day luncheon held at The Mansion House, London, Winston Churchill gave his famous speech regarding “the end of the beginning“, following the first allied victory in North Africa/Egypt. Ukraine, it has to be said, appears far from “the end of the beginning” unless a rabbit is magically […]

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World War II Spotlights

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No I didn’t forget and never would I!

The Axis Highwater Mark – El Alamein (AAR Turns 21 – 30)

Proceeding with Turns 21 – 30 for The Third Reich 42 – 45 North Africa. The screenshot doesn’t do justice for the whirlwind of fighting transpiring just west of El Alamein, Egypt. A mix of British armoured and infantry brigades continuously baited Rommel’s forces to advance toward Montgomery’s massive Eighth Army. Then, using one of […]

Back to the Game – Turns 11 – 20

Continuing the play test of “Third Reich 1942 – 1945″ under The Operational Art of War, we already up to Turn 34 with no major game issues, only minor details to refine. Instead of going turn by turn, I’ll switch to covering larger blocks of turns. Finland/Karelian Front – Historically, Arctic Cicle Lend Lease Convoys […]

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Around Ukraine


A Periclean or Ouroboros future for Ukraine?

Only a few days ago this entry, following the delayed DCFTA between the EU and Ukraine, stated; “They went for the (perhaps Utopian) ideals of forever implanting and consolidating a full and robust democratic State regardless of the feckless Ukrainian political class. A Periclean democratic moment was upon them.” A Periclean moment indeed.  The birth […]


Status of The Donbas – Presidential Bill

Whilst today saw the Ukrainian RADA and European Parliament simultaneously ratify the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, also traveling through the RADA is the Presidential Bill relating to the status of The Donbas, which states:   Submitted by the President of Ukraine WITH A LAW DECREE And H & J On special order of local government in […]

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Delayed agreements – How big the cost in political capital for Poroshenko?

Having eventually realised that Ukraine was not going to win any war in its east without significant economic and human cost after the Russian military was overtly sent over the border to bolster a failing war against Kyiv by Kremlin backed proxies, President Poroshenko has tried to turn peacemaker. The cost of that decision is […]

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Odessa – Our Home Sweet Home…


Partisan local media – What does it tell us? Odessa

A few days ago, this entry about IT belatedly rearing its head within the Odessa Regional Administration, contained this penultimate paragraph: “Who knows, perhaps an increase in quality regional soft power may also result, helping to negate some of the partisan local media and set an example for the snake-pit that remains Odessa City Hall.” […]

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Can IT change Odessa?

Last month Odessa Regional (Oblast) Council elected a friend of this blog, Alexie Goncharenko as head of the regional parliament. That is not to say that being friends automatically means agreement with politics or policy.  As adults we should all be capable of separating people and personalities from their positions and politics – though when […]


Odessa City Hall getting far murkier again? Organised Crime

For those who find local matters in Odessa boring stop reading – unless you have an interest in organsied crime, the Odessa mafia and all that – in which case you may want to continue reading. For better or for worse, the Odessa Mafia has something of a particularly infamous reputation – even in Moscow […]

Odessa Rocks! Here's More:

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“Ukraine was the top improver” – You don’t read that very often!

“Ukraine was the top improver in 2012/13, implementing reforms in 8 of the 10 areas measured by Doing Business.” Blimey! It’s not often you read anything that states Ukraine was the most improved at anything – and yet it is there in black and white, front and centre, on Page 9 of the World Bank/IFC “Doing Business […]

Developing a Ukrainian Silicon Valley: Will It Be Odessa or Kiev?

The technology sector is becoming increasingly important in the Ukraine, and not just in the negative sense that has previously hit the headlines. Odessa’s share of this industry has been particularly focused on the more creative side, with many of the IT companies that operate in the country choosing to locate their research and development departments […]

Ukrainian Businesses Look West, Held Back By Russia

Attempts to improve the situation for businesses in the Ukraine have been focused on strengthening international relationships, particularly with the EU, but such attempts have been countered by Russian moves to hold on to the historic bonds between the two countries. Strengthening Links to Europe Businesses in the Ukraine have traditionally relied on strong trade links […]

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