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Whilst in a state of purdah – security for polling day

Whilst Ukraine enters a state of purdah, and all electioneering has thus ended, in keeping with the spirit of an official and lawfully required end to campaigning, there will be no mention of the election – as far as voting, outcomes, infringements and speculative coalitions are concerned. However, related in the current circumstances is the […]

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An unusual course of events

One of the few benefits of spending 10 minutes a day, most days over the past few years, churning out less than erudite rumination more often than not, is that when Ukraine and/or Odessa are for some reason internationally interesting, approaches are made by journalists wanting either an interview (most requests refused), or a “fixer” […]

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Modest desires

The currently self-declared – and if there is a local “election”, rubber stamped – “Prime Minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic” (otherwise known as occupied Ukraine to many) Alexander Zaharchenko, today stated that the “army of the Donetsk People’s Republic” intends to recapture Kramatorskaya, Slavyansk and Mariupol. Unsurprising rhetoric of course.  As has previously been written, Mariupol […]

International News & Commentary

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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 […]

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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

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Rococo and Realpolitik – ASEM Milan

Today sees the start of the ASEM 10 Summit in Milan. A biannual forum created in 1996 for the Heads of State and governments to meet, set ASEM priorities, engage in dialogue and enhance to cooperation between Asia and Europe – and all that. President Putin will attend after being guest of honour at a […]

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Rogozin’s “nuclear surprise” – What matters?

Here is a good article by The Jamestown Foundation relating to the modernisation of the Russian Federation’s nuclear military capacities – and for anybody who follows Dmitry Rogozin closely, the usual slightly ambitious rhetoric. Whilst Mr Rogozin makes the claim that instead of the previously announced 70% modernisation of Russian nuclear military capabilities by 2020, […]

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A little more on gas – before moving on

In yesterday’s entry, the issue of gas supply was briefly touched upon.  Today, another quick glance before moving on from what will remain a topic of commentary for many for months, with increasing intensity as the cold winter months approach and The Kremlin in all probability in no rush to close any deal until it […]

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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

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Vulnerable voters and voting vulnerability

As has been mentioned recently, the number of internally displaced persons due to the undeclared war in eastern Ukraine is a particularly sad, and is going to be an enduring social issue for Ukrainian society and government alike, for some considerable time to come. Notwithstanding what will undoubtedly prove to be a humanitarian calamity at […]

Volodymyr Groysman

Points make prizes – but is the prize worth having?

With the RADA elections now only 5 days away, some thought should perhaps be given regarding any new coalitions and cabinet of ministers that will follow. Way back on 24th/25th July an entry was published that stated Volodymyr Groysman would become Prime Minister after the forthcoming RADA elections as long as he didn’t drop the ball […]

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Bill 5036 fails in The RADA – thankfully

Today amongst numerous Bills (4443a and 4143) relating to broadcasting in Ukraine, was Bill 5036. Within Bill 5036, Article 9, there a new paragraph was proposed, under which a broadcaster is not entitled to distribute audiovisual works, among which the main characters are police, armed forces, special services of Russia and/or the Soviet Union and/or […]

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Odessa – Our Home Sweet Home…

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Odessa Port Side – Dmitry Firtash

Odessa Port Side is a State owned entity of arguably some strategic value – which is why despite being rumoured to be on the privitisation lists of various Ukrainian governments over the years, it has after deliberation, never actually been sold – at least it has never been sold as far as anybody knows, and […]

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Operation Liquidation II – Kuchma on Odessa

Many people know of Georgy Zhukov – one of the Soviet Union’s most famous military commanders and rightly recognised as a major decision maker and facilitator in the direction and outcome of World War II/The Great Patriotic War from the Soviet perspective.  Indeed he received numerous honours both from within the Soviet system and from […]

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Mens rea – The Shufrych incident (and beyond)

Yesterday, as the sharp-eyed amongst you readers will have noticed, there was no entry.  That due to a requirement to be in Kyiv.  Whilst away for the day, a very sad incident occurred in Odessa whereby RADA MP Nestor Shufrych was beaten by demonstrators strongly objecting to his presence in the city. To be very […]

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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