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bud

The 2015 Budget (Again)

About a month ago, an entry was published regarding the 2015 budget for Ukraine – an entry that given the current exchange US$/UAH exchange rate, undoubtedly underlines the NBU sentiment at that time as being more than a little optimistic.  The Hryvnia has further devalued against the US$ since then, as was fairly clear to […]

rh

Waiting for the domestic rhetoric to end

Having recently, once again, drawn attention to the issue/nature of sanctions verses arbitrary punishment, an entry that concluded with; “If Ukraine cannot or will not make a case against them, is it any surprise that the EU may well remove certain Ukrainian citizens from the EU sanctions list? That does not necessarily excuse the EU and […]

bsaf

(Strategic) Partner/trading partner/adversary/enemy? Russia

A few days ago in an entry prior to the continued and expanded EU sanctions relating to Crimea, the following few lines appeared thus:  “In effect Crimea and those involved, (and are yet to be so), will become ring-fenced as a separate issue from events in eastern Ukraine as time passes, leaving Crimea a perennial […]

International News & Commentary

PACE

PACE – As 2014 ends, a question looms large

Last week, more or less unreported anywhere, a photo exhibition at the European Parliament took place at the instigation of Ukraine, entitled “Donbas – War and Peace” – and why not?  The parliamentary building is a public building and quite entitled to hold a public exhibition should it so desire.  Freedom of expression is a […]

spy

Spy games – Let the expulsions begin

For those who remember the Cold War, or who were indeed active participants in it, the expulsion of “diplomats” or “journalists” attached to an embassy or consul in foreign lands was, if not frequent, then certainly not unusual. Such expulsions were normally followed by tit-for-tat actions of the nation whose spies had been expelled from […]

mh17

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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EU & FSU News & Commentary

Crimea

Crimea sanctions continue and expand – as expected

In yesterday’s entry the following statement was made: “It is beyond doubt that the sanctions raised specifically with regard to the annexation Crimea will continue. They are likely to continue for years – renewed annually. The recognition of Crimea as part of the Russian Federation will not come any time soon – if ever. To […]

ML

A return to EU sanctions once more

Following on from yesterday’s entry relating to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and the soon to (possibly) expire suspension of Kremlin voting rights within the institution at the year end, that in turn raised the question of whether said suspension of voting rights was imposed a sanction or an arbitrary punishment. […]

PACE

PACE – As 2014 ends, a question looms large

Last week, more or less unreported anywhere, a photo exhibition at the European Parliament took place at the instigation of Ukraine, entitled “Donbas – War and Peace” – and why not?  The parliamentary building is a public building and quite entitled to hold a public exhibition should it so desire.  Freedom of expression is a […]

More Related to Europe & Russia

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World War II Spotlights

poppy day image

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

Crimea

Crimea sanctions continue and expand – as expected

In yesterday’s entry the following statement was made: “It is beyond doubt that the sanctions raised specifically with regard to the annexation Crimea will continue. They are likely to continue for years – renewed annually. The recognition of Crimea as part of the Russian Federation will not come any time soon – if ever. To […]

lustration

The Venice Commission comments on lustration

On 5th October an entry was published raising doubts over the “Lustration Law” passed by the then parliament and signed into law – not without comment on the law’s weaknesses – by President Poroshenko. Within it stated “Amendments will surely follow once he Constitutional Court and Venice Commission recommendations are forthcoming, hopefully transforming the “OK” […]

grass

Control the paternalism and keep off the grass!

One of the most annoying features of the feckless Ukrainian political class, both historically and currently, is that every political leader that has held the two highest offices in the land, has often overstepped the boundaries of their office within which most would expect them to remain – and at times the boundaries the Constitution […]

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Odessa – Our Home Sweet Home…

eneergy gap

Mind the energy gap – Odessa blackouts

In creating a priority “to do” list for the Ukrainian political class, its current leadership and legislative chamber, what would be amongst the items topping the list when there is so much to do? Of course the answer to that depends upon how broad in scope any cleverly worded items on the list can be […]

SE

Questionable timing of a little bit of privatisation – Back to Odessa Port Side (& others)

A couple of months ago, this entry appeared relating to the possible privatisation of Odessa Port Side, alleged and disputed debts to Dmitry Firtash’s RGK Trading of $1.39 billion, and the fact that gas was now being supplied by German energy company E.on.  It went on to question the ability to privatise Odessa Port Side with […]

grave

Dead to rights in Odessa

Somewhat late in the day, due to a desire to see where matters would lead, a local corruption issue where the dead are held to ransom, and the guilty are caught dead to rights. Odessa’s notoriously corrupt Mayor, Gennady Truhanov, needless to say, has made numerous appointments of equally notoriously corrupt officials within his administrative […]

Odessa Rocks! Here's More:

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nbu

NBU abolishes some currency restrictions for business

Though this will undoubtedly be hidden amongst gas news and reporting from the front lines – somewhat earlier that expected, the National Bank of Ukraine has abolished some of its temporary restrictions on foreign currency. In short, with effect from 3rd November, the following temporary restrictions are lifted previously imposed under Resolution 591. “transactions undertaken in […]

ifc

“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 […]

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