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An appeal to readers – Обращение к читателям

Though my blogs will continue – I am tempted to try something new. Thus an appeal to all my readers on twitter, Facebook, VK, LinkedIn, RSS subscribers etc. I am looking for bloggers from across Ukraine, or that are written by Ukrainian passport holding citizens outside of Ukraine. Yes that immediately discounts blogs from “western […]

slav

Casus Belli in Slavyansk?

Well it appears that in Slavyansk last night/early hours of this morning an incident has occurred between the pro and anti irregular forces of ideological/political lines.  The incident left dead and injured who favoured The Kremlin orientated/proposed solution.  The attackers allegedly far right nationalists. Naturally The Kremlin was swift to comment on the incident – “The […]

pol energy

Political energy well spent in the soft power media war? Undoubtedly

A somewhat  deliberately un-academic yet slightly academic entry today. It relates to why there is still so much political and diplomatic energy being spent refuting each and every  Kremlin statement about Ukraine – even after Mr Putin himself has eventually and publicly admitted that those “little green men” that appeared in Crimea and that were […]

International News & Commentary

house of lords

Soft Power

This is by far the most interesting and fascinating thing I have read all week. In fact it is probably the most interesting and fascinating document I have ever read when it comes to the subject of “soft power.” It is a very long read – so I will keep this entry short. Suffice to say […]

time machine

So where are we now? H G Wells’ time machine and Ukraine

Where are we now – with regards to finding an acceptable solution to the crisis in and surrounding Ukraine – at the geopolitical level at least? That seems to be a reasonable question – so let us hop onto H G Wells’ time machine. Whether this is a harsh assessment – or not – is […]

choke

Reading between the lines – A satellite or annexation……or…..

I wrote this a few days ago, but the antics of a few incredibly irresponsible Svoboda MPs delayed its publishing and it already feels somewhat “dated” – nevertheless “publish and be damned” as my favourite British historical character once stated. Immediately prior to the official and illegal annexation of Crimea – or perhaps better referred […]

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EU & FSU News & Commentary

crosshairs

In the crosshairs – Odessa

There has been much speculation, rumour and conjecture within the media and amongst academic/think tank circles as to the extent of the Kremlin appetite with regard to Ukraine – naturally.  What is happening now on the continent of Europe has become very much a rarity thankfully – and yet not extinct unfortunately. That speculation has […]

eu passport

And what of the Transnistrian threat?

There is much said in the international media about the quasi-autonomous region of Transnistria that sits within Moldova.  Parallels of a Crimea-esque annexation by The Kremlin are not difficult to find even in the most informed journals and highbrow media. It is though, quite different in many ways. Firstly Transnistria has held referendums without looking […]

history

Bolshevik Building Blocks (History repeating?)

Only two weeks ago I wrote an entry - not for the first time – mentioning the possibility that The Kremlin was seeking to create situation mirroring the instability that has forever surrounded Bosnia-Herzegovina for Ukraine. That will certainly be an option following what are likely to be entirely fruitless talks between the USA, EU, Ukraine […]

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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

ukr

A Unity Referendum – What could go wrong?

Early this month during one of those evening sessions when I have been asked to meet diplomats from sovereign missions passing through Odessa so they can empty my head of my thoughts, impression, predictions etc regarding the city and beyond in relation to the current and rapidly unfolding and unraveling situation, the subject of referendums […]

alarm

Back to the east – again

As promised yesterday, after a brief local interlude, back to matters of national importance. Last evening I spent a few hours in the company of Mr Christian Caryl of Foreign Policy discussing the situation both within Ukraine and externally with regard to western options to assist Ukraine – short of military boots on the ground. […]

history

Bolshevik Building Blocks (History repeating?)

Only two weeks ago I wrote an entry - not for the first time – mentioning the possibility that The Kremlin was seeking to create situation mirroring the instability that has forever surrounded Bosnia-Herzegovina for Ukraine. That will certainly be an option following what are likely to be entirely fruitless talks between the USA, EU, Ukraine […]

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Odessa – Our Home Sweet Home…

crosshairs

In the crosshairs – Odessa

There has been much speculation, rumour and conjecture within the media and amongst academic/think tank circles as to the extent of the Kremlin appetite with regard to Ukraine – naturally.  What is happening now on the continent of Europe has become very much a rarity thankfully – and yet not extinct unfortunately. That speculation has […]

city hall

Odessa Mayor elections – very strange!

Yes dear readers I know there are matters of urgent national importance unraveling on a minute by minute basis in Ukraine at the moment – but – today is one of those few Odessa-centric entries.  A return to matters national tomorrow. You may remember early this month I wrote an entry about the strength – or […]

odesa

Assessing the strength of Party Regions – Odessa

Today’s entry is late – and deliberately so.  I have been awaiting the results of an attempted political coup to remove the Party Regions Secretary of the Odessa City Council, Oleg Bryndaka. In fact, late into the evening yesterday I was with interested parties and on-lookers alike discussing the possibilities of this political move coming […]

Odessa Rocks! Here's More:

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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 […]

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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