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A long hot Autumn/Winter – Ukraine

If the summer has not been hot enough, both by way of weather and political, diplomatic, economic and military engagement, the Autumn is likely to get far hotter even as the summer sun fades. 31st August will see the constitutional amendments relating to “decentralisation” strong-armed through the Rada, delivering nothing like the outcome The Kremlin […]

vote wisely

After the local elections – expect local elections (Ukraine)

On 25th October local elections will be held across Ukraine (other than in occupied Crimea and Kremlin controlled regions of the Donbas). The thinking behind it, following a presidential election in May 2014, and a Rada election in October 2014, local elections in October 2015 will provide the Ukrainian constituency with the opportunity to have […]


Local elections result predictions – Odessa

Following on from yesterday’s entry and the numerous questions raised regarding prickly agendas and subsequent local election political fallout, extremely unfairly a reader emailed and asked for predictions regarding Odessa and the local elections – this before any candidates and party lists have been formalised.  Solidarity meets later today to select candidates and form lists, […]


Prickly agendas? – Odessa City Hall

Following along nicely from the previous entry, yesterday’s session of Odessa City Council – not to be confused with the Oblast Council – was canceled. The City Council session was canceled due to only 56 deputies registering in the session hall, when the minimum number required for a legal quorum is 61. An issue of […]

World News & Commentary


Valeriy Chaly appointed Ukrainian Ambassador to the USA…..eventually

Since April 2015, Ukraine has had no ambassador to the USA, a nation that is currently a key, if the not key, ally of the country.  Certainly US diplomatic energy and will is the driving force amongst the diplomatic community.  Even if US Embassy Kyiv messages are getting lost, or at least diluted, within “the […]


NATO Partnership for Peace ratification – Ukraine

It is not often that this blog touches upon defence or security issues – or indeed the war in eastern Ukraine – despite the fact that every time it does readership numbers skyrocket. The simple fact is that so many others write about the war in eastern Ukraine, and there is much more to Ukraine […]


Blair to join International Advisory Council on Reforms Ukraine?

It appears that President Poroshenko has asked Tony Blair to join the International Advisory Council on Reforms for Ukraine – a body headed by President Poroshenko. Fair enough – but what does Tony Blair bring to the table other than being an internationally (in)famous name? His track record for bringing about meaningful reform in the […]


Ukraine 13th July Investment Conference – USA

For those who are unaware – which is almost everybody – there is to be an investment conference relating to opportunities within Ukraine – to privatisation, energy, etc., not to mention the promulgation and reiteration of just how far financial reforms have gone, and have yet to go, in order to boost confidence for those […]

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EU & FSU News & Commentary


Setting the stage for the next “Normandy Format” meeting

Today Berlin will host an informal meeting of legal experts from the “Normandy Four” – also in attendance will be the Venice Commission – the aim is to explain to The Kremlin that the collective interpretation is that the proposed amendments to the Ukrainian Constitution regarding “decentralisation” fall squarely within the terms of the Minsk […]

Andrzej Duda

Another international peace format? – Ukraine

At the end of last month an entry appeared that briefly mentioned the activities of domestic and foreign intelligence/security agencies active within the Odessa Oblast. “Further, it gives the Ukrainian SBU, Moldavian SIS and Romanian SIE intelligence services all the more reason to simultaneously be poking about in Mr Cisse’s backyard a little more forcefully/overtly […]


Meanwhile in Transnistria – mobilization

Just across the border from Odessa lies Transnistria, the Kremlin sponsored enclave within Moldova. Unsurprisingly, considering regional events, it appears that Transnistria is about to mobilize, apparently following a decree issued by “President” Yevgeny Shevchuk. This mobilization, it is claimed, will attract between 5000 and 7000 18 – 27 years olds, as well as an […]


Assessing EU action within Ukraine – through a provincial lens

This is an entry that has been waiting to be written for a long time. Much has been written about the short falls of Ukraine politically and institutionally.  Much has been rightly criticised too.  Much will continue to be written too, whilst ever-changing yet headline grabbing personnel rotation is used to mask the lack of […]

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Around Ukraine

Black Hat media

Time to peel away the recently applied Odessa veneer and get dirty once more

Odessa has benefited from some rather rosy/and or glorifying headlines lately – the obvious increased tourism (due to the loss of Crimea), the new Patrol Police taking to the streets to (hopefully) change societal attitudes towards the rule of law, Governor Saakashvili doing numerous populist (and popular) PR stunts – and the first signs of […]

Patrol Police

The new “Patrol Police” begin – Odessa

On 25th August, perhaps fittingly, the first 392 officers of new “Patrol Police” take their oath and are subsequently unleashed upon the (diving) public of Odessa, at the statue of Armand Emmanuel Sophie Septimanie de Vignerot du Plessis – better known as the (5th) Duke Richelieu.  The remainder of the 800 Patrol Police officers do […]


Running the (prosecution) interference – Odessa

Saturday afternoon was spent by your author with a member of an EU Mission visiting Odessa.  The EU Mission in question relates directly to the rule of law. For once your author was not talking to a diplomat, bureaucrat or academic (enjoyable as that always is) – this EU Mission Member was a practitioner. The […]

7of9 - Borg Assimilation

Assimilation complete? Solidarity

Last week, this blog sent the following tweet relating to the assimilation of Mayor Klitchko’s UDAR Party into President Poroshenko’s Solidarity Party. Кличко і Порошенко об’єднують партії via @ukrpravda_news – 1 assimilated, 1 to go with Yatseniuk’s NF. — Nikolai Holmov (@OdessaBlogger) August 18, 2015 It was no surprise of course.  As predicted many […]

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Finance & Business


Nancy Sinatra on Ukraine’s Economic Relationships

Nikolai is still on vacation, now on the beach in [censored], drinking a… tall cup of coffee, yes, that’s it! A tall cup of coffee probably with a slight dash of Irish Bailey’s Cream. Filling in for him is the crazy guy from the swimming pool at the Kyiv Hilton. Call it the Sinatra Family […]


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 […]


“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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