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lenin

The personal battle for Kharkiv

Today, much media time and headlines within Ukraine will be given to the toppling of the enormous statue of Lenin in Kharkiv last night. A symbolic statement to be sure – and one that Lenin himself would have approved of having made clear in his life he did not want to become a personality of […]

kremlin

A long fight

Continuing to set a bad precedent by becoming somewhat more interactive with readers than was ever intended – read, agree or disagree, and then the reader move on and read something else was only ever the intention – following this paragraph in yesterday’s entry, questions were emailed to the blog regarding the manner in which the […]

BB

When it reads right – but it is still wrong

What to make of this Bloomberg article? It lays out clearly how President Putin has defeated Ukraine, NATO, the EU, as well as undermining the international and regional law and security infrastructure well enough.  The article makes the case that The Kremlin has won – offering up the consolation prize that Ukraine may yet become […]

International News & Commentary

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 […]

ukr today

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

eeu

Russia’s Duma ratifies Eurasian Economic Union

Today saw the Russian Duma ratify Eurasian Economic Union – the wannabe regional challenger to the European Union, at least in part. Like the EU, it is supposed to be built upon the overarching principles of free movement of goods, services, labour and capital – as far as the economics of block status go.  How […]

moscow

The Peace Marches – Russia

Much media attention has rightly been paid on those tens of thousands of souls who took part in the anti-war marches in Russia yesterday.  In what is an authoritarian Kremlin regime, courage and belief are not lacking from those who took part – especially so in the not so faint shadow of the 2012 “Russia […]

rus

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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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

chill

Now the chill is in the air – what next?

As the “freeze” in eastern Ukraine begins to set in – and the current situation, whilst not entirely agreed, certainly has a severe preparatory chill in the air – a shift from military to political and economic warfare is likely from The Kremlin – with regard to the areas in eastern Ukraine de facto now […]

nuke

That proliferation question

When the Budapest Memorandum was to all intents and purposes unilaterally thrown under a bus by The Kremlin with the invasion and subsequent illegal annexation of Crimea early this year – together with the Helsinki Final Act 1975 and numerous other international and regional instruments, charters, treaties – a good deal of noise was made […]

threat

External threats…..continued

In yesterday’s entry, this blog noted that, certainly as far as Odessa is concerned, there is far less threat from the Russian military and its proxies, than there is from consistent and ne’er ending political coercion and subterfuge from Moscow amongst the regional leadership. “As has been written before on the blog, cities such as […]

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Odessa – Our Home Sweet Home…

media

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.” […]

Petr 2

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 […]

mafia

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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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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