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Akhmetov under the Prosecutor’s gaze

A short entry today, but one which will answer a few emailed questions – at least in part – relating to Rinat Akhmetov, and rumours surrounding his sponsoring of, or aiding and abetting of, the anti-Kyiv forces in eastern Ukraine. Current investigations are centering around coal. Firstly, there is the question of the mines wholly […]


Another reformation plan for Ukraine

There seems to be an increasing number of plans to reform Ukraine. There is the EU Association Agreement (and DCFTA) that has, since its negotiations were concluded, been widely touted as a framework reform plan for Ukraine. There is the 66 page coalition agreement, agreeing a reform plan for Ukraine. There is also the President’s […]


A fundamental question – Where is democracy’s eastern border to be?

With the war in eastern Ukraine continuing with no end in sight – as expected by anybody with a reasonable understanding of The Kremlin, its motivation and desired outcomes – with yet more Ukrainian territory being lost almost by the day over recent weeks, a fundamental question, based upon facts on the ground, has to […]

International News & Commentary


In search of “policy”

Two pointed questions today relating to the grand scheme of things – and before going any further, the term “policy” should not be considered as synonymous to the term “strategy”, for they are quite different things. Has anybody identified a definitive policy for Ukraine from “The West”? Has anybody identified a definitive policy for Russia […]


A 3G update – Ukraine

Following on somewhat nicely from yesterday’s Turkey-orientated entry, a return to a mid-November 2014 entry that was published relating to the anticipated 3G tender and licensing.  An entry that attempted to highlight just how critical to Ukraine a transparent tender and subsequent licensing will be, considering the number of large foreign international corporations looking closely at […]


Talking Turkey

There has been remarkably little said in the public realm by Turkey regarding the on-going events in Ukraine, or over the fate of the Crimean Tatar and the Crimean peninsula, a peninsula over which Turkey has far greater historical and long-lasting ties than Russia, it has to be said. That is not to say there […]

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EU & FSU News & Commentary


PACE and The Kremlin

As the end of 2014 approached, this entry appeared regarding the issue of currently suspended Kremlin voting rights within the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe – PACE – and whether or not those voting rights would be returned in January 2015 when the original suspension is due to expire.  As tweeted yesterday: After […]


Latvia calls a meeting of EU FMs

Latvia, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union, has called an emergency meeting of the Member States Foreign Ministers in response to the, to quote the OSCE, “reckless, indiscriminate and disgraceful attack” on Mariupol yesterday that caused so many criminal and unnecessary deaths and injuries. Understandable. In such instances, […]


In search of “policy”

Two pointed questions today relating to the grand scheme of things – and before going any further, the term “policy” should not be considered as synonymous to the term “strategy”, for they are quite different things. Has anybody identified a definitive policy for Ukraine from “The West”? Has anybody identified a definitive policy for 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


Recognising terrorism – Ukraine

For many months Ukraine has been muting to the international community that it formally recognise the “Donetsk People’s Republic” and “Luhansk People’s Republic” as terrorist organisations.  Perhaps fair enough on the premise that there will be few nations that will recognise the legitimacy of either republic – ever – and thus the war they have […]


Issues of communication – Ukraine

President Poroshenko has been the Ukrainian president for 8 months or so.  Enough time to watch a man under great stress communicate with the world and his people alike and have formed some opinion based on the empirical evidence produced. In a far from academic way, the “Parent”, “Adult”, “Child” communication model will loosely form […]


Donetsk Airport – Blind symbolism

Not one word has ever been written here about the fighting at Donetsk airport or those that became known as “Cyborgs” who defended was became nothing more than a pile of rubble. It was a very deliberate choice not to write about it. That choice was made long ago when it became clear that the […]

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Odessa – Our Home Sweet Home…


The Odessa “decentralised” budget

As yet it remains somewhat unclear just what exactly “decentralisation” will mean in Ukraine.  Just how much current centrally held power – and which powers (and associated responsibilities) – will be devolved to the regional administrations/local government is unclear. Likewise questions remain over fiscal decentralisation – particularly so when the 2015 budget is still open […]


Just blame (and threaten) somebody else – Odessa City Hall

The weather in Odessa recently has been somewhat cool and blustery.  Today for example, it is -13 degrees with a chill wind.  Not, it has to be said, anything particularly unusual for this time of year in Odessa.  Only a few years ago the temperature dropped to -27 degrees and the Black Sea froze.  People […]


A move to visible counter-terrorist policing – Odessa

Over the past week several entries relating to counter-terrorism have appear here.  One somewhat academic (but hopefully interesting), another somewhat more pragmatic.  Needless to say there are other older entries stretching back many, many months to when it became clear that it was inevitable matters would slide into ad hoc terrorist activity across Ukraine, far beyond the […]

Odessa Rocks! Here's More:

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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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