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Partisans

Today, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic, begins a visit to Ukraine that is due to last until 3rd September. Tomorrow, whilst in Kyiv he is due to introduce the fifth human rights report regarding Ukraine.  If the MSM is to be believed, the report will be critical of both sides - albeit the quotes […]

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A Batkivshchyna implosion?

What seems long ago, on 6th June, an entry appeared here predicting the implosion of Yulia Tymoshenko’s political party, Batkivshchyna. – “With regard to Batkivshchyna, the only question is whether it splits into two or three parts – Ms Tymoshenko and loyalists to her, those who will stick with Arseniy Yatseniuk, and those who will […]

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The end of the beginning? Probably not

On 9th November 1942, at The Lord Mayor’s Day luncheon held at The Mansion House, London, Winston Churchill gave his famous speech regarding “the end of the beginning“, following the first allied victory in North Africa/Egypt. Ukraine, it has to be said, appears far from “the end of the beginning” unless a rabbit is magically […]

International News & Commentary

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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 […]

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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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Heading The Kremlin off at the humanitarian pass?

Following on from yesterday’s entry, The Kremlin still trumpets its ill-fated diplomatic attempt to invade Ukraine and create a frozen conflict under the auspices of a “humanitarian mission”. In response to The Kremlin attempts to thinly veil such attempts under a Red Cross banner, the ICRC issued the following statement: “Our priority is to assist […]

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EU & FSU News & Commentary

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Kremlin Minsk Preparations

Tomorrow sees a meeting in Minsk of Presidents Putin, Poroshenko, Lukashenko, Nazarbeyev, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice President of the European Commission Catherine Ashton, European Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger and European Commissioner for Trade Karel De Gucht. As was stated in an entry here a few days ago, after […]

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Coalition partners – Merkel v Gabriel (and Ukraine)

This blog has mentioned before the internal divisions within the German political establishment over Ukraine and its future. Despite ill-conceived, merit-less and indeed pointless attacks on Chancellor Merkel as “Frau Ribbentrop” by the clearly unenlightened and retarded, she remains Ukraine’s biggest ally in German politics. She is in a consistent battle with the very dovish […]

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Slow/no progress and rotations

Last evening/night saw the meeting in Berlin of the Foreign Ministers of Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany in what appears to be another diplomatic push to reach a solution in eastern Ukraine – unlikely as that is, given the limited wiggle room for all sides to emerge with a minimum of face-saving outcomes, let alone […]

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World War II Spotlights

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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

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Tick box Europeanisation

Some days ago whilst in Lithuania, the Speaker of the RADA, Olexandr Turchynov made several very ambitious statements relating to the implementation of all Association Agreement requirements within 5 years and thus Ukraine being ready for accession to the European Union. It would appear Mr Turchynov wants all to believe Europeanisation and EU accession comes […]

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Meanwhile down in occupied Crimea…..

It has been a while since anything was written here about occurrences in occupied Crimea. It appears the repression of the Crimean Tatar continues not only with one expulsion after another of leading Tatar by the de facto Russian authorities, but also by way of continued denial of basic human rights regarding freedom of expression […]

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What to do with all those call-signs?

Much has been written about Kremlin abilities – or not – to create some form of frozen conflict in eastern Ukraine.  It was first muted here way back in March and has been mentioned several times since.  Likewise, in the event of failing to do so, questions have also been raised here regarding what The […]

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Odessa – Our Home Sweet Home…

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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 […]

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Beyond the limits of plausible election manipulation? Odessa

A short entry today after two entries yesterday – how exciting! This entry relates – once again - to the elections for the office of Odessa Mayor that had already been criticised by democracy NGOs.  Most readers will not find particularly interesting unless shenanigans draw your attention. In a somewhat Dickensian tweet yesterday evening, I tweeted […]

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A (braided) witch hunt in Odessa or are the hounds on the right scent?

This entry will leave to one side questions about the individuals physically involved in the tragic events of 2nd May in Odessa.  Questions of where firearms came from or why there are so few in custody – or perhaps rather why there are so many still wandering about the city.  Those questions are for another […]

Odessa Rocks! Here's More:

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“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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