Meanwhile back in Bessarabia…..


It has been quite some time since “Bessarabia” was last mentioned here – quite simply because the Potemkin manifestation hasn’t really manifested (outside of a few websites and an extremely small number of people’s imaginations and/or aspirations for 15 minutes of fame). Nevertheless, a “veche” took place in the Kominternovsky region of Odessa Oblast yesterday, […]

Odessa – The Singaporean Model?

Odessa Iran

Iran has been in the news a lot recently for reasons of non-proliferation (and a much less discussed lifting of conventional arms embargoes in due course). Yesterday, the Iranian Ambassador to Ukraine, Mr Mohammad Beheshti-Monfaredom together with a fairly large delegation, met with Governor Saakashvili, long-time friend of this blog and head of the Odessa […]

FBI to train 50 police in Odessa


According to Governor Saakashvili (and not unsurprisingly if true), the Oblast and the FBI have reached agreement upon training 50 police officers. These 50 police officers will be trained separately from the rest of the Oblast police – necessarily so, for detective training, if done properly, is a very intense and fairly long course that […]

The US opens up a new front in Odessa?


A few weeks ago an entry was published that stated, “Indeed the recent visit to Odessa by the US diplomatic corps was probably the biggest your author has ever met – the Ambassador, political attaché, naval attaché, press attaché, trade attaché etc (the list goes on). The clear “takeaway” and yet unsaid message for the […]

Igor Shevchenko joins the Saakashvili team in Odessa

Igor Shevchenko

On 2nd July, the Rada voted with 235 votes in favour, to dismiss then Ministry of Ecology & Natural Resources of Ukraine, Igor Shevchenko. Upon his dismissal Mr Shevchenko stated that he was considering running for Mayor in the local elections, due in late October, in either Kyiv or Odessa. Although somewhat fanciful perhaps, it […]

“Ins” and “outs” amongst the circles of the Russian “enlightened” – Odessa


Yesterday saw two occurrences in Odessa. The first, a known unknown.  That being the declaration persona non grata of Valeriy Shibeko, acting Consul General of the Russian Federation in Odessa. “In accordance with Article 23 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has given the Russian side a note demanding that the […]

Odessa – By Land and Sea


This is mostly raw data.  The map below is for quick reference purposes. Distances between selected capitols are for land routes, obviously without the road map detail. So as to not crowd the map, capitols are left off. For the logistically-minded, an 800 km (500 mile) day for truckers puts the majority of European capitols […]

Structure and sustainability – A Saakashvili (and Ukraine) problem


As the arrival of Mr Saakashvili has turned both domestic and international eyes toward Odessa, and the truly gargantuan task he has taken on in reforming the Oblast – very much as a microcosm of Ukraine in many ways (although every Oblast presents unique yet entrenched issues too), whatever appears in this entry, can by […]

Political expediency at the expense of (future) rule of law – Odessa


Not that long ago this entry was published relating to the new “Police” in Kyiv. All those points hold true, as for your author it is very much home turf.  In short, whilst there is good reason to optimistic, time will tell when it comes to their effectiveness and standing in public opinion some 12 […]

A glance at the corruption/smuggling “ports issue” – Odessa


When Governor Saakashvili was appointed, within an hour some initial thoughts were published regarding certain priorities relating to Odessa were outlined. Amongst them, “He (and whatever team he appoints around him) will have several difficult battles ahead – the most obvious being with the notoriously corrupt customs at Yushni, Illichovsk and Odessa ports. By extension, […]