Failing to wait for the fat lady to sing? Ukrainian elections

There have been some rather presumptuous remarks about the Ukrainian elections by people who should probably know better. Firstly, the ICES observers have already stated that thus far, the Ukrainian election campaigns have been acceptable and generally meet the standards necessary – whilst at the same time stating those in Georgia have already failed to […]

What weight to give the on-line debate? Freedom of Speech – Freedom House “Freedom of the Net report” and Ukrainian elections

For the first time, Ukraine has been included in the Freedom House, Freedom of the Net report.  Ukraine was ranked as being “Free”. And, well why wouldn’t it be?  No bloggers have been arrested, there is no political interference that is noticeable, and no Internet applications are blocked by the government. Further, the Ukrainian forums are […]

Criminalisation of defamation – Ukraine

Well, much has been written in the Ukrainian press, many horrified tweets from Ukrainian journalists on twitter, (at least amongst those I follow and those that follow me), and many paragraphs have been blogged about the passing at the first reading, of the law to re-criminalise defamation (libel and slander). I briefly mentioned it a […]

1st November 2012 – A date for the diary – Release of Lazarenko

1st November 2012 is a date for the politics watchers diary. No, I’m not talking about the Ukrainian parliamentary elections, they take place on 28th October, and unless there is a significant shift in public opinion over the next 6 weeks, the Party of Regions/Communist alliance will continue to hold the majority. Far more uncertain, […]

Yatseniuk/United Opposition Rally – Odessa

I have been trying very hard not to cover the circus of the forthcoming parliamentary elections too much.  There are many reasons for this which I may or may not blog about at a later date.  Suffice to say it is a deliberate and conscious decision.  To cut to the chase, thus far it has […]

9th Yalta Annual Meeting (YES)

Well the 9th Yalta Annual Meeting as sponsored by one of Ukraine’s most famous Oligarchy, Viktor Pinchuk, son-in-law of ex-President Kuchma, has begun. Amongst those attending are EU Commissioner Stefan Fule, Swedish FM Carl Bildt, Condi Rice ex US Secretary of State, Gordon Brown ex-Prime Minister of the UK, Newt Gingrich and William Daley and […]

Measuring results – Ukrainian civil society, the public and local government

Amongst the NGOs and civil society I follow most closely are those engaged with attempting to influence local government and local populous. Given the prevailing desire of the majority of the Ukrainian voting public to still seek out the “strong-man leader” for the nation, and in doing so legitimising the “Arbiter/Rental Society” model that is […]

An open letter to the Foreign Office – Chernobyl Children’s Visas

To the very clever people in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, London UK. I write that opening sentence with some sincerity, despite the sarcastic tone it may convey.  I have in my many  years living in Russia and latterly Ukraine met a good number of UK Ambassadors, Charges d’Affaires and other assorted FCO staff as […]

Securities as instuments of tax evasion – Ukraine

Well who would have thought it? Banks and financial instruments being used to avoid tax! Well yes, we all would have thought it.  We’ve all got fairly used to the idea that banks, financial markets and financial instruments are not the bastions of goodly deeds – regardless of which bank it is, where ever it […]

Has Ukraine changed since Independence? – Fundamentally No (Contains an essential read if you want to understand Ukraine)

Yesterday I was interviewed by one of the EU’s many Brussels based (and funded) media outlets.  I am a regular contributer and am often asked to offer up difficult and thought-provoking questions which are then in turn put to members of the European Council, the European Commission, or MEPs, eventually forming the basis of articles […]