The Odessa 1-Stop (Business Administration) Shop

Inevitably, unsurprisingly, and predictably - Odessa is to be the first Oblast to produce an effective, efficient,  bribe/corruption free 1 Stop Shop for business administration - or at least that is the plan. The Minister of Justice of Ukraine Pavel Petrenko, Head of Odessa Regional State Administration Mikheil Saakashvili, Mayor of Odessa Gennady Trukhanov and […]

Assessing EU action within Ukraine - through a provincial lens


This is an entry that has been waiting to be written for a long time. Much has been written about the short falls of Ukraine politically and institutionally.  Much has been rightly criticised too.  Much will continue to be written too, whilst ever-changing yet headline grabbing personnel rotation is used to mask the lack of […]

An Odessa - Lviv reformist umbilical chord?

A very short entry today, but one to ponder as it goes against all the current media noise relating to Andrie Sadovyi/Samopomich and Viltali Klitschko and UDAR is the issue of seemingly blossoming ties between Odessa and Lviv. They are but currently small acorns form which it remains to be seen if mighty oaks will grow. […]

Speaking in tongues - Constitutional Amendments

Yesterday appears to be a day of progress perhaps, but no shortage of mutual backslapping with regard to constitutional change and “decentralisation”. “I want to congratulate all the members of the Constitutional Commission on the first decision that we made, I want to emphasize and to announce that we will continue our work you and […]

Swivel-eyed cosmopolitanism - Odessa

Odessa it is often said, is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Ukraine - and it is.  It has always been a cosmopolitan city throughout Greek, Roman, Ottoman, Tsarist, Soviet and contemporary times.  That is nothing particularly unusual for major sea ports with centuries of history of course.  Continual exposure to foreigners coming, going, […]

“The country must purify itself” (Unless I decree otherwise)

A long time ago, the first of many entries was published following the presidential signing of what was, and remains, a very poorly crafted “Lustration Law” - better known as the “Law on purification of the government”. To read more upon the blog predictions and, as predicted, the results of this law, simply put “Lustration […]

To Centrenergo or not to Centrenergo? - That is the question

That the Ukrainian government plans to privatise, and thus shift a lot of loss making, or subsidies taking, State controlled assets from the government books is no secret. Amongst the headline ticket items for privatisation are assets (or liabilities) such as Odessa Port Side (cue oligarch’s Kolomoisky and Firtash), and Centrenergo. Odessa Port Side is […]

The Open Government Partnership (and stuff) - Ukraine

It has been some time since anything appeared here that is insightful and clear-eyed - or even particularly thoughtful.  Perhaps that is due to turning out daily entries for free when your author has a spare 20 minutes during the day.  Indeed anything approaching insightful and/or clear-eyed seems to be written for, and published by, other […]

Nalyvaychenko’s next role - Into the political void?

About a week ago, an entry was published relating to Dmitry Firtash, in which it stated that the then current SBU (Secret Services) Chief Valentyn Nalyvaychenko would be dismissed iminently. “Retaining Mr Nalyvaychenko as head of the SBU, a position he assumed on 23rd February 2014 immediately after “the Family” fled made sense prima facie. […]

Ruling things in, rather than out - Odessa

When Governor Saakashvili was first appointed, the immediate issues that came to mind were “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, that will also bring him head to head with […]