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 […]

Mind the energy gap - Odessa blackouts

eneergy gap

In creating a priority “to do” list for the Ukrainian political class, its current leadership and legislative chamber, what would be amongst the items topping the list when there is so much to do? Of course the answer to that depends upon how broad in scope any cleverly worded items on the list can be […]

Швейцарского телевидения ищет женщин в Одессе/Swiss TV looking for female in Odessa


Я связался Патрисией Банзер Швейцарского национального телевидения, которая ищет молодую женщину в Одессе, чтобы говорить о том, что именно - молодая женщина в Одессе и с которыми они сталкиваются, касающихся прав женщин. Предпочтительно активное участие в кампании за права женщин, хотя молодая девушка со свежим и интересным подходом к теме также будет представлять интересю Всех, […]

219th birthday celebrations - Odessa itinerary


For those readers likely to be in Odessa between 30th August and 3rd September, you will be present as the city celebrates its 219th “official” birthday - it is far older. Anyway, the itinerary for those few days is as follows: It includes rock fest, art & flowers exhibitions, music concerts, gala concert etc. Traditional […]

A day with the “Beeb”


A very short entry today as I have spent the day filming with the BBC talking drug and human trafficking, smuggling and counterfeit goods in Odessa - naturally I will eagerly await my BAFTA nomination! So having spent the day talking trafficking routes in and out of Odessa and more broadly Ukraine - and basically […]

$40 Billion annual road maintenance budget - Ukraine


The current budget for road maintenance in Ukraine sits at $16.9 billion - which sounds, and indeed is, a lot of money - and yet the state of Ukrainian roads resembles something like those of Berlin circa 1945 after the 363 air raids to which it was subjected by bomber command. As such, Vice Prime […]

Holocaust Memorial Service - Odessa 27 January

jew memorial

Taking a break from current issues, and returning to some haunting issues of the past, today is the official Holocaust Memorial Day in Odessa, with wreath laying and accompanying ceremony taking place at 11am at the Holocaust Memorial situated in Prokhorovskiy Square. For those who may find it interesting, the monument is situated in a […]

Вера, Надежда, Любовь

Вера, Надежда, Любовь

As yesterday was yet another celebration in Ukraine - Old New Year - today there is nothing of note written by me - naturally! I will draw your attention to an Odessa based NGO that has got my attention though - for the right reasons.  “Вера, Надежда, Любовь” - Let’s see what I can do […]



Simply nothing compos mentis is at all possible today - sorry - far too much Christmas spirit was imbibed!