UDAR Rally - Odessa

A very short post today relating to the UDAR/Klitschko rally in Odessa two days ago. Quite simply a lesson for the United Opposition when it came to engagement with the crowd, which was far bigger than that which the Yatseniuk/United Opposition managed to gather (although how much of that is “hero worship” of a Ukrainian […]

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

fat lady sings

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 […]

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 […]

More embarrassment? Barroso, Moldova and Ukraine


Only a few days ago I wrote this and suggested that the national embarrassment of coming in second behind Moldova, a nation that is the butt of all Ukrainian jokes when it comes to stupidity, may be a useful lever in EU/Ukrainian relations. It seems other may also think it not a bad idea either. […]

On the fringes - Yalta Annual Meeting

Today is the last day of the 9th Yalta Annual Meeting where the great and the good, well a good many politicians and ex-politicians who used to hold high office, attended to talk about global issues, Europe and Ukraine.  Some of them seemingly in that order. One wonders why so many ex-policy makers attended and […]

European Charter of Local Self-Government and Ukraine


Whilst doing a bit of research, I had occasion to re-read the European Charter of Local Self-Government, to which I should add, Ukraine is a ratified signatory. In respect of Ukraine, from an empirical perspective, it would certainly seem to be failing - although not a complete failure. As is quite typical of the current […]

How much meeting time can Euro 22 million buy?


On Monday 17th September, Thorbjorn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe meets with President Yanukovych and Ukraine’s Foreign Minister, Konstyantyn Gryshchenko. The meeting is to discuss the Euro 22 million donated/invested/given (take your pick) under the auspices of the Council of Europe’s “Action plan for Ukraine”.  The “action plan” is designed to assist […]

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

civil society

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 […]

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 […]