Biometric Passports and ID Cards - Ukraine

ukr passport

Having finally got around to the core issue of Stage 1 relating to the road map on Visa-free travel as per the document from the EU, the RADA has passed the necessary laws for biometric passports and identified the company that will produce them. Just how technically good the new law is remains to be […]

Off to the UK in November

cheap flights

Well, your author has to visit the UK in November.  As much as I would like to avoid it, there is no avoiding it. The upside is that after 10 days in England I will be reminded of just why I emigrated in the first place.  The downside is now looking for flights to and […]

A taste of Azerbaijan - Apsheron Restaurant, Odessa


As summer began in Odessa, not that far from me, a restaurant called Apsheron opened at Fontanskaya Doroga 20/3.  It is owned and run by a good citizen of Azerbaijan. As is always the case with Odessa in summer, all restaurants are busy, and Apsheron was packed to the rafters from the moment of opening. […]

Embarrassment as a motivational lever? EU Visa-free and Ukraine


Last week the EU appraised Moldova against the Visa-free road-map it was given, pretty much at the same time as Ukraine was given the same road-map. The up-shot of that appraisal?  Moldova has overtaken Ukraine and can now move from Stage 1 to Stage 2 of the said road-map.  In short it has its technical […]

Temporary changes - Odessa Airport - Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah

For regular fliers to and from Odessa airport, be aware of a few temporary changes between 12 - 21 September at the terminal building. Odessa will be handling 40 flights relating to Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and as always there will be a lot of Jews arriving and departing from Odessa airport as […]

A sculpture dedicated to Steve Jobs to be erected in Odessa


Odessa has many statues and sculptures.  Hundreds of them to be honest.  Then it is quite an old city. It seems the next sculpture to be erected is to be dedicated to Steve Jobs (of Apple fame) because of his obvious links to Odessa. The motivation behind erecting a decision to create and dedicate a sculpture […]

Odessa International Movie Festival - Starts today


OK, something local and depending upon film content, non-political. What?  Why? - Well with the Ukrainian parliamentary elections only a few months away, I am writing a little something about opinion polls and surveys and what makes them  a useful, or indeed useless, guide to public opinion. As normal I am trying to remove all […]

New Customs Rules effective 1st June 2012


Yes, yes, I know! Today is 4th June and I’m telling you about changes coming into force 4 days ago. Well six months ago I told you about the new law so I did tell you and you have simply forgotten in amongst the torrent of tedious ruminations you have had to sit and read […]

Euro 2012 - Racial insults & Ukraine


Elsewhere in cyberspace a heated debate amongst the Ukrainian Expat community and some English football fans is engaged, fueled by media coverage in the UK of Ukrainian and Polish supporters football violence and racist actions and chants. Now there is no denying that there is a racist element amongst certain fans and in particular those […]

Odessa Travel Festival 18-20 May 2012 - UK AWOL

OK.  Today I leave the macro-geopolitical and policy realm relating to Ukraine and the neighbourhood and go local.  Namely the Odessa Travel Festival, the bulk and most public part takes place along Deribasovskaya (which is the nominal pedestianised main street in the city centre). As always in the warmer months, the cafes and restaurants expand […]