Off on holiday (of sorts)


Right.  Tomorrow I leave the dysfunctional state of Ukraine and head for (the less than) United Kingdom for 10 days or so. I am tagging on some days holiday prior to, and post, a symposium I am expected to attend in the ever beautiful city of Bath. Therefore I very much doubt I will 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 […]

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 […]

New UK Ambassador to Ukraine takes up post tomorrow

simon-smith uk amb

A very quick post today, to welcome on board the good/sinking ship (delete as appropriate) Ukraine, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Ukraine, Mr Simon Smith who officially starts tomorrow, Wednesday 5th September. Now don’t claim to be surprised, I told you all back in October 2011 he was coming - just in time to experience the crescendo […]

An immigration conundrum - A Brit in Ukraine and the UKBA


Immigration is a very touchy subject in the UK. Well it is everywhere, but as the subject of this entry is the UK, UKBA website, UK immigration rules et al, that seemed like a solid starting sentence. On 9th July 2012, the immigration rules got much tougher.  Hurrah and huzzah cry the voting masses of […]

London Met Univserity, the UKBA and foreign students


This has absolutely nothing to do with Ukraine, unless you happen to be a now hapless Ukrainian student who thought they were going to study at London Metropolitan University. The UKBA has revoked the London Metropolitan University license to educate non-EU students with immediate effect. Fair enough, if the university is so terribly poor at […]

The Diplomatic Games - Moscow 4-8 October


Well, we’ve had the Eurovision, Euro 2012 football tournament, Olympics 2012, and the Paralympics 2012 begins in effect today.  That is to name just a few major sporting events in 2012. A veritable sports-fest for those inclined to either participate or go along as a spectator. But, my dear readers, with the conclusion of the […]

In Supporting Pussy Riot - What The F**k FEMEN?


OK - A Russian court sentenced Pussy Riot to 2 years in jail yesterday for their little stunt in a Russian Orthodox Cathedral.  To the very liberal thinkers, maybe that is absolutely fine.  For the broadminded, maybe somewhat obnoxious but nevertheless freedom of speech and expression is fundamental, albeit somewhat distasteful in the chosen location. […]

Unexpected invitations - New Silk Road/Неожиданное приглашение - Новый Шелковый путь


Life is full of little surprises, some good and some bad, but little surprises nonetheless. I have had a little surprise.  One which for me with so much free time on my hands I will consider a good surprise.  It is especially good from my point of view, as it marries where I live now […]

A UK/Ukrainian Alumni?


A few days ago I spent 90 minutes in a one - to - one with one of our very clever chaps from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.  As much as I would like to tell you whom, from the very start I stated that the Chatham House Rule would apply, and thus I am […]