Archive for March, 2010


Jobs available – location irrelevant

March 31, 2010

In an effort to help out a firend in need, dear readers see if you can do any other the below mentioned, or indeed know someone who can:

Candidates should submit their resume/CV and references to Mark Dabbs –  See “Applications” (below) for additional details.

Position:  Multiple Translators for Web Site Projects – Independent Contractor (Competitive Bid and/or Part Time, Long-term; see below)

Languages:  Turkish, Arabic, Farsi, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Japanese, Korean


*  Must have professional level fluency in English and language of assignment.
*  Must have three or more years of written translating experience for language of assignment.
*  Must have at least 1 year of Search Engine Optimization experience applying to the language of assignment, or functional equivalence via other skill sets such as data mining, use of Google Adwords keyword tools, etc.
*  Individual should have basic html/php skills – for the formatting of text, pictures and links.
*  Basic Excel and MS Office abilities for generating reports of site performance statistics.
*  Not necessary, but very helpful to have some experience or background in health care, medicine, or related fields.

Scope of responsibilities:

Individual will be working for a small business with 10 years of history as a stable, active online business focusing on natural health care products.  Company is expanding its areas of online operations focusing first on the translation of its primary web store content.  Store content entails the translation of approximately 120 standard pages of text; and may involve up to three variations/versions of the same content.  This portion of the project is subject to competitive bidding – Flat Rate for Project.

Subject to further examination, certain languages may be targeted for additional translation and/or content development support via blogs, articles, e-books, ongoing search engine optimization, updating of content, etc.  Blogging will necessitate a combination of translating existing content and developing fresh content that is highly relevant to the state of health care and natural medicine in targeted regions.  This activity will be considered as part-time (up to 20 hours/week) on a long-term basis; however it is not likely to apply to all languages defined above.


Employment will be as an independent contractor.  Can work from home, flexible hours subject to scheduled meetings/conference calls via Skype.  Must own computer and relevant software.


Candidates should submit their resume/CV to Mark Dabbs –  

Hiring Process:

Candidates will be notified within three business days regarding company’s interest to interview you.  If selected for interview, a short (less than 1 page) test will be conducted followed by a two stage interview process via skype (voice) – first with the Managing Editor and if recommended, secondly with the Company President, who may waive this requirement on a case by case basis.  

Well come on then…….he’s waiting!
(No I am not a recruiter!)


Tracking Brits in Ukraine – Embassy LOCATE service

March 31, 2010

Well dear readers, Leigh Turner, the UK Ambassador to Ukraine is once again trying to get Brits in Ukraine to sign up to the LOCATE service using the arguement “if we can’t find you, we can’t help you” and offering free drinks at the Embassy for all those who are signed up to the service.

The Embassy estimates there are 500 Brits in Ukraine.

This has caused some discussion amongst the Brit Expat community in Ukraine in our cyber-community.  My points made seem to be quite generally accepted as to valid and why the system will not succeed.

I quote them here for your benefit in original form……and I know Leigh and Charles do occasionally lower themselves to read my ramblings, so here is general feedback from the community……..

It’s at 84 at the moment……registered Brits with LOCATE that is.

Now whilst I would not question 84 registered Brits I am not certain how the 500 is arrived at.

I say that because I am fairly certian the Border Services of Ukraine could not tell you how many are in the country last month, last week, yesterday or today.  Grin

Is the figure based on IM and Residency, or IM, Residency and current Visa holders of which a proportion are in country right now, is it IM, residency, a proportion of Visa holders “believed” to be in country and with a few overstayers as well (in case)?

Does that figure include tourists?  I ask because according to historical posts on Leigh’s blog, many who came for football reasons in the past also registered with LOCATE despite the extremely short term time in country…..effectively they were tourists.

If Ukraine probably can’t give an accurate figure then the UK Embassy certainly won’t be able to either.

There could be much less than 500…….or alternatively several thousand.   Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy

Maybe it was arrived at by an informal headcount in the GG in Kyiv and then adding on 15 Brits per major city across Ukraine, 7 Brits per medium/small city and arriving at a total.   Grin

Alternatively, maybe it is a head count of British NGOs, Embassy and Consul staff, UK BBCU members and a quick hack into BKs’ contact list in his email account.  Grin

It is very difficult to see a way to arrive at the figure of 500 Brits in Ukraine and for it to mean anything.

As for EnglishMKiev remark about the UK Government, he is no doubt correct that many here would not sign up for those exact reasons (unpaid council tax from 1996, unpaid parking ticket from 2002 etc etc)…..which of course if not the fault of the UK Embassy but the political masters in London of the FCO, whose use of and lack of security of electonically held data gets questioned more times than Gordon Brown at PMQ’s.   Grin

The recent ruling in the UK courts about what is tax residency and not tax residency as far as the UK is concerned will not have helped either I suspect…….simply because HMRC would prefer to fight each battle in court (and hope to win) rather than clarify the issue and set specific guidelines.

It is of course easy to tar the UK diplomats with the same brush as the UK politicians but that is unfair.  Let us be honest, many UK leading diplomats are probably more inclined politically to be Conservative than Labour when it comes to personal bias by way of the majority across the globe……..that is certainly the impression I have amongst those diplomats I know…..although that may be wrong.

For many the problem would not be signing up to LOCATE if that data remained soley within the UK Embassy in Kyiv……but it is a Government financed data base and as I have said, the UK Government is seen by the majority of Britains in the UK as being less than honest when it comes to the uses of data and the security of that data when they have it.

(For the record, in case people think I have anything to hide from the UK Gov……I don’t.  My police check for residency here came back as “there is no information held about you on the Police National Computer” and my UK income is taxed at source…….so having not been back in the UK for years, I can’t have broken any laws there to have changed that.  Grin)

Of course it may happen that one day in the future all UK expats will be subject to mandatory registration with schemes such as LOCATE, but that day has not come and it is still personal choice.

For the reasons outlined above (and not the fault of the Embassy) if they managed to get 40% of Brits actually here to sign up, they should consider that a job well done.

After this we conducted a poll amongst ourselves regarding the number of Brits (not tourists) in Ukraine for more than 8 months in a year and nobody……and I mean not one of us, got the estimate of the UK Embassy but the consensus was one double of their estimate.

Unlike many nations, the UK only has an Embassy and Consul in Kyiv, where other nations also have them in cities such as Lviv, Odessa, Donetsk etc.  I do not mean Honourary Consuls who will fly the flag of that nation in that region from home or work to relieve some travelling for “our man in Kyiv” and also for the nationals which live nowhere near Kyiv…….although that is better than anything the UK currently offers in Ukraine. 

I am talking about fully functioning and staffed consulates.  Odessa alone has 16 or 17 consuls……which I have listed way back in the archieves of this blog, by country, address, and telephone number in Odessa. 

It is hardly surprising the UK Embassy gets a radically reduced total of British Expats in Ukraine compared to the estimates of Expats in Ukraine, when it has no pressence in any tangible form outside of Kyiv.

Even Ukraine has two official presences in the UK, one in Scotland and one in London.

I have been to Greek consular functions, Polish consular functions and Russian consular functions in Odessa and the amount of foreigners you would never know were in Odessa is very surprising……as is the amount of Brits!

Anyone wanting to register with LOCATE and reads my ramblngs can of course clink on the link to Leigh Turner’s blog to the right of this post, which in turn takes you into the Embassy website where you will find the LOCATE registration forms.


The return of gambling in Ukraine

March 30, 2010

It seems that the inevitable return of casinos to Ukraine will happen soon.

After the knee-jerk national outlawing of gambling due to a fire in a slot machine hall which killed 9 people almost a year ago, it seems the Autonomous Republic of Crimea will soon reintroduce gambling casinos……..whilst keeping the ban on gaming machines……

In coming future it is planned to adopt a law, in accordance with which it will be possible to open a casino in every hotel in Crimea.

Head of the State Committee of Entrepreneurship Mykhaylo Brodskyi said this on the air of Shuster Live.

“There will be casino in Ukraine. In coming future it is planned to adopt a law, which will make Crimea a shoulder season resort”, he said.

“But there will be no game-playing machines”, he underlined.

 Sourse – Ukrainska Pravda

So “Las Simferopol” could be in the cards of the future considering the gambing ban in Russia and the rest of Ukraine.  


End of a “Special relationship”……nothing to do with Ukraine though

March 29, 2010

Well dear readers, it is getting much media space……..the end of the “special relationship” between the UK and USA that is.

All I will say on the matter is I am glad this Churchillian catch phrase has been seen for the phalicy it is.


Warmer than average temperatures this winter…….where?

March 28, 2010

Associated Press WASHINGTON — The just-concluded winter in the Northern Hemisphere was the fifth warmest on record, worldwide, US weather researchers report.

While much of the United States was colder than usual, December-February — climatological winter — continued the long string of unusual warmth on a global basis.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data center reports that worldwide the average temperature for winter was 54.9 degrees Fahrenheit (12.7 Celsius).

That is 1.08 degrees F (0.60 C) above average for the three-month period.

Contributing to the warmth was an El Nino, a periodic warming of water in the tropical Pacific Ocean that can influence weather over large areas.

However, worldwide temperatures have also been climbing in recent years, a warming attributed by most atmospheric scientists to chemicals added to the air by human activities since the start of the Industrial Revolution.

In February NOAA reported that the 2000-2009 decade was the warmest on record, easily surpassing the previous hottest decade, the 1990s.

The report for December-February also said:

—Warmer-than-average temperatures engulfed much of the planet’s surface, with the exception of unusually cool conditions across Europe, parts of Russia and most of the contiguous United States.

—The Southern Hemisphere combined land and ocean temperature during the three-month season was the second warmest December-February on record, behind 1998.

—Most of Canada had warmer-than-average conditions during winter, resulting in the warmest December-February period since national records began in 1948.

—Much of Australia experienced warmer-than-average conditions during the Northern Hemisphere winter (Southern Hemisphere summer), with the exception of cooler-than-average conditions across the northern parts of the country.

Strangely this is probably the coldest winter I can remember in Ukraine.

In response the the article though……..

—Warmer-than-average temperatures engulfed much of the planet’s surface, with the exception of unusually cool conditions across Europe, parts of Russia and most of the contiguous United States……..

So it was warmer than average across the planet………except for about half the land mass then…….where it wasn’t?  WTF?


SPAM Ukraine

March 27, 2010

Ukrainian capital found 9th in 2010 global ranking of spam sources by city
According to a survey conducted by Panda Security, a global leader in IT security, 0.96% of world spam was being sent from Kyiv’s IP addresses in the first two months of the year, according to the 2010 ranking of spam sources placed on Panda Security’s website.

The Ukrainian capital is ranked 9th in the 2010 ranking of spam sources by city followed by Jakarta (0.85%), Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro (0.84% each) and Moscow (0.56%). Brazil has topped the global spam ranking for January and February with 13.76% of global spam followed by India (10.98%), South Korea (6.32%), Vietnam (5.71%), USA (5.46%), Russia (2.85%), Romania (2.53%), Colombia (2.37%), UK (2.34%) and Poland (2.31%). Panda Security has analyzed nearly five million spam messages generated in January and February 2010, sent from one million different IP addresses.

This is one of those times when being first is nothing to be pleased about!


Visa-free travel between Ukraine and Israel from September

March 26, 2010

Interfax-Ukraine Israel expects the introduction of a visa-free regime with Ukraine in September this year, Israeli Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov has said.

“According to my expectations, we’ll manage to cancel visas in five or six months, and I think that a visa-free regime with Ukraine will be introduced in September this year,” he said at a press conference in Kyiv on Wednesday.

Misezhnikov said that Ukraine and Israel currently had an agreement on increasing the number of air carriers from two to three from each country.

“Everything will become available for our citizens,” he said.

He also said that around 500,000 Ukrainians lived in Israel and that they would soon be able to visit their families and friends in Ukraine.

The minister said that 70,000 Ukrainians had visited Israel last year, whereas 40,000 Israeli citizens had travelled to Ukraine in 2009. He expressed hope that these figures would triple following the introduction of the visa-free regime.


It has to be seen as a step in the right direction, after all EU visa-free travel is the ultimate goal for Ukraine and Israel also has visa-free travel with the EU.

The article politely overlooks the Ukrainian woman deported back to Ukraine after being jailed for her part in a terrorist act in Israel……but then one bad apple and all that!

Good news for Mossad as well, no need to upset those Europeans by cloning their passports anymore, there is another State  to draw from and one which is much “flexible” regarding “rules” at the moment.

In fact why clone when you can simply buy?


CIS to discuss migration and law enforcement

March 25, 2010

Interfax-Ukraine Moscow, March 24 (Interfax) – Migration control, military cooperation and development prospects for the Commonwealth of Independent States are among issues on the agenda for a planned meeting in Moscow on Friday of the foreign ministers of CIS countries, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s chief spokesman, on Tuesday.

“The ministers will consider drafts [laws] of CIS member states on the interstate search for fugitives, on action against corruption, and on changes and supplements to the Constitution of the Coordinating Council of General Prosecutors of the CIS,” Andrei Nesterenko said in an interview posted on the ministry’s website,

“There will also be a discussion on draft protocol to change to the Agreement to Establish the Council of Heads for the Migration Authorities of Member States of the CIS,” he said.

“In the interests of more efficient military cooperation, there is a plan to consider a draft protocol on changes and supplements to the Agreement on Cooperation to Introduce Uniform Measures in the Armed Forces of Member States and a draft agreement on a coordinated policy of standardization, metrology and certification,” Nesterenko said.

The agenda also includes “a discussion of the performance of the CIS in monitoring elections in [CIS] states, on ways of raising the efficiency of the activities of CIS observer missions and the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly,” he said.

“The ministers will also consider a progress report of the fulfillment of the Plan for Principal Measures to Implement Further Development Concepts in the CIS, which was approved by the heads of state in October 2007. In this connection, an exchange of opinions is planned for making possible amendments to the Plan with the goal of updating it, in light of tasks of seeking better performance, for the Commonwealth and its mechanisms,” the spokesman said.


So is the Ukrainian Foreign Minister going? 

It has never ratified the CIS Charter and is therefore not officially a member despite Ukrainian citizens benefitting from the internal CIS passport…….a scheme similar to Shengen in the EU.

It would be in the interests of Ukraine to send someone considering what is to be discussed, even if it is just to listen and therefore de facto participating…..even if not an official member,

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