Archive for December, 2012


Happy New Year – С Ноывим Годом

December 31, 2012

A very predictable, but nonetheless necessary, New Years wish to all my readers this year – whether it be at this or the other blogs, or the snippets I write that appear in far more notable and esteemed places.

Of course, whilst my wish to you all is that your dreams and desires for 2013 come true – just be careful what you wish for!

(Oh – expect nothing from me tomorrow…..and possibly the next day if it gets particularly messy!)

new yera

By the way, the 2012 statistic for the blog state 68784 readers from 167 countries as of the time of writing – thank one and all who spend their time reading my ruminations every now and then!


Health priorities – Ukraine

December 30, 2012

Well – following on from this post a few days ago, we have this announcement from Ukraine.

How transparent and auditable this will be remains to be seen – I suspect it is will incredibly opaque unfortunately.

One is also reminded that “prevention is better than cure” as the saying goes – the problem with prevention is that it is incredibly hard to audit or measure effectively.


For those with nothing to do New Years Eve in Odessa

December 29, 2012

For those with nothing to do in Odessa on New Years Eve – or for those on a budget – the usual New Years Eve entertainment of concerts and fireworks is taking place.

Be forewarned that I may or may not post tomorrow – I’m off out to the “Very Sexy Night” at Gnezdo on Shevchenko tonight and my not be compos mentis enough to write anything whatsoever thereafter!

Yes I know!  Quite how “Very Sexy Night” and myself fit together as anything other than an oxymoron is yet to be determined.


International collection of child support coming to Ukraine….maybe

December 28, 2012

Not a post that will please the absent parents in Ukraine failing in their obligations to support children and spouses they have left behind in other nations – but –

On 25th December Viktor Yanukovych submitted to the RADA bill Number 0010.  This bill is designed to ratify the International Recovery of Child Support and other forms of Family Maintenance.

Very good – unless you happen to be a parent/spouse indebted.

However, the explanatory note accompanying this bill, whilst necessarily recognising the decisions of foreign courts and their execution over recovery of funds in such matters, does not foresee any costs involved or shouldered by Ukraine.

So we have a proposed law agreeing to cooperate with other States over outstanding family maintenance with an agreement to assist in such legal execution of such foreign court decisions – and yet what appears to be no actual effective administrative method to do so when considering the explanatory note accompanying the proposed law states very clearly there will be no cost to the Ukrainian State – and any official spending any administrative time on such matters is naturally a cost to the Ukrainian budget.

It seems to be yet another “paper compliance” with no effective implementation strategy whatsoever.

Why am I not surprised?

It also seems quite ironic that Ukraine will ratify such a position when Ukraine cannot even enforce its own family court decisions over maintenance.


Sexually Transmitted Infections – Sex Workers Ukraine

December 27, 2012

Before I begin, I should make a declaration of (previous) interest.

No – I am not and never have been a sex worker in Ukraine!

I did, however, spend 8 years dealing with the issue of prostitution and all the surrounding issues in the 1990’s in the UK.  Over such a period of time, and witnessing closely, both the ups and downs of those I came to know very well during that time, attitudes if not changed, certainly become somewhat more understanding – or even mellow – depending upon individual circumstance.

The UN has just released its December 2012 “Prevention and treatment of HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Infections for Sex Workers in Low/Middle Income Countries Policy Brief” – a catchy title I’m sure you’ll agree.

It does not mention Ukraine specifically, but due to the huge variation in living standards here, it can be inferred that this report will apply to a large section (but not all) of the sex workers in Ukraine (and those trafficked out of, or via, Ukraine).

pro 1

I have to state that I agree with all that is said in the UN policy brief, even the proposal to de-criminalise such work (which is not the same thing as legalising it).

However, in a country such as Ukraine, where under the Tymoshenko government pornography was banned – without defining what was to be classed as pornography and what was not (where would nude sculptures, classical paintings of nudes etc stand?), the pending homophobic laws under the current government et al,  then can we expect any such implementation of UN policy/domestic liberalisation here?




December 26, 2012

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



Merry Christmas (to those who celebrate it today)

December 25, 2012

blog christmas


A purging of the pro-EU Ministers or a significant ideological split?

December 24, 2012

Smart readers will recall I wrote this at the beginning of November relating to “Who’s in and who’s out?” – It was aimed specifically at Valery Khoroshkhovsky and Poroshenko.

By 16th December, Khoroshkhovsky resigned from the Ukrainian government as I had predicted, citing the returning of Mykola Azarov to the position of Prime Minister as the reason.

As I wrote in that post “For now it is Khoroshkovsky and Poroshenko to keep a watchful eye on…..” – and that remains the case – but also we should now look to those close to Khoroshkovsky in the year ahead as well.

A quiet, much needed, slow burning. internal revolution within the PoR may just have started!”

Well, over the weekend, Sergiy Tigipko has stated he will also not be part of the new Cabinet of Ministers although will remain an MP.

Both Khoroshkovsky and Tigipko are very much front and centre pro-EU Party of Regions heavyweights and very “EU orientated” reformists.

The question is, as a new Cabinet of Ministers is due to be announced within the next 48 hours, will there be many, if any, such “EU orientated” heavyweight reformists left within the next Cabinet of Ministers?

If the likes of Poroshenko also state their desire to leave the cabinet, or are simply not reappointed, the pointed, jabbing internal finger within the Party of Regions relating to all things EU will be severely blunted.

Returning to my point about a “much needed, slow burning, internal revolution withing the PoR”, then it may very well have been quite accurate.

Tigipko’s reasoning for not wanting to remain in the Cabinet of Ministers, as stated by him live on national television is “Now it’s very important for the Regions Party to deal with ideology.”

It seems that the pro-EU and pro-Russian elements within the Party of Regions are about to lock horns in what may be a very slow, painful and ultimately disastrous battle for the PoR  – the pro-EU heavyweight reformists making their positions quite clear by removing themselves from the highest offices in the land, one by one.

It could be quite an interesting year ahead should genuine ideology catch on within the Party of Regions.  Two very distinct camps will emerge, both with some serious money and very public figures within them championing their respective causes!

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