Chew, what a scorcher – Ukraine 1 Wales 1 (2001)

In  the middle of Kyiv, 50 yards away from the Khreshatyk tube station is a restaurant/pub whose name escapes me.

On the menu are listed the usual starters, main courses, desserts, wines and half a page devoted to . . . chewing gums.

Continue reading Chew, what a scorcher – Ukraine 1 Wales 1 (2001)

Kind of Blue – Barry Town United 0 Cwmbran Celtic 0

Once upon a time they hosted Dinamo Kyiv, Porto and Aberdeen in Europe, now they’re just grateful to be alive and playing Welsh League Division Two. 

Continue reading Kind of Blue – Barry Town United 0 Cwmbran Celtic 0

Aftermath of Ukraine’s bloodiest day

Ukraine Euromaidan revolutionUPDATES FROM PAL IN KYIV


3pm In Kyiv it is all over. Government has collapsed and top people fled. Non -extremist opposition in control everywhere and impeachment of yanu has kept more extreme elements happy.

Population out in force clearing up city and areas that were battle zones a day ago are now full of people posing for pics and collecting bullets as souvenirs.

Funerals on maidan. Focus now switched to the east but even there looks ok. Unclear where yanu is.

Just been to church where priests helped during titushki scare. For me and I think city sense of pressure has lifted.

1pm Went to Independence Square (Maidan) yesterday evening, large sections of the crowd were quite angry about the deal with Yanukovych.

Various news sources have reported an unprovoked attack on all public buildings remaining in state hands, by some radical protestors, after 10 this morning.

I was so worried that I got up early and scribbled some notes for a speech to give on Maidan – about the importance of being better than the govt and using power wisely.

Continue reading Aftermath of Ukraine’s bloodiest day

Euromaidan, Kyiv – February 19

Euromaidan Ukraine revolutionFROM MY PAL IN KYIV

5pm – Confused picture, big danger is government says it is introducing big crackdown on ‘extremist terrorists’.

On the other hand Maidan looks very hard to dislodge without an actual shooting war – today they took over a load more public buildings and more people have settled permanently on Maidan.

Continue reading Euromaidan, Kyiv – February 19

Deaths in Kyiv

Mezhyhyria, Янукович PalaceFROM MY PAL IN KYIV

I was working until about 2.30 this afternoon; there seemed to be a lot of sirens going off so I guessed something was going on in the city centre and headed in.

Today there was supposed to be a parliamentary vote on returning to the 2004 constitution, but the parliament did not convene in the end.

There were a lot of explosions going on at Hrushevskogo St so I walked there – the fighting had restarted and injured protestors were being ferried back from the front – one looked serious.

Continue reading Deaths in Kyiv

The ‘Death Match’ stadium, Kyiv

Death Match Stadium, KyivThe ‘Death Match’ inspired a film starring Sylvester Stallone and is still a cause of furious debate more than 70 years after it was played.

The stadium in Kyiv which hosted the game on August 9, 1942, still stages games but is in typically decrepit Ukrainian condition.

It inspired the Escape to Victory movie but if you read wikipedia accounts then eye-witnesses claim players were not killed as a result of inflicting defeat on German players

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Euromaidan, Kyiv, protests – February 2


Just been for a good look around the protest area.  It all seems to be kind of ‘bedding in’ like before – it’s just bigger now.

There are a lot of people staying in Ukraina House – from where they could be at Krushevskogo barricades in about a minute.

It’s all quite well-organised in there on a micro level – AutoMaidan Centre, medical centre, students centre, library, film centre, clothes donation area, food hall.  

Continue reading Euromaidan, Kyiv, protests – February 2

Euromaidan, Kyiv, protests – January 24

FROM MY PAL IN KYIV (who is not the writer of the above tweet). The strong views of what he thinks will happen are his.

January 24, 11pm:

Pretty sure this weekend will decide it. People are flooding into Kyiv and more people in the city than ever are saying they will demonstrate, so there will be big/moderate turnout.

Many people are prepared for battle, there are large stocks of bulletproof vests, petrol bombs around conflict areas.

About 1,000 men must now win or face at least 15 year prison by new laws, but they believe the govt will kill them.

Continue reading Euromaidan, Kyiv, protests – January 24

Euromaidan, Kyiv, protests – January 23


Jan 23, evening:

Some western regional councils have come out against the govt, notably the Major of Lviv.

I think that Yanu and co. are weak, but also desperate – hence dangerous; the silly order to pelt the US Embassy with eggs (by ‘titushki’ – usually translated as ‘thugs’; but now they look even poorer and more miserable than before, in much fewer numbers, so I would not really apply ‘thugs’ to them) would seem indicative of some kind of dying gasp.

Continue reading Euromaidan, Kyiv, protests – January 23

Kyiv – where are all the leaders?



The other night (to be specific, Sunday night) I was watching the real conflict start, as buses started going up in flames and there were constant explosions from stun grenades, fireworks, gas canisters and molotov cocktails.

The demonstrators have been very careful not to damage private property, and were trying to physically manhandle a parked car out of the way of one of their hastily-erected barricades.

In the middle of all this, the car owner appeared, got in the car, drove off down the street.  Given that a nearby car was overturned and on fire, it must have been his lucky day. 

Continue reading Kyiv – where are all the leaders?

Kyiv City Hall revisited

20131211-172140.jpgThe last thing I did before leaving Kyiv yesterday (Tuesday) was visit City Hall for the second time.

At 1am it was abuzz with activity, even though maybe 150 people were trying to sleep on the floor.

A good 200 more were nervously awaiting an expected police raid,  which was eventually repulsed earlier today. Reports made it sound like a Keystone Cops raid.

A young man, about 23, came up to me for a chat, sporting a Napoleon frown.

His English was quite good. He spoke about how much he detested the country’s corrupt elite. He was angry but not shaking with rage.

I listened for five minutes – it seemed like it was something that he needed to get it off his chest after what had been the most charged 24 hours since the police attacked protesters on Sunday December 1.

He then walked off. I noticed for the first time he was carrying in his right hand, a very nasty looking crowbar.

Continue reading Kyiv City Hall revisited

Snow, sausages and Saakashvili

20131207-162633.jpgUkraine’s Euromaidan is the political equivalent of Glastonbury.

Kyiv’s Independence Square is awash with tents, oil drum fires, soup tureens boiling borscht.

There’s a powerful smell of sausages. There’s never a moment’s silence from the stage, someone is always giving a speech.

That’s mixed up with musical interludes.

Continue reading Snow, sausages and Saakashvili