Gherkins and the Golden Boot – Ukraine 1 Wales 0

She nailed it. My pal Anya, 33, from Kyiv, first game ever, said after 85 minutes: “You guys need to practise scoring.”

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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.

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The Yanukovych Palace and Berkut break-up

Mezhyhyria, Янукович PalaceWednesday, February 26 update from a pal

Just found out that Berkut have now been abolished – very pleased; I was giving out ‘abolish Berkut’ leaflets yesterday.

The remaining Maidan ‘Self-Defence Units’ have now taken on  new roles – guarding public buildings, directing traffic and acting as tour guides in the Independence Square area.

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Ukraine – what now?

20131209-122224.jpgLast Friday I did a sub-editing shift on a national newspaper in London.

A friend ‘subbed’ the Ukraine Kiev piece and admitted afterwards it was incredibly difficult to follow the sequence of events, get his head round what had happened, who was who and what  all the trouble was about.

And why, indeed, they were fighting in the first place.

Welcome to Ukraine!

Then the guy proofing the page came over.

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Euromaidan, Kyiv, February 20

Euromaidan revolution UkraineFROM A BRITISH PAL WORKING IN KYIV

Another day of drama in Kyiv – though I’d expected that the visit by EU bigwigs would mean a truce.

About 9.30 am I was still in the flat, having slept well after the previous sleepless night.  I started hearing what sounded like gunshots and muffled thumps, then ambulance sirens – it was clear something was up.

Then I heard shouting outside – assuming it was protestors lining the route for the UE bunch, I quickly got dressed and left the flat – grabbing a large sheet of paper and marker pens to make some kind of sign.

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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.

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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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