Saturday, May 10, 2008


I will be a bit quiet for the coming week or so as I am currently in Ukraine visiting my wife's family.

We are currently in Kiev but heading out into the regions tomorrow.

Kiev is in the midst of election fever as they prepare to elect a mayor. In contrast the recent London mayoral election it is a very lively affair with an improbable 97 candidates ranging from Agrarians to communists (and plenty in between!) Nearly every street corner seems to have a tent erected with representatives from various candidates handing out leaflets and balloons to try and woo voters.

It is a bit difficult to judge whether all that is going on is particularly useful but it is certainly democratic and there is freedom of expression for the vast range of candidates, This is in sharp contrast to neighbouring Russia and their recent "coronation" of a presidential election.

Kiev is changing rapidly with a lot of construction, inflation and the usual flash cars of recently acquired wealth (Mercedes, BMW and Range Rover to name a few). That said it is still a calmer gentler version of its Russian sister, Moscow, although it sometimes feels like it is heading that way.

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