Odessa – Europe’s Best City (#1)

Part 1, originally published December 24th, 2013, on http://www.grahamwphillips.com, by Graham

Part 1

I really enjoyed A.D Miller’s sophomore work Snowdrops. There were just a couple of parts which didn’t ring quite true, one being the family description of Christmas: “We had a lively exchange about the new parking Odessa 2restrictions in the town centre, and a ritual disagreement about whether we should watch the Queen’s Christmas message, as my father always wanted to.” It doesn’t need to be like that, so stilted, a family Christmas should be, usually is, a warm, happy time together.

About Odessa he is a little closer, describing it as “sort of a cross between Tenerife and Palermo“. But, not quite, Odessa is, you see, outside of England of course, the best city in Europe. And as families across the UK, Europe, beyond, celebrate Christmas and discuss where to go on holiday next year, Odessa should be right in that conversation. Odessa is the perfect place for a summer holiday, with its 30km-plus of bountiful beaches counting just the city itself not the numerous coastal towns nearby.

Odessa beach (3)

Odessa beach (2)

Odessa beach (1)

But as much as it is a ‘day city’, there is more than just something of the night about Odessa. The city’s Arcadia area, a near mile-long strip on the beach, is arguably one of the world’s hottest nightlife spots, stuffed with beach clubs, just clubs, bars, temptation, restaurants, hustlers, amusements, crumpet, excitement, caners, action. On any given summer’s night, you’ll easily find up to 75,000 partaking of everything from Moscow style ‘super clubs’, to a stall beer costing less than a Euro. Those savvy clubbers pay the European rates of entrance for the super clubs (with acts Russian-themed, and international), then nip out to fill up on stall beer. What?

Arcadia Odessa (1)

Arcadia (5)

Arcadia

Arcadia (8)

Arcadia (4)

Come morning, you can look out over the Black Sea, and ask that chap if he’d mind letting you have a shot on his spare – Arcadia (1)

Arcadia Odessa1

Next day, head into town. Odessa, with a population of just over a million which swells to well over a million in summer, is a city with greatness in its DNA. Odessa was once occupied by an ancient Greek colony, and for Odessa Russianscenturies it passed between nomadic tribes, Crimean Tatars, Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and the Ottoman Empire, until their defeat by the Russian army in the Russo-Turkish War of 1787–1792, saw the city come into the Russian Empire.

Some may say it’s never really left, with armies of Russians still come to Odessa every summer, turning their back on their own coastal cities to travel hundreds of miles down South. Some of them consider Odessa a kind of irredenta, perhaps understandable given it was their very own Katya the Great who invested her very own roubles to found the city.

Odessa, as Odessa, came into being on 1794 (the city’s birthday is September 2nd, by the way). It’s believed the name Odessa traces its lineage to the ancient Greek city of Odessos, once thought to have been founded where the current Odessa stands. To come back to the current Odessa, its main street, the famous Deribasovskaya is buzzing as of a summer’s day, and you don’t need to look too far to find your typical Odessite, the city’s character taking its lineage from the rich Jewish background mixed with Russian, topped with the kind of fast-talking chutzpah the port city calls for in those who would fare most propitiously.

Odessa (2)

Odessa (12)

As for that port, one one of the biggest on the Black Sea, it’s source of wonder – near 5 miles long including even its own oil refinery, and able to handle up to 14 million tons of cargo, 24 million tons of oil products and 4 million passengers a year. And with Odessa Maritime University, among other marine-themed education establishments, you are never far from nautical.

Odessa sailors

Odessa sailors1

You’ll be hard to find a city with more going on on the streets, either, where else but Odessa does a guy whip out his crocodile for a city centre shower?

Odessa (7)

Odessa (9)

And of course, snaps being taken around the city’s plethora of photo-friendly props –

Odessa (1)

Odessa girl

That last one is on the Potemkin Steps, by the way, and not even starting on them, or the city’s architecture, means there’s more to come…

Originally published 24th December, 2013 – unedited – 

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Евромайдан – Мифы и бред

Первоначально опубликовано на – http://www.grahamwphillips.com – 17.12.2013 -смотрите ниже для подтверждения – неотредактированный – Грэм

Всё это – противостояние Запада и Востока Украины

Это не тот случай, посмотрите на эту карту голосования за Партию регионов – иногда поддержки больше на западе, чем востоке!

Party of Regions

Но кто они?

Львов, Тернополь, Ивано-Франковск. Голосовать за неонацисты Свободу –

Svoboda

По совпадению первые места, выступающие за снос памятника Ленину.

Все на востоке Украина очень обижены за Ленина.

Это уже давно может быть по большей части шуткой.

Lenin statue

Это же первый раз Львовская область пытается стать ближе к Германии?

Можно подумать!

Lviv

Lviv1

Украинская милиция – жестокие скоты.

Да, а все протестующие идеалистические герои – как тот бедолага Андрей Ильенко из неонацистской Свободы!

Andrey Illenko

Очаровательный Бандерите с его распыления слезоточивого газа привычка конечно тоже –

Andrey Illenko

Все украинцы – протестующие

А все ли фанатеют от Океана Эльзы и Русланы?

Okean Elzy

У Океана Эльзы есть новая песня для этой революции?

Нет – всё так уже как в 2004. И слава богу сейчас нет Ґринджоли!

Okean Elzi 2004

Так кто там, неонацисты, фанаты Океана Эльзы?

Да – и те, кто любит Инстаграм и Селфиез!

Euromaidan (7)

EuroMaidan (6)

EuroMaidan (5)

Украинские милиционеры избили их! Правда?

Хуже – улыбка!

EuroMaidan4

Euromaidan (2)

Кто всё еще думает что Евромайдан – это серьезно?

Те, у кого нет интернета?

Euromaidan2

EuroMaidan1

Но всё плохо для Украины?

Хрен – после Евро-2012 Украина показала, что она может делать яркие события!

Okean Elzy Maidan

Но почему нет новый цвет для революции.

Большинство протестующих сами не знают …

EuroMaidan Nazis

 

Первоначально опубликовано – 17.12.13 –

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EuroMaidan and the 12 Mythical Mantras

Originally published on http://www.grahamwphillips.com, 14th December 2013 – see below – by Graham

As EuroMaidan goes on, kind of, it’s time to have a look at the media, with the proverbial media storm having for weeks swirled around the inchoate protest. If much of the media has been reading from a script, it’s looked a lot like this –

1. Everyone from the west of Ukraine is a brave, pro-European idealist.

Party of RegionsWhile indeed there are those types out on EuroMaidan, the whole thing is rather being powered along by far-right wing party Svoboda, whose policies have frequently seen them labelled ‘neo-Nazi’. And there are even more extreme right-wing groups attached to them.

2. Everyone out demonstrating in favour of the President is a ‘paid provocateur’. 

One of the most popular lines recycled in the media – the EuroMaidan demonstrators are brave campaigners, the pro-government all on the payroll. With over 6 million having voted for the Party of Regions in the 2012 election, you really think none of them are out there of their own volition?

Yanukovych3. Everyone hates President Yanukovych.

‘Big Vik’s’ approval rating is certainly not that high – around 20%. But it’s nowhere near as low as former President Viktor Yushchenko got – he was down at below 4%.

4. President Yanukovych is the most unpopular he’s ever been. 

It’s practically lofty compared to the 11% it was a couple of years back.

5. Everyone in Ukraine wants to join the EU

A survey by the Kyiv Institute of Sociology showed support at 39% in November 2013, down 14%

6. The Ukrainian police have been ruthlessly beating innocent protesters

Of course there have been instances of that. But any contact by police is both being milked for all it’s worth, and often in self defence. Look at this poor wounded soldier, looking sorry for himself – 

Andrey Illenko

That would be Andrey Illenko then, even in a neo-Nazi party, one of Svoboda’s more right-wing members. Also spotted several times spraying tear gas at police. Now, relishing his role as victim. 

7. Ukrainian people like Tymoshenko, who should be freed immediately.

Ukrainians are at best indifferent towards Tymoshenko, regarding her time as Prime Minister generally as disastrous. As for whether she should be in prison, making no mention of the gas deal, she’s also got her fingerprints over at least two murders. 

Yanukovych Putin8. Russia are playing hardball while the EU are doing diplomacy.

Let’s say Russia are playing hardball. But the EU – demanding Tymoshenko’s release, a move which would make an immediate mockery of the Ukrainian government and judicial system. A move which may undermine the government to the extent it couldn’t go on. 

9. Joining the EU is without doubt, good for Ukraine

The EU is simply not offering the cash Ukraine needs – $25 billion to tide things over with a debt set to rise to $60 billion by 2015. The EU sees the situation as Russia or it, so does Russia, and Ukraine has a lot more riding on Russia right now, who are offering a much better deal. Ukraine‘s time for Europe will come, but now, the numbers just don’t add up. 

EuroMaidan310. There are x amount of people out on the streets

Take the number the opposition give you, divide it by 4. Take the number in most media, divide it by 2. 

11. Europe is waiting for Ukraine.

Lithuania would have loved Ukraine to come on board during its tenure of the EU Presidency. Lithuania itself has a particularly difficult relationship with Russia – dragging Ukraine out of Russia’s clutches would have been a real biggie. But, as of 1 January it’s Greece up – think Ukraine will be on their radar?

Okean Elzy12. Most people on Maidan are protesters.

Many are, but increasingly going along has become a tourist attraction and photo opportunity. And as top Ukrainian bands like Okean Elzy put concerts on there, it’s taking on more the atmosphere of a festival than incipient revolution. 

Slightly edited for length. Original publication confirmation here – 

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