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UK in Ukraine

11th November 2016 Kyiv, Ukraine

Judith Gough

by Judith Gough

British Ambassador to Ukraine

A joint blog by British, Canadian and Australian Ambassadors to Ukraine You may wonder why we, the British, Canadian and Australian Ambassadors, as well as people from other Commonwealth nations, wear a poppy flower at this time of the year. First of all, the poppy is the symbol of Remembrance Day which marks the anniversary […]

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25th April 2016 Kyiv, Ukraine

Judith Gough

by Judith Gough

British Ambassador to Ukraine

Chernobyl – 30 years on

“Good evening, there has been no nuclear accident anywhere in Russia today particularly not in Chernobyl. No one is feared dead in the incident, which did not happen The rescue services have not been called out because obviously, that would be stupid considering there isn’t a vast nuclear cloud drifting across Northern Europe. So, no […]

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2nd April 2014

Leigh Turner

by Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

Why Ukraine matters and what happens next

Heavily armed Russian troops seize Crimea, part of the sovereign territory of Ukraine with a population similar to Latvia and an area larger than Israel.  President Putin says Crimea “has always been an inalienable part” of Russian territory; and announces its permanent annexation. How should we respond? I’ve just returned to Istanbul from four weeks […]

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23rd March 2014

Greg Dorey

by Greg Dorey

Diplomat

How not to hold a referendum

The Crimean referendum of 16 March falls far below recognised international standards. To begin with, it is unconstitutional. Ukraine’s constitution clearly states that the status of any part of the country’s territory can only be changed as the result of a nationwide referendum. No one objected to the idea of a referendum as such. And […]

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13th March 2014 Stockholm, Sweden

Paul Johnston

by Paul Johnston

Ambassador to Sweden

Critical Days For Diplomacy On Ukraine

Britain’s longest serving Foreign Secretary, Sir Edward Grey, famously looked out from his office overlooking St James’ Park in early August 1914 and, as war loomed, commented “the lamps are going out all over Europe”. I often thought of those words in August 2008, during the Russian aggression in Georgia, not  least as my office, as […]

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2nd July 2012

Leigh Turner

by Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

Joining a running club; gay rights and Elton John; and goodbye to Kyiv

I arrived in Kyiv on 14 June 2008 in a rainstorm and saw Paul McCartney perform in Independence Square.  I leave today having seen Elton John and Queen on 30 June in Independence Square; and Kyiv throbbing to the excitement of a classic European Championship final between Spain and Italy on 1 July.  I’d like […]

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27th June 2012

Leigh Turner

by Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

In praise of Brits in Ukraine

A tall tree shades the audience from the sun.  An orchestra and choir wait in silence.  A huge derelict building, windows broken and decorated with (fake) radiation warning signs, towers over us.  The conductor raises his baton and exquisite baroque music rings out. I am at “Master Klass”, a cultural centre and language school in […]

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19th June 2012

Leigh Turner

by Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

A subtle story of the horrors of war

The table is set for a banquet. Dozens of glasses are lined up, interspersed with samovars and accordions. Around, in the darkness, thousands of faces look on. But no one will ever eat or drink. I’m in the Remembrance Hall at the Museum of the “Great Patriotic War” in Kyiv. The Museum, located under the […]

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12th June 2012

Leigh Turner

by Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

#Euro2012 in #Donetsk

“So, you’re an England fan?” “Yes.” “Where are you from?” “We are Russian.” The presence of significant numbers of Russian fans wearing England team colours and apparently supporting England was one of the more unexpected elements of the visit to Donetsk by our consular team and myself in the run-up of the England’s EURO 2012 […]

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8th June 2012

Leigh Turner

by Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

Axle weights and Andriyivskyy Uzviz

On the steep cobbled slope, stalls display Ukrainian souvenirs to curious visitors. In the distance, a river glistens. On a terrace overlooking picturesque 19thC buildings, tourists tuck into tasty steaks and sup cold beer. As a big fan of Kyiv I was pleased to see the much-discussed renovation of Andriyivskyy Uzviz, the winding street in […]

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