Lviv Opinion

In Politics, Timing is Everything

Issue 125, July 2019.
Getting elected relies on many things – a charismatic candidate, a compelling campaign, a talented team, and/or a popular platform. Surely, these things can matter. But as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi has proven, terrific timing too, can mean everything. The new president put on a master-class on how timing matters in politics as his ascendency to the presidency and dominance in the parliamentary polls is a textbook example of why timing matters in politics.

From Post-Soviet to New Europe

Issue 123, May 2019.
Twenty-two years ago this month, I received a letter that changed my life. The news it conveyed was at once exhilarating and intimidating – a job offer with the British Council in western Ukraine. At the time, I was a history student in my final year at Liverpool University with vague notions of a future career in international relations.

What exactly is Vyshyvanka Day?

Issue 123, May 2019.
Ukraine’s most identifiable piece of clothing is the vyshyvanka. It’s an embroidered shirt that comes in a variety of colours, patterns, and styles. Much like the kilt is to Scotland and the kimono to Japan, the vyshyvanka is the prototypical Ukrainian garment.

Ukraine continues to climb in global passport index as visa-free options expand

Issue 122, April 2019.
Ukrainian passport holders now find themselves well ahead of all CIS countries with visa-free access to 128 countries


Issue 122, April 2019.
Ukraine is one of the 47 members of the Council of Europe (CoE), the prominent international organization with headquarters in Strasbourg, France. The CoE’s member states are exclusively European. As a member state of the CoE, Ukraine participates in all the organization’s bodies, contributing actively to their respective activities and work.

Political Pop: The Eurovision Guide to Modern Ukrainian History

Issue 121, March 2019.
Anyone who feels that Eurovision has become too politicized need look no further than Ukraine for confirmation. Nobody takes the song contest quite as seriously as the Ukrainians, who treat it as an extension of foreign policy complete with furious nationwide debates and heavy-handed government interventions.

Lviv can lead Ukraine into the international tourism mainstream

Issue 121, March 2019.
When Lviv first began marketing itself as an international tourism destination in the mid-2000s, many cynical observers sniffed haughtily at the upstart city’s outlandish ambitions. Who, they asked, wanted to spend their holidays in Ukraine? More and more people, as it turns out. Over the past fifteen years, Lviv has enjoyed a slowly but surely rising profile, emerging first as an exciting alternative destination before becoming a mainstay in annual Top Ten lists predicting the next big thing in European city breaks.

A Tale of Two Airports

Issue 120, February 2019.
Booming Lviv International Airport almost doubled passenger numbers in 2018 while Donetsk International Airport lay in ruins as the ultimate monument to the futile destructiveness of Putin’s Ukraine War

International Women’s Day in Ukraine: To Be or Not To Be?

Issue 120, February 2019.
The 8th of March, or International Women’s Day (IWD), is one of the biggest celebrations in Ukraine. But for how long is the question. While the day has its roots in the American protest movements of the 19th and 20th Centuries, the celebration has long been associated with the Soviet Union, which largely popularized and politicised the proceedings. As Ukraine continues to tinker with its holiday calendar – to move away from traditional Russian celebrations to a more European schedule – it begs the question: is time ticking on International Women’s Day in Ukraine?


Issue 119, January 2019.
Back by popular demand – the art of pouring vodka! Here’s a little piece that we originally published in 2013. Locals often don’t even realise just how many rules there are to pouring vodka in Ukraine. At least, not until you start sharing the rules from this list! Try it – they’ll start recognising the rules and add their own that we haven’t even listed. We’ve added new “rules” since we first published. Have we forgotten any? Be sure to tell us at!