1. The team over at Hromadske are looking into the more structural changes we can expect to emerge from the 2020 Coronavirus experience. As they say, past pandemics have helped usher in positive changes such as regular refuse collection and modern waste water systems, this one is likely to see us swapping urban living for a place with a garden, and to see changes in the way working spaces are laid out, as well as, pleasant changes in terms of urban planning. With wider footpaths, more green spaces, and a lot more cycle lanes.
2. In news that will not be shocking to anybody in Ukraine, a drone operated by the OSCE (who are monitoring and reporting on the war in the Donbas) has spotted 2 convoys heading from Russia into the occupied territories of Eastern Ukraine. The OSCE is often hampered in their mission, Russia only allows them to physically monitor two small checkpoints along the 400 Km of Ukrainian border in the hands of Russia since the Spring of 2014. Interesting that the “pro-Russian” fighters in that region bordering Russia never seem to run out of ammunition, weapons, fuel, and so on, isn’t it?
3. Summer wanted to roll out of bed a bit late this year. Just a week ago we were shivering in coats and sweaters as the temperature sat at a miserable 8 or 9 degrees, but now the sun has got its hat on, hip hip hip hooray, the sun has got his hat on and is coming out to stay. Temperatures for the next week are predicted to be in the low 30s.
4. Sunday was an important day on the religious calendar, the celebration of the trinity drew people to be blessed together with branches of birch lilac or maple trees. Of course, everything is being done a little differently these days and so the services were not held inside church buildings (only the Russian Orthodox Church were callous enough to do that in Ukraine, back at Easter time) and so open air blessings were the order of the day. As you’ll see from the photo report in the link below, the faithful all wore masks and practised social/physical distancing.
5. There should be new impetus and fresh energy in the area of European and Euro Atlantic integration for Ukraine, following the appointment of a new Deputy Prime Minister with this exact portfolio in her job title, Olha Stefanishyna. Her appointment was confirmed by 255 members of parliament and her statement to the gathered deputies said that further integration with these western structures was essential for Ukraine’s survival. She also noted how valuable sitting next door to the world’s largest trading bloc is to our economy.