Lviv Opinion

“Making the most of EU free trade”

Issue 81, July 2015.
EU expert Olivier Vedrine explores coming EU-Ukraine Association Agreement opportunities and shares his views with Lviv Today readers

“The economic situation in Ukraine is not as bad as everyone says it is.”

Issue 80, June 2015.
Lviv’s HD Partners legal company organized a “Break West” business breakfast on May 30th and invited noted Polish professor and economist Leszek Balcerowicz to speak. Balcerowicz, of course, is famous for implementing the Polish economic transformation program in the 1990s; a shock therapy economic programme more commonly referred to as the Balcerowicz Plan. A former Professor of Economics at the Warsaw School of Economics, former Deputy Prime Minister of Poland and Finance Minister, former President of the National Bank of Poland, and Founder and Council Chairman of the Civil Development Forum Foundation (FOR), Balcerowicz is a well-known and highly respected voice and transition economics. He has been travelling to Ukraine since 1991 and in his opinion, the current government of Ukraine is the best since this country’s independence.

Currency crash offers tourism sector silver lining

Issue 77, March 2015.
Hyrvnia woes serve to make Ukraine one of Europe’s cheapest holiday destinations It is difficult to identify any positives from the fall of Ukraine’s hryvnia national currency. The dramatic drop in the exchange rate has left whole sections of Ukrainian society impoverished and forced the government to adopt a range of emergency economic measures which could serve to impede the development of the broader Ukrainian economy for years to come.

Lviv 2022: 5 Lessons from Minsk 2014

Issue 69, June 2014.
Considering the political upheaval that has rocked the country – and this city’s Olympic bid – since early November, it is nothing short of remarkable that Lviv’s chances to host the 2022 Winter Olympics have actually increased. Currently there are only 4 bids remaining: Lviv and Oslo in Europe, and Almaty and Beijing in Asia. Oslo’s bid is on life-support as one of the governing parties has refused to give the financial guarantees that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) requires. In addition, with the 2018 Olympics already headed to Asia (PyeongChang, South Korea), the IOC will be hesitant to have back-to-back games on that continent. Especially if they have any illusion of retaining the participation of the NHL hockey professionals in what has become the Winter Games’ marquee event. Lviv’s bid too has suffered, as the bid has sat idle for months as the country gets its political house in order. But with so few candidates remaining (especially if Oslo is forced to withdraw), it is reasonable to think that the IOC will keep all remaining cities as ‘Candidate Cities’ following the committee meeting in July. If this is the case, Lviv 2022 will have one year to convince the IOC that it is indeed capable of hosting the event and that the IOC should host the games in Europe.

"Who Needs VKontakte? Ukraine Launches Own Social Media Site"

Issue 68, May 2014.
Take Your time to get acquainted with the new, Ukrainian-backed social media website, which is expected to become alternative to Russian-owned social media giants Vkontakte and Odnoklasnyky.

“From the East to the West”

Issue 67, April 2014.
Did you know that Lviv welcomes students from Eastern Ukraine – find more in the article by LM Reaney

5 Reasons Why Shevchenko is Still Cool Lviv Today Recognizes Ukraine’s ‘Poet-in-Chief’ on the 200th Anniversary of his Birth

Issue 66, March 2014.
It is impossible to live in Ukraine and not know Taras Shevchenko. To be honest, it’s practically impossible to live in this country and not see Taras Shevchenko on a daily basis. For Ukrainians, he remains a constant presence; a common thread throughout their lives much like an old friend or a wise uncle. For tourists and expatriates though, little is known about the man other than he wrote poems and every town in Western Ukraine has a statue that bears his likeness. So, in honour of the anniversary of our national poet’s birthday, Lviv Today looks at 5 reasons why the man is still revered in Ukraine and around the world 200 years after his birth.

Ukrainian Women’s Biathlon Team Shoots for Gold in Sochi

Issue 64, January 2014.
You have to look back a long ways to the last time Ukraine tasted Winter Olympic gold – Forrest Gump ruled the cinemas, Okean Elzy was just beginning to practice as a group in their garages, and Leonid Kravchuk was still President. It was also the year that a tearful 16-year-old Oksana Baiul skated to Ukraine’s lone Olympic gold medal since independence. That could all change when the Ukrainian women’s biathlon team straps on the skis and rifles in Sochi next month.

” Lviv’s Students – The Beating Heart of EuroMaidan”

Issue 63, December 2013.
If you’ve been able to find open tables at your favourite restaurants, relaxed in the extra space on one of Lviv’s crowded metros, or wondered where the kissing couples from Lviv’s romantic park benches have gone, it’s likely because many of our youth – the student population of Lviv – have migrated to Kyiv this month to help lead the EuroMaidan protests on Maidan Nezholeznosti. The movement, led by protests in Kyiv and Lviv, was sparked by President Viktor Yanukovich’s decision to forego signing an Association Agreement with the European Union in lieu of pursuing closer ties with eastern neighbour Russia. Even with the exodus of Leopolitan students to the capital, the city of Lviv has continued to draw record crowds in support of leading Ukraine along the path to European integration, with over 50,000 people drawn to the Taras Shevchenko statue on Prospekt Svoboda on Dec. 1 in support of Ukrainian-European integration and the efforts of Leopolitan students. What Leopolitan students, in many ways the beating heart of the EuroMaidan movement, may recognize more than most is that they are continuing in the sacred path of protest set out for them by their trailblazing student ancestors.

A Foreigner’s Guide to Ukrainian Holidays

Issue 63, December 2013.
For anyone from abroad that has spent any time in Ukraine, you know that Ukrainian people take a liking to celebrations. Indeed, the question in Ukraine seems not to be “When is the next celebration?”, but “What are we celebrating today?” For example, when days such as the Day of Professional Sergeants (Mar. 1) are celebrated, it can seem as though your friends are playing tricks on you and inventing reasons to celebrate from nowhere. (It also leads you to ask whether there is a day that celebrates “Unprofessional” Sergeants…) The list of celebrations is so long that I’ve found that Ukrainians can’t even keep track of the holidays themselves. So, for the benefit of all that care, here is a definitive guide to when to celebrate in Ukraine.