Welcome to the book and blog about Ukraine

Largely unknown to outsiders, Ukraine is the largest country entirely within Europe and the richest in natural resources. For centuries considered to be part of Russia, and until recently part of the Soviet Union, Ukraine has always been deprived of her own voice.

Among the Ukrainians provides that voice. It is a journey to Ukraine’s cities and regions — by rail, road, and river — to meet ordinary people who offer extraordinary insights into their lives. Here, you’ll experience the purgatory of the bathhouse and the pleasures of the prostitute’s bedroom. You’ll encounter life at the coalface and in the decrepit hospitals, tour rat-infested submarine facilities and taste wines from the cellars of the Tsars.

Along the way you’ll unearth the country’s rich history. Among the many men and women you’ll encounter are those who discovered X-rays and antibiotics, put the first man in space, won the most Olympic medals, designed continental Europe’s first computer and the world’s first helicopter, and wrote some of the best prose. You will even meet the man who provided the inspiration for the fictional character, “James Bond.”

A barely known land with a big history and a big heart

Bursting with anecdotes and information not found elsewhere Among the Ukrainians offers a unique insight into a nation under construction. It is your guide to Russia’s neighbour: a barely known land with a big history and a big heart.

Excerpts and the making of the book
Vikings and Cossacks

Vikings and Cossacks

Making the Chapter: Seeing a ship larger than a football field and higher than an apartment block docked in Kyiv is a reminder that the Dnipro is a mighty river. Recalling -more-

Steamy Business

Steamy Business

Making the Chapter: If there is one image that encapsulates the realnost of post-Communist Ukraine it is that of the oligarch rising to prominence as a result of opportunism and thuggery, -more-

A Medal at Any Cost

A Medal at Any Cost

Making of the Chapter: Living in a society, such as the Soviet Union, where one’s role and behaviour was so tightly conscribed and where role models were largely determined by the -more-

Latest blogs about Ukraine
In Praise of Ukrainian Women’s Legs

In Praise of Ukrainian Women’s Legs

So far, December has been a remarkable month. In the decade or so that I have lived in or visited Ukraine I have never known a warmer December. In November -more-

Ukraine: For Sale or Hire, Military Aircraft and Pilots

Ukraine: For Sale or Hire, Military Aircraft and Pilots

Three stories involving the Ukrainian military have caught my attention recently. Less than a dozen of the diplomatic dispatches leaked by Wikileaks have mentioned Ukraine, but on the whole they -more-

Ukraine Test Drive: Zaporozhets versus Aston Martin Vantage S

Ukraine Test Drive: Zaporozhets versus Aston Martin Vantage S

Driving through the nondescript industrial city of Zaporizhia, situated on the Dnipro River, that is famous for the production of the Zaporozhets motorcar— a sort of Soviet Beetle and the -more-