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Quest for Crimea and why Ukraine is so important for the world #євромайдан



Why the events happening in Ukraine are so important for the global geopolitics? Why internal matters of Ukraine are so important that global media was so much busy in spreading their views and propaganda? Was it all mere a political crisis in Ukraine? Was it only because of integration to EU? Or there were international powers like the west and Russia trying to expand their buffer region. It can also be all of it. What happened in Ukraine could be the biggest clash of ideology in the region after the fall of the Iron Curtain.

Quest for Crimea, Beautiful Kiev Independence square maidan

When Kiev’s independence square was beautiful. CC by flickr/sharkroman

For the west and the U.S it could be their much needed diplomatic victory after their diplomatic loss to Putin in Syria. Putin did his calculations right in understanding that the current government in Ukraine will not survive. He backed off and assured that Russia is ready to cooperate with any government in Ukraine. On the one hand west has entered Russian half brother with its ideology, on the other hand Ukraine can help European economy depend less on Turkey and Middle East to access energy rich areas around Caspian via Black Sea. If it really happens in Ukraine, Russia will be threatened to see more western activities in Black Sea. At the later stage, western powers will have an opportunity to block Russia from entering strategic Mediterranean Sea, that is where Syria is.

Quest for Crimea

Now the question is what will happen to autonomous region of Crimea. Crimea, though essentially is a part of Ukraine, it has the highest population of Russians (60%) in Ukraine. Eastern Ukraine has traditionally been closer to Russia, whereas western Ukraine closer to Europe. While one can say west Ukrainians are anti Russia, but to say eastern Ukrainians as anti Europe may not be true. This was visible in Ukraine as there were only few support rallies for the President, despite he came to power by winning democratic elections. Crimea and Kharkov were the strongest hold of Party of Regions, but even they feel deceived now as they did not expect their elected president to flee. Crimea is geopolitcally interesting as it also holds the second largest naval port in the Black Sea at Sevastapol operated by the Russians. According to the treaty that Ukraine and Russia signed in 1997, Russia can hold the naval base for another 3 years. The treaty which gave this port to Russia for 20 years has not been renewed and the new pro Europe government is about to come. Does it mean the base slipping away from the hands of Russians? Probably, no.

In 2010, then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed Kharkiv Pact with Ukraine whereby the Russian lease on naval facilities at Sevastapol, Crimea was extended beyond 2017 by 25 years (to 2042) with an additional 5 year renewal option (to 2047) in exchange for a multiyear contract to provide Ukraine with up to 30% cheaper Russian natural gas. However, when there was voting going on over this pact in the Ukrainian parliament, almost all the member of opposition were either absent or abstained from voting. Former Prime Minister and probably the most popular choice for the next leader of Ukraine, Yulia Tymoshenko and her party holds the agreement illegal as the agreement violates a part of Ukrainian constitution which forbids Ukraine from hosting foreign military bases after 2017. Russia would not like to lose this base, and it will be very interesting to see how the tables are turned to keep Russia’s interests in the region secured. Putin has already made clear that he is ready to cooperate with any government in Ukraine and that no signed agreements and benefits given to Ukraine will be changed.

Amid the high profile protests at Maidan in Kiev, Russia and Ukraine signed some of the biggest agreements on 17th December 2013, which received very less attention. This further shows how important is Crimea for Russia. The agreement stated that Russia and Ukraine will begin to negotiate on a bilateral agreement in early 2014 on the renewal of weaponry and military equipment of the Russian Black Sea fleet. This allows Russia to send new naval units to Sevastapol and add to the existing fleet, which are expected to enter service by the end of 2020. The agreement also had a clause that will allow Russia to condition financial aid to Ukraine over receiving access to strategic military industrial locations in Ukraine which are all in the south east of the country.  In return Ukraine got $15billion bailout and 33% discount on gas from Russia, a move that is expected to give Ukraine 3% rise in growth in 2014.

Earlier this month, Ukraine and Russia discussed the possibilities of stirring up cooperation in civil and military shipbuilding on the Ukrainian territory as part of meeting of First Deputy Industrial Policy Ministers of Ukraine Mykola Yevdokymenko and Deputy Industry and Trade Minister of Russia Alexei RakhmanovAlso. It was agreed by the both parties that Ukraine will present production facilities of shipyards in Kherson, Mykolaiv, Feodosiya and Sevastopol to Russians. Russia does not have shipbuilding yards in the Black Sea and performs only repairs on the sites in Bulgaria (Black Sea), Kaliningrad (Baltic), St. Petersburg (Baltic) and Severodinsk (north). If this also slips away from the hands of Russians then sustaining a permanent squadron in the Mediterranean composed of five to six ships from the Black Sea fleet would be a difficult task.

To sum it up, it is the victory of people in Ukraine for the protesters, it is the diplomatic victory of west over Russia. It is now up to Ukraine to maintain the agreements or reverse it. Ukraine has other sources of gas too, and before deciding not to sign EU Association Agreement, Ukraine had stepped up its gas imports from Poland. While Russia gave a promising hope of 3% rise in Ukraine’s economic growth in 2014, we need to see will EU be able to help Ukraine step up its economy and help it come out of $10 billion foreign debt to Russia? Or it was just a political game for EU’s self interest. After huge propaganda by media worldwide and a burst of wave in Ukraine, it will take another 1-2 years for people to realize what was good for them and what was not.

Sanskar Shrivastava is the founder of international students' journal, The World Reporter. Passionate about dynamic occurrence in geopolitics, Sanskar has been studying and analyzing geopolitcal events from early life. At present, Sanskar is a student at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture and will be moving to Duke University.


Holiday in Italy: choose Florence for a break in the winter



Italy florence

Florence is one of the most visited Italian cities, with over 15,4 million tourists visiting the city each year. Located in the heart of the Tuscany region, this beautiful city breathes history, life and culture among its streets. If you are looking for the perfect location for your next winter holidays, then you should look no further, Florence is the perfect destination for you.

Enjoying the best cuisine

Florence is one of the cities with the richer gastronomy in the world. From traditional Italian cuisine to exquisite wines, the food in this city have everything you may wish for in order to please your palate.  With so many options available, you may be wondering where to eat in Florence. Food critics recommend that you check out the following options during your visit to Florence: 

  • Traditional Italian cuisine: visiting Florence and not tasting original Italian cuisine would be considered blasphemous by many.  Italy has one of the most delicious gastronomies in the world, and in Florence you will be able to taste it at its finest with local ingredients. Restaurants like La Chiostrina or Il Rosmarino will allow you to rediscover Italy by its traditional food.
  • Tasting the local wine: wines from the Tuscany region are famous worldwide as the best in the market, making this region the Mecca of wine lovers. During your visit to Florence you will be able to taste those deliquescent wines in restaurants such as Olio Restaurant or Villa Pitiana Restaurant, or taste it on places dedicated exclusively to wine such as Enoteca Obsequium Firenze or L’Enoteca Sandro Soltani.
  • International cuisine: if you like international cuisine, then you are on luck. The best chefs around the globe have restaurants on Florence. This means that you will be able to taste flavours from all the world without having to leave the city. For example,  you can visit the restaurant El Inca for a taste of Peruvian food, restaurant Com Saigon for genuine Vietnamese cuisine, restaurant Ararat for Armenian and Georgian traditional food, or Dim Sum for refined Chinese cuisine. Discover the world by trying the taste of these countries’ traditional flavours.
  • Taste original gelato: gelatos are the ice cream predecessors, and they have been one of Italy’s culinary specialties for centuries . This traditional Italian cold dessert is similar to ice cream, but has less fat and less added sugar. You will be able to enjoy this amazing treat on the many gelaterias around Florence streets, such as Gelateria Edoardo or Gelateria Dei Neri.
  • Tapas and Street food: these are excellent alternatives if you are looking to make a simple meal with your family. You will be able to enjoy these small dishes in places like Italian Tapas or Rivalta Cafe.
  • Modern cuisine: you can taste the most modern and alternative cuisine in the world in Florence. Restaurants like Alla Torre De’ Rossi or Winter Garden by Caino will bring to your table the sophistication the more delicate palates crave. 

Discover Florence’s hidden gems

Florence is a city with a lot of monuments and museums to discover. However, most people that visit the city tend to focus only on the main monuments of the city, such as Campanile di Giotto or Palazzo Vecchio o della Signoria, and the restaurants near those. Because of that, if you want to experience Florence to its fullest, we recommend you rent a bike

Discovering Florence by bike will grant you access to places away from the mainstream crowds,  such as the Andrea del Sarto Museum (dedicated to this amazing Italian painter) or the beautiful Ospedale degli Innocenti (a 17th-century home for abandoned children which includes some amazing pieces of art done by renowned artists like Botticelli). These are really stunning places you would miss if you stick to the traditional tourist route, causing you a lot of regrets over the missed chance. 

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Working & Travelling In Greece



Greece is a fantastic destination for many people, and for a number of different reasons. It you are keen to see some of the islands and soak up the sun, then you are in for a truly luxurious and paradisiacal time indeed. Similarly, if you just want to spend some time in Athens and see the major sights, then you will come away feeling refreshed and full of vigour from the sheer history and culture that surrounds you. But Greece is also a great place to consider if you are keen to work and travel at the same time. There are plenty of opportunities which you can grab there, and it is a perfect setting if you are a freelancer looking to work on the go. Let’s take a look at some of the things you might want to consider when you are thinking about working and travelling in Greece.

Your Itinerary

Greece Beach

Even if you plan to somewhat move around at leisure, you will probably still find it useful to have some kind of itinerary to work on. That will mean that that whole side of things has been taken care of, which won’t therefore be too much of a worry or a stress when you are trying to make the most of the time you have there. You can then work away, if you are freelancing, while also moving around as you have determined. You can always move away from this, and it is a good idea to have a kind of loose itinerary, but as long as you have one that is the main thing that matters. It will make working and travelling in Greece much easier and more likely to succeed.

The Technical Aspects

Because of the nature of working on the go, you will need to make sure that you have fully understood everything you need to do in order to keep your lifestyle working smoothly. That largely means looking into the more technical aspects of working on the go, which is something that you might find is easier than you would think. As long as you make a point of finding out how to sync contacts from iPhone to Mac so you can better keep in touch with people, and as long as you know what software you need to have to do your work, you should be able to travel the world and work as you please, so that is something to consider.

The Culture

Greece monument

You will probably find that Greek culture suits working very well, and it might be something that you want to think about in order to make sure that it is really the right place for you. It all depends on the nature of the work. For writers and other creatives, it could be the perfect backdrop, and you might feel that you simply never want to leave. However it is that you approach it, you can be sure that you are going to have a great time like this.

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Holidays in Tenerife



Tenerife spain canary

Rent a Scooter in Tenerife expands your chances of enjoying this island to the fullest. You can reach all its corners as quickly and comfortably as possible. Do you dare to try tourism on two wheels?

Why rent a scooter in Tenerife?

The pleasure of riding a motorcycle

I can assure you that whoever tries the option of renting a scooter in Tenerife to spend their vacations, always repeats … and that, beyond its functional advantages, this means of transport is a way of life in itself, capable of make your journey much more fun. Time will fly by!

The small size of the motorcycles allows them to get into even the most remote routes, making possible to know each and every one of the best places in Tenerife (such as the Teide National Park, San Cristóbal de La Laguna, El Médano beach, the Port of the cross…).

A means of transport without troubles

Since Tenerife is an island, it turns out very complicated and expensive to transfer your own car or motorcycle there. Car and moto rental is revealed as the smartest way to travel through the Canary Islands, as it allows you to win in freedom of movement.

It is better to rent a scooter in Tenerife than a car, since these types of vehicles makes possible you a more economical, ecological and simple driving. Imagine the traffic jams and parking problems that you will save on board your motorcycle!

Rent a scooter in Tenerife optimizes your time

The holidays are short-lived, so any alternative that allows us to make the most of our stays abroad is welcome. Going by motorbike around the island makes it possible for you to take more advantage every day of your stay, as it allows you to get right where you want, without wasting time waiting for public transport.

Rent a scooter in Tenerife with Atlantic Moto: sure success

When you decide to rent a scooter in Tenerife to spend your holidays it is very important to go to a reliable company that, like veteran Atlantic Moto, takes care of even the smallest detail so that you only have to worry about enjoying your stay.

  • This company puts at your disposal the best scooter brands in the market (Suzuki, Aprilia, Honda, Kawasaki …), belonging to groups A, B, C and D.
  • Atlantic Moto provides you absolutely everything you need to enjoy your scooter, since its prices include such important elements as: lock, insurance, helmet, unlimited mileage … They even advise you on routes and stays on the island!
  • Everything is designed to simplify and speed up the collection of your scooter to the maximum, since you can pick it up at the Atlantis motorcycle office or at the reception of your hotel or holiday apartment.You can even ask to be taken it to the airport!
  • You can book your scooter without obligation, you just have to deposit 10% of the price, then you can modify or cancel said reservation, recovering said deposit.
  • The services of this company are very easy to hire, since you can rent your scooter in Tenerife from its website, which has a 100% secure payment system, which supports PayPal, bitcoin and Visa or Mastercard cards. What are you waiting for try it?
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