November 1st, 2004

Meanwhile, in other election news

Am I alone in being more interested in the results of the Ukranian presidential election than the American? Probably, looking at the web. There is actually a news story buried deep on the BBC website, though it is the top story on the EuroNews website.

There are strange similarities, very close election, allegations of fraud - though in this case it looks like there will be a runoff anyway as neither candidate will reach 50% on the first round.

In this case I cannot help feeling that the differences between the two candidates and what they are standing for is somewhat more genuine than in the other dodgy election in a country also beginning with 'U'. Perhaps The Guardian should have got people to write letters to the good folks of Kiev telling them to vote for Victor Yushenko!

Election news

Well, it looks like Messrs Yanukovych and Yushchenko are going to have a run off in 3 weeks time.
It is interesting to notice a slight difference in tone between Russian and non-Russian media e.g.
Bloomberg - Ukrainian Election, Criticized by OSCE, Heads for Second Round
Interfax - OSCE observers generally positive about Ukrainian vote

interestingly, those busy OSCE observers are also in the States! .

Yerevan!

In brighter news, Tbilisi is still on the EuroNews weather, though not Vladivostok. There is a scrolling list of less important cities at the bottom of the screen along with words telling you what Voice Over Man used to say i.e. what time of the day the forecast is for. Another city on the list is Yerevan, which reminds me that on two of my three trips abroad this year, to different places and on different airlines, the in-flight magazines had articles about the delights of Yerevan as a tourist destination. Being a bit of a cynic, I cannot help wondering if maybe they feel they need to have flights there but have difficulty filling them, therefore they are hyping it as a destination.

However, I have conceived a strange desire to go there. Not least having seen this 1982 Soviet era guidebook someone has typed in or scanned. The bit about the metro is particularly fine.
The quote I like the most is "Wherever you go in Yerevan, watch out for pot holes as you walk, but fear not pick pockets, assaults, and other kinds of crime which are unheard of here."

I had a look for a guide book in Waterstones in Reading when we were there on Sunday, but sadly the guidebooks went staight from Argentina to Australia.