Kyiv welcomed UEFA 2018: Ukraine as seen by expats

Author : News Agency 112 International

Source : 112 Ukraine

Here’s the expert point of view of the expatriates living in Ukraine on the country and the people
22:16, 1 June 2018

Open source

There’s hardly a person or media in Ukraine, who haven’t spoken of high speculative housing and air ticket prices for the UEFA 2018 finals in Kyiv. Ukraine does have its own local charm and wild East (Eastern European) difficulties to overcome. However, being a multimillion country with its diversified economy it has many multinational companies functioning here, which employ experts and top-managers from all over the world. Here’s the expert point of view of the expatriates living in Ukraine on the country and the people.


Lana Nicole Niland

Owner/Editor-in-Chief at

Ukraine is a dichotomy. Full stop. You can drink beer on the street but there are few outdoor toilets; it's easy to fall in love here and yet the divorce rate is one of the highest in the world; people drive G-Wagons on the main street where just a few dozen kilometres away there is abject poverty; there are still many who know how to work through the system of corruption and just as many trying to stamp it out.

This place is as ethereal as it is painstakingly difficult but that is what contributes to is beauty. The problems are immediately visible to anyone - it's that incredible soft underbelly that makes it so difficult for those of us who have been here - and have seen and experienced it - to leave.


Open source

Martin Nunn,

Chief Executive, Whites Communication and the Ukraine Business Journal

“Having lived in Kyiv for the past 25 years I have witnessed a great deal of change...  When I arrived six cars in a row was considered a traffic jam, in the markets there was only one butter and one cheese and if you wanted meat then you had the bit they hacked off with an axe.  There were no mobile phones, no internet and if I wanted to call home I had to book the call for late on a Saturday evening. 

Apartments were for sale on the left bank for under $8,000, the beer was almost undrinkable and at Borispol airport the departure lounge was a wooden shed encircled with chicken wire, you had to walk to the plane and your luggage came on an old farm cart.

What's changed... everything.  Kyiv is now a modern European city with more bars, cafes and restaurants than I ever dreamed possible.  The business climate especially since 2014 has become electric. Ukrainians learn fast, very fast and what they may lack in time generated experience they now easily make up for in enthusiasm and boundless energy.  It's a great city in a great country and the good thing is... it can only get better.”


Open source

George Lupascu-Pruna,

Accredited Practitioner on Organizational Transformation and InterCultural Management - Hofstede-Insights

"Ukraine: Unquestionable friendship or Status and Power before business?

If you come to Ukraine as a tourist, you will most likely experience it as a very friendly, warm and wonderful place. Most of the Ukrainians treat foreigners very well, much better than they would treat their co-nationals, so you're lucky from this point of view :). Of course, if you step on the Status symbols and start bragging about your own country among strangers and after a few beers, it's only normal what can follow. If you have the time to visit Ukraine, from East to West and from North to South, you'll see the richness in diversity and in history. From Kyiv to Odessa, and from L'viv to Kharkiv, you'll see how the different moments in history left their marks on these cities. 

If you come to Ukraine for business, that's a whole different story and one paragraph wouldn't do it justice. A one sentence description would be that business is not just business, and Status and Power have their special place in every transaction regardless the level in the hierarchy of your possible future partner. My recommendations in this sector is to arm yourself with Patience (a loot), Capital, protect your IP and don't go for the short-cuts or for the "shiny deals" as those are long-term lose deals for you. 

But enjoy Ukraine as a tourist first, and put business on the 2nd place and you'll do just fine. If you already have friends, you'll have even more, as friendship in Ukraine is addictive and people open up very fast to the friends of the friends. Budmo!”


Open source

Peter Dickinson,

Publisher of Business Ukraine and Lviv Today magazines, Non-resident Fellow at the Atlantic Council

"I have lived in Kyiv for almost two decades and am still very much enamored by the city's unique charm and gentle soul. In a globalized world where one place increasingly resembles another, Ukraine has succeeded in retaining its own identity and engaging eccentricities.

I have always loved the way Ukrainian passengers applaud when a plane lands safely. Some people - including many Ukrainians themselves - sneer at this habit, seemingly regarding it as embarrassingly parochial or unworldly. I prefer to see it as a refreshingly honest reaction to the miracle of flight.

The modern world is so full of technological wonders that we take everything for granted and rarely pause to reflect on the advantages we enjoy over previous generations. Whenever I hear Ukrainian aeroplane passengers applaud a successful landing, I am struck by the honesty of the gesture and left wondering why this custom is not much more widespread.”


Open source

Paul Niland

Founder & CEO, Statement Email, charitable crowdfunding platform

"I am an Irishman who has been living in Kyiv for 15 years. In that time I’ve taken in two revolutions, and watched Ukrainians continue to demand a better system of accountable governance, never more so that in the years since the Revolution of Dignity.

The initial goal of Statement Email is to raise money to help address the acute problem of ensuring that Ukraine’s veterans of the war in the east get the kind of help they need to readapt to civilian life after they’ve served their country.

Favourite places in Kyiv include Trukhanov island in the summer, Andriivsky Uzviz for the atmosphere, and, of course, Maidan. For me, Ukraine is home, I’m happy here living alongside people who are working hard to make a difference in their lives and make a difference for their country." 

These opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board of 112.International.

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