Dean O'Brien's Blog

I’m Back..

with one comment

Well I’m back from Ukraine.  There were a number of reasons for my visit.  One was to document signs of Decommunisation in Ukraine, and the other was to head East, down to Mariupol and speak to people close to the conflict zone.

Whilst in Kiev I managed to catch up with Niels Ackermann who just published his book  ‘Looking For Lenin’ with Fuel Publishing.  Fuel produce some great publications so this one is a must.  It’s a brilliant project which documents the removal of Lenin monuments throughout Ukraine under the new decommunisation laws.  We enjoyed a nice afternoon lunch and discussed the current situation in Ukraine.  I need to spend more afternoons like this.


Kiev is quiet for this time of year.  Very quiet.  A lot of people do go away for the summer, but the ongoing conflict in Ukraine is keeping people away.  And this was the main purpose of my visit.  I wanted to speak to people close to the contact line to see how they are affected in their everyday lives.

So after staying in Kiev for just 2 days, I caught a train down to Mariupol.  18 hours on an overnight train for around £7.  Impossible to beat.  2nd class is the way to travel.  A 4 berth cabin where you’ll get to know your fellow travellers, practice your language skills and exchange food.  Highly recommended.


Throughout my trip to Ukraine (both in Kiev and Mariupol) I came across numerous OSCE workers (mostly in bars).  They all had the same opinion.  Not to head any further East.  I explained my purposes and told them that I felt that the conflict was not being documented fairly, particularly by western media.  In fact, many people in the U.K believe it to be over as they constantly tell me ‘well it’s never on the news is it?’.  And that was my point.  People are suffering on both sides and yet there seems to be some kind of biased media blackout.


As for my time in Mariupol, I will cover this with more ‘in-depth’ blog posts.  These will follow over the next few weeks and will include my time spent with a former Ukrainian soldier who shares pro-Russian views.  I’ll also show the places I visited there including the former council offices and Police Station that were destroyed in 2014.


I’m on Twitter Instagram and Facebook so feel free to follow or ‘like’.




Written by Dean O'Brien

July 11, 2017 at 1:38 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. Look forward to reading your subsequent blogs Dean!
    Hope you had a good trip. Regards. Peter

    Peter Luczka

    July 11, 2017 at 2:15 pm

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