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Ukraine

Areas Visited: Odessa, Líviv. (2007)

Ukraine is a country that is stuck between Russia and the future. Much of the country is tied to Russia culturally. Although there is a Ukrainian language, Russian is the dominant language and identity over much of the country. Only in the western part of the country (Líviv) is the identity Ukrainian and not Russian. Much of the country still looks to Russia for the future, making it still overly controlled by the remnants of communist bureaucracy. Tourism exists, but thereís never a feeling that they care about it. English is not widely spoken and the people arenít very interested in making an extra effort to communicate. The country uses the Cyrillic alphabet, something thatís good to learn before visiting.

I recommend visiting Ukraine for the feel of visiting Russia without the need for acquiring a difficult tourist visa.

Journals

Romania, Moldova, Ukraine and Poland (May 3-20, 2007)