Here is some graffiti depicting a Moldovan mother and child walking up a path to the European Union. The Republic of Moldova has been actively pursuing European Union membership for years. But, due to its poverty level (the poorest of any countries pursuing membership) and its ongoing Transnistrian dispute (Transnistria is an independently formed breakaway republic backed by, you guessed it, Russia), the EU has not been willing to accept the country. The EU has set up shop in Chisinau (since 2005) and is trying to ‘help’ with the conflict in order to (possibly) eventually bring Moldova into the Union, as Moldova has desperately tried to gain entry for so long… – I’m taking a road trip to Transnistria today, as I wish to see it for myself.

7july17. Chisinau, Moldova.



Images you’re about to see from today, February 22, 2015:

~ Gathering of Ukrainians at St. Michael’s Cathedral Square

~ Mobile film stations were set up in the square by the Ukrainian Military Defense to show the Ukrainian people “evidence” of the current Russian aggression.

~ Children are laughing and smiling, climbing on tanks (seemingly unaware of the real horrors occurring in Donetsk, Debaltseve…)

~ Burnt out cars (bombed, shelled) from the war with Russia (and the Separatists) brought in from Donetsk, Debaltseve with Ukrainians (and their children) getting up close and peering into them.

~ Waving of Ukrainian flags (blue & yellow) and “a black and red flag, this one raised by pro-Ukraine protesters, belongs to the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA). The members were Ukrainian nationalists who fought against both sides in WW2 for an independent Ukraine – even resorting to collaborating with the German army as a tactical strategy to achieve nationalist goals. Some accuse them of murdering Jews and Poles, so in Russia this flag is regarded as fascist. (BBC News)

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22feb15. Kiev, Ukraine.


from Wikipedia:

Fall of Giants is a historical novel by Welsh-born author Ken Follett. It is the first in the Century Trilogy, and follows five interrelated families throughout the course of the 20th century between 1911 and 1924. The first book covers notable events such as World War I, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for women’s suffrage.

Winter of the World is an historical novel by Welsh-born author Ken Follett, written in 2012. It is the second book in the Century Trilogy, after Fall of Giants. The story starts in 1933, with the Nazi seizure of power, includes World War II, and concludes in 1949.

According to Follett, the third book, provisionally titled Edge of Eternity, will cover the Cold War and is to be published in late 2014.


Ever since “Pillars of the Earth” and “World Without End,” Follett has captured me as a reader. Before those two books, I wouldn’t have deigned to read his “thrillers.” But alas, as I can see the man knows how to conduct in-depth research, I will gladly read anything he writes.

The first week of May was spent with “Winter of the World” and what a lovely week it was.