Having been here in Ukraine for over eight years I have seen some changes, but I sometimes stop and wonder if anything has really changed at all since Ukraine gained its independence nearly 16 years ago. The cheesie concerts at Palats Ukraina performed by people who's time has passed, the backwardness of so many things... I think it is time that we ask ourselves: "Is Ukraine just a Potemkin Village?"
Yesterday, afternoon I began to think about this after my business partner called after arriving at Boryspil for a flight out of the country for a business meeting. He said, to me, "I finally cleared through passport control, and guess who was in line in front of me?" My first response was, "Why did you say finally, was there a problem?"
"Not for me, but it took the guy in front of me half an hour!" Of course I could have tried to guess until I was blue in the face, so instead I asked him. "Who was in front of you?"
"Ruslan Ponomariov. They treated him like a second class citizen, like dirt. At first I thought they wanted his autograph, but nothing of the sort! They just kept on asking him inane questions and trying to get under his skin!"
So think about it folks, we are in 2007, and even a Grand Master in chess gets hassled by his own citizens[border guards], upon departure from his own country? Has anything really changed?