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New Europe

Day Eighty-one: Kiev

Sean Carr 
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As befits the lead singer of the Death Valley Screamers, Sean doesn't use public transport.
Michael Palin - New EuropeSean tries to keep his band separate from the politics but it's not easy. They're hugely popular here in Ukraine.

'I mean, we've had seventy-year-old grandmas coming down wearing Death Valley Screamer shirts. It's like, hang on a minute, what's going on here.'

His mother-in-law is a cautious supporter but, according to Eugenia, would prefer it if he didn't take his shirt off on stage.

Eugenia emphasises that Ukraine is a very young country, trying to deal with a democratic parliamentary system in a country where the rulers were used to getting their way. Openness of the press, consultation with the people are new concepts here.

The big difference, of course, is that things don't happen in a vacuum any more. The eyes of the world were on the country during the Orange Revolution.

Eugenia nods and smiles.

'After the revolution, everybody found out about the Ukraine, but now in a positive way, you know, rather than just knowing about Chernobyl.'
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: New Europe
  • Chapter: Day Eighty-one: Kiev
  • Country/sea: Ukraine
  • Place: Kiev
  • Book page no: 195

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