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New Europe

Day Eighty-one: Kiev

Eugenia Tymoshenko 
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The most unlikely couple in Ukrainian politics. Eugenia Tymoshenko, daughter of Julia, and her husband, Sean Carr from Leeds.
Michael Palin - New EuropeHaving already broken so many conventions, the biker and the public schoolgirl are hoping to try and break one more and have a woman elected as President of Ukraine.

This morning they've invited us to visit them at their house just outside Kiev. Not a problem, except that Sean insists on driving me part of the way there on his motorbike. I don't know a lot about high-performance bikes, but a passenger saddle would have been nice. I cling on to my fellow Yorkshireman for dear life as he throttles his silver and chrome beast, streaked with a red flame motif, through the plantations of ramrod straight pine trees.

Just as I'm wondering if the shape of my face might be permanently altered by the blasting on-rush of air, Sean throttles down the engine to a deep gurgling rumble, makes a sharp turn off the road and parks up on a sandy track outside a well-fenced, rather bland, modern-ish house.

I unhook myself from the SS 'Vengeance' and follow Sean inside. Given the febrile atmosphere of current Ukrainian politics I'm not surprised to see CCTV cameras around the walls and a Rottweiler padding after us. We talk in the garden. Eugenia and Sean make no secret of the fact that the street politics is a protest at what they see as the corruption and illegitimacy of government, against the culture of secret deals behind closed doors. Her mother, she says, is the only one who's remained true to her word.
Sean Carr 
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The most unlikely couple in Ukrainian politics. Eugenia Tymoshenko, daughter of Julia, and her husband, Sean Carr from Leeds.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: New Europe
  • Chapter: Day Eighty-one: Kiev
  • Country/sea: Ukraine
  • Place: Kiev
  • Book page no: 194

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