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You're reading: Back Story: Even optimists like us can’t ignore reality

Every so often, someone in the Ukrainian government hits on the bright idea of a campaign to polish the country’s image abroad. Talk about putting lipstick on an aardvark. Ukraine has a reality problem, not a perception problem.

It happened with a visit a few months ago by a CNN crew that breathlessly “reported” on the positive aspects of Ukraine, of which there are many. This, however, was merely paid advertising in the guise of news purchased by the client, Ukraine.

The perception-versus-reality question came up during a discussion with an important and very articulate oil and gas industry executive in one of my series of meetings to discuss the Kyiv Post’s coverage. “There is so much doom and gloom in the newspaper,” he said, and then quickly added, “Maybe that is all there is out there.”

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