Thousands of football fans have gathered in Warsaw, for the kick off of the Euro 2012 football championships.
The tournament, which starts on Friday, is being hosted by Poland and Ukraine.
In Kiev, the storm clouds have been brewing. The authorities are expecting up to one million foreign visitors. But ministers from the UK and several other European countries will not be among them.
They have joined boycott action over the treatment of jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko.
Ukraine’s President has embarked on a public relations campaign.
“Dear fellow Ukrainians, in the days ahead the attention of the the world will be focused on our country,” Viktor Yanukovich said.
“I urge you to show full Ukrainian hospitality, sincerity and friendliness.”
Supporters of Tymoshenko are hoping to draw attention to her case during the tournament.
She was jailed on abuse of office charges, allegations which she denies. Her continued imprisonment and treatment has soured relations with the West.