Odessa, Ukraine was a hot mess while I was working there. Entire city built on a maze of limestone caves and catacombs. Sinkholes would just open up and swallow vehicles during rush hour. Saw the aftermath of a ten-story office building sink into the ground up to the 5th Floor.
Drinking tap water would give you a running case of dysentery for about 24 hours. Had to brush teeth, make coffee, etc. with bottled water. To conserve on power and water, they'd shut them off every day between 12:00am-6:00am. There were two prices for everything: one for locals and one for foreigners, unless foreigners were accompanied by a local. A local could take taxi anywhere in the city for $5 but, if I was alone, it was $10.
Mafia controlled everything but, they didn't mess with tourists and foreign workers until they were ready to leave, then they'd get shook down for $40 at the airport to get their passports returned. Mafia even shook down the little gypsy beggar kids around the Potemkin Stairs and Opera House. Don't feel too sorry for them, though. They were apprentice scammers, intentionally dressed-up in dirty, tattered clothes to bum money off tourists. You'd see mom and dad pick them up in a Mercedes at the end of the day and drop them off the next. They didn't even try to be subtle.
I was there as a subcontractor for Motorola from 1998-2000 and Odessa was both the best place I've ever visited and the worst place I've ever worked. The huge upside were the inordinate amount of beautiful women, who rarely wore underwear during the Summer and were more offended by men NOT hooping and hollering at them than if they were. They were coming out of the woodwork. All you had to do is sit at a cafe on Deribasovskaya for more than 15 minutes, have a coffee, (pretend to) read a newspaper and they'd make the first move every time. It was like role-reversal and none of us were really prepared for that.
Everything in Ukraine was rundown, used and abused, rode hard and put-up wet. We built cell towers everywhere along the Black Sea. Yalta was beautiful but, the rest of Ukraine had that long-neglected, post-Soviet shabbiness to it that made me wonder why Motorola ever thought it would be a good return on investment. They pulled-out completely by Spring 2000 and handed off everything to one of Nokia's companies. I came back to the USA much wiser and without a Ukrainian wife, which is more than I can say for a couple of guys in my crew.