From Kyiv With Love (Episode 1)

Maidan

I guess writing about my Kyiv is the most difficult…the mixture of feelings is overwhelming. They are quite opposite. Pain and joy. How can I find right words to describe this city – charming city where I was born and where I spent most of my life, and where I saw too many things I wish I could not see. I feel nervous actually, I am not enough good for it. Maybe I am not even enough smart for this special mission, however, I have to give it a try. So we are in Kyiv  today and I would like to start our journey from its heart…Maidan, Independence Square or Place Where Hearts Go On…

In the photo above you can see our famous city center where in the 2000s the biggest political protests in Ukraine, such as the Ukraine without Kuchma (our second President after becoming an independent country) campaign and the Orange Revolution took place. In the center of picture there is a monument – a woman who symbolizes freedom for which Ukrainians fighting for….freedom bought with blood.

Stella
This monument symbolizes for me a strong Ukrainian woman and a mother who protects our Motherland from invaders. During our last Revolution of Dignity first blood was shed at this place. Students who showed their peaceful protests were sleeping on the stairs of this monument at the late November night when military met attacked them and started to use severe physical power by beating them with resin batons. I have not been there personally, but every time I am near this place I feel this desperate sorrow for being a witness of inhuman cruelty. These poor students were unarmed while military men were in full ammunition. Have you ever seen more cruel scenes? Among these students were young girls…it happened 2 years ago!

I draw for you a pretty sad picture, however, today sun shines brightly here, people walk around this monument and make pictures.  They believe that better future without war is waiting for their children when they grow up.

Historical House of Trade Unions

A historical building which survived or not exactly survived a real fire during the Revolution of Dignity salutes us. This is House of Trade Unions located on the city’s main Khreshchatyk Street, its facade faces the central Independence square and contains the city’s main clock tower. Approximate year of its “birth” is 1974, but it was renovated hundred of times. This building was mostly used as offices rented by Trade Union Federation. During Revolutions it served as press center, kitchen, and even area for sleeping or relax. Ukrainians gathered there to hide from winter cold, since most of our Revolutions were exactly at winter, its most cold months. What can I tell you – Ukrainians are not afraid of being frozen to death when it is about their freedom. One of the strongest and hard-working nation in the whole world, and not because I am one of them, no, believe me this is just what I see and know.  You have to excuse me now – I have big doubts whether anyone is ready to sleep in a usual tent almost on asphalt at the temperature not higher than -10 or even – 20 C…Ukrainians did and their clothes did not contain specific fur…I am not kidding…I saw it personally! I have no intention to idolize Ukrainians and put them on some pedestal, surely not, we are the same sinful people, just sometimes we can demonstrate magical will power that  impresses!

St Michael

If you turn almost 180 degrees you will see this statue with wings on the so-called gates. I will tell you what this is –  Saint Michael Archangel.   According to legend, when God divided the earth into countries and the angels chose one to patronize,  St. Michael became the protector of the Kyivan Rus (current Kyiv). This statue stands on Lyadski gates, which are supposed to be on the same place as in ancient times – gates to Kyiv. Let us go through them and look around. Take a deep breath and inhale the atmosphere. Maybe air is not so fresh, there are too many factories and cars in this megalopolis. Nevertheless, it has its own style. A preconceived opinion may be thrown at me – I do use too many compliments while describing Kyiv. Still I cannot agree. Kyiv is seemed to be not the most beautiful capital city, however, I could not stop loving it. 

City Center Side View

I have been abroad not once. I visited many capital cities and all of them I found very beautiful and nice. All of them have their own style, smells and sounds. I have no right even to tell that one city is more beautiful than the other.  Honestly I would like to see another Kyiv, not so crowded and modern. I prefer its ancient look, which is hardly remained due to skyscrapers and multiple shopping centers.

Kyiv Bridge View

Still it looks very nice. Especially when it tries an autumn outfit on. It looks so colorful and vulnerable at the same time. Sun makes a good light and I capture some positive signs, in fact, Kyiv needs changes for the better. It has to be reconstructed and saved in its original form. Kyiv can be a very attractive for tourists as well as L’viv. There are fantastic hotels here, beautiful nature parks, old churches and hospitable people. I think I will be right to tell that Kyiv is not similar to any other European city, it is too different and contrasting. One glance – modern shopping centers, expensive cars, high traffic, brand boutiques, skyscrapers, slim girls on high-heel shoes, whereas the other – homeless people, old people who like homeless, soldiers, sad faces, and despair…Yeah, again I draw a sad picture, I imagine your face now! I may draw another picture – happier and brighter, it actually is true. People smile here, people are born here, live, fall in love and etc. Thus Kyiv is too contrasting, black and white are crossing each other. As a person who cannot be indifferent I simply crave for warmer colors. Kyiv deserved to be visited, felt and “touched”. It deserved to be one of the most attractive and desired. That’s why I am here and I will show you this city from inside, you will hear the truth without any prejudice or advertisement. It is a special and very honorable mission and I will not disappoint you! 

To be continued!

From Kyiv with Love…

Yours Ann

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26 thoughts on “From Kyiv With Love (Episode 1)

  1. Interesting and great article , Ann. Cities with a rich history all know joy and sad times over the ages. You are off with a good start. I will be looking forward to dicover Kiev through your photos and pen. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Francina, you are absolutely right, big cities combine usually sad and joy as my Kyiv, however, it can be better to have more joy. You pleased me a lot with your kind compliment! So glad to know you liked my post! I write for you and always look for your thoughts and ideas! Take care! Thank you a lot!

      Like

    1. Thank you so much, dear Anna! Your kind words mean a lot for me, they gave me a huge encouragement and support! I don’t know what can I do without such supportive readers! Take care! You really made me feel great!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Always a pleasure, Ann. I try to support my followers and other bloggers as much as I possibly can. I have two young boys that need my care and attention, so I’m offline from time to time. But, I do visit when I’m back online. Take care as well, Ann. Enjoy your evening. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I appreciate your encouragement, you are very kind person, I feel it through your blog and your comments! I am lucky to meet you, thank you so much! You too take care and enjoy time with boys! Have a lovely weekend!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thank you for your kind words, Ann. I am blessed to have met you (and other bloggers) here in blogosphere world as well. Thank you for your support as well. I hope you had a nice weekend. Have a fabulous week ahead. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You chosed a mission! And you are doing it very well! You are very patriotic, what I envy! I think, if most of people can have such strong feeling towards their motherlands, a lot of things can be better! But this is life! However, through your posts, we, your readers, can have a view about Kiev and Ukraine as well as ukrainian people! I am lucky, because I several times visited your country and I will do so! But who cannot doing this, or just haven’t had possibility yet, can still travel with you now! Please, continue! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for stopping by and reading my post. Maidan originates from میدان — meydan and you know that it means an open area. For us it’s an open area or square in the city center where Ukrainiana can gather and fight for their interests. It happened already several times in our history. We went through two revolutions at Maidan, everything started at the same place. Maidan is also a community of people-patriots who care about their Motherland and would like to protect it from unfair things. Maidan is a symbol of strong power and will of usual Ukrainians! Hope it’s clear for you now!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You explained more than required. I was curious bcoz the same word we too use in our Indian languages for an open field or open area. This is the basic meaning. Thanks for your explanations!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I did not remember seeing part 1, so here I am, and the photos all loaded this time. 🙂 I think you probably have much in common with the Polish cities that I know and love. Thank you for your warm introduction, Ann. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, Jo, Ukraine is very close to Poland, we are neighbors in geography and culture as well as languages, only alphabet is different and as I know it could be the same, but again wrong people did wrong things in the past! I adore Poland and it can be nice to visit it more often! Thank you so much!

      Liked by 1 person

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