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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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…