Recently in Kyiv Category

Happy Birthday Ukraine!

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Today marks the 18th anniversary of Ukraine's independence. Celebrations included a military parade down Kyiv's Khreschatik Street and the placement of a huge flower clock in Independence Square. The clock is huge, with a 5 meter-long minute hand and a 3 meter-long hour hand.  Its diameter is 19.5 meters, the largest in the world.  Yes, the clock does display the actual time.


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Chernovetsky Wins Another Term in Kyiv Election

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Kyiv Mayor Leonid ChernovetskyKyiv's incumbent mayor Leonid Chernovetsky has apparently won another term in office.  With approximately 80% of votes counted, Chernovetsky has almost twice as many votes as his closest competitor, First Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Turchynov.

According to the Kyiv City Electoral Commission, 53.39% of eligible voters turned out for the May 25 election at 1,026 polling stations located throughout the city. Seventy candidates participated in the election, producing a ballot measuring one meter in length.

At the time of this posting, data from 830 polling stations reveals the following results:

  • Leonid Chernovetsky (36.89%)
  • Oleksandr Turchynov (18.71%)
  • Vitaliy Klitschko (17.66%)
  • Victor Pylypyshyn (6.62%)
  • Mykola Katerynchuk (4.34%)
  • Oleksandr Omelchenko (2.49%)
  • Vassyl Horbal (2.4%)
  • Oleh Tyahnybok (1.36%)
  • Oleksandr Pabat (1.31%)
The election also included party voting for City Council Deputy seats. Data from 900 polling stations provides the following results:

  • Chernovetsky Bloc (30.02%)
  • Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc - BYuT (22.59%)
  • Klitschko Bloc (10.46%)
  • Lytvyn Block (8.12%)
  • Civil Activists of Kyiv (5.83%)
  • Party of Regions (3.93%)
  • Katerynchuk Bloc (3.41%)
Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko's charges of bribery and corruption against Chernovetsky were the motivation behind this election. In March, BYuT MPs threatened to walk out of Parliament if lawmakers did not call for a new election. Tymoshenko's support of Turchynov made this appear to be nothing more than a power play to gain political control in Kyiv.

Tymoshenko refused to cooperate with other Democratic political groups to back a single mayoral candidate. This stubbornness gave voters too many options on the ballot. The result was Tymoshenko suffering her first political defeat in what can only be viewed as a failure of monumental proportions.

Many experts viewed this election as a preview of Ukraine's 2010 Presidential election in which Tymoshenko is expected to have a successful run against incumbent President Viktor Yushchenko. If this city election was indeed a Presidential preview, Tymoshenko could be in a lot of trouble. On the other hand, I'm sure Yushchenko is overjoyed at this outcome.

Tymoshenko clearly overestimated her popularity and influence. Obviously, she does not have nearly the same amount of influence over voters as Vladimir Putin did earlier this year, helping Dmitry Medvedev get elected as President of Russia in a landslide.


Kyiv City Council BuildingKyiv Mayor Leonid Chernovetsky













photos: Mayor Leonid Chernovetsky (left), Kyiv City Council Building (right)

Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada passed a resolution on Tuesday requiring early mayoral and city council elections in Kyiv. Current Mayor Leonid Chernovetsky is accused of conducting land privatization deals in Kyiv that has given away almost $3 billion worth of land plots over the last six months.

The resolution was approved by a 246-5 vote, supported by the governing coalition of the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc (BYuT) and Our Ukraine People's Self Defense Bloc (OU-PSD), and a group from the Lytvyn Bloc. The Party of Regions did not participate in the vote.

Chernovetsky, who became mayor in 2006, responded to the resolution by stating, "I am not afraid of an early election, because I am confident of my victory. I believe Kiev citizens will decide who is really working for them."

Deputy Mayor Irena Kilchitskaya did not show the same diplomacy, stating,  “Today’s vote was unconstitutional because they had no material evidence or criminal cases in its support. This vote shows that Kiev is a political arena, and the struggle for Kiev is the beginning of the struggle for presidency. Kiev authorities are fully prepared for the early mayoral election.”

The election is expected to take place in June, 70 days after the resolution takes effect. This is the first time that the Ukrainian Parliament has ever voted to remove a local government and declare an early election in a particular regioin. Now that a precedent has been set, this practice can be used elsewhere, such as the Party of Regions dominated Kharkiv Region, which may also face an early election later this year.

Expected contestants for the mayoral position include former boxer Vitaliy Klitschko, Interior Minister Yuri Lutsenko, former Kyiv mayor Oleksandr Omelchenko, and a BYuT  representative. Since all four have ties to the democratic coalition, OU-PSD faction member Kyrylo Kuliko  hopes the alliance will propose a single candidate for the election.

I'm not completely sure, but this may be the first time the democratic coalition received support from another political group. Volodymyr Lytvyn, leader of his block, seems to have his Parliament members functioining as independents, never voting on party or coalition lines, but supporting whatever initiatives seem appropriate at the time. That's a pretty good approach, if you ask me.

Mayor Chernovetsky photo courtesy of Kiev City Government Administration
Kyiv City Council Bulding photo Gnu Free Documentation License 1.2

Final World Monopoly Update - Kyiv

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Hasbro has done something nasty that has forced this to be my last World Monopoly update. There are 6 days left in the voting, and Hasbro has removed the leaderboard from their website. They claim this will add to the mystery of which cities will make it onto the game board. That's true, but not knowing where things stand over the next week is definitely going to add to my stress levels!

Okay, here's my last plea ... Please, please, please go to the World Monopoly site every day and place your votes for Kyiv! Apparently we are not doing a very good job with our voting because Kyiv has fallen all the way down to #19. Remember, only the top 20 cities make it to the game board. This is really sad because Kyiv had been as high as #10. Come on - it would be really neat to get an underdog like Kyiv onto the game board. If you're reading this, you are already on the internet, so click on the above link and place your votes.

Weekly World Monopoly Update - Kyiv Slipping!!

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Kyiv is now at #14

There’s not as much good news this week. Kyiv started the week at #12 and has since slipped to #14. What makes it really bad is there are seven cities immediately behind Kyiv, including Toronto, currently at #21.

There are 12 days and 3 hours to go, so let’s make sure we place a vote for Kyiv everyday.

Also of note, voting will begin on February 29 to select two wildcard cities out of a list of 20. Lvyv, Ukraine seems sure to make the cut - currently situated at #4 on the wildcard list.

Kyiv - Weekly World Monopoly Update

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Kyiv is still sitting at #12

The good news is that Kyiv remains firmly entrenched in the top 20. The bad news is that several days ago, Kyiv made it up to #10 and has since fallen two spots.  Passing Kyiv were Jerusalem, Israel and Istanbul, Turkey.

Come on everyone - make sure you place a vote for Kyiv everyday! It only takes a minute. 19 days and 8 hours remain in the voting.

Kyiv - Monopoly Update

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It's been interesting to watch the "Monopoly Here & Now: World Edition" leaderboard each day. Last Sunday, when I first posted about the voting, Kyiv was ranked #26. I just voted again (I've only missed one day so far), and ...

Kyiv is currently situated at #12

That's right, Kyiv has made a huge move up the charts and is currently between Beijing, China at #11 and Tokyo, Japan at #13. Yes, it's true, Kyiv is slightly ahead of Tokyo.  Only 26 days and 5 hours to go in the voting. Remember to place your votes every day, and let's make sure Kyiv stays in the top 20!

Vote for Kyiv - Monopoly World Edition

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Hasbro recently announced the creation of the world’s first global Monopoly game. This new version, titled “Monopoly Here & Now: The World Edition,” will be available for purchase in over 100 countries and manufactured in 37 languages.

Kyiv World MonopolyWe all have an opportunity to help decide which cities will be included on the game board. On the Monopoly website, they have pre-selected 68 cities to choose from, and you can nominate any other as a Wildcard city. You can vote for up to 10 cities at a time, and can vote once per day. Voting continues through the end of February, and the 20 cities receiving the highest number of worldwide votes will be included in the game. Voting for two wildcard cities will occur from March 1 - 9. The selected cities will appear on the board from highest rent property to lowest based on the number of votes each city receives.

I am really excited that Kyiv, Ukraine is one of the 68 pre-selected cities. My understanding is that it took much lobbying of Hasbro Europe to get Kyiv included. I think it would be extremely neat to have Kyiv represented in this game. So join me in casting your daily votes for Kyiv, and any of your other favorite cities across the globe.

As of this posting, Kyiv is currently ranked #26.

Visit Monopoly Worldwide Voting now. (Note: you need to create and verify an account to have your votes included)


Hotels in Kyiv for English Speaking Visitors

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When in Kyiv last year, I found out the hard way that most people do not speak English. That also means that staff at most hotels only speak Russian and/or Ukrainian. Notice that I said MOST, but certainly not all.

One of Kyiv's Oldest Streets - Andriivsky Uzviz

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This blog does not always have to cover serious topics, so let's take a look at Andriivsky Uzviz, a really neat area to visit when in Kyiv, Ukraine. When I visited Chernobyl last summer, I only had one day remaining to see some sights in Kyiv. Believe me, that is not nearly enough time to see and properly appreciate all that this city has to offer.

Andriivsky Uzviz is a very old road that connects Kyiv's upper city to the lower Podil district. Starting at St. Michael's Church (seen above), wind your way slowly down the street, taking time to admire the amazing architecture surrounding you. While there, take time to visit many of the street vendor tents that cover the area like a daily art fair. If you are interested in matrioshka dolls, this is the place for you! There is so much to see and do here that you should plan to spend several hours seeing all the sights and soaking in the atmosphere.

I wish I had more time to spend around Andriivsky Uzviz, but with only one day in the city, I wanted to see as much as possible. I walked here all the way from the Hotel Rus and was determined to find the Chernobyl Museum once I reached the Podil District.