Kharkiv city guide

Kharkiv city guide
Kharkiv, or Kharkov in Russian, is one of those characteristic cities that blossomed during the Soviet Union era. It’s a typical industrial giant built to fuel the old war effort. So think of a lot of concrete, factories, and monumental buildings. Wealth followed the industry and the rich built beautiful apartment buildings. They somehow reminded me of Kevin Spacey’s home in House of Cards. Post-Soviet cities often have a lot of green areas and beautiful parks as well. They function as the green lungs of the city and offer its inhabitants opportunities for leisure and relaxing. Living and working in an industrial city becomes otherwise too stressful. The Park of Maxim Gorky is the most famous one in Kharkiv. Trees were initially planted in a row with a horse-racing track in mind. It ke...
Kharkiv city guide

Lviv city guide

Lviv city guide
Lviv (in Russian: Lvov) takes its name from Leo (Lev) I of Galicia. Unlike most large cities in this part of Europe, the whole Western part of Ukraine didn’t get annexed by the USSR until 1939, which allowed them to secure most of their heritage. People in West Ukraine are very proud of their history, obsessing over Cossacks and looking down upon anyone that even utters a word in Russian. The Russian speaking people are considered to be betrayers after the Russian annexation of Crimea. And the people in the Eastern part of Ukraine such as the Donbass area accuse people in Lviv and the rest of Western Ukraine of heating up the nationalistic sentiments. Labels as “fascists”, “communists” and even “Nazis” have become fashionable again and a reasonable debate based on real facts ...
Lviv city guide

Odessa city guide

Odessa city guide
The first time I learned about Odessa was while listening to Alosza Awdiejew’s (Aleksy Awdiejew in Russian) songs. I love that guy: he’s the kind of this old school bard, singing about vodka, women and various crimes he and his friends might or might not have committed. It’s gangsta rap straight out of the 1980s Soviet port town. Suffice to say, Odessa is a kind of place you just don’t go to unless it’s summer. That's why I was so surprised to discover how much rich history and charm this city has. Mark Twain supposedly felt right at home the moment he came ashore from a long distance cruise and climbed the iconic Potemkin Stairs, in front of him a vibrant port town, the Black Sea behind him. The town that Twain was so enchanted by was discovered by Richelieu, a French mercenary,...
Odessa city guide

Kiev city guide

Kiev city guide
Kiev (or Kyiv in Ukrainian language) is an unbelievable and slightly overwhelming city. Kiev is filled to the brim with beautiful colourful orthodox churches such as the Saint Sophia’s Cathedral, the St. Andrew's Church, the St. Volodymyr's Cathedral and the St. Michaels Golden Domed Cathedral. All these holy places that have significant importance in the Orthodox Church are tourist staples that highly contrast with the monumental Stalinist architecture. And omnipresent nowadays is modern capitalism that shoves advertisements down your throat at every step. Even your girlfriends' babushka will probably try to sell you something. But it’s not all that bad, this flow of money allowed Kiev to develop into a vibrant, European capital that could easily rival the western ones in terms of cul...
Kiev city guide
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