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Author Topic: Enjoying Ukraine  (Read 1910 times)

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Offline mendeleyev

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Enjoying Ukraine
« on: October 10, 2018, 03:43:17 PM »
My first visit to the Soviet Union was when Boryspil was still a "closed" airport, mainly for military and government use. There was no such thing as a steady stream of Western tourists clamouring to enter.


A group of 6 journalists from the west was en route and about 45 minutes before the approach, stewards came by our seats and collected cameras and writing materials before shuttering our windows so that we could not see, photo, or draw diagrams of the airport.


Upon landing we were herded on the tarmac to a closed bus and driven blind to the terminal. Once inside, we had our first view of Kyiv (Kiev back then). What a difference today!


I don't want to make this thread political so will try to refrain from political statements as much as possible. I understand that some might wish to make this political and so I will respond at the outset: If you have not lived full time for at least 2 years in Russia or Ukraine, then I am not interested in what you think, nor the opinion of your wife. Sorry.


Let us just say that I have always loved Ukraine as she was my first-hand experience with the fascination of all things Soviet.


My introduction to the Soviet Union came on 18 June 73 when Leonid Brezhnev landed at Andrews Air base outside DC. He was General Secretary of the Communist Part and leader of the Soviet Union. I was a small fry just fortunate enough to be attached to an ABC news crew that was there to broadcast the meeting at the White House between Brezhnev and US president Richard Nixon. The "Russia bug" bit me that day and I vowed to someday work as a journalist in Russia.


Coming to Ukraine has been sort of a homecoming of sorts as some years ago I was the producer for the weekly English language radio broadcasts of the Kyiv Symphony Orchestra, traveling back and forth to Kyiv from Moscow on weekends.


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Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Enjoying Ukraine
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2018, 03:45:10 PM »
I was around for the Orange revolution and again for Maidan. I support those who wish to have a better life and future for their children, just as I supported former independence movements in Chechnya and others. Now another "revolution" is taking place as the Ecumenical Orthodox Patriarch in Constantinople may soon grant fully recognized and independent status to a Ukrainian Orthodox Church not under the umbrella of Russia, as opposed by the Kremlin and Russian Patriarch Kirill. As an Orthodox person myself, I hope that it comes to fruition.

We recently toured the ancient caves monastery, the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra which is under Russian control. The dean, one of the monastery leaders, had just arrived and parked his almost new Bentley Mulsanne ($300,000+) in a special reserved spot. As we were ready to enter the caves area, a Russian monk stepped over and instructed my wife, who was already wearing a head scarf and long dress, to put on a special long skirt. Already modest in dress, she asked "why?' to which the monk replied that only modest women could enter. The special skirt was no longer than her dress and I was both amazed and pleased when she retorted that if modesty were an issue then perhaps the dean might wish to park his Bentley somewhere out of sight. The monk's jaw dropped, and we entered. I was proud of her.

Outside of Kyiv's main streets, the roads are crappy everywhere in the country, just like much of Russia. Corruption is just as thick as in Russia and that is sad. Oligarchs are the same in either country, including most of the leadership who discover great wealth by becoming a public servant.

But I love the people, and unlike in Russia where the populace is spoon-fed one state sponsored ideology, at least some of the population seems to possess living brain cells and are not devoted to the death to corrupt leaders. Ukraine is a work in progress and in my estimation at least has hope of someday becoming a real country. I cannot say the same for a larger neighbor.

Ukraine also has neighbors to learn from, such as Poland and Georgia. Ukraine and Poland have some issues at the moment, but at least the channels of communication remain open and there are helpful signs.

« Last Edit: October 10, 2018, 08:42:11 PM by mendeleyev »
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Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Enjoying Ukraine
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2018, 03:48:46 PM »
This may change, but I am fairly consistent in my view of the most beautiful cities:

- Moscow
- Kyiv
- Amsterdam
- Saint Petersburg
- Tbilisi
- Paris
- Russia's Golden Ring region

Some may question why Piter ranks only 4, but it is my ranking and my opinion.

Maybe someday Piter (and I do love this city!) will improve to take over #3 from Amsterdam, but not yet.
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Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Enjoying Ukraine
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2018, 03:51:28 PM »
Yes, I love Kyiv.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2018, 03:53:21 PM by mendeleyev »
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Offline BdHvA

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Re: Enjoying Ukraine
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2018, 04:12:16 PM »
I would add Prague (Praha) to the list of Mendy.

While I have other cities that I like such as 's-Hertogenbosch and L'viv they are far smaller in scale.
Experierence is not what happens to you. It is what you do with what happens to you. A. Huxley

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Enjoying Ukraine
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2018, 04:29:37 PM »
Agreed.


Lviv can be very expensive over the holidays and we planned to spend the New Year there, but every Airbnb that I reserved cancelled the booking with the first explanation that by mistake it had already been rented. Then mysteriously, 4 of the 5 I had reserved, contacted me again saying that they were suddenly available....but much higher rent of course. LOL  This is against Airbnb rules, and I pointed it out to each, and only one apologized and offered it at the original rate.


We decided to head south in late December to visit relatives in southern Ukraine that haven't seen in years, then host some visiting American friends in Kyiv for the New Year.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2018, 08:44:57 PM by mendeleyev »
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Online BillyB

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Re: Enjoying Ukraine
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2018, 05:49:22 PM »
. I was a small fry just fortunate enough to be attached to an ABC news crew that was there to broadcast the meeting at the White House between Brezhnev and US president Richard Nixon. The "Russia bug" bit me that day and I vowed to someday work as a journalist in Russia.


Which Russian bug bit you? Did you see some smokinhotkovas in the group that accompanied Brezhnev or did you feel it would be a thrill to work in a country the West thought dangerous?

Offline JayH

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Re: Enjoying Ukraine
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2018, 07:26:54 PM »
How dare you come here and criticise AirBnb! ! The local resident know everything will not hear any of that! ( shh that would be Moby !)

Very pleased to hear you are in Kyiv -- and a little safer !

I liked this  non political  ;D comment -- quote
"But I love the people, and unlike in Russia where the populace is spoon-fed one state sponsored ideology, at least some of the population seems to possess living brain cells and are not devoted to the death to corrupt leaders.Ukraine is a work in progress and in my estimation at least has hope of someday becoming a real country. I cannot say the same for a larger neighbor. "
end quote

Hard to avoid politics -- but a lot of what an "outsider" can see in Ukraine is the potential for a real future -- and as you point out there are some countries that can be a guide in general direction.

My view is that great progress has been made -- but -- again is at the political crossroads. Apart from the ongoing war -the Russian nemesis looms large and cannot be ignored. What is one of the more remarkable observations I make is that turning west has been achieved much faster that I expected and is happening more successfully than predicted.There are many positives generally speaking-- and that is in no way diminishing some of the all to real negatives/

It will be interesting to read your observations

Welcome back-- I am sure there are many who will be happy to see your return.
SLAVA UKRAYINI  ! HEROYAM SLAVA!!!!
Слава Украине! Слава героям слава!Слава Україні! Слава героям!
 translated as: Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the heroes!!!  is a Ukrainian greeting slogan being used now all over Ukraine to signify support for a free independent Ukraine

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Enjoying Ukraine
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2018, 08:27:16 PM »
Which Russian bug bit you? Did you see some smokinhotkovas in the group that accompanied Brezhnev or did you feel it would be a thrill to work in a country the West thought dangerous?


No smokinhotkovas at that event. LOL


« Last Edit: October 10, 2018, 08:48:46 PM by mendeleyev »
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Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Enjoying Ukraine
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2018, 09:14:18 PM »
I love walking in Kyiv and enjoying the sights, sounds and smells. I read a lot so perhaps I'll step inside this book store someday.
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Online msmob

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Re: Enjoying Ukraine
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2018, 01:44:36 AM »
How dare you come here and criticise AirBnb! ! The local resident know everything will not hear any of that! ( shh that would be Moby !)

Make a thread about your 'Airbnb issues' .... Mendy is back - pipe down, JayH


Offline bluesky56

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Re: Enjoying Ukraine
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2018, 06:42:46 PM »
mendeleyev   thank you I always enjoy reading your posts


Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Enjoying Ukraine
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2018, 01:03:03 AM »
This is the National Parliamentary Library of Ukraine. It opened in 1866 and is one of the national libraries of Ukraine. It began as the city's public library, a system that has expanded all over the city.

It is quite a historic place to visit, near the soccer stadium, and the address is: Naberezhno-Khreshachatyts'ka St, 1, Kyiv, Ukraine, 04070
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Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Enjoying Ukraine
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2018, 06:20:21 PM »
There are some very nice videos about Ukraine by Western visitors.




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Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Enjoying Ukraine
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2018, 06:26:53 PM »
My wife's favourite Kyiv restaurant is O'Panas and it is featured in this video. The host butchered the restaurant name, but had good things to say about the food and atmosphere. It is located just across from Red University, on the edge of Taras Shevchenko Park, and the food leans toward traditional Ukrainian.


The restaurant is literally built around a tree and the interior is very creative.










« Last Edit: November 06, 2018, 06:30:24 PM by mendeleyev »
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Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Enjoying Ukraine
« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2018, 06:28:54 PM »
Samuel and Audrey visited Kyiv and this is a nice compilation of things to do and see in Kyiv. Amazingly enough, they also include a food tour of O'Panas restaurant in this video.




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Offline krimster2

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Re: Enjoying Ukraine
« Reply #16 on: November 06, 2018, 06:31:20 PM »
my fav place in Kyiv is Osteria Pantagruel
a small intimate place
excellent everything
within walking of Opera, so you can combine dinner before, opera, followed by cocktails after
if it's any indication of what kind of place it is, it was Yulia Tymoshenko's favorite, I saw her there several times
body guard gave me a glare
вы думаете, что любой из этих людей, даже российских, подозревает, что я русский?

вот как я могу создать американскую личность
Я могу взять напрокат

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Enjoying Ukraine
« Reply #17 on: November 06, 2018, 10:55:36 PM »

For clarity, one cannot escape the fact that there are issues in Ukraine, including a war in the East. From an interview in 2016, here is a perspective of that situation from a guy for which I have immense respect.




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Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Enjoying Ukraine
« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2018, 11:04:56 PM »
On a much lighter note, here is the young girl who will represent Ukrainian is the Junior Eurovision this year.




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Online msmob

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Re: Enjoying Ukraine
« Reply #19 on: November 07, 2018, 03:56:37 AM »
For clarity, one cannot escape the fact that there are issues in Ukraine, including a war in the East. From an interview in 2016, here is a perspective of that situation from a guy for which I have immense respect.

Given, 'Trampu's' isolationalist policies, do Ukrainians not feel let down?

I ask this objectively, not to stir up a hornets nest?))




Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Enjoying Ukraine
« Reply #20 on: November 07, 2018, 03:28:14 PM »
This may surprise you, but many Ukrainians have a very positive impression. His supposed isolationism is not aimed at them, and they understand it clearly. His messages to Putin that sanctions will continue until the return Crimea, getting Russia out of Eastern Ukraine, and his recent assistance with Ukraine's military efforts have earned him respect with many.


Those are just facts. Naturally not everyone loves him, but internationally I have found that he is likely more admired abroad than at home.


Ukrainians love directness, and Trump pulls no punches. They appreciate a man with balls, even if they may not like every policy..


« Last Edit: November 07, 2018, 03:48:39 PM by mendeleyev »
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Re: Enjoying Ukraine
« Reply #21 on: November 07, 2018, 03:56:00 PM »
This may surprise you, but many Ukrainians have a very positive impression. His supposed isolationism is not aimed at them, and they understand it clearly. His messages to Putin that sanctions will continue until the return Crimea, getting Russia out of Eastern Ukraine, and his recent assistance with Ukraine's military efforts have earned him respect with many.


Those are just facts. Naturally not everyone loves him, but internationally I have found that he is likely more admired internationally than at home.

Well I DID ask !))

Thanks for responding .... Yup, I'd be surprised ...

 I don't know what other nations you go to, but I do not recognise this 'popularity' - he is largely seen in a negative aspect in the UK, Ireland, Cyprus, Turkey, France, Germany and not a few other EU nations I've visited this year..  I detect the same in Canada, Australia and New Zealand ...  ?

 


Ukrainians love directness, and Trump pulls no punches. They appreciate a man with balls, even if they may not like every policy..

And how is he perceived - in your opinion - in Russia ... ? ;)


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Re: Enjoying Ukraine
« Reply #22 on: November 07, 2018, 03:57:00 PM »
Since the O'Panas restaurant was mentioned yesterday, here are some photo of the exterior.





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Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Enjoying Ukraine
« Reply #23 on: November 07, 2018, 04:10:16 PM »
Well I DID ask !))

Thanks for responding .... Yup, I'd be surprised ...

 I don't know what other nations you go to, but I do not recognise this 'popularity' - he is largely seen in a negative aspect in the UK, Ireland, Cyprus, Turkey, France, Germany and not a few other EU nations I've visited this year..  I detect the same in Canada, Australia and New Zealand ...  ?

I don't think he cares. Neither do I care if he cares, one way or the other. Europe is weak and the danger is that as Europe sinks it tends to drag others down with it.


And how is he perceived - in your opinion - in Russia ... ? ;)


As someone familiar with walking thru the halls of the Kremlin, Novo-Ogaryvovo, and the Russian White House (government complex on the river), he is not at all liked. Probably one of the dumbest perceptions in the West is that somehow Putin likes him. Putin is interested in sharing the world stage, and a large personality like Trump doesn't like to share. This frustrates Putin to no end. Putin's aim is to rebuild the "Russian World" and he perceives that Trump, or any American or Western leader for that matter, is standing in his way.


Putin's frustration with Trump is indeed one big reason why so many Ukrainians like him. We were eating lunch in a Kyiv restaurant recently and a guy (not American) was wearing a MAGA hat! I could not help but laugh and asked where he got it. In his thick accent he exclaimed, "On line of course."


Putin has only himself to blame for losing Ukraine, and he has lost it. The past 4-5 years have served to separate any hope by Putin of rebuilding his precious Russian World (code for a least partial reconstruction of the Soviet Union). They only way he could get it back is by a large scale invasion and installation of a puppet government.


« Last Edit: November 07, 2018, 04:15:42 PM by mendeleyev »
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Re: Enjoying Ukraine
« Reply #24 on: November 07, 2018, 04:11:56 PM »
Now lets return to our regular scheduled programme of showing how amazing Ukraine and her people are. Enough of politics.
The Mendeleyev Journal. http://mendeleyevjournal.com Member: Congress of Russian Journalists; ЖУРНАЛИСТЫ.RU (Journalist-Russia); ЖУРНАЛИСТЫ.UA (Journalist-Ukraine); ЖУРНАЛИСТЫ.KZ (Journalist-Kazakhstan); ПОРТАЛ ЖУРНАЛИСТОВ (Portal of RU-UA Journalists); Просто Журналисты ("Just Journalists").

 

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