Hello,

We hope you’re staying healthy and well. But for your emotional well-being, here’s your weekly selection of cool and ridiculous stuff from Kyiv and beyond.

Cool:

  1. The Italian city of Florence will get its own monument to Ukraine’s 19th Century poet and artist Taras Shevchenko. The monument was made by famous Ukrainian sculptor Oleh Pinchuk. Its official opening will take place on March 9, 2021.

  2. Christmas lights are officially on in Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities as December 19 (St. Nicholas Day in Ukraine) saw the official switch-on ceremony.

  3. A Ukrainian photographer from the western city of Rivne, Taras Terletskyi, has been recognised as the best wedding photographer in the world by Golden Heart Awards 2020.

  4. Yulia Laputina, who was the second woman in Ukraine to be awarded the military rank of general, has been appointed as the new minister of veteran affairs of Ukraine.

  5. A Ukrainian An-124 Ruslan aircraft has delivered a satellite for Elon Musk’s SpaceX from France to the US.

Uncool:

  1. A six-year-old girl sent an anonymous bomb threat to her school in Odesa, southern Ukraine. When the law enforcement officers found out she was the “perpetrator,” the girl explained that she wanted to go home early to play with her cat as the reason for doing that.

  2. The renowned wine factory Masandra, which is located in the Russia-occupied Crimea, has been sold by the occupying authorities to a company that belongs (in its largest part) to a Vladimir Putin ally, Yuriy Kovalchuk. The US previously put Kovalchuk on its sanction list.

  3. A lecturer from the Lviv Polytechnic National University has been suspended from his duty following a scandal where he used pornographic pictures of women in a maths test. The case is being investigated.

  4. A Euromaidan activist and former Ukrainian MP, Tetiana Chornovol, is accused of deliberate murder during the 2013-2014 revolution.

  5. Serhiy Shkarlet, a former member of the disgraced Party of the Regions, has been officially appointed as the minister of education of Ukraine. He is known for plagiarising one of his academic works.