Hello from Kyiv, and this is not your regular State of Kyiv newsletter, it’s a special one. Because this Sunday Kyiv celebrated its birthday! 🎂

For the occasion, the Kyiv mayor created this video featuring different Kyivans singing a famous song about Kyiv, “Yak tebe ne lyubyty, Kyyieve miy” (“How can one not love you, my Kyiv”). It also features Hollywood icon Arnold Schwarzenegger uttering the chorus. Watch it, it’s quite a treat.

While the number of new coronavirus cases in Ukraine seems to have stabilised and some new quarantine liftings came into force, the weather this week has been largely wet and windy. So we had to mostly stay indoors. Below are the stories that kept us going.

Cool news:

  1. Football is back in Ukraine ⚽️. The Ukrainian Premier League has resumed on May 30.
  2. Several pre-quarantine train routes have opened up for Ukrainians again, though mostly to eastern and southern Ukraine. Some western Ukrainian routes were added later.
  3. Swedish clothing retail-company H&M is planning to open Ukraine’s biggest shop (31,000 meters sq.) in Kyiv on June 11. Aside from the regular male and female clothes, it will have a kids section, a sports section, and a massive home section.
  4. An atypical for the capital naked run took place in Kyiv at the end of May, according to a video posted by Facebook user Andreas Pavlou. It is unclear who organised or participated in the run, but we’re going to give it to the runners, they did wear medical masks.
  5. Speaking of runs, a running ostrich was spotted in the Zhytomyr region streets earlier in May. What made the sight even more amusing was that the bird was running alongside a human cyclist. It remains a mystery whether the two are acquainted or just accidentally started racing each other.

Uncool news:

  1. A 26-year old woman was raped by police officers in the Kyiv region. After the attack was publicly reported, some media outlets decided to make the name of the victim public and even filmed her parents on a hidden camera without permission. The two police officers connected to the rape are now held in custody.
  2. A very strange story involving 43 expensive paintings and Ukraine’s ex-President Petro Poroshenko took place in Kyiv’s Ivan Honchar Museum on May 26.
  3. A court in Germany refused to extradite to Ukraine fugitive Ukrainian MP Oleksandr Onyshchenko who’s accused of embezzlement here. At the same time, Germany reportedly did not grant him political asylum that he asked for earlier. This means that Onyshchenko can potentially flee to Russia like many wanted Ukrainian businessmen and politicians do.
  4. Ukrainian children’s ombudsperson called surrogacy, which is very popular (and legal) in Ukraine, “slavery that women have to go through due to poverty. While the [adopting] couple can be anyone from homosexual people to rapists.” This comment – very understandably – did not go down well on the internet.
  5. A shootout took place in a Kyiv suburb, Brovary. It involved at least two criminal groups, feuding over what police have said were marshrutka (privately-owned minibuses that provide bus routes) routes in Brovary. Over 100 people were said to have participated, of which only some were arrested.