Hello there. We’re into August now. And while it may feel like summer is coming to an end very quickly, there is one thing there’s never a shortage of in Kyiv — weird and amusing stories! Here’s, as always, a selection of the top 10 from the week.
- IKEA is planning to open its first physical Ukrainian shop by the end of 2020 in Kyiv, as well as increase its catalogue by 30%. The shop will be in a city store format, which means smaller than regular IKEA stores, and without a restaurant or food court.
- Taxi service Bolt has started a scooter renting service in Kyiv, though it seems like against the will of the mayor. One minute of using the scooters costs 0.15 euros, renting the scooter for a whole day costs just over 18 euros. There’s also an additional fee for unblocking the scooter before you can use it – 0.89 euros.
- More than 30 Ukrainian rap artists have released new songs on August 3 to show that Ukrainian rap is alive. This comes after one website published an op-ed claiming that the music genre in Ukraine is hopeless.
- Storied skateboarder Tony Hawk has shared a video of a Kyivan skateboarder, Svitlana Yurchenko, successfully performing her first kickflip. “One of the few positive effects of these scary times is the increased interest in skateboarding,” Hawk captioned the video on Twitter and Instagram.
- “The Distant Barking of Dogs”, a documentary about a 10-year old boy living on the frontlines of the conflict in Donbas, has been nominated for an Emmy in the Outstanding Current Affairs Documentary category. The film has already won a Peabody, and was shortlisted for an Oscar.
- Left bank news: And, speaking of films, a new cinema will open this September near the Pozniaky metro station that will use cinema LED technology “Onyx”. The technology — which will be used for the first time in Eastern Europe — claims to show “true black colours,” which provides a more detailed image and better colour accuracy.
- Another left bank news: A bakery on the left bank, belonging to one of Ukraine’s biggest bakery and pastry manufacturers Kyivkhlib, has seen a coronavirus outbreak with 37 employees (out of 77) getting diagnosed.
- And we hate to point out another negative trend, but the past week also saw new daily disease diagnosis records set 3 times in Ukraine. In that way, Wednesday saw 1,271 new cases announced, Thursday – 1,318, and Friday – 1,453 (the highest so far).
- Another terror incident in Kyiv… This time, a man threatened to blow up a business center in the center of Kyiv. The incident happened at midday on Monday. Three hours later, law enforcement stormed the building and detained the man. No explosives have been found, and the man has been placed into custody for two months before the trial will kick off
- 85 train passengers have forced the train operator to stop the train and let them out in Ternopil, a city in western Ukraine that was in the red zone according to Ukraine’s new rules at the time. Being in the red zone means that trains, buses, and public transport can’t operate or stop there
- 66% of Ukrainians have not taken a vacation this summer and are not planning to. Out of the 34% who have or planning to holiday, only 9% are doing it outside of Ukraine. If you’re wondering which countries you can currently visit from Ukraine (as most of the EU is closed), here’s a list of the 38 “legal” countries. Make sure to check the specific quarantine/coronavirus rules for your destinatio
- A Kyiv-based RFE/RL journalist Mykhailo Tkach has found surveillance tools inside his flat. This comes after he made a couple of investigations into the government’s actions.