Hello from Kyiv,

We’re only two weeks away from summer, and – if you are stuck in Ukraine – you might want to consider domestic tourism. Here’s how it will work in Ukraine during the quarantine. But we here don’t stop working, so you can always count on us delivering you top news from Kyiv and the rest of Ukraine. Below are the coolest and saddest news of the past week.

Cool things:

  1. According to the Ukrainian government, 6 billion hryvnias (€208.5 thousand) of the state budget’s fund for fighting the coronavirus were allocated for helping those who lost their jobs during the quarantine. The Ukrainian prime minister said that more than 2 million people lost jobs in Ukraine due to the coronavirus quarantine. Ukraine has an estimated population of around 37 million.
  2. The Odesa Film Festival will take place online this autumn instead of July as more and more of Ukraine’s cultural events are forced to go online or cancel due to extensions of the quarantine.

                                  The protest beams of light in Kyiv near the Arch of Friendship monument. Photo: hromadske

A cultural protest was carried out on May 12 by the industry’s representatives across Ukraine. Hundreds of light beams were projected into the sky, which made for quite a sight. The creatives are arguing that the state does not provide enough support for its culture industry that is severely damaged by the quarantine measures and restrictions.

  1. Ukraine has passed the “anti-Kolomoisky” law, which was required by the International Monetary Fund. The law ensures that Ukraine’s nationalised Privatbank does not get returned to its ex-owners – notorious Ukrainian businessmen Ihor Kolomoisky and Gennadiy Bogolyubov.
  2. More than 24,000 Ukrainian households use solar panels. Most of them (3,200) are in the central Ukrainian Dnipro region.
  3. You can watch a live stream of the elephant Horas inside a Kyiv zoo.

Uncool things:

  1. 51 newborn babies are stuck in a hotel in Kyiv. They were born to surrogate mothers for foreign clients, 36 of which are now unable to pick them up due to quarantine-related travel restrictions. 15 remaining babies were able to unite with their parents, but the united families now cannot leave Ukraine due to the quarantine. If the quarantine is to be extended according to the government’s current plan, the number of such lone babies can grow to nearly 1,000.
  2. More than 30 associates and business partners of the now-President but formerly a comedian and actor Volodymyr Zelenskyy received jobs in the government since his inauguration. For most of them, these were their first jobs in the field.
  3. Left bank news: Kyiv saw a coronavirus uptick on May 16 when 153 new cases were registered. That’s nearly a third of all the new cases announced in Ukraine that day. The high number was due to an outbreak in a boarding school for girls located on the left bank of Kyiv.
  4. A farmer in the Kyiv region threw away tonnes of carrot since he reportedly could not find ways to sell it.
  5. A 38-year-old man threatened a shop security guard in Kyiv with a grenade when the latter asked him to wear a medical mask.