Hello from post-election Kyiv!

The difficult week is over as hundreds of thousands of Kyivans made hard decisions whom to support in this year’s local elections and headed to the polls amid the rapidly growing coronavirus cases.

This newsletter will bring you both – the political and non-political news from the Ukrainian capital.

Cool news:

  1. The cleanest air in Europe was registered in Kyiv after heavy rain early on October 18.
  2. Rare, cut-free heart surgery was performed in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv. A tiny puncture was all that required to bring an 80-year old woman back to health, as a prosthetic appliance was inserted through her hip and moved to her heart. Because the operation did not require long-time anesthesia or chest cuts, no recovery period is needed. The woman will soon be discharged from the hospital.
  3. A 79-year-old resident of the Kyiv region, Baba Olena, has become a TikTok star.
  4. A robot dog Spot developed by Boston Dynamics company was tested out in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. It is tasked with measuring the radioactivity levels in the air. The use of Spot, alongside the use of drones, will allow creating a 3D image of the radioactivity in the region.

  5. Ukrainians registered six times more marriages than divorces between March 12 and October 10, i.e. during the quarantine. 107,069 couples had married during the period and 16,475 got divorced.

Uncool news:

  1. Left-bank news: the Darnytsia court, which is located on the left bank of Kyiv, ruled to ban Vakhrang Kipiani’s book about Ukraine’s renowned 20th Century poet Vasyl Stus. However, the decision is being appealed and, therefore, is not in force yet.
  2. Russia plans to evict nearly 1,000 people from the Crimean peninsula that it annexed in 2014. 600 of them are Ukrainians.
  3. The situation with the coronavirus in the Ukrainian capital is getting worse, with 7,517 new daily cases diagnosed on October 22. On the eve of local elections, on October 24, the Kyiv mayor himself, Vitaliy Klychko, announced that he contracted the disease. Hence why he couldn’t vote in the elections, but this did not stop him from a most likely landslide victory. According to exit polls and parallel ballot paper calculations, he got 51%, which is enough to win without the need for the second round.
  4. A court has put three ex-Berkut officers (Berkut was the Ukrainian riot police that took part in the forceful dispersion of the Euromaidan protesters in 2013-2014 and has since been disbanded) on a wanted list. However, these three ex-Berkuters are the same people that were handed over to the Donbas separatists during the 2019 prisoner exchange.
  5. The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) announced that it had detained a group of people that prepared raids, protests, and demonstrations in the Kyiv region. They were sponsored by an unnamed Ukrainian MP, whom two Ukrainian media outlets believe was pro-Russia politician Viktor Medvedchuk.