Hello,

This week has brought us exciting news from various fields; while the coronavirus seems to spread further and further into Ukrainian lives.

Check out the most interesting news from Kyiv and beyond below:

Cool news:

    1. If you were curious about the teal and white building in central Kyiv, just by the Ukrainian parliament, you can now finally go inside. As of recently, Mariyinskyi Palats (Maria’s Palace) allows visitors on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. The spectacular building was built in the 18th Century but since 1991 independence has been used by different presidents for official events. For the past 14 years, the general public wasn’t allowed inside it due to renovation works.
      The tickets to see the building inside cost 150 hryvnias (about 5 euros); kids under 7 go in for free.
    2. Kids are back to school again! Though it’s a bit unclear how long will school be able to go on for with the coronavirus being around. For example, there has already been at least one known case of an entire class having to go into quarantine due to one class member getting sick.
      The picture below is by a photographer at the Hromadske media platform and has a very Orwellian vibe:
    3. The Ukraine national football team has won Switzerland in the UEFA Nations League with a score of 2:1. The game took place in Lviv, western Ukraine.
    4. Two sisters from western Ukraine have become big on TikTok (video-sharing platform where things either go viral or don’t) by performing folk Ukrainian songs wearing traditional clothes. One video posted by them got 1.3 million views.
    5. The French electronic music duo Telepopmusik has released a music video filmed in Chornobyl and featuring rare footage from the 1986 nuclear disaster. Telepopmusik was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2004.

Uncool news:

  1. An attack by the Russia-led separatists in eastern Ukraine has led to one Ukrainian soldier dying. This comes more than a month since the comprehensive ceasefire has been announced, and it’s the second serious violation of it recorded. Ukrainian soldiers were allowed to fire back by their commanders.
  2. Fires have destroyed more than 1000 hectares in the eastern Luhansk and Kharkiv regions – destroying at least 35 homes (abandoned at the time). One soldier died while extinguishing the fires, two were injured. One resident has reported feeling unwell due to inhaling combustion products. The blaze has now been put out, but firefighters continue extinguishing the smoldering that’s left after it.
  3. Despite the coronavirus pandemic dictating more low-key public events, it has emerged that this year the celebration of Independence Day in Kyiv cost six times more than last year. The weird part? Nobody has so far admitted allocating money for the concert.
  4. While we have gotten used to the fact that Ukraine has more and more coronavirus cases each week, more and more high-profile figures are starting to contract it. Earlier, we wrote about the First Lady Olena Zelenska catching it (who has since recovered), more recently Ukraine’s former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko got infected but has also gotten much better now. Now, the 91-year-old Patriarch Filaret of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has been diagnosed with the virus.
  5. A candidate for Kyiv mayor from the ruling Servant of the People party, Iryna Vereshchuk, has been spotted filming her promo video in what seems to be Mary Poppins’ style. The video from the shooting has gone viral and seemed to have become a basis for hundreds of memes.