Hello from Kyiv. It’s finally summer! We know this summer is nothing like you imagined it to be. But the State of Kyiv newsletter is here to help you get through some of the long quarantine days. Here’s our traditional end-of-week recap of cool and uncool news

Cool news:

  1. Six flight routes are opening up in Ukraine from June 15: Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Montenegro, Croatia, Georgia.
  2. A painting  by Crimean-born Ukrainian 19th Century artist Ivan Aivazovsky was sold for £2.295 million (about 3.314 million euros) at a Sotheby’s    auction.  With its width being over 2 metres, this is one of the most sizeable paintings made by Aivazovsky.

       Photo: Sotheby’s

3.  Hotels and sanatoriums might open up in Ukraine starting June 10 if the coronavirus situation in the country allows it.

4. The longest lime tree alley in Europe, located in the western Ukrainian city of Uzhhorod, is currently blooming. With a length of 2.2 km, the alley is  the favourite place for many Uzhhorod locals and tourists.

5. Left bank news: A flower installation dedicated to the “Alice in Wonderland” book and located in the Peremoha park near Darnytsia metro station in Kyiv has made it to Ukraine’s national book of records as the biggest fairy tale-related flower installation.

Photo: kyivcity.gov.ua

Uncool news: 

  1. On June 1, a man threatened to blow up the Metro Bridge in Kyiv. The police closed off the bridge for any transport when this happened. The man, identified as a 32-year old citizen of Kyivan outskirt Vyshneve, was subsequently arrested and placed in custody. He was later moved to a psychiatric clinic because he, according to a medic, is prone to suicide. The bag of “explosives” turned out to be full of soil.
  2. Ukraine has seen higher records of COVID-19 cases during the second half of the week. On Thursday, 588 people were found to have been infected (the highest number in Ukraine’s medical history), on Friday – 553, on Saturday – 513. Though, on Sunday the number of cases dropped below 500 again with 485. This comes as Ukraine relaxed quarantine restrictions. Though, Kyiv did not qualify to meet the latest list of easings.
  3. Echoing the situation in the United Kingdom (with Dominic Cummings breaking his own quarantine advice), the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was seen enjoying a cup of coffee in a restaurant together with other officials including the coronavirus “spokesperson” in Ukraine – deputy health minister Viktor Lyashko. Talking to journalists in the same city – Khmelnytskyi of western Ukraine – Zelenskyy said they were merely “inspecting” the preparedness of the establishment to accept guests once the conditions allow it, and that he’s “prepared to pay the fine” if he violated anything. You would think the head of the state would know his own rules better…
  4. Two men (one from Kyiv and one from Odesa) were detained in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv on suspicions of selling the seat of the head of the Kharkiv regional administration for $1 million (just under 890,000 euros). The men were caught red-handed while receiving the first tranche of $150,000 (around 130,000 euros).
  5. A Moldovan man tried to illegally cross the border into Ukraine by foot with his girlfriend, allegedly to introduce her to his relatives living here. The man was previously banned from reentering Ukraine for violating his stay conditions and not paying the fine. The punishment for crossing the border is being decided but it may involve imprisonment of up to 3 years.