Ukraine-Kyiv

3 Years Ago in Kyiv, Ukraine To Now

Back in 2016, I was doing a massive cross-euro tour (about 20 countries), and Ukraine was on my list of places to visit. I stayed in Kyiv at that time for a mere 2 weeks.

Fast forward to May of 2019, while I was still living in Mexico City, my buddy mentioned he was planning to move to Kyiv for 3 months of work and pleasure.

So for the Summer of 2019, I decided to tag along for the sake of networking with like-minded individuals focused on business and self-development while enjoying what Kyiv, Ukraine has to offer!

Kyiv, Ukraine Photos

Kyiv itself has ups and downs as a city, but generally, it's the experience you make of it.

The traffic is insane and dangerous, there are no real rules for parking (you can park anywhere), and some of the streets even in the downtown core, are absolutely trash. Also, renting here through Airbnb as a foreigner is overpriced.

Downtown Kyiv. Mid-range expensive cars are not in short supply

Downtown Kyiv. Mid-range expensive cars are not in short supply

On the other hand, Kyiv is inexpensive as a foreigner, and generally very safe, and has an awesome nightlife on the weekends.

Also the Ukrainians who speak English are VERY friendly and accommodating, and the salsa scene here is very strong!

It's also a great entry into the ex-Soviet states, without needing a complicated Visa.

Uber and Glovo drivers await their next delivery in Kyiv

Uber and Glovo drivers await their next delivery in Kyiv

Looking towards Gulliver Shopping center in downtown Kyiv

Looking towards Gulliver Shopping center in downtown Kyiv

Old architecture with a new banner on top in Kyiv

Old architecture with a new advertising banner on top in Kyiv

Khreschatyk St in Kyiv

Khreschatyk St in Kyiv

A casual drink next to Khreschatyk St Fountain in Kyiv

A casual drink next to Khreschatyk St Fountain in Kyiv

A soviet building (as seen in the Chernobyl Series), on Khreschatyk St

A soviet building (as seen in the Chernobyl Series), on Khreschatyk St

Practicing Chinese meditation on Khreschatyk St

Practicing Chinese meditation on Khreschatyk St

Putin toilet paper. Ukrainians are clearly not fans of Russia anymore

Putin toilet paper. Ukrainians are clearly not fans of Russia anymore

A traditionally dressed Ukranian man plays his instrument on Khreschatyk St

A traditionally dressed Ukranian man plays his instrument on Khreschatyk St

The Founders of Kyiv Monument

The Founders of Kyiv Monument

Independence Square in Kyiv (Майдан Незалежності)

Independence Square in Kyiv (Майдан Незалежності)

Leonidas posing in front of the The Founders of Kyiv Monument (Пам'ятник засновникам Києва)

Leonidas posing in front of the The Founders of Kyiv Monument (Пам'ятник засновникам Києва)

The Founders of Kyiv Monument (Пам'ятник засновникам Києва)

The Founders of Kyiv Monument (Пам'ятник засновникам Києва)

A different Day at Maidan

A different Day at Maidan

A different Day at Maidan

A different Day at Maidan

A poor homeless woman begs for money in the center of Kyiv

A poor homeless woman begs for money in the center of Kyiv

Khreschatyk St, Kyiv

Khreschatyk St, Kyiv

Statue beside the Friendship of Nations Arch (Арка дружби народів)

Statue beside the Friendship of Nations Arch (Арка дружби народів)

Statue beside the Friendship of Nations Arch (Арка дружби народів)

Statue beside the Friendship of Nations Arch (Арка дружби народів)

The soviet star above the Friendship of Nations Arch (Арка дружби народів)

The soviet star above the Friendship of Nations Arch (Арка дружби народів)

Kyiv River Port

Kyiv River Port

Overlooking the Dnieper

Overlooking the Dnieper

Overlooking the Dnieper

Overlooking the Dnieper

Volodymyr The Great Monument (Пам'ятник Володимиру Великому)

Volodymyr The Great Monument (Пам'ятник Володимиру Великому). “Vladimir the Great was a prince of Novgorod, grand Prince of Kiev, and ruler of Kievan Rus' from 980 to 1015. Vladimir's father was prince Sviatoslav of the Rurik dynasty. (Wikipedia)

St. Andrew's Church - 18th Century Church (Андріївська церква)

St. Andrew's Church – 18th Century Church (Андріївська церква)

Andriivs'kyi Descent. One of the oldest neighborhoods in Kyiv

Andriivs'kyi Descent. One of the oldest neighborhoods in Kyiv

A fancy car in Andriivs'kyi Descent

A fancy car in Andriivs'kyi Descent

Grafitti was not spared in the oldest neighborhood of Kyiv.

Grafitti was not spared in the oldest neighborhood of Kyiv. Andriivs'kyi descent

Andriivs'kyi descent

Andriivs'kyi descent

A Casual Sunny Day In Kyiv

Kyiv also has a beach along the Dnieper River. Most people are conflicted as to whether they can swim there or not, since it receives run-off from the entire city, and run along the Chernobyl reactor several kilometers upstream.

Casual sunday at the Municipal beach "Central" Муніципальний пляж "Центральний"

Casual sunday at the Municipal beach “Central” Муніципальний пляж “Центральний”

Casual sunday at the Municipal beach "Central" Муніципальний пляж "Центральний"

Casual sunday at the Municipal beach “Central” Муніципальний пляж “Центральний”

"Metro" Bridge. Міст Метро. One of the oldest bridges in Kyiv

“Metro” Bridge. Міст Метро. One of the oldest bridges in Kyiv

The newly built bridge overlooking the city of Kyiv

The newly built bridge overlooking the city of Kyiv

A bridge across the Dnieper

A bridge across the Dnieper

The right side of Kyiv (the sleeping zone)

The right side of Kyiv (the sleeping zone)

Soldiers show they physical prowess for the public

Soldiers show they physical prowess for the public

Downtown Kyiv from a secret Rooftop

Downtown Kyiv from a secret Rooftop

Leonidas' new ride around town

Leonidas' new ride around town. The Lada Vaz

A woman sells fruits along a busy street in downtown Kyiv

A woman sells fruits along a busy street in downtown Kyiv

Kyiv has some of the deepest metros in the world

Kyiv has some of the deepest metros in the world

No Shortage of The Display Of Victory

Like all soviet countries, there is World War 2 (The Great Patriotic War) equipment on display everywhere. This is to showcase the success of the soviet system on overcoming one of the most difficult times in human history.

The Mil Mi-24 Soviet attack helicopter

The Mil Mi-24 Soviet attack helicopter on display for the public

Leonidas piloting the Mil Mi-24 soviet attack helicopter

Leonidas piloting the Mil Mi-24 soviet attack helicopter

A T-34 tank on display.

A T-34 tank on display.

Soviet tanks on display

Soviet tanks on display

A WW2 soviet cargo plane. Douglas C-47 (given to the soviets?)

A WW2 soviet cargo plane. Douglas C-47 (given to the soviets?)

A WW2 soviet cargo plane. Douglas C-47 (given to the soviets?)

A WW2 soviet cargo plane. Douglas C-47 (given to the soviets?)

Soviet Artillery during WW2

Soviet Artillery during WW2

Soviet Artillery during WW2

Soviet Artillery during WW2

Leonidas with Italian friends in front of the Motherland Statue

Leonidas with Italian friends in front of the Motherland Statue

Statues for the Great Patriotic War

Statues for the Great Patriotic War

Leonidas standing atop a T-64

Leonidas standing atop a T-64

Inside the Motherland Statue Museum

Showcased in this museum are equipment brought back from the current battle front with Russia, from the Donetsk region. But the majority of the museum showcases images and relics from the second world war.

A wagon shot up from the battle front

A wagon shot up from the battle front

A jeep attacked on the war front with Russia during the current Ukraine-Russia conflict

A jeep attacked on the war front with Russia during the current Ukraine-Russia conflict

The Great Patriotic War

“The Soviet Union paid the harshest price: though the numbers are not exact, an estimated 26 million Soviet citizens died during World War II, including as many as 11 million soldiers. At the same time, the Germans suffered three-quarters of their wartime losses fighting the Red Army. WashingtonPost

Ukrainians being displaced during the war

Ukrainians being displaced during the war

Soviet soldiers marching towards the battle front

Soviet soldiers marching towards the battle front

Downtown Kyiv? during the war

Downtown Kyiv? during the war

Soviet soldiers marching to the battle front

Soviet soldiers marching to the battle front

A metal casting of the conflict and victory during the war

A metal casting of the conflict and victory during the war

Prisoners of war and victims of the Holocaust

Prisoners of war and victims of the Holocaust

Victims of the second world war

Victims of the second world war

11 Million soldiers from the Soviet union died during WW2

11 Million soldiers from the Soviet union died during WW2

Mobilization of the Soviet war machine

Mobilization of the Soviet war machine

Mobilization of the Soviet war machine

Mobilization of the Soviet war machine

The crest of Ukraine

The crest of Ukraine

A photo memorial of the civilians and soldiers who died in World War 2 on the soviet side

A photo memorial of the civilians and soldiers who died in World War 2 on the soviet side

A photo memorial of the civilians and soldiers who died in World War 2 on the soviet side

A photo memorial of the civilians and soldiers who died in World War 2 on the soviet side

A photo memorial of the civilians and soldiers who died in World War 2 on the soviet side

A photo memorial of the civilians and soldiers who died in World War 2 on the soviet side

Soviet victory decorations

Soviet victory decorations

Soviets march in Victory through a completely destroyed city

Soviets march in Victory through a completely destroyed city

USSR - Victory medal adorning the roof of the Motherland Statue Museum

USSR – Victory medal adorning the roof of the Motherland Statue Museum

USSR - Victory medal adorning the roof of the Motherland Statue Museum

USSR – Victory medal adorning the roof of the Motherland Statue Museum

The Motherland Statue in Kyiv

The Motherland Statue in Kyiv

The Motherland Statue in Kyiv

The Motherland Statue in Kyiv

The statues of War and Soviet victory for World War 2

The statues of War and Soviet victory for World War 2

The statues of War and Soviet victory for World War 2

The statues of War and Soviet victory for World War 2

Religion in Ukraine

75% Of religious Ukrainians practice Orthodox Christianity, while 23% Practice Catholicism, and 2% everything else.

The hillside of the Dnieper River is absolutely covered in Churches, so I will make a few mistakes in naming these.

The golden spires of a Monestary or Church in Kyiv

The golden spires of a Monestary or Church in Kyiv

A newly built church in Kyiv

A newly built or reconstructed church in Kyiv

Feodosiyivskyy Monastery (Феодосіївський монастир ПЦУ)

Feodosiyivskyy Monastery (Феодосіївський монастир ПЦУ)

Pechersk Lavra monastery

Pechersk Lavra monastery

Pechersk Lavra monastery Egg made of Mirrors

Pechersk Lavra monastery Egg made of Mirrors

Pechersk Lavra monastery

Pechersk Lavra monastery

Contemporary imagination of Vikings about to conquer the Kievan Rus' and their churches

Contemporary imagination of Vikings about to conquer the Kievan Rus' and their churches

A woman asks for donations outside the Pechersk Lavra monastery

A woman asks for donations outside the Pechersk Lavra monastery

Inside the Pechersk Lavra monastery

Inside the Pechersk Lavra monastery

Lighting a candle inside the Kiev Pechersk Lavra

Lighting a candle inside the Kiev Pechersk Lavra

The golden gate to heaven inside the Kiev Pechersk Lavra

The golden gate to heaven inside the Kiev Pechersk Lavra

The golden gate to heaven inside the Kiev Pechersk Lavra

The golden gate to heaven inside the Kiev Pechersk Lavra

The golden gate to heaven inside the Kiev Pechersk Lavra

The golden gate to heaven inside the Kiev Pechersk Lavra

A map of the Kiev Pechersk Lavra

A map of the Kiev Pechersk Lavra

St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery (Михайлівський золотоверхий монастир)

St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery (Михайлівський золотоверхий монастир)

St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery

St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery (Михайлівський золотоверхий монастир)

Overlooking St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery in the background

Overlooking St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery in the background (Михайлівський золотоверхий монастир)

Princess Olga Monument (Пам'ятник княгині Ользі)

Princess Olga Monument (Пам'ятник княгині Ользі). She started the spread of Christianity through Kyiven Rus

St. Sophia's Cathedral (Софійський собор)

St. Sophia's Cathedral (Софійський собор)

Bohdan Khmelnytsky Monument (Пам'ятник Богданові Хмельницькому) on the right.

St. Sophia's Cathedral (Софійський собор) on the left. Bohdan Khmelnytsky Monument (Пам'ятник Богданові Хмельницькому) on the right.

A Rooftop View of Olympeska Station

My italian buddies rented a nice place with a rooftop patio for 10 days in Kyiv.

The view of Olympeska Stadium from this rooftop of their apartment in Kiyv

The view of Olympeska Stadium from this rooftop of their apartment in Kyiv

The view of Olympeska Stadium from this rooftop of their apartment in Kiyv

The view of Olympeska Stadium from this rooftop of their apartment in Kyiv

Pyrohiv Folk Village of Ukraine

To the south of Kyiv is a village kept as a historic museum to the life of Ukrainians who lived in the rural villages.

Choose your adventure in Pyrohiv

Choose your adventure in Pyrohiv

A man plays traditional slavic music, as well as a few contemporary hits on his instrument in Pyrohiv

A man plays traditional slavic music, as well as a few contemporary hits on his instrument in Pyrohiv

A traditional ukrainian house in Pyrohiv

A traditional ukrainian house in Pyrohiv

A storage shed or small house in Pyrohiv

A storage shed or small house in Pyrohiv

Flowers in Pyrohiv

Flowers in Pyrohiv

A traditional church in Pyrohiv

A traditional church in Pyrohiv

A traditional church in Pyrohiv

A traditional church in Pyrohiv

Windmills and a church reconstruction in Pyrohiv

Windmills and a church reconstruction in Pyrohiv

Leonidas posing in front of Windmills in Pyrohiv

Leonidas posing in front of Windmills in Pyrohiv

A map of Pyrohiv

A map of Pyrohiv

Everyday Kyivan Life

On a regular monday, I decided to go on an adventure to the forests of Kyiv, to find a secret tower that you could climb. On the way, I got to see a bit of the regular bustle of kyivan life and architecture.

Spaska Street railway cars in Kyiv

Spaska Street railway cars in Kyiv

A large mural painted on a building in Kyiv

A large mural painted on a building in Kyiv

Regular people pursue their daily activities in Kyiv

Regular people pursue their daily activities along Spaka Street in Kyiv

The entrance to the metro system in Spaska Street

The entrance to the metro system in Spaska Street

A man and woman sell their fruits along Spaska Street

A man and woman sell their fruits along Spaska Street

Inside a Rail car in Kyiv

Inside a Rail car in Kyiv

Kyivans relaxing on a Bench

Kyivans relaxing on a Bench

Kyivan men having a conversation

Kyivan men having a conversation

Kyiv is rapidly being built up (just like the rest of the world) for an ever-increasing population

Kyiv is rapidly being built up (just like the rest of the world) for an ever-increasing population

A poor market along the road featuring goods and wares that are out of date, or salvaged from somewhere else

A poor market along the road featuring goods and wares that are out of date, or salvaged from somewhere else

Uber was recently introduced into Kyiv, and it has taken over the taxi business almost over night

Uber was recently introduced into Kyiv, and it has taken over the taxi business almost over night (back in 2016, getting ripped of by Taxi's was an every day part of life)

Construction in Kyiv

Construction in Kyiv

A woman who passed through the roughest parts of Ukrainian life (1990's and up)

A woman who passed through the roughest parts of Ukrainian life (1990's and up)

Into The Forests Of Kyiv

After a 40 minute rail car ride, it was time to get off in the middle of the Kyivan forests, and start seeking out my destination.

Railcar in the middle of the Kyivan forests

Railcar in the middle of the Kyivan forests

Train tracks leading back to the city

Train tracks leading back to the city

Train tracks leading back to the city

Train tracks leading back to the city

Infected trees all around Kyiv

Infected trees all around Kyiv

Getting ready to climb the firefighters tower

Getting ready to climb the firefighters tower

At the top of the firefighters tower

At the top of the firefighters tower

At the top of the firefighters tower

At the top of the firefighters tower

The city of Kyiv with its Soviet / low-cost architecture

The city of Kyiv with its Soviet / low-cost architecture

The Way Back down

The Way Back down I decided to play the Mission Impossible Theme song

Bus Terminal #7: Abandoned Bus Graveyard in Kyiv

On the outer regions of central Kyiv lays an abandoned bus terminal that houses hundreds of buses from the Soviet Era. My buddy and I tried to sneak in (he was braver than I was), but we only got so far, before security and dogs made us run away!

The passenger entrance to the Abandoned Bus Terminal #7

The passenger entrance to the Abandoned Bus Graveyard #7

The entrance to the Abandoned Bus Graveyard #7

The bus entrance to the Abandoned Bus Graveyard #7

Sculptures on Bus Terminal #7 from the soviet days

Sculptures on the Abandoned Bus Graveyard #7 from the soviet days

Sculptures on Bus Terminal #7 from the soviet days

Sculptures on the Abandoned Bus Graveyard #7 from the soviet days

My friend stealthily went inside and made a few photographs of the Abandoned Bus Graveyard #7 in Kyiv

My friend stealthily went inside and made a few photographs of the Abandoned Bus Graveyard #7 in Kyiv

My friend stealthily went inside and made a few photographs of the Abandoned Bus Graveyard #7 in Kyiv

My friend stealthily went inside and made a few photographs of the Abandoned Bus Graveyard #7 in Kyiv

My friend stealthily went inside and made a few photographs of the Abandoned Bus Graveyard #7 in Kyiv

My friend stealthily went inside and made a few photographs of the Abandoned Bus Graveyard #7 in Kyiv

My friend stealthily went inside and made a few photographs of the Abandoned Bus Graveyard #7 in Kyiv

My friend stealthily went inside and made a few photographs of the Abandoned Bus Graveyard #7 in Kyiv

My friend stealthily went inside and made a few photographs of the Abandoned Bus Graveyard #7 in Kyiv

My friend stealthily went inside and made a few photographs of the Abandoned Bus Graveyard #7 in Kyiv

The relatively new buildings surrounding the abandoned bus terminal

The relatively new buildings surrounding the abandoned bus terminal

The metro back from the Bus graveyard, going across the Dnieper River

The metro back from the Bus graveyard, going across the Dnieper River

A view of the Dnieper on a sunny day

A view of the Dnieper on a sunny day

Downtown Kyiv at Night

The Boys

We did manage to do a few fun things, including Go Karting, visiting Chernobyl (separate post/album), exploring a nuclear bunker in Kyiv, a 2 sessions of Paintball

The Boys Go Karting (me on the left)

The Boys Go Karting (me on the left)

The Boys After A Session of Paintball

The Boys After A Session of Paintball

Max, my Ukrainian buddy, and I have been great buddies since meeting in Thailand in 2015. He showed me a few cool spots in Kyiv, and we always talk about our progress in business and life ever since!

Max, my Ukrainian buddy, and I have been great buddies since meeting in Thailand in 2015. He showed me a few cool spots in Kyiv, and we have always talked about our progress in business and life ever since! Max and I attend a business conference in Kyiv in this photo!

In Conclusion

Living in Kyiv for (almost) 3 months was a wonderful experience.

There are a few things I didn't seem to see in time like:

  1. Visiting the Ex-Presidents' residence: this was due to working all the time, practicing boxing 4-5 times per week, and poor time-management habits
  2. Firing an AK-47 rifle: this is due to licensing restrictions put in place after the war with Russia began. If you can shoot an AK, you can be a soldier on the battle front.
  3. Visiting Odessa: this was going to be a group activity with the boys, but coordinating 5 guys who constantly work is a big mission. While I have been to Odessa 3 years ago, it would have been nice to visit there again.

Nonetheless, I recommend Kyiv for 3 months at a time, especially in the summer. And make sure to do as much as possible 🙂

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