The world was actively discussing fake news about how nature is taking over due to the Coronavirus quarantine: the crystal clear water of the canals of Venice, the return of swans to the canals of the city, the drunken elephants in Yuhan province and many others.
Kiev also managed to undergo many “environmental” changes, but recovered even faster! Read about what changed in Kiev during the quarantine, how the locals got used (or not) to the new reality, and how the city was struggling to get back to the good old days.
Disclaimer: the article is made to check if the sense of humor has not been killed by a long quarantine, and to bring attention to some perennial problems of Kiev, which are not subject to Covid-19.
Dolphins returned to Kiev after 1,000,000 years
Nature in Kiev has cleared to such a high degree that the dolphins have returned to Kiev. During the rigorous Covid quarantine, the waters of the Dnipro River became so clean that it created a perfect environment for dolphins.
However, the locals were deeply concerned that the dolphin invasion was nothing more than the mutation of fish that simply didn’t know how to react to such a low level of water pollution.
This hypothesis was confirmed once the covid quarantine in Kiev eased: with the first waves of people released, breaking all quarantine rules, mysterious dolphins disappeared from the Dnipro River, or at least decided not to show up, frightened by too much attention.
Now people can calm down a bit, as ships, yachts, factory waste, sewage and other waste are returning to the Dnipro River, making sure Ukraine continues to be considered a shallow water country.
Rebirth of nature at the Kiev airports
Not only did flocks of animals start invading Kiev’s airports once flights were banned, but some crazy Ukrainian invasions occurred after so-called “evacuation flights” landed.
In March, Ukrainians, evacuated from Vietnam, wanted so desperately to leave the airport that they tried to escape from it, breaking down the door and trying to break through the terminal. After that, many of them refused to undergo the mandatory observation after arrival.
Once again the Ukrainians have shown that we are a freedom-loving nation and that we cannot be locked up in some hotel to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.
The tourism industry has really been affected by Covid-19. One of the sad examples is Kyiv Sikorsky Airport which announced bankruptcy during the Covid-19 crisis. Now the airport has opened, but it has been operating in a limited mode for some time.
Both Kiev airports accept travelers now (including foreign visitors), so now you are welcome to fully explore Kyiv with Awesome or Awful Kyiv Tours.
Chestnuts have started growing again in the main street of Kiev
Nature was cleared so quickly during the quarantine that chestnuts, the Ukrainian capital’s all-time favorite tree, returned to Kiev’s main street, Khreshchatyk (would you like that!)
Since chestnuts don’t seem to grow in the quarantine environment (or any environment in Kiev), the city has decided to plant thuja instead. The city government commented that the exhaust fumes have a detrimental effect on the chestnut trees, meanwhile the thuja is not a fussy plant and has a better chance of surviving in such conditions.
Subsequently, the mayor of Kiev, Vitaly Klytchko, explained that chestnuts will be planted on Khreshchtyk Street next year, as part of the reconstruction of Khreshchatyk.
The rains and floods returned to Kiev
This winter was quite dry and there was no snow. However, during the quarantine, nature in Kiev was purified so much that torrential rains returned to Kiev, causing the good old flood. In fact, even the central roads that have recently been renovated, such as Pushkinska and Prorizna, have still turned into oceans.
Because, as an old Ukrainian saying goes, no money can buy you a proper sewage system, even just over 140 million UAH.
Bridges has stopped “getting tired”
According to Kiev’s leading bridge builder (also known as city mayor Vitaly Klytchko), Kiev began repairing 13 bridges and overpasses during quarantine. The main works are concentrated around the Podilsky bridge which is supposed to facilitate the transport load on the rest of the Kiev bridges.
Since during the Covid quarantine in Kiev, the amount of cars and traffic on the roads decreased significantly, Kiev’s bridges stopped “getting tired” (as happened with the Shuliavsky bridge in 2017, according to the mayor of Kiev). Although the empty streets in Kiev were a very temporary phenomenon, traffic returned to the streets of Kiev as soon as the quarantine was relaxed.
Bicycles have returned to Kiev
Nature healed so much during the quarantine in Kiev that the bicycles returned to Kiev. As public transport work in Kiev was limited and the subway was even closed, more cyclists began appearing on the streets of Kiev.
In addition, some new cycle paths have appeared in the city center. They proved most useful for car owners, who viewed these bike lanes as new free parking spaces.
It is a very generous gesture on the part of the city government: many car owners in Kiev refer to poor people who cannot afford paid parking. So now, in addition to the sidewalks, they can use the bike paths for parking.
On June 15, the cyclists came to the City Council for a “lying” protest. The basic requirement of the demonstrators is to make the streets safer for cyclists and pedestrians. Some of the slogans were “The city for people, not cars!”, “Don’t kill me today” etc.
Illegal construction has returned to Kiev
Not that it ever disappeared, but illegal construction in Kiev became even more active during the Covid-19 quarantine. Lockdown in Kyiv is a world of endless possibilities for illegal activities. If something illegal was easy to build before the Coronavirus in Kiev, with the quarantine it turned into a free pass.
Many scandals were happening around illegal construction in the Podil district. One of the most prominent examples: it hosts a singer and former deputy Oksana Bilozir. The developer rep explained that the house does not have 12 illegal floors, it only has 4, everything else – only mezzanine.
Ironic locals continue to laugh at the situation with illegal construction in Kiev.
If you are interested in the history of the pioneers of Kiev real estate fraud, urban decay and learn more about urban projects in Kiev, along with exploring the beaten path of Kiev, welcome to Awful Kyiv walking tour!
Shashlyk returned to Kiev
Nature has healed itself so much that shashlyk, the ever-popular local barbecue, has returned to Kiev. Along with shashlyk, shashlyk fans have also reappeared, who could not miss the opportunity to get together with friends and family in public places despite the ban on public meetings to avoid the spread of Covid.
Once again the Ukrainians confirmed the fact that that forbidden fruit (or piece of meat) is much sweeter.
Vitaly Klytchko has started her daily briefings (almost like your series on Netflix, but for free!)
Nature has purified itself so much that the mayor of Kiev, Vitaly Klitchko, decided to update the locals about all this in his daily life on his Facebook page and a couple of other sources.
Throughout the pandemic, our mayor informed the locals about the current Coronavirus situation in Kiev, answered questions from the media and tried to be positive and even make us laugh with each new verbal error (the thing that the our mayor loves too much) and, of course, he also laughed at himself.
I personally didn’t miss any live episode of the mayor and enjoyed watching the legendary “Friends” as well. Because in times when the Coronavirus has turned our world upside down, it’s nice to know that there is at least some stability – to see a smile from your mayor saying, “Take care of yourself and your loved ones”.
That’s exactly what I wish you! If you decide to support tourism in Kiev, relax and explore the ups and downs of Kiev: welcome to my alternative Awesome Kyiv Tour (or Awful – it’s up to you)!