The capital of Ukraine met 2020 so massively happy that a visiting tourist would not have thought that the country has some problems.
The journalist of the “Rosbalt” new year’s eve was once again convinced: the Ukrainians know how to relax and enjoy life no worse than to organize themselves for a different kind of protest. Despite the complete lack of snow (instead it was a wet rain), the celebration went across the center of the Ukrainian capital. The main venue was the Vladimir passage: all the space from street to Sophia square turned into one big holiday zone.
And directly to the coming of the New year people in this place were, literally, “not overcrowded”. I arrived at 23.30, failed to squeeze on the outskirts of St. Sophia square. It was evident that the people of Kiev want the holiday and new year’s eve decided to forget about the not stopped until now, the war in the East, and economic turmoil, and of numerous courts, and much more.
Although, in fairness, it should be said that the economy of Ukraine feels well, right before the New year the average salary (in dollar terms) has returned to the record, “pre-Maidan” level. And the signing of the gas contract with Russia, compensation from “Gazprom”, the return of prisoners, a strong strengthening of the hryvnia raised the mood. So it people have been really festive, without any “but war”.
In other territories of the New year in Kiev began the Independence square, Khreshchatyk and, traditionally, Hem. And each place had its own kind of specialization. At Sophia square the celebration was in the highest degree “public official” (a new year’s greetings from Vladimir Zelensky on the big screen), on the Maidan and the Khreshchatyk, for many tourists, hem — for children and students.
According to the Kiev city hall, St. Sophia’s square New year met more than 100 thousand people of Kiev and guests of the city on Kontraktova (Hem) new year’s eve have visited more than 40 thousand people. In addition, the main Kyiv tree was in the top five in Europe. This year, its length was 30 meters, it is about a thousand decorations, and four kilometers (!) garlands. (Also in the top five went to the Christmas tree in Cologne, Germany, French Strasbourg, the Czech Prague and the Lithuanian Vilnius.)
The traditional “new year gift” was a torchlight procession in honor of the 101st birthday of Stepan Bandera, one of the leaders in the Russian Federation banned the organization of Ukrainian nationalists. But though it attracted several thousand participants, however, the degree of mass about two orders of magnitude (100 times) lost the “supporters of St. Nicholas.”
Mikhail Petrovsky, Kiev
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