Friday, 30 December 2016

Flowering Kiev

If you've got the flower pots, you've gotta fill 'em. Kiev, in Eastern Europe and similar to neighboring countries, is also blooming crazy. A walk around the city reveals plenty of colorful examples of citizen green thumbs.

Who feels like watering? Go plastic.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Military Cemetery In Kiev

Near Babi Yar is an interesting cemetery devoted to military veterans. The dead span the Soviet era up to present day, including veterans lost during the recent Euromadian uprising in 2013-14.

Resting, in all their glory.

Plenty of elaborate details, busts to tanks.

The living come regularly to pay respects and refresh flowers. Benches that double as little gardening boxes dot the cemetery.

Final chance to show one's (mettle) medals.

Graves are also multi-generational.

Memorials to recent fallen soldiers.
This veteran's whole family is represented.

Monday, 26 December 2016

Churches As Cupcakes In Kiev

For some of the more impressive, outrageous Baroque churches, head to Kiev. The city has a fine collection of colorful places of worship, complete with shiny onion domes and baubles of ornamentation.

Mighty St. Sophia's Cathedral.

The main bell tower at St. Sophia's and St. Andrews church.

The entrance to St. Michael's Monastery.

The church in the center of St. Michael's monastery. Jesus outside the church.

A little props to the Jews and the Great Choral Synagogue.

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Overseasons Greetings And Happy Domestic New Year!

What's up Jesus, welcome! (Florence, Italy).

You've got a great family. (Hill of Crosses, Lithuania). What, the job is getting heavy? (Monistrol de Montserrat, Spain).

You can be the most selfless, charitable person in the world and they'll still crucify you. (Nicosia, Cyprus).

So, be careful with whom you make friends (Vilnius, Lithuania) or you could end up in a repeat of past tragedies (WWII museum, Minsk, Belarus).

Let's hope for the best in 2017 and beyond. A little bit of joy and brightness among the ruins. (Dante, Virginia, United States).

Friday, 23 December 2016

Graffiti In Kiev, Ukraine

There's not a plethora of graffiti in Kiev like you may find in other European cities. Soviet iron thumb hangover? A glance in the shadows and tunnels of the city reveals expressive walls.

Spreading art through the city symbol.

Folk mining and eating the world.

Folk zeppelin.

Curious cat and another Sestry Feldman, making a name for themselves.

Time to move on, the panda is sleeping.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

The Memorials At Babi Yar

Babi Yar is a ravine in suburban Kiev, infamous for being the site of one of the largest Jewish massacres during the Holocaust. From September 29 to 30, 1941, 33,771 Jews were led to the ravine and shot to death. During the overall German occupation, it's estimated that 100,000 to 150,000 Jews, Russians and other people labeled undesirable by the Germans were killed at Babi Yar.

The Soviets refused to allow a memorial specifically to the murdered Jews. Instead, in 1976, they erected a memorial to all the Soviet people killed.

Another view and a look at the surrounding moat. Which is not the actual ravine where the Jews perished. History adjusted as needed.

Today, Babi Yar is part of a larger park.

Other memorials have been added. To Ukrainian Nationalists and for children killed.

Monument to Tatiana Markus, a Ukrainian tortured by the Gestapo in 1943.

Monday, 19 December 2016

The Ukrainian State Museum of the Great Patriotic War

For us in the West, known as a museum "dedicated to World War II." Depending on your perspective, WWII museums in Eastern Europe are interesting to experience. Same enemy (Nazis), different outcome (communism). Celebrating a great war triumph proved to be a propaganda bonanza for the Soviets, a way to show its occupied states just who saved them and at what cost. The system is now gone, but the thrust of the museums endures.

Similar to the war museum in Minsk, lots of glory and lots more detail.

Downed plane. Logbook.

This grim machine ground up human bones of dead Jews and filled the meal into bags.

Glory in the art, a frieze and a photograph embellished with flowers.

A great diorama of Berlin burning.

A sign of victory and the grim consequences. Around 7 million Ukrainians, military and civilian, lost their lives in the war. By some estimates, Ukraine lost about a quarter of its population.

Under the Motherland Monument, a domed room that's dedicated to the dead.