welcome to visit the reality in


I won´t bored you out from here with some trivial, official facts about Ukraine that you can find elsewhere!

This is simple how I experience the situation
Jan.- Feb.-99


 I went down to Kiev after the media reports of the extremely cold winter, that poor people were freezing to death over there.  A couple of friends here in Stockholm (no organization) gather up some warm clothes, shoes and money and then they kicked me down to check...

First of all - I divided this journey in two sites the other one is - if you wish - a visit in an
kinderheim (Deutsch)
in the city of Boyarka, a town 90 km south of Chornobyl.

I was living in some private flats with different families, so I had an unique opportunity to see and share their daily duties. ( Also hotels are extremly expensive.)
I was even, for a couple of days, living with a "rich" family who were separated from the rest of the "pack" with huge locks and other safety devices, but I leave them behind here, because I found them quite cynical.

But it might give you a rather one-sided description, then I choose to guide you around the poor and middle classes, but on the other hand - thats what interesting here.

So, let´s start
down town in Kiev, we visit a hotel and check the rooms.
-Prices for one night? From $200 and up...such as
this or this room

(no hostess include...)

Just around the corner - down the city tunnels - is this a cold fact:
cold.1 cold.2 cold.3 cold.4 cold.5 cold.6 cold.7 cold.8 cold.9 cold.10 cold.11 cold.12 cold.13

Quite scary...and cold...let´s warm up in Mac Donalds, here are two of them ...inside it´s warm and crowdy...and cheap, one Big Mac around- $1.30...so let´s invite some beggars here!
No reaction from the staff, here are everybody
welcome (if you can afford it)and the kids love it.
They think it was a
splendid idea...

-Now let´s catch the
metro to a suburb and celebrate...yes today it´s the 7.th of January...it´s Christmas!!!
The Metro (from 1960) is a
smooth, cheap (8 cent) and a clean (Yes!) way to cross the city.(Bit crowdy)
5 stations and we reach
Obolon (where they make very good and famous beer)...this house seems interesting let´s go inside and check...here´s the caretaker priviet! (hello)... now on the second floor, let´s check inside a flat...and...Priviet......and where is the party...???...aha...priviet...and... plenty of peo...priviet ...*...HI...*... priviet...*... priviet

-People here are friendly, very friendly! I´ve never met such kind mentality before, at my tours worldwide!

But to night we´ll party...first some
food. and then a lot of this...CHEERS...

-Now everybody´s happy and
dancing. Kids goes from flat to flat and sing Christmas songs and it´s really a good atmospherehere...by the way... CHEERS... a Merry X-MAS and a Happy New Year

Next day we´ll visit "Sascha" his life and future changed that stupid summer day 3 years ago at the main river of Dnepro. Eyewitnesses to the accident says "it was really dramatic and sad"...
"Vovva" drives us to Sascha.
Sascha tells: Yes it was terrible, all I remember was that I dived from a cliff down into the water...
Vovva: Yes and we warned you didn`t we?
Sascha: Yee it was crazy, I know, but what can I do about that now?
(He point at his legs) 22 y.o, and quick as a snap, he changed from a healthy sportsman to a
cripple...just like that!

Sascha is paralyzed from the waist and down, he has a sickness benefit at $10 a month, he lives in his mothers one-roomed flat. His mom is working every day, her salary is $40/month.
Sascha has a dream - A new wheel-chair - Yes, so I can come outside, this chair is broken, "I´ve not been outside since last summer"
Sascha is really down - if you want to cheer him up with a postcard or something write to:

Update:dec-00 Sascha now have access to a mailbox:
Sascha Poderveanskey 


Some economic facts:

Now, if the salaries are that low (if you get salary) how in the heck can you survive???
Here´s one answer.
biz-ness/ biz-ness/ biz-ness/ biz-ness/ biz-ness/ biz-ness/ biz-ness/ biz-ness/ biz-ness/ biz-ness/ biz-ness/ biz-ness/ biz-ness...
Or this might interest you. Price? one music CD= $1 (cassette less) How much does the composer get...?
- Yes it,s "biz-ness" big and small, everywhere, everybody, every way, everyday and everything, it can be from the man who had to sell his mirror at the street in order to survive - to the Truck logistic company which was taxed to death by the gov. Nowadays private persons handle such business, from their home phones and charge 10%.

Here are "supermarkets" but the prices are the same - or even more - than in West.
Most of the families has a "datcha" where they can grow what they´ll need, the harvest is really hard currency here. Ukraine is bigger than France and have the best ground in Europe (the black soil) most of the products goes straight out to the street markets as milk directly from the
farmer. (15 cent/l)
Big farm properties here are still run by the gov. (kolchoz)
If you get unemployed, you´ll get nothing in benefit. Here exists no insurances at all, not even for cars or houses. If you get sick you´ll get problem, (unless you can afford a private hospital) It dosen´t need to be more explained than that the hospitals run by the gov. are dependent of foreign aid.
It is possible to get retirement pension: (norm) $20/month
It is possible to get child benefit during 8 years: $5/month.
If you want to buy a car, check these prices...
You´ll need Dollars to make following business, people don´t trust their own value: hrivna.

(Avto Bazar 20.01.99)

BMW 316-91=$9900
BMW 316i-91=$12000
BMW 325-91=$11800
BMW 325-91=$13500
BMW 520-91=$10000
BMW 520-90=$9500
BMW 530-94=$25000
Mercedes 190-91=$10500
Mercedes 200E-94=$16400
Mercedes 230E-97=$38000
Mercedes 320-93=$31000
Volvo 740-84=$4500
Volvo 740-86=$5200
Volvo 850-94=$16800
Volvo 940-92=$18000

Or may bee you are interested in a bike
BMW original made in USSR...I´ll return with more facts and the possibility to export them, they are cheep compare to cars.

Interested to buy an apartment in
this house? (Village) Price 65 sqm.=$16000. Or suburb in Kiev $24000.
Or may bee you want your own house, like in Cherkassy? (A town with 500.000 citizen) Price 250 sqm.=$30.000 Here are a few samples of typical houses in the UA:
house* house* house* house* house*

Alex & Dennis visit us they are students in this school which is free of charge, but... you get what you pay for - for instance - there´s no computer available at their school.
All the lessons are nowadays in (which was forbidden before) in the Ukrainian language.
- Otherwise we speak Russian to each other.
Alex & Dennis are fortunate that their parents pay for private lessons in English, and it´ll increase the possibility to get (as all young peoples dream is) a work abroad, in the future...

If you want to check out Ukraine by your self
this guy can open a visa for you - he has a spare apartment in Kiev as well. (close to the subway)
My second journey to UA was in July - sep.-99 (
another *delivering.)
I´ll return with some more facts...
Any reactions out there???
mail to me

If you want to help these streetkids mail to Mirjam she has now (2003) worked for them during 13 years...(!)


Trip to Ukraine -00 here

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