In the beginning there was Kyiv. Long before Ukraine and Russia came into being, its inhabitants had been already striding up and down the green hills, idling hot afternoons away on the Dnipro River and promenading along Kreshchatyk – then a stream, now the main avenue. From here, East Slavic civilisation spread all the way to Alaska.
But thanks to its many reincarnations, there are few signs of aging on Kyiv’s face. Wearing its latest, national capital’s hat, it reveals itself as a young and humorous gentleman, though scarred by winter 2014 clashes.
It has a fair few must-sees, mostly related to the glorious Kyivan Rus past, as well as both charming and disturbingly eclectic architecture. But its main asset is the residents – a merry, tongue-in-cheek and perfectly bilingual lot, who act as one when their freedoms are threatened.
Is now a good time to visit Kyiv?
Meet Petro, the illustrious keeper of Mezhyhirya, the opulent countryside residence of the ousted Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych...