Weekly Photo Challenge: Forward

Red Army troops push forward against Nazi forces in this depiction of battle at the Museum of the Great Patriotic War in Kiev, Ukraine.  Learn more about the Weekly Photo Challenge here. Continue reading Weekly Photo Challenge: Forward


The Ukraine is one of those countries where unimaginable tragedies seem to wash over it on a regular basis. One of those tragedies occurred in 1932-33 when millions perished in a famine induced by Joseph Stalin and the Soviet Union against the people of Ukraine. Holodomor is a Ukrainian word that literally means “extermination by hunger.”

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Babi Yar

In a quiet park near the Dorohozhychi metro station in Kiev lies a ravine named Babi Yar.  In places the ditch is filled in by streets, apartment buildings and and spoil from construction of the nearby underground subway.  In 1941 this ravine was well outside the city limits of Kiev and there was no urban development.  The ravine ran for miles.  Along the park paths today mothers walk their babies in strollers and lovers sit on benches holding hands.  But during the period between 1941 – 1943 as many as 150,000 Jews, Soviet POWs, communists, and gypsies were brought to the site and massacred by Nazis.   Continue reading “Babi Yar”

Andrew’s Descent and Chasing Rabbits

Known as the “Montmartre of Kiev” this famous street connects the Upper Town with the commercial Podil neighborhood.  It is a steep street filled with quaint shops, cafes, museums, and spectacular views.  The neighborhood attracts artists and writers and is a very fashionable place to live in Kiev.  The area draws its name from the dramatic and very baroque St. Andrew’s Church that was built by the Russian Tsaress Elizabeth Petrovna in 1754. Continue reading “Andrew’s Descent and Chasing Rabbits”

Big Mama Motherland

One of the most impressive features of the Kiev skyline is the monumental, overwhelming, completely over-the-top Mother Motherland Statue overlooking the Dnieper River.  This statue sits atop a museum dedicated to the Great Patriotic War (World War II).  It stands 203 feet tall and is larger than the Statue of Liberty.  Gazing on this structure is a vivid reminder of the continuing influence of the former Soviet Union on Central and Eastern Europe. Continue reading “Big Mama Motherland”