Monday, March 17, 2008

Kyiv - Current Events

Since a lot of what we have been discussing has been historically or politically focused, I thought it would be interesting to look up some of the current issues recently affecting Kyiv citizens.  Two articles I came across in the Kyiv Weekly newspaper struck me as interesting - one about the increased laws concerning smoking in the city and the other about the new funding for sufficient lighting to further illuminate the fantastic monuments in the capital, most of which we have discussed in class or have been mentioned on the blog.
The article on the cigarette crises in Kyiv and other parts of Ukraine was posted on March 5, 2008 and is entitled "Ban on Smoking ain't no Joking" (the translation is obviously skewed slightly but the humor of the title seems to have remained).  The primary concern of the article is that Ukraine is gradually adopting laws similar to other European countries in regards to smoking.  While it has not yet joined much of Europe in raising the price of cigarettes to its maximum in order to discourage sales, the government has started to reinforce the Law of Ratification which was adopted by parliament and signed by the president in 2006.  This law has "considerably limited the rights of smokers in public places," according to the article.  Also, there is some talk of forcing smokers to purchase a license in order to continue to smoke, as is being discussed in the countries of the European Union.  It seems that the primary reasons for these new efforts to decrease smoking habits in Kyiv and the rest of Ukraine have stemmed not only from the health risks involved, but also because the air in Kyiv is heavily polluted and the carbon monoxide released from the multitude of cigarettes is not helping especially when added to the problem of car pollution.  I found it interesting that the citizens of Kyiv are dealing with similar issues as our American cities like Los Angeles and New York in terms of smog and pollution, it makes Kyiv seem not so far from us!
The second article I read on the Kyiv Weekly newspaper website is more monumentally based.  The article posted in late February, entitled "Business to help Illuminate Kyiv for EURO2012," claims that authorities in Kyiv are working to enhance the artistic lighting around the city.  This project encompasses the proper illumination of 30 architectural monuments in the capital.  The city's chief artist, Viktor Hleba, says, "We will work on the design projects for comprehensive and intense lighting of buildings in Kyiv's central streets including Khreshchatyk, Volodymyrska and St. Andrew's Descent (Richard's Castle) ... and Volodymyr's Cathedral."  It is interesting to see how these monuments we have been discussing are still very much the focus of the Capital and that the Ukrainian citizens take pride in the well-being of these sacred monuments.  
If you want to see these articles or read more about current events in Kyiv visit the following website:

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