It was the summer of 2013, a few months before the start of the war conflict in Donetsk and Lugansk, which will take place at the beginning of 2014. That day we boarded the plane that would take us from the airport of Lübeck, north of Germany, in the direction of kyiv –Kiv, in the proper terminology–, the capital of Ukraine. After spending a couple of years studying in the Germanic country, in Hamburg and Bremen, and anticipating the year to go to Frankfurt, all the way through Berlin, Leipzig or Bonn, we decided to dedicate that exploratory summer to the more remote areas. ‘est of which traditionally s’has considered the European continent. It was a tourist trip but also to discover personal, family and collective histories, of conversations, visits and coneixences. And it is here that in that academic parentheses we are going to end up in a territory that a few months later, malauradament –i, avui, amb más intensitat–, is going to come to the forefront of information: the Donbass.
Arriving in Kíiv ens will allow a few days to visit that Slavic capital, in which the will is perceived – as well as in other cities of the country – to engage in a process of modernization and Europeanization, which crystallized shortly after the revolution of the Maidan, which would start on November 21, just like a decade ago it had supposed the Taronja revolution. One of the most vaig aspects to celebrate will be veure with the main avenues and the central Plaça de la Independència happily open to the citizenry, some diumenges. Així, in comptes de trànsit, that day it was possible to walk along the calçada, and the pedestrians ens trobàvem amb músics i pallassos, ballant people, street circus and singers, a barreja d’spectacle and civisme that would have been the old man of qualsevol another European city.
The passeig vores the Dnieper, one of the longest rivers on the continent, and the centennial funicular that connects the Podil shopping district with the historic center and the Sant Miquel cathedral, are some of the most enchanting places that will offer the opportunity to go through the history and heritage of the city. There we could greet the statue of the author of the famous novel the Mestre i Margarida, the writer Mikhaïl Bulgàkov, originally from Kiev, to the books whose fantasy is complemented by the reality of the first third of the 20th century.
Continuing the passeig, the splendor and neatness of the architecture of the orthodox churches surprised qualsevol lover of the history of art, which, in addition to the good conservation, were a chromatic gift for the eyes: temples blau cel, rosa , Grocs, taronges, with white domes, glass, to the vora of rius or llacs, with also the monestir caves of Pechersk Lavra. The good preservation of the city and the feeling of being at the center of Europe changed slightly from the capital. A feeling semblant to which Budapest had woken up the previous year, when we visited the Hong Kong capital.
One of the aspects that is most likely to be celebrated will be with the main events and the central Plaça de la Independència happily opening up to the citizens, some diumenges
After the immersion in the capital, we are going to bid on a train that would take us to the capital, to Donetsk, the first city of Donbass, to the easternmost part of the country, and that the passions of esports place on the map from his favorite men’s soccer team, which has participated in various continental competitions. It is there that we return to observe the good intention of appropriating the grandiose architecture to the citizens and the urban spaces to infants and adults: the music school, the great theater or the university are located in the great palaces, various and large children’s parks and public gardens. A good intention was that, like the kyiv Afores, it would only need more injection of public investment in maintenance, in order to offer all its splendor.
Ukraine, however, was not surprising, since in Donetsk there were such unexpected and expensive infrastructures, such as a large Aquarium that allowed bathing and swimming, destined for the general public. The colors of the flag, groga dels camps i blava del cel, is possible to see anyone who goes: from the countries of the bus stops, to the combination of clothes worn by some people who walk down the street. Also, we are going to verify with the love for the seva history and the link with the rurality and the transcendent essence for all the work. Here, we are going to visit a vast rural area with a concentration of real-size representations of historical and typical cases of the Ukrainian land, from farmhouses to mills, farmhouses and cars, animals and theatrical performances.
In one of the other towns along the way, Gòrlivka, there was a mining center, a city diligently drilled by itself, full of tunnels and coal, aiming for serious exports. Als restaurants, als mercats i als buses I did not see tourist cap, they were establishments and transports of the own inhabitants. A typical midtown city and a bon lloc to taste the delicious and nutritious sopes vermelles borsch, with remolatxa and cabbage, potato and pastanaga, with s’afegeix a cup of sour cream. Or els varenyky or pierogi, a plate of petites mandonguilles and dough-covered rodonetes: amb a farciment of cabbage, potatoes or meat. Bonissimes.
From that trip to Kiev and Donbass, in the summer of 2013, I traveled in farà deu anys. Hi vaig trobar arreu hardworking and open people, both with an optimism in common, and who are a country facing more modern. Now, unluckily, the circumstances are totes unes altres. Let’s hope that the arrival of the air force, and the expertise of rain, overcoming and resilience of the population will accompany the necessary and urgent international support to end the conflict.