Photos of eastern Ukraine: part 1

As you know, my blog is not about politics. However, these ongoing events in eastern Ukraine have stopped me many times, bringing some vivid memories from the times I visited that region for work. The region is very different from the rest of Ukraine: very industrial and very Soviet. Some say Russian. Polluted and grey. My visits took place after the Orange revolution and before the global economic meltdown, during the period of optimism. I met some wonderful and fascinating people, drank a fair share of vodka in meetings, and appreciated the chance to get to know the region. But I always felt that there was something very “wild east” over there.

Today I went through some old photos and I decided to publish some of them.

I suggest you take this blog post as a photo reportage and as an opportunity to look into the life of a region that has become a battlefield between the East and the West, and who knows what else. As an opportunity to time travel and revisit the period when Lenin was well alive and celebrated. As an opportunity to put a picture to the news you read every day.

Statues like this are not rare in eastern Ukraine.

Statues like this are not rare in eastern Ukraine.

During the winter months the region is cold and grey. This was once the heart of the Soviet Union's industrial production.

During the winter months the region is cold and grey. Once upon a time it was the heart of the Soviet Union’s industrial production.

Enormous factories often employed entire towns.  Something that still happens in China I guess?

Enormous factories often employed entire towns. Something that still happens in China I guess?

A ghost factory somewhere between Donetsk and Luhansk.

A ghost factory somewhere between Donetsk and Luhansk.

Can happiness exist when there is so little color?

Can happiness exist when there is so little color?

Soviet wall frescoes remind us of an other era.

Soviet wall frescoes remind us of an other era.

Any thoughts you would like to share?

 

8 thoughts on “Photos of eastern Ukraine: part 1

  1. Pingback: Photos of eastern Ukraine: part 2 | pearlspotting

  2. joergkruth

    Great photos of an interesting region! I hadn’t the chance to travel to Kiew or the eastern region, but I like to travel in Eastern Europe, somehow it reminds me of former times here.

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    1. Miia Post author

      Thanks! I have worked quite extensively in different countries where you can still see Lenin-statues and where hotel rooms are straight from the Good Bye Lenin film.
      To me these places have certain nostalgia and romanticism, even if I never personally grew up under the Soviet rule. One can see so many reminders (for example huge frescoes) of the ideology of that period.
      There is certain authenticity left!

      What are your favorite places in Eastern Europe?

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      Reply
      1. joergkruth

        I think maybe more than a special place, it’s the atmosphere. But yes, right, they have their own authenticity.
        I would like to go to Romania, Latvia and to Russia. And when I get the chance to, I’d like to take some photos again, that for sure, but it may take a while.

        Nice weekend!

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      2. Miia Post author

        I did part of my studies in Russia and have some great memories from St Petersburg, Novgorod and Moscow. In fact, I am sort of afraid to return, because I am afraid they have lost that authenticity I used to like… Seeing all the luxury and other international brands would just upset me. But I guess this is the case just in the center of St P. and Moscow….

        But I have to say that the most powerful memories I have from Central Asia. The have a very distinctive history, culture, mentality, and I loved that region. If you get a chance, try Uzbekistan!

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  3. Pingback: Golden cupolas of Kiev | pearlspotting

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