I have been in Kiev, Ukraine about 6 times. I have traveled from one end of the city and back. Its Metro is about a quarter of the size (or less) of the Moscow Metro, which made it very easy to transverse and see the whole city in a matter of a week. This time in Kiev I was alone and was very bored. So I walked, walked, walked and walked. I also watched TV and that is something I do not do in Moscow.
I came to a realization that Kiev is a Soviet City. From the old cobble stone roads in the heart of Kiev to the statues and water fountains everywhere. When you walk downtown Kiev the building architecture is coordinately Soviet style.
I also came to the realization that Kiev wants to shed its Soviet background. The new building structures going up on the outskirts of Kiev are classic modern.(Lots of Glass!) They have many newspapers in English. Many more people speak English in Kiev than in Moscow. Every McDonald’s the teenage workers all spoke English if you asked. They have lots of English speaking TV stations. They are very anti Russian, while very pro American on TV.
I guess that I am an old fogy because I like the style and feel of the Soviet era. I like the grandness and powerful building structure from the Soviet era. The heart of Kiev was a good place to walk and had many surprises to delight the eyes. The very center of Kiev is one huge cobble stone crossroads. These crossroads are still guided by traffic cops and the traffic flowed smoothly.
The Metro is Soviet era and looks many times like you are traveling in the Moscow Metro. Also the stations are very deep in Kiev. (Very deep.)
I see a city that is struggling with its past and future. That is the beauty of the Soviet past but the wannabe of a western future.
I will say that Kiev is no Moscow! But Kiev is a beautiful city and I myself find that Kiev, Ukraine has always been good to me.
comments always welcome.