Kyiv residents march against criminal destruction of the capital
On Saturday a march was held for the second time in defence of Kyiv against construction work in the historical area and destruction of architectural places of heritage through such construction. This year’s march was in defence of St Andrew’s Church (Andriyivska tserkva), Andriyivsky Uviz and the Desyatynna Church (sometimes called the Tithe Church).
The march was joined by around 200 people – activists from civic initiatives: “Save Old Kyiv” and others, some well-known politicians and artists, as well as many concerned residents of the capital Students produced a theatrical performance, a satire on Kyiv officials and developers.
According to one of the organizers, lawyer Ihor Lutsenko, “as a result of criminal construction work on Desyatynna St and Andriyivsky Uviz, one of Kyiv’s adornments and masterpiece of Ukrainian baroque, Andriyivska Tserkva is under threat of destruction. The State has not found the funding for its reconstruction and strengthening. On the foundation of the Desyatynna Church the authorities and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate are planning to build a modern church. This will totally destroy the historical foundations”.
The Chair of the Commission on Cultural Issues within the Kyiv City Council, Oleksandr Bryhynets says that the authorities are acting in breach of current legislation which prohibits construction of modern structures in direct proximity to historical or cultural monuments. Furthermore, the construction of an elite residential complex near St Sophia Cathedral and the intention to build on the foundation of the Desyatynna Church run counter to international conventions on the protection of historical territory which Ukraine has ratified and must observe.
The protesters added a list of demands to the Kyiv Council, the Kyiv City State Administration and the President’s Administration. They called among other things for a stop to the building development and destruction of the historical area of Kyiv, protection for the city’s green zones from developers; opening of public access to the State Register of Monuments of Ukraine and to publish any changes to it. They also demand a moratorium on eviction or privatization of museums, libraries and bookshops, provision of sufficient rubbish bins segregating different types of rubbish, and others.