UKRAJINA – UKRAINE – УКРАÏНА

Turisticki tramvaj u Dnjepropetrovsku-A tourist tram in Dniepropetrovsk

Turisticki tramvaj u Dnjepropetrovsku-A tourist tram in Dniepropetrovsk

Crkva Svetog Andreja u Kijevu-St. Andrew's Church, Kiev

Crkva Svetog Andreja u Kijevu-St. Andrew’s Church, Kiev

Crkva Svetog Vladimira u antickom gradu Hersonesu na Krimu - St. Vladimir's Cathedral overlooks the excavations of Chersonesus, Crimea

Crkva Svetog Vladimira u antickom gradu Hersonesu na Krimu – St. Vladimir’s Cathedral overlooks the excavations of Chersonesus, Crimea

Crkva Svetog Vladimira u antickom gradu Hersonesu na Krimu-St. Vladimir's Cathedral overlooks the excavations of Chersonesus, Crimea

Crkva Svetog Vladimira u antickom gradu Hersonesu na Krimu-St. Vladimir’s Cathedral overlooks the excavations of Chersonesus, Crimea

Inkermanski manastir Svetog Klimenta-The Inkerman Monastery of St. Clement

Inkermanski manastir Svetog Klimenta-The Inkerman Monastery of St. Clement

Kijevsko-Pecerska lavra-The Kiev Monastery of the Caves

Kijevsko-Pecerska lavra-The Kiev Monastery of the Caves

Klupa sa Lenjinom u natprirodnoj velicini-A bench with Lenin's oversized statue

Klupa sa Lenjinom u natprirodnoj velicini-A bench with Lenin’s oversized statue

Livadijski dvorac na Krimu-Livadia Palace in Crimea

Livadijski dvorac na Krimu-Livadia Palace in Crimea

Manastir Svetog Mihajla sa zlatnim kupolama-St. Michael's Golden-Domed Cathedral

Manastir Svetog Mihajla sa zlatnim kupolama-St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Cathedral

Moja majka ispred spomenika slovenskim prosvetiteljima Ciriju i Metodiju u Kijevu-My mother in front of the Monument of Saints Cyril and Methodius, Apostles to the Slavs

Moja majka ispred spomenika slovenskim prosvetiteljima Ciriju i Metodiju u Kijevu-My mother in front of the Monument of Saints Cyril and Methodius, Apostles to the Slavs

Na ulazu u kucu A. P. Cehova - At the entrance to Chekhov's house

Na ulazu u kucu A. P. Cehova – At the entrance to Chekhov’s house

Na ulazu u kucu A. P. Cehova-At the entrance to Chekhov's house

Na ulazu u kucu A. P. Cehova-At the entrance to Chekhov’s house

Palata Alupka u podnozju Krimskih planina-Alupka (Vorontsov) Palace at the foot of the Crimean Mountains

Palata Alupka u podnozju Krimskih planina-Alupka (Vorontsov) Palace at the foot of the Crimean Mountains

Pogled na Kijevsko-Pecersku lavru i reku Dnjepar-A view of the Monastery of the Caves and the Dnieper River

Pogled na Kijevsko-Pecersku lavru i reku Dnjepar-A view of the Monastery of the Caves and the Dnieper River

Saborna crkva Sv. Vladimira u Kijevu-St. Volodymyr's Cathedral in Kiev

Saborna crkva Sv. Vladimira u Kijevu-St. Volodymyr’s Cathedral in Kiev

Setaliste kraj mora u Sevastopolju-Artillery Bay, Sevastopol

Setaliste kraj mora u Sevastopolju-Artillery Bay, Sevastopol

Stari trolejbus - An old trolley bus

Stari trolejbus – An old trolley bus

Stari trolejbus-An old trolley bus

Stari trolejbus-An old trolley bus

Kao ljubitelj starih prevoznih sredstava sa nestrpljenjem sam ušao u glomazan ruski trolejbus iz pedesetih godina, koji vozi na najdužoj liniji te vrste u svetu, oko osamdeset kilometara, izmedju Simferopolja i Jalte na poluostrvu Krim. Jedan je od retkih koji se zadržao među trolejbusima novije generacije, ali sam baš njega čekao i, možda, malo zamorio svoju majku, koja se sigurno pitala zašto baš taj najstariji (ali i najudobniji). Kao da je lebdeo na toj relaciji, malo se zamarajući na uzbrdicama, ali i klizeći bešumno nadole.
U glavnom gradu Kijevu, na brdu iznad Dnjepra, nalazi se devet vekova star crkveni kompleks Kijev-Pečerske lavre, koji svojim nebesko plavim crkvama, sa zlatnim kupolama i vrhovima, dominira gradom, kao i Saborna crkva Svete Sofije, crkva Svetog Andreja i mnoge druge.
Krenuli smo potom duž ogromne reke Dnjepar, najpre u Dnjepropetrovsk. To je bio grad teške industrije i skoro zatvoren za posete u vreme velikog Sovjetskog Saveza, a danas su metalurški kombinati na volšeban način prešli u ruke privatnika, koji su od toga napravili svoje imperije i postali nedodirljivi. Naš prijatelj i domaćin Miško Prokić godinama posmatra te promene radeći za nove vlasnike, ali ipak, u svom iskonskom poštenju, nije naučio kako da se sam dovoljno obogati. Previše je rizičnih radnji koje vode do takvog bogatstva, a koje su neki od tih bogataša pretočili u lične gradske komplekse, koji više liče na zabavne parkove bez stila i u koje je uložen neverovatan kapital. Sva ta parada kiča novonastalih tajkuna, zajedno sa dugonogim lepoticama, pruža delimično sliku moderne Ukrajine. Ona druga strana je njena istorija i kulturno nasleđe.
Sa trema kuće Antona Pavloviča Čehova, nedaleko od Jalte, posmatram onu istu pučinu koju je i on gledao pišući Tri sestre na ovom mestu. Ali je i nosio svoju lekarsku torbu, koja je takođe tu. I klavir na kome je svirao Rahmanjinov tokom poetskih večeri na kojima se skupljala ruska intelektualna elita onog vremena. ˝Medicina je moja zakonita žena, a literatura ljubavnica˝, jednom je rekao Čehov.
Put kroz istoriju Krima najpre me je doveo na klupu sa Lenjinom u pomalo natprirodnoj veličini, jer veliki Lenjin je svakako morao biti viši od običnog čoveka, što u stvarnosti nikako nije bio. U obližnjem Livadijskom dvorcu Romanovih, tokom Konferencije na Jalti 1945. godine, njegov neslavni naslednik Staljin krojio je posleratnu sudbinu sveta sa Čerčilom i Ruzveltom, dok je današnja sudbina crnomorske flote u Sevastopolju predmet rasprava između Rusije i Ukrajine.
Toliko različitih doživljaja na tako malom prostoru kao što je Krim čini to poluostrvo skoro državom u državi, a da nisam ni pomenuo Odesu, Simferopolj, mali zamak na steni koji se naziva Lastavičje gnezdo, pa ni krimska vina. Čak ni Potemkinova sela, koja su preko noći nicala na caričinom putu za Krim, a potom završila u istorijskoj izreci.
Ona danas predstavljaju novu ukrajinsku realnost.

Jun 2004.
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This one is a rare ancient specimen among the new models, but I wanted to wait for this particular trolley bus, perhaps making my mother tired in the process; she must have asked herself why we had to get on the oldest trolley bus (but at the same time, the most comfortable one). During our ride we appeared to just float above the ground, the engine getting a bit tired when going uphill, but gliding effortlessly downhill without a sound.
In the capital Kiev, on a hill above the Dnieper River a 900 year old church complex, Kiev Pechersk lavra is to be found, dominating the city with its sky blue churches with golden domes and towers; Saint Sophia Cathedral and Saint Andrew’s Church are also prominent, among many others in this city.
Then we cruised along the immense Dnieper River, first to Dniepropetrovsk. This used to be a city of heavy industry, closed to foreigners during the grand Soviet era, and today those heavy industry plants have magically got into private hands –providing their owners with untouchable empires. Our friend and host Miško Prokić has been observing this change for years working for these new owners, but being honest as he is, he did not accumulate wealth himself. There are too many risky routes leading to this wealth, which was used by some oligarchs to build entire private cities, resembling amusement parks with no style; enormous capital has been injected into them. The kitsch parade of newly made tycoons, together with long legged beauties, provides a partial picture of modern Ukraine. The other side of the coin is Ukraine’s history and cultural heritage.
From the porch of the house that used to belong to Anton Pavlovich Chekhov, near Yalta, I gaze at the same open sea he must have been looking at while writing ‘Three Sisters’. But he also carried with him his doctor’s bag – and I can see it here too. Also the piano on which Rachmaninoff played during recitals that gathered the Russian intellectual elite of that time. Chekhov once said: ‘Medicine is my lawful wife and literature is my mistress.’
My travels to the important historical sites in Ukraine led me first to a bench with Lenin’s oversized statue sitting on it; the Great Lenin had to be taller than the average man, which in reality he wasn’t at all. In a nearby Romanov castle called Livadia, where the Yalta Conference was held in 1945, his infamous successor Stalin was deciding the fate of the post war world with Churchill and Roosevelt, while today the fate of the Back Sea fleet in Sevastopole is the subject of grave discussions between Russia and Ukraine.
So many different experiences in such a small place – this makes the Crimean Peninsula almost a state within a state; and I have not even mentioned Odessa, Simferopol, a small castle on top of a rock called the ‘Swallow’s Nest’, or even Crimean wines. Or the Potemkin villages which sprang up overhinght on the Empress’ way to Crimea and ended up in a famous saying.
Today they are the new reality of Ukraine.

June 2004

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