Our first impression of Kyiv this time was: "Oh my God, it's so warm here!" and "They should do something about those ugly, huge, black snow piles lying around everywhere..."
On Friday, it was warm but gloomy - and then it got unbearably cold, snowy and windy on Saturday.
As for the snow, no city is too pretty this time of the year, in between seasons, mezhsezonye, but there's also lots of garbage everywhere except Khreshchatyk, and the city mayor's office seems to be on vacation - or on strike.
Friends who live very far from the city center complained the garbage hadn't been taken away in two weeks. What really pissed me off was a makeshift parking lot that has appeared on the square in front of St. Sophia's Cathedral - the cars are parked in three rows, separated by the enormous, dirty snow piles, in front of the relatively new "elite" building there. It used to be so cool to ride a bike there, and just walk through the square, admiring the bell tower and the cathedral, but now all you see are the fucking cars. Real estate is said to be extremely overpriced there - and I can't believe they don't have some kind of underground parking there or something. But it does look like Mayor Omelchenko is waiting to be replaced by someone else and isn't bothering too much to make the city look pretty.
The picture below was taken in Lipki, one of the best neighborhoods in Kyiv, right behind Hotel Kyiv and within a three-minute walk from the Parliament (a full-size photo is here - though I do realize this isn't a sight anyone would want to spend time looking at...):