Talked to a driver today - a professional driver, with truck-driving experience. A very nice man. He said it's allowed to park on sidewalks - as long as you leave 2 meters or more for pedestrians.
I bought myself a driving rules brochure right after talking to him, because he told me it should be written there somewhere - and yes, there it was (in Ukrainian):
15.10. Parking is prohibited:
c. on sidewalks, except for cars and motorcycles, which can park on the edge of a sidewalk, leaving at least 2 meters for the movement of pedestrians;
f. in places where a parked vehicle would make movement of other vehicles impossible or would create an obstacle for pedestrians.
I'll carry the brochure with me every day now and will bug traffic cops every time they're around when a parked car pushes me off the sidewalk.
Just think of it: the bullshit I've been told by two traffic cops already - right next to where Yushchenko used to work (the Cabinet of Ministers and the National Bank) and where he works now (the Secretariat on Bankova).
European capital, my ass.
The ugly parking lot on Khreshchatyk - impromptu and free, as far as I can see - is totally legal, because Khreshchatyk sidewalk (on our side, at least) is so wide...
The driver also said he thought fines should be introduced for parking violators, serious fines, 200-300 hryvnias ($40-$60), and there should be more traffic cops, not fewer. He said, "I'm saying this - and I mean it - despite being a driver myself."
The reason our drivers let pedestrians cross the street is because several years ago they were being punished severely when they failed to stop. The driver's relatives live in Moscow, and they were shocked during a visit to Kyiv: "You've got Europe here," they said after a day of walking around and watching cars stop each time they approached a zebra crossing.