UARU
22 Pictures Show How Eurovision Is Changing Kyiv
26 April, 2017
Data?1493218040
Photo: jovan, Hromadske

On 15th May 2016, the Ukrainian Crimean Tatar singer Jamala won Eurovision with the song ‘1944’. Kyiv beat 5 other cities in a national contest to decide the location of Eurovision 2017. Once Kyiv had been announced as the host city, preparations for Eurovision began throughout the Ukrainian capital.

In preparation for the Song Contest, renovations to the infrastructure of the area surrounding the National Exhibition Centre, the venue for this year’s contest, began. This included the refurbishment of the ‘Livoberezhna’ metro station.

Hromadske have illustrated in figures and photographs how the money being spent on the event has changed the left bank of the Ukrainian capital in anticipation of the arrival of guests to the city.

The ‘Livoberezhna’ metro station was partially closed for refurbishment at the start of March. They soon reopened the western entrance and and closed the eastern one.

According to the Kyiv State City Administration’s department of Transport and Infrastructure, the budget for the refurbishment of the metro station was not allocated by them, but it was actually paid for by the Kyiv metro. The total cost of the renovation was around 25,300 US dollars.

Photo: jovan, Hromadske

Photo: jovan, Hromadske

Photo: jovan, Hromadske

Photo: jovan, Hromadske

Officials have allocated close to 3.3 million US dollars to a special fund within the Kyiv state budget for repairs of several streets in the city.

The local authorities have spent just over 112,000 US dollars on installing three new sets of traffic lights near the Exhibition Centre where Eurovision will be held.

The department of transport infrastructure has promised to complete the building work by the 1st May.

Photo: jovan, Hromadske

Photo: jovan, Hromadske

Photo: jovan, Hromadske

Photo: jovan, Hromadske

The Exhibition Centre is closed off on all sides by fences, and access is limited only to those with special permits. The police officers guarding the area prohibit people from taking photographs. Soldiers also patrol the area.

According the the municipal services, improvements must be made to the the green spaces surrounding the International Exhibition Centre before the event. However, this improvements are not yet evident.

Photo: jovan, Hromadske

Photo: jovan, Hromadske

Photo: jovan, Hromadske

After renovation to the ‘Livoberezhna’ metro station began in the area, many people spoke out about the demolition of small buildings (local shops, kiosks) in preparation for Eurovision. However, between the 1st March and 14th April, ‘Kyivblahoustriy’, the government organisation responsible for these renovations, only pulled down 8 of these structures. During the first quarter of this year, 126 of these small local building were dismantled, in addition to the 832 that were dismantled in 2016, and 1469 in 2015.

Photo: jovan, Hromadske

Photo: jovan, Hromadske

Photo: jovan, Hromadske

Ramps have also disappeared during this renovation period. This is the case at least in those areas where the repairs are being carried out, there are now only gaps where they used to be.

Photo: jovan, Hromadske

Photo: jovan, Hromadske

Photo: jovan, Hromadske

According to the Kyiv City State Administration, they have spent around 150,000 US dollars of their budget on improving the green areas around Livoberezhna in the run up to Eurovision.

They are also planning to spend a further 34,000 US dollars on improving the public toilets in the Hidropark area, and another 48,000 US dollars on the maintenance of portaloos.

The most expensive aspect of the city’s makeover has been the repair of the fountains at Maidan Nezalezhnosti. The city has allocated around 1.1 million US dollars for this refurbishment.

Photo: jovan, Hromadske

Photo: jovan, Hromadske

A few deputies from the Kyiv city council devised a strategy to remove the shanty town near the one of the city bridges, where a Romani community has been living for three years now. “We, as the titular nation, should do everything in our power to create a safe environment for all citizens in the territory of Ukraine”, wrote Volodymyr Netrebenko, one of the leaders of the initiative to disperse Romani people from the city.

Photo: jovan, Hromadske

Photo: jovan, Hromadske

Photo: jovan, Hromadske

The Romani camp experienced a number of arson attacks at the beginning of March, before finally being dismantled completely in mid-April.