Mezhyhirya - National Park or Museum of Corruption?

I rarely touch politics in my travel blog, since politics are always controversial and never black and white. But the topic of this artic...

I rarely touch politics in my travel blog, since politics are always controversial and never black and white. But the topic of this article is hard to dispute and is something I feel very strongly about even after 4 years. I'm talking about Mezhyhirya near Kyiv, a former residence of the infamous and fugitive President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych. In February 2014, after he fled Ukraine and found a shelter in Russia, Mezhyhirya was first taken over by Euromaidan protestors and then by state authorities, and later converted to a public place where anyone can go. Since then I kept hearing "museum of corruption" as a name of this place, but when I finally visited it in 2017, I was disappointed to see that it's actually become a national park, and not a museum of corruption.

The reason of my disappointment is that people should remember those murdered during the Revolution of Dignity in 2014 by Viktor Yanukovych and his bloody regime and never forget that whatever they see in Mezhyhirya was built with criminal money.
And although I admit the complex is located in a beautiful place by Dnipro River, it invokes a despite in me, not an awe.
The main building, a club house, is called "Honka" after the company from Finland that built it. This is where the famous golden loaf was found which then miraculously disappeared.
I don't even remember if there was a way to get inside for an additional fee, but frankly I had no desire to do so.
You can find many artifacts of different styles that don't really match each other: from what looks like Roman ruins to medieval pillars to modern decor.
Each artifact by itself is ok, but together they look a bit awkward.
A purposely built 5-meter / 16-ft tall fence with a barbed wire along the 54-km / 33-mile perimeter should give you an idea of how much Viktor Yanukovych liked his privacy and didn't want people to see his modest residence.
Access from the river was equally protected with electrical wires, surveillance cameras and block posts with armed guards.
Fish are abundant in the pond.
And so are exotic ducks and geese.
Gardeners and housekeepers do a good job maintaining the property. It almost seems like it's being prepared for a new "yanukovych". I wish I was wrong.
For those seeking some shade and solitude, there are nice some paved trails under the forest canopy.
The new "owners" apparently could not find the key and decided to cut the metal door.
What I don't get is how people can take wedding pictures in Mezhyhirya. A wedding is supposed to be a festive event, and Mezhyhirya just doesn't fit there. Am I missing something or a nice background is all that matters?
What was your experience like?

You Might Also Like