Ghosts are the only things living in some of Kyiv’s wonderful, ancient mansions. Dozens of such buildings stand abandoned along the capital’s central streets.
“These buildings are just stolen. Simply stolen,” says Mykola Zhukov, an activist and chairman of a grassroots organization campaigning for preservation of some of the old mansions.
Kyiv’s massive problem with empty and decaying buildings is rooted in a combination of greedy owners, bad city planning and the lack of a substantial property tax. Developers prefer new and cheaper construction on the outskirts of the city or on green spaces, rather than expensive and laborious historical renovation.
Story by Daryna Shevchenko