Ghost Town Revisited

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Aug. 3, 2012, 3:39 p.m. | Photo — by Ganna Bernyk
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A man walks out of the deteriorating Murashko mansion on 14/12 Mala Zhytomyrsa. It is surrounded by a high green fence, with a poster over the balcony that reads: "Authorities, let Murashko mansion live."
© Ganna Bernyk

Ganna Bernyk


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.

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Story by Daryna Shevchenko 

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