26 May 2011

Only in Ukraine

In early 2010 I returned to Kyiv from a business trip. I was amazed to discover that the bookshop in our building at 6 Chervonarmiyska Street had been closed down and the premises had been 'taken over' by persons unknown who were now closely guarding their new acquisition.
Two very large trucks had been parked in front of the shop to provide protection plus 'guards' were living in the shop premises for who knows what reason.

Then.......the normal practice in Ukraine. NOTHING HAPPENED. All of us residents were hoping that maybe the new owners would turn the shop into a nice restaurant or cafe maybe. But we were obviously hoping for too much.

The shop windows were later boarded up and graffiti artists used the opportunity to make the site look like a ghetto. Why? many people asked? but nobody could get any answers from city hall.

It was only today that I read with great surprise the story in the Kyiv Post:

The Economic Court of Kyiv on May 17 declared illegal the results of an auction at which the Siayvo (Shine) bookstore 363.8 square meters at 6 Chervonoarmiyska Street was sold, returning the store to municipal ownership.

The auction took place in September 2009.

The court also declared invalid the agreement on the purchase and sale of the premises between Shevchenkivsky District Council and Abril Studio LLC and the agreement under which the premises were handed over to a third person.

The press release of Kyiv City State Administration reads that the bookstore has been returned to the municipal ownership of the city of Kyiv.

The conflict over the premises of the Siayvo bookstore has lasted for about two years.

Today the bookstore is closed.

Lets see what happens next. I know many people will be campaigning for the return of the bookstore.

But another example of an 'Only in Ukraine' situation.

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