Every country has its national and historical heroes. But how many such celebrated heroes are poets? Taras Shevchenko, who has written Ukraine’s national song was a writer, painter and thinker. His sculpture and portraits are found all over the country. The Taras Shevchenko University in Kyiv is popular and lots of research is conducted here. Ivan Franco and Lesya Ukrainka are also credited with contributing to Ukrainian literature through poems. All the three have been activists of sorts and participated in the political process of their times.

The Soviets for all their faults did not become a superpower for nothing. Their ability to use science in their daily life is something I find marvelous. I would like to elaborate this with two examples. Hot water and home heating systems, are as a rule handled by individuals or buildings as a unit, as far as my knowledge goes. But Ukraine and I suspect in other former Soviet regions, these are collectively provided by each town or city. There are central hot water generation factories which supply hot water through dedicated pipelines to each apartment, home or commercial unit. Meters monitor consumption and they are billed accordingly. Same is the case with heat. Heat is also generated centrally (District Heating) and supplied to all areas using renewable energy now. Fixed investment by each building or home is not required. The time when heat will commence supply is determined when the average temperature for a week falls below a threshold. Generally heat supply begins early November and continues till April when a maximum temperature threshold is reached. Hot water however is supplied year round as long as you pay your bills regularly! To think these were developed decades ago, indigenously by their own engineers!

Ukraine’s insurance regulation and basic structure are somewhat akin to India. Relatively speaking Ukrainian insurance industry is very young having commenced after its independence in 1991. After 700 companies declared bankruptcy in the nineties a new Insurance law was passed in 2001. All WTO members can operate in Ukraine as insurers, reinsurers, intermediaries or consultants as long as they are registered and monitored in their home countries. While there are statutory capital and solvency requirements, Ukrainian participation in capital are no longer mandatory since 2013. More details are available on Frishberg & Partners – Ukrainian Insurance Industry.

To end my Ukraine diaries (at least for now) I wanted to talk about this Soviet style restaurant in Kyiv which is my absolute favorite, as it also has a lot of vegetarian dishes, mouthwatering desserts and chilling drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic). It’s called Varenichnaya Katyusha and has Branches all over the city. The decor is 1970s, including the music, wallpaper, layout etc. and serves authentic Ukrainian dishes. It is particularly known for its dumplings (varenyky) stuffed with meat, potatoes, cabbage and cherries! The front office staff are mostly young college students. More in pictures below!

Dyakuyu, za chytannya ta otsinku! Thank you for reading and appreciating.

Varenichnaya Katyusha interior
Varenichnaya Katyusha interior
Desserts
Desserts
Tasty drinks
Tasty drinks

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