Monday, 21 November 2011

Keeping Up with the Yanukovyches

One thing that is noticeable about this part of Ukraine is the number of enormous half-built or seemingly empty mansions. Apparently they are a form of status symbol built by Ukrainians who have made a bit of money abroad and want to show it off. Salaries in Ukraine are desperately low, but because the west is nearer the wealthier EU countries, it is easier for people here to get better paying jobs abroad. Natasha told me that it is mainly women as they can get work as nannies, housekeepers, carers etc The money is invested in these white elephants which are usually only ever really used as show homes, while the householders actually live in more modest quarters at the back which are cheaper to heat etc.

It is also apparent that any self respecting nouveau riche Ukrainian is a nobody unless they have at least one tower on their creation. As you can see, the house above is owned by a two tower family.
A very smart final product, complete with adjacent haystack - one can never quite shake off one's rural roots.
In case you are wondering, Yanukovych is the current President who was accused of poisoning his opponent Yuschenko in the lead up to the 2004 elections and subsequent 'Orange Revolution'.

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