Archive

Tag Archives: Ukraine

When I was relaunching my blog, I was thinking about writing on subjects like nudism, photography, self-portraits etc, but life always makes its corrections. Who could expect Russian intervention in Ukraine? Would it be a ‘grave mistake’, indeed? And whose graves that would be? Will there be ‘costs’? Do the people of Ukraine, who have recently overthrown the bloody dictatorship, deserve this brutal military aggression?

A trophy from the Crimean War  (1853 – 1856)
Image: Crimea cannon on The Parade, Southampton, c.1900 (Creative Commons License)

Peaceful Crimean nudist beach (Koktebel, Crimea, Ukraine)
Image: on the beach by Nikolai Vassiliev| Flickr – Photo Sharing! (Creative Commons License)

In 1925 a society called “Down with Shame” was organised and legally registered. The members of the society undertook not to wear any clothes, and by way of propaganda some of them were sent on tour. One of the groups was proceeding via Moscow, Kharkov, Rostov, Mineral Waters. I saw them with my own eyes, when they were in Rostov-on-Don. I was passing near the Pokrovsky Market at the corner of Friedrich Engels Street and Bogatianovsky Street when I saw a man and a woman absolutely naked standing near a stationary tram. Even the savages of the Polynesian Archipelago wear some kind of cache sex, but this couple only wore a kind of sash, and that across their shoulders! It was a red ribbon with the slogan: “Down with the bourgeois superstition – shame.” In justice to the woman I must add that she also carried a kind of handbag in her hand! While I was looking at them, overcome by astonishment, a crowd assembled, and also a few militiamen to protect the naked couple.The crowd, among which were many people from the market, market girls, etc., were pelting them with tomatoes, eggs, and stones. But when the tram got moving the naked couple triumphantly entered it. In a second the disgusted passengers began to pour out. Once more the tram got under way in a hail of apples, stones, eggs, and similar missiles, empty now except for the naked man and woman and the unfortunate victim of duty, the conductor. About an hour later, when passing the General Post Office, I saw a huge crowd demanding the extradition of the representatives of the “Down with Shame” society. It appears that, fleeing from the wrath of the crowd, they took refuge in the post office. The Communist “cell” of the post office gave them some clothes and let them out by a back door. Such was the effect they produced in the city of Rostov. They produced a much greater disturbance and scandal in other cities. The Soviet powers, seeing that this kind of propaganda was not only abortive but threatened the “people without shame” with lynching, quietly liquidated the society after about a month, and abandoned the attempt.

SourceMoscow unmasked: a record of nine years’ work and observation in soviet Russia by Joseph Douillet. Translated from the Russian by A. W. King. Published 1930 by The Pilot press in London.

Comment: Joseph Douillet (1878-1954) was a Belgian diplomat to the USSR known as the author of Moscou sans Voiles: Neuf ans de travail au pays des Soviets (Moscow Unmasked: A Record of Nine Years Work in Soviet Russia) published in 1928. He lived in Russia from 1891 to 1926. He served as the Belgian consul in Rostov-on-Don. It has been said that he “had spent so long in the country that he was almost more Russian than Belgian.” In 1925 he was arrested in the USSR and was imprisoned for nine months before being expelled from the country. (Joseph Douillet – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Joseph Douillet could hardly be suspected of any sympathy for communist Russia. I’ve heard from an eyewitness that the reaction of the public wasn’t so extreme. Town folks were rather surprised than angry, at least in Ukraine. What is without any doubt is that the normal development of naturist movement was voluntarily interrupted by the communist authorities.

Boris Kustodiev's painting "Bathing" (1921) - Wikimedia Commons

Boris Kustodiev's painting "Bathing" (1921) - Wikimedia Commons

Nowadays it begins to recover, even in Siberia.

Unofficial nude beach at the Novosibirsk Reservoir, near Akademgorodok by Obakeneko - Wikimedia Commons

Unofficial nude beach at the Novosibirsk Reservoir, near Akademgorodok by Obakeneko - Wikimedia Commons

ImagesBoris Kustodiev’s painting “Bathing” (1921) – Wikimedia Commons
Unofficial nude beach at the Novosibirsk Reservoir, near Akademgorodok by Obakeneko – Wikimedia Commons
(This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license)

Ukraine’s climate and weather is continental, but tempered by the Black Sea; winters and summers are rather temperate near the coast and harsher inland… The mean July temperatures are about 23°C (73°F) in the southwest and 19°C (66°F) in the northeast… (Ukraine: weather and seasons: when to travel)

This summer in Ukraine is anomalous, indeed. Weather Channel predicts up to 92°F (34°C) for the weekend. “For Russia expect a dry, very warm summer’s day and this extends across Belarus into Poland, the Ukraine into Germany” (Weather Online).

The hottest July was in 1931 with about 97°F (36°C) on July 16. It seems like a new weather record may be set. At least, a positive point is that it is higher than eighty-three degrees Fahrenheit.

Summer_Madness by tarielk on deviantART

Summer Madness by tarielk on deviantART

A White Bear (Odessa, Ukraine. July, 2009) by tarielk on deviantART

A White Bear (Odessa, Ukraine. July, 2009) by tarielk on deviantART

I think my place of residence obliges me to write a few words about local clothing optional beaches. So I’ve decided to explore how Kiev and its beaches are presented on the internet.

I’ve started from the Wikipedia article on Kiev:

Kiev is located on both sides of the Dnieper River, which flows south through the city towards the Black Sea
The city boasts of 16 developed beaches (totalling 140 hectares) and 35 near-water recreational areas (covering more than 1000 hectares). Many are used for pleasure and recreation… Kiev has a continental humid climate… The warmest months are June, July, and August, with mean temperatures of 13.8 to 24.8 °C (57 to 77 °F)…”

N.B. Currently, we have at least 28 °C / 82 °F during the day.

River Sandy Beach by t-maker aka vadimage | Flickr – Photo Sharing!

River Sandy Beach by Vadim aka t-maker | Flickr – Photo Sharing!

List of social nudity places in Europe for recreation and List of Clothing Optional Beaches (World Beach List) include both Kiev naturist beaches identifing them as being either an official or unofficial clothing optional beach with common nude use,

Image: By the water by t-maker aka vadimage | Flickr – Photo Sharing!

By the water by Vadim aka t-maker | Flickr – Photo Sharing!

Surfing the internet, one can easily find a map (see, for instance, Panoramio or Wikimapia) or even a detailed guide how to get to these beaches.

When you go down the stairs of Hidropark metro station, turn right, walk through the food stalls and over the bridge. As you cross the bridge, on your left-hand side you will see a beach in the distance running parallel to the bridge. That’s your destination. Head left after the bridge. When you hit sand, you’ll see bunch of rowboats that will ferry you across to the beach for 5 hyr (look for the crowd standing by the water’s edge). Once you’re on the other side, the beach gets nuder the further north you walk. There’s a way to access the beach by bridge from Podil but it’s a couple of kilometers and requires a bike. There’s also a nude beach north of Hidropark in Obolon where I hear the water is cleaner. (Thorn Tree travel forum)

Nude beach in Kiev

Nude beach in Kiev

Despite the variety of sand river beaches, including two almost official nudist beaches, Kiev can hardly be called a great place for nude sunbathing. Local newspapers mention “cigarette butts in dirty sand”, voyeurs, and even crowds of drunken idiots. Foreign visitors write about women of various sizes and ages and tragic-comical in the Slavic soul (TheTravelrag.com).

Links
1. Kiev – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
2. BBC Weather | Kiev
3. Thorn Tree travel forum
4. List of social nudity places in Europe – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
5. Clothing Optional (aka Nude or Naturist) Beaches
Beach Info – Dovbychka
Beach Info – Obolon
6. Dnieper River in Kiev – Wikimedia Commons
7. Panoramio – Photo of Nudist beach area
8. The nude beach Kiev – Wikimapia
9. The Travel Rag – Ukrainian rotisserie: a day at the (nude) beach
10. Где в Киеве плыть хорошо | СЕГОДНЯ | Киев (in Russian)
Нудисты открыли пляжный сезон | Интернет-журнал «Наш Киев» (in Russian)

The following image was taken (according to information provided) in a small village of Letki, not far from Kiev in 2007.

Despite the fact I can add anything about this particular image or the photographer, I’ve decided to blog it because 1) the image is nice, I think, and 2) it appeared hard to find nice and tasteful nudist photos, non-commercial and taken without any intrusion into personal life, from the region of my current residence.

Here it is: Summer camping in Ukraine.

Kiev. Summer-2007 by doctorlivesey on Flickr

Kiev. Summer-2007 by doctorlivesey on Flickr

One of the most popular Ukrainian internet news resources has informed about some strange object in the sky. Yesterday in the evening many witnesses supposedly observed  an unusual cloud over Kiev, Ukraine. Today in the morning new photos of this extraordinary event appeared at the site. Worried people used all the power of their digital cameras to capture the object.

Cloud over Kiev

Cloud over Kiev

It is notable that a cloud of almost the same form can be found in Wikipedia in the article about cumulonimbus clouds.

Thunderstorm cloud - Cumulonimbus

Thunderstorm cloud - Cumulonimbus

This case shows, of course, how small is our knowledge about the usual events in nature and how easily we can be frighten or perturbed. And, in the case if the event was nothing but a Photoshop effect, how easily we can be manipulated. It is sad, but one cannot believe digital photos today.