“This autumn, Kiev plans to complete the construction of a unique wave bridge. An unusually shaped crossing will unite Obolonsky Island and Natalka Park. In addition to the unusual nature of the project, it is also valuable because almost 300 tons of metal for the bridge were manufactured at the Azovstal plant on the eve of a full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation.“, – the Metinvest website reports, writes Ukrrudprom.
Before the start of a full-scale war, it was not a priority for us to use the Azovstal trademark. We worked as a single group. Why is this important to us now? Because the trademark has been abused. It has been used by different people.
We have granted a patent for the Azovstal trademark. And what will happen next – we’ll see. For us it is not critical. We just want to protect the Azovstal brand from misuse.
Well, for us, the unusualness of this “project” lies in the fact that people who failed to save the privatized “for a penny” in the late 90s Azovstal are now trying, as they say, to dance on its bones, using the deceased for not the most plausible purposes.
It’s one thing when you (as it happened in the fall of 2022) report that the Hetman Ivan Mazepa corvette, built for the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, has launched in Istanbul. And for the construction of the flagship, a thousand tons of hot-rolled sheet were used, which were produced by Mariupol metallurgical plants even before the war.
Another is when you attach to the feat of the defenders of Azovstal, to put it mildly, a dubious project up to the ears of the corrupt city authorities.
Here is how Metinvest describes the project for the construction of a zigzag bridge in Kyiv:
“The construction of the crossing began in 2020, but stopped because of the war. At the construction site, they managed to build several supports of the future structure. In the near future, they plan to intensify work here, because funding has been allocated for the facility.
There were patrons who are ready to finance the construction of the wave bridge. In part, these are Ukrainian businessmen, and foreign investors took on most of the funding. And not private, but public, for example, the city hall of Paris “– commented Andrey Mirgorodsky, the author of the bridge construction project.
Here it is necessary to clarify that we are talking about the construction of a bridge between the two most tidbits of the capital’s real estate, at least within Obolon. On the one hand, Natalka Park is, without exaggeration, the best park in Kyiv, on the other hand, Obolonsky Island is a piece of almost untouched wilderness, separated from the metropolis by the waters of the Dnieper. According to the already mentioned Mirogorodsky, “Obolonsky Island is actually a recreational area that can be safely compared with a natural reserve.”
Naturally, the all-powerful Kyiv developers, frontman (or bibabo – as you like) of which the current mayor Vitali Klitschko is speaking, they breathe unevenly towards these two objects. There are not many such promising sites left in the capital for building the next residential complex “for all the money.”
No wonder land scandals constantly arise near the Natalka Park and Obolonsky Island. For example, six months ago we told how such a lawyer, Konstantin Boyko, registered Obolonsky Island and a dozen more moorings and dams in Kyiv and the Kiev region, passing them off as ownerless property discovered by him. Naturally, such a brazen scheme in life would not have worked if Boyko had not been associated with the former head of the metropolitan police.
Bridges of Kyiv and Mkhitaryan-Stolar
Or let us recall the lease of 16 hectares of land on the shores of the Sobachye Girlo Bay to Architectural and Construction Alliance LLC of the notorious developers Artur Mkhitaryan and Vadim Stolar. This site adjoins Natalka and, obviously, as a result, another residential complex was to appear on these 16 hectares. In 2018, after years of protests by local residents, the Kyiv City Council did not extend the lease of the site and instructed Kyivzelenstroy to create a park on this site. But over the years that have passed since that moment, this utility company has not formalized this site and, accordingly, has not begun work on arranging the park.
In March of this year, it became known that the land commission of the Kyiv City Council approved the construction of a two-level underground-ground parking lot on Prirechnaya Street in Obolon, for which the Kyiv City Council will allocate 120 million hryvnias. Journalists versed in the topic believe that the future parking will not only allow connecting the site on the shore of the Sobachye Girlo Bay with the Obolonska embankment. This is actually a resuscitation in a new wrapper of the development plan of those same 16 hectares of Mkhitaryan-Stolar
Bridges of Kyiv and Igor Tynny
Another scandal erupted in this patch in February, when it turned out that at a plenary meeting, the Kyiv City Council decided to lease a land plot at 18, Obolonska embankment, to a certain Guvekshaus LLC for 10 years, “for cultural and recreational needs, recreational, health-improving and tourism purposes. The plot area is 1.2806 ha.
It should be clarified here that the site is located not just on the Obolonskaya embankment – it directly borders on the Natalka park. Moreover, the monthly rent for more than a hectare of such “chernozem” is a ridiculous 22 thousand hryvnia (about $500).
When the scandal broke out, it turned out that the ultimate beneficiary of Guvexhaus was a restaurateur and co-founder of the Ukrainian Renewable Energy Association Ihor Tynny. Among other things, he owns the Praga restaurant at VDNKh, which Vitali Klitschko personally referred to as a good example of arranging a public territory during a discussion on the transfer of a virtual piece of Natalka to private hands. But most importantly, it is Tynny who owns 46% of Kyivspetstrans, which owns all the city’s official garbage dumps.
Despite the scandal, Tyny is not going to “give back” and will sue all those who are dissatisfied. Therefore, there is no doubt that in the end, in addition to the expensive restaurant itself, a parking lot and, of course, an access road to it will be built next to Natalka.
The idea of building a bridge to Obolonsky Island was first presented to the capital’s public in the fall of 2020. Klitschko was re-elected to the post of mayor and beautiful promises were needed for the residents of the city. One of them was the bridge. True, in the end the project turned into a mini-scandal. Klitschko claimed that some philanthropists would build the bridge, but local authorities desperately hid these kind people from the townspeople. As a result, it turned out that we are talking about a “laying” company associated with Vladislava Molchanova, who is known in Kyiv as the head of one of the largest developers in the city – Stolitsa LLC.
She has many projects throughout the metropolis, including very scandalous ones. For example, Stolitsa Group LLC erected the residential complex Varshavsky Microdistrict on a land plot owned by the State Enterprise Scientific Research Industrial Agricultural Complex Pushcha-Voditsa, the intended purpose of which is “for the construction and maintenance of other public buildings”.
It is obvious that Klitschko’s gift worth 150 million hryvnias was made by Molchanova as a payment not so much for past, but for future projects. It is not surprising that six months after the re-election of Vitalik, Kyiv City Council had to consider the issue of building 19 residential buildings up to 26 floors high in the Obolonsky district of the capital. The investor of this project was Datalit LLC, associated with Molchanova.
In fairness, in the end, she will not even have to fully fulfill her obligations to build a bridge to Obolonsky Island. In January, it became known that the Greater Paris Metropolis would take part of the costs. This allowed Klitschko to cover up the scandalous project with the authority of European partners, and Molchanova to cut their costs for its implementation. Win-win strategy. Even the Parisian bureaucrats look in the eyes of voters as decent people who helped make the capital of the warring Ukraine beautiful. Who cares about details…
Obviously, the list of those wishing to tear apart Obolonsky Island and approaches to it is not limited to the 4 cases mentioned above. But at the same time, this list already gives an idea of the unhealthy fuss that has unfolded around this piece of land.
By the way, how many bridges will there be?
Here we come to the most unexpected part of our research. After all, the construction of a pedestrian bridge to Obolonsky Island is only the visible part of the iceberg in turning a “natural reserve” into a “passage yard”. In fact, there will also be a second (technical) bridge – on the opposite side of the island from the Natalka park. It is allegedly necessary for the arrival of service and other special vehicles, as well as for the transportation of materials and structures. This bridge will be built in parallel with the “wave bridge”, and it will be a little more modest in size.
But that’s not all. After the completion of the arrangement of Obolonsky Island, a third bridge will also appear on it, which will connect it with the Obolonskaya Spit, “which will later also be turned into a recreation, sports and health area.”
The fact of the existence of these two additional bridges is not hidden by the Kyiv authorities, but there is practically no information about them in open sources. Although preparations for their construction are already in full swing. As you can see, in the case of two additional bridges, everything went without Azovstal metal and PR hype. Quiet and businesslike.
Bridges of Kyiv and fetishization of commodity residues
It is obvious that a real “battle of bulldogs under the rug” unfolded for Obolonsky Island and its environs. If we abstract from it a little, then a new trend is depressing, not of Kyiv, but of a national scale, which can be called “fetishization of leftovers”. All these “the last pack of Artyomsol”, “the last rail of Azovstal” are evidence of creative impotence that drives the target audience into depression. As if subconsciously, the thought is hammered into the consciousness of the country as in the well-known anecdote “man, you had everything!”: everything is in the past, before the war, there is no future.
You can, of course, consider that this is such a “subconsciously honest” communication from the same Metinvest. After all, everyone understands that Akhmetov is not going to restore any Azovstal and, if necessary, will find 1000 and 1 excuse for this.
Solving the current homespun tasks (for example, wanting to raise money for drones for the front), PR people are casually killing society’s faith in victory. After all, if this is the last “pack of salt” or “beam” produced by a specific heroic plant, then we seem to be saying that we do not believe that we will win them back. And even if we return the territory, we will definitely not build these ugly monsters of the Soviet five-year plans again.