Street art in Kyiv: The controversy of Kyiv murals
Society15:40 Nov. 8, 2016

The controversy of Kyiv murals

To like or not to like: two different opinions on numerous murals in Ukrainian capital

In the last couple of years Kyiv has become a city of murals. After the events of the Maidan revolution both local and foreign painters have descended to the capital and changed the way it looks. As a result, Ukrainian landscapes, historic figures and patriotic scenes have sprung up on the buildings, giving the city a unique and alluring personality. 

Read also: Mural of Ukrainian teacher appears in frontline Avdiivka 

Very few locals actually know the exact number of the paintings. One man, however, tries to keep track of each of them. In his own amusing way. Ukrainian aspiring showman takes selfies with the murals in the background. Egor Prischepkin started doing so last August. So far he has 59 photos in his collection, and counting.

Egor Prischepkin, Ukrainian showman: One day it just occurred to me, how many murals in Kyiv do I even know? On my way from home to work I only observe, maybe, 5 percent of them. So I wanted to see them all, and I thought, simply taking photos with them, for me, a showman, it wouldn't be enough. 

Egor Prischepkin and his selfie (photo source:

In his selfies Egor poses with different equipment, trying to complement the messages in the murals. The composition in each photo is different, of course. Egor says, thinking on the ideas for the selfies takes hours. 

Read also: Street artists in Kyiv draw inspiration from fighting in the east

Egor Prischepkin, Ukrainian showman: This is my response to the themes, or even extension, because sometimes I don't even know the right answer, so I can only add some other thought to the mural, some idea, that the author, perhaps, didn't even mean. We can stand looking at the murals for hours, and still find something new. 

While Egor doesn't want to rate the murals, he says the paintings add certain charm to the city. Some people, though, have a somewhat different opinion. Svitlana Zinovyeva is a producer of a movie, called Contours. It depicts the state of the street art in Kyiv and Mariupol, as well as the Russian-occupied Crimean Peninsula. 

Read also: Mother Protectress designer Mata Ruda talks about Mural in Kyiv

A mural of Ukrainian hetman Pavlo Skoropadsky (UNIAN Photo)

Svitlana is strongly convinced, that the images often contradict the personal views of the locals. She also calls the murals shady schemes between the authors and the authorities.  

Svitlana Zinovyeva, Ukrainian producer: I believe, it's some sort of secret deal with the local authorities, with those who hand out permissions, with sponsors. I think the city authorities have some sort of dividends, or something else out of these deals. In the end, to paint a picture on a decrepit building is probably cheaper, than bring the place to order.

At the same time Svitlana says, she is not opposed to every mural in the city. She even has her own favorite. An image of Serhiy Nigoyan, a Euromaidan activist, who was shot and killed during the Revolution. 


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