On the morning of July 20, after a break of more than three months, the company of ex-member of “Regions Party” Volodymyr Zubyk “Intergal-bud” made an attempt to continue construction in the protected area of the monument of world importance – St. Cyril’s Church (Church of Saints Cyril and Athanasius of Alexandria).
The morning of July 20 for the residents of Makarivska Street began not with the usual singing of birds, which comes here from the territory of the park-monument of local significance – Kyrylivsky grove, but with the shrill roar of heavy construction equipment.
As early as 7.30 am, heavy construction equipment appeared at the top of Makarivska Street in the Shevchenkivskyi district of the capital, near the historic site of Tatarka. A huge bulldozer started working on the site where the construction company plans to build a residential complex “Kyiv Switzerland”, and a chainsaw could be heard squeaking on the territory surrounded by a green fence.
However, local residents, who have been fighting for three years to preserve the green zone around their homes, were not allowed on the construction site. The call to the police, whose total waiting time eventually exceeded two hours, did not help either.
“The construction will be!”
“The construction will go on, and I will bring new documents at least every day – my printer is working well”, certain Serhiy Altynnikov, a representative of a construction company working on the site on Makarivska Street.
He and dozens of other workers, armed with construction tools and a pile of obscure papers issued in the name of various legal entities, held the defense of the construction site throughout the morning until the police arrived.
However, the arrival of law enforcement officers did little to resolve the situation – local residents simply had to storm the fence to get to the land, which, according to the Public Cadastral Map, is owned by the community, and according to the urban cadastre – generally belongs to natural recreation lands and rest!
Builders had to “remove”
‘It is not enough to break into a plot of land belonging to the city community and on which illegal construction works are carried out! “Today we just had to “remove” the developer’s workers from construction equipment to stop unauthorized construction work’, said Sviatoslav Kutniak, a deputy of the Kyiv City Council and the initiator of the termination of the lease agreement with the “unscrupulous” developer.
Since 2017, Kutnyak, together with the local community, has prevented construction in the UNESCO protected area (read more about the history of the confrontation here: the Lviv company is trying to start construction in Kyiv in the UNESCO protected area). The politician has repeatedly called for the lease to be terminated, but city officials have lacked the political will to return the situation to normal, despite numerous violations of both environmental and conservation laws.
It will be recalled that in 2012 the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) had already raised the issue of excluding St. Sophia Cathedral and the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra from the UNESCO World Heritage List due to the imminent threat of their destruction due to disordered construction of the historical part of the city.
‘The work has been suspended and the developer will be given 3 days to provide the available construction permits’, a landscaping inspector who arrived at the scene with local officials told reporters.
However, the official position of one of the controlling bodies did not convince the developer’s representative. Mr. Altynnikov first appealed to the fact that, according to the law, he and his company did not need any permission from the local authorities for preparatory work at this facility, and later moved on to the personal insults of Kyivites. According to him, people who came to demand the preservation of the green zone do not have the right to do so, because “they did not invest a penny of money here.”
Eventually, when the arguments of the parties were exhausted and the police collected evidence from all participants in the incident, the developer agreed to
remove the builders from the site if local residents and activists also left the construction site. That’s what they parted with.
However, construction equipment, along with several dozen fallen trees, continues to remain behind the green construction fence, the installation of which the developer’s representative was unable to provide. So, obviously, this is just the beginning of a long confrontation…
Translated by Yevhenii Kalinichenko