Mezhyhirya, Viktor Yanukovych’s Little Project, Part 1

Here is the home of the disgraced former ruler of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, which he called Межигір’я, approximately “Mezhyhyria,” translated as something like “between the hills.” The Mezhyhyria estate grew from a collection of dachas outside Kyiv used by government officials. After President Yanukovych was run out of town, fleeing to Russia during a popular uprising in February 2014, the common folk had a look inside. We had a look for ourselves last month, and here are a few photos, in the first of probably three or four photo essays.

Click the photos for larger versions at

The gentleman who took us to Mezhyhirya said Yanukovych wasn’t a sportsman, but fancied himself one. Still, who couldn’t use a few lanes in the basement?

Yanukovych was not a race car driver, but somebody painted him as one.

Nor was he a boxer, but this room was perhaps useful for his bodyguards?

What home is complete without a stuffed lioness?

Or a salt cave?

Here is the tastefully flayed real crocodile on the dining table.

The chandelier at the entranceway.

And the entranceway itself.

Here we see Ukrainian citizens’ tax dollars at work. And what value for the money! President Yanukovych managed all this on a presidential salary of about $1000 a month.

I imagine this series will continue, because there are dozens and dozens more.

See the Prime Ministerial Ironing Board!

I completely, utterly love this. Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk invites you to compare and contrast his apartment to the infamous Yanukovych palace.

“See, not golden at all.” Yatsenyuk points at a toilet seat.

This comes via an article in the Kyiv Post and it’s just totally disarming.

Inside Yanukovych’s Palace

Via an acquaintance in Ukraine, here is a tour of the property abandoned by President – maybe – for the moment – Yanukovych earlier today. Kyiv Post reports that

“Opposition leaders who are now in control of the mansion say they fished documents out of the Kyiv Sea that leads to the Dnipro River and are drying them in a hangar. Some of them reportedly involve journalist Tetyana Chornovol, who blames Yanukovych for ordering her Dec. 25 beating in retaliation for her investigative reports of his alleged corruption. The treasure trove also reportedly includes expense invoices for construction work at Mezhyhyria, a blacklist of journalists and a list of license plate number of cars that Chornovol drives.”

Meanwhile watch Karkiv today, where Yanukovych is reported to have fled. We talked about this three days ago and now sure enough, Time magazine’s Moscow correspondent tweets

“Russia appears to be preparing a grab for parts of Ukraine. Senior Moscow delegates in Kharkiv. Crimea asking for “protection” from Rus army”

RT Russian television is doing its part. An ‘”expert” calls the Maidan a “malevolent mob.”