Travels to Kherson and Yalta in Ukraine
to Meet Marina Chedakina for the First Time
April and May, 2002
Chapter 1 -- 2 -- 3 -- 4 -- 5 -- 6 -- 7 -- 8 -- 9 -- 10 -- 11
Greetings, Everyone --
Today lets look more around the town of Kherson. Marina and I walk around Lenin Park more, and then we go to the Dneiper River. This park is very large, very large indeed. Statues of Lenin are common. All the statues of Stalin have been destroyed, as I told you before.
I showed you photos of my apartment earlier. Across the street from my apartment is the KGB office. I asked Elena Kosyakova about this, and she said that this is a very good part of town to have an apartment. No one ever robs the people who live across the street from the KGB. All the buildings in Kherson have iron bars across the windows, to stop thieves. Yes, even if they are on the second or third story of the building. I noticed that many of the windows in my apartment did not have these bars. Elena Kosyakova said "don't worry, this is the safest place in the entire city. You are next to the KGB." I believed her.
Yes, this is the real KGB (Komitet Gosudarstvennoi Bezopasnosti - the Comittee of State Security). They are alive and well and I am living across the street from their office. This is the real KGB that you have heard of, from Lubyanka, the State Security Office. Folks, this is not America I am in. I also asked Marina about the NKVD (the Narodnii Kommissariat Vnutrennykh Del - the People's Committee of State Affairs) and I didn't really understand the answer. Later, I got the impression that the NKVD was like the national branch, and perhaps the KGB is the local branch, but I am not sure if even that is right.
I wanted to take a photo of the KGB building, but in truth I did not feel comfortable walking by the building taking photos of it. It looked like a normal office building
Next to the KGB was Lenin Park - there was a very large statue of Lenin right there. Just imagine a 30 foot statue of Lenin - it must weigh tons - many tons.
There were other monuments - some had just a block of concrete, with no statue on them. These were the former monuments of Stalin. The statues had been removed from the pedestals, leaving just a bare concrete block with no statue on it. There were lots of these. Uh, did I say be glad you live in the USA?
Marina and I walked around Lenin Park for about four hours. We only saw a little bit of the park, I think. It was very big, and not like any park in America, I think. It was huge. Here's a church in the park.
What's missing here?
In part of the park they had set up amusement rides. This was to get ready for the May First Festival, their "Independence Day".
This is the "Zentrifuga" - we have the same thing in the
Here's a monument in Lenin Park. The park is filled with monuments, most of which are about the "Great Patriotic War" (World War 2).
Don't forget that the Soviets destroyed the Germans forces that attacked them in World War 2. They are proud of this, and monuments are everywhere in the city.
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