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Wednesday, 06 July 2022

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Must-see in Ukraine > Sister-cities of Kyiv

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Evgeniy Skibin, pathfinder
Specially for “Prime Excursion Bureau”.

April 28 is the World Day of Sister-cities. There exist two versions about the appearance of the phenomenon. The first one points out the initiative of veterans of the French Resistance in 1957 when in Paris the first international non-governmental organization – the World Federation of Sister-cities was established. Another version states that it began much earlier when agreements about friendship and cooperation between member-states of WWII anti-Hitler coalition were concluded. The first agreement was signed in 1942 between Stalingrad in the USSR and Coventry in England, both were almost completely destroyed.

Sister-city relations envisage close relations in economic and cultural cooperation as well as in education, medicine, science, sports, protection of environment and architectural and historical monuments and in other fields of social life of the cities.

Naturally, our city was not an exclusion. In 1961 Kyiv joined sister-city relationship. As the capital of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and Mother of Rus Towns Kyiv had a lot of sister-cities but according to then existing unwritten rules only Moscow, city # 1, could get related with capitals of foreign countries. Our city could choose “relatives” only among non-capitals. Such first ones became Polish Krakow and Finnish Tampere, later German Leipzig joined them. In seven years Kyiv signed agreements about sister-city relations with Italian Florence and Slovakian Bratislava. In 1970 Toulouse in France and a year later the ancient capital of Japan Kyoto joined the list of Kyiv’s sister-cities. In the 1960-70s new Kyiv streets were named after sister-cities such as Leipzigska, Krakowska,Kyoto, Bratislavska, Florence, Tampere, Toulouse. In honour of such cities movie theatres (Leipzig, Florence), hotels (Bratislava), restaurants (Leipzig), etc. were named. At that time the exchange of students, specialists, sportsmen, theatre groups was successfully carried out.

In 1989 Edinburg (Great Britain), Odense (Denmark), Edinburg (Great Britain) in the 1990s Uhan (China), in 1991 Chicago (USA) and Toronto (Canada) became related to the Ukrainian capital. The following years after the end of the cold war, the lifting of the iron curtain and disintegration of the Soviet Union a number of sister-cities of Ukraine’s capital was constantly growing. With Ukraine’s independence in 1991 Kyiv becomes the capital of the European state and concludes agreements on partnership with many capitals of the world. Among them there are Ankara (Turkey), Vienna (Austria), Paris (France), Helsinki (Finland), Pretoria (South Africa), Budapest (Hungary), Beijing (China), Warsaw (Poland), Havana (Cuba), Athens (Greece), Sofia (Bulgaria), Mexico (Mexico), Brussels (Belgium), Santjago-de-Chilli (Chilli), Stockholm (Sweden), Rome (Italy). And as a result in some countries Kyiv at the moment has two “relatives”. There are six states like that: Germany (Munich and Leipzig), France (Paris and Toulouse), Italy (Rome and Florence), China ( Beijing and Uhan), Finland (Helsinki and Tampere), Poland (Warsaw and Krakow). Availability of two sister-cities in Germany is explained by peculiarities of modern history of the country: Leipzig was in Eastern Germany, Munich – in Western Germany. After the fall of the Berlin Wall both cities occurred in one country. After the USSR disintegration a number of sister-cities extends at the expense of capitals of the former republics of the USSR which nowadays became capitals of independent states: Tallinn (Estonia), Yerevan (Armenia), Vilnius (Lithuania), Kishineu (Moldova), Astana (Kazakhstan), Moscow (Russia), Bishkek (Kirghizia), Minsk (Belarus), Baku (Azerbaijan), Tashkent (Uzbekistan),Riga (Latvia), Tbilisi (Georgia). In Kyiv there appeared new streets, squares, lanes with the names of the above capitals. It’s interesting that some of Kyiv’s districts also have their “relatives” abroad: Darnytsky district is related to the French town of Romenville and Dniprovsky – to the French town of Chalett.

Article 7 of the Statute of the territorial community of the city of Kyiv registered by the Ministry of Justice on 2 February 2005 reads: “Kyiv can have sister-cities. The choice of a sister-city is carried out according to the decision of the Kyiv city council on the basis of bilateral agreements”.

At present our city has 57 sister-cities. Contacts with them are being constantly extended, which helps Kyiv disseminate information about its history, potential opportunities with the purpose of attraction of tourists, investors, establish cooperation in economy, business, culture, sports, etc.

Unfortunately this work is carried out not so intensively as in Soviet times. We wish the city authorities studied long-term experience gained in the past and used it for extension of further fruitful cooperation with our sister-cities.

Sister-cities of Kyiv

City Country Date of Agreement
Tampere Finland Dec 1954
Leipzig Germany Oct 1956
Florence Italy July 1967
Bratislava Slovakia April 1969
Kyoto Japan Sep 1971
Toulouse France June 1975
Odense Denmark April 1989
Edinburg Great Britain July 1989
Munich Germany Oct 1989
Uhan China Oct 1990
Vilnius Lithuania June 1991
Chicago USA July 1991
Toronto Canada Sep 1991
Ankara Turkey Feb 1992
Vienna Austria May 1992
Paris France Oct 1992
Moscow Russia Oct 1992
Krakow Poland March 1993
Helsinki Finland March 1993
Kishineu Moldova Oct 1993
Pretoria South Africa Oct 1993
Budapest Hungary Oct 1993
Beijing China Dec 1993
Warsaw Poland Feb 1994
Havana Cuba Feb 1994
Tallinn Estonia Dec 1994
Yerevan Armenia Sep 1995
Athens Greece Nov 1996
Minsk Belarus June 1997
Sofia Bulgaria Sep 1997
Baku Azerbaijan Sep 1997
Mexico Mexico Sep 1997
Bishkek Kirghizia Oct 1997
Brussels Belgium Dec 1997
Tashkent Uzbekistan Jan 1998
Riga Latvia May 1998
Astana Kazakhstan Jun 1998
Santiago de Chile Chile Aug 1998
Stockholm Sweden Mar 1999
Tbilisi Georgia May 1999
Rome Italy Nov 1999
Genoa Italy May 2009


In the course of time after destruction of the “iron curtain” and the end of the “cold war” the list of sister-cities of  the Ukrainian capital has almost doubled. But if earlier we considered some of them as the NATO aggressors, at present we see in them potential business partners.