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Ukraine Opens Radioactive Chernobyl Reactor Control Room to Tourists

In an effort to boost tourism to turn the Chernobyl disaster zone into a tourist attraction, the Ukrainian government recently decided to open a highly radioactive reactor control room to tourists.

The control room of Chernobyl’s reactor four is where Ukrainian engineers turned off the nuclear reactor’s cooling pumps during a safety test in April of 1986. It was this act that eventually led to a catastrophic explosion that killed 28 people in the immediate aftermath and left the surrounding area around the power plant contaminated with radioactive waste. It hardly sounds like the perfect tourist destination, but you’ll be surprised how many daredevils would pay serious cash for a chance to set foot in the room where the world’s most devastating nuclear catastrophe. And the Ukrainian government is ready to make their dream come true.

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24-Year-Old Man Marries 81-Year-Old Woman to Avoid Military Service

A young Ukrainian man has managed to successfully avoid compulsory military service by staying married to a woman 57 years his senior for almost two years. Despite widespread criticism online, the man has the law on his side.

In late 2017, Alexander Kondratyuk, a young man from the Ukrainian city of Vinnitsa, received his conscription papers. He was to report to the nearest military commissariat for enlistment in his country’s one year military service. All able-bodied Ukrainian men aged between 18 and 26 are required to undergo military service, with one exception. If such a man were responsible for looking after a disabled wife, he would be exempt from service. So Alexander somehow convinced his cousin’s 81-year-old disabled grandmother to become his bride, and the couple have now been married for almost two years. Kondratyuk is 24, so after two more years he will become too old to undergo military service and probably divorce his octogenarian wife.

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Parents Abandoned Children on the Side of Road Because They “Needed a Break”

There’s no denying that parenting can get really tiring sometimes, but you have to suck it up and push on. Well, not this Ukrainian couple who decided to take a break from their kids by abandoning them on the side of a road, near a homeless people camp.

Andrey, 3, and his younger brother Maksim, 2, lived for a week with homeless people and drunkards in Zaporozhye, southern Ukraine, after their young parents abandoned them on the side of a road under pretext of going to buy some food. The boys were placed in the care of total strangers allegedly for a few minutes, but their parents didn’t return for a week, and would have probably taken even longer to retrieve their kids if someone didn’t call the police. When asked why they had abandoned their two children, the young couple said that they felt tired and needed a break.

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Troll Level 99 – Protesters Trick Ukrainian Mayor into Posing with Poster Criticizing Him

Oleg Omelchuk, the mayor of the Ukrainian city of Olevsk, recently became an internet meme after being tricked into posing for a photo in front of the city hall holding a poster accusing him of infringing on the rights of citizens.

The photo of Omelchuk standing shoulder to shoulder with the people protesting against him and his administration and holding a poster that read “The mayor and his minions infringe upon the rights of society” went viral after being shared on Twitter by journalist Taras Oleinik, an editor of Ukrainian news portal ITC.ua. However, his caption was a bit suspicious. Oleinik claimed that the mayor had been the one trolling protesters by showing up and holding up the poster as a joke, without anyone recognizing him. That would have indeed been some epic trolling by Omelchuk, but in fact he was the one getting trolled.

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Ukrainian Shelter Rescues Dog That Had Been Stuck in Underground Heating System for Three Years

A dog shelter in Nikopol, Ukraine’s Dnipropetrovsk Oblast region, recently received a call from a concerned animal lover begging them to help her rescue a dog that had fallen down an exposed drain and had been stuck there for three years.

The shocking story was shared on July 2nd, on a public dog-themed Facebook group, by Elena Omelchenko, a volunteer at the Nikopol dog shelter. Apparently, a girl named Lena called the shelter and practically implored them to rescue a dog that had fallen down an uncovered drain, into a complex central heating system, three years ago, and had been living there ever since. Lena and other kindhearted people had been throwing the dog food, but, so far, they had been unable to rescue it.

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Ukrainian Pensioner Turns Apartment Building Staircase into Awe-Inspiring 17th Century Chateau

Vladimir Chaika, a pensioner from the Ukrainian city of Kiev, spent 15 years turning the staircase of his Communist era apartment building into an artistic masterpiece reminiscent of 17th and 18th century chateaus.

Vladimir says that he had always been fascinated by the interior design style of 1600s and 1700s castles and estates, and having worked in constructions for many years, repairing various structures around Kiev, he had the skill and experience needed to undertake such a complicated project. It was time that he lacked, but following an accident that left him clinically dead in 1997, he was forced to retire and ended up with a lot of free time on his hands. He was very familiar with the decorating style of 17th century French chateaus, construction materials were cheap, and after asking a friend to supply him with a variety of custom molds, he was ready to get to work.

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Ukrainian Motorist Builds His Own Lamborghini Reventon

Oleg Hrycak, a sports car enthusiast from the Ukrainian city of Lviv, spent four years building his very own limited edition Lamborghini Reventon. He admits it was a lot of work, but it beats having to pay over $2 million for a real one.

Having worked as a designer at a Ukrainian bus factory, Oleg says he had some experience modelling fiber glass and one day decided to use this knowledge to build himself a drivable luxury sports car replica. He took the chassis of an old Audi A8 sedan and modified it to fit the fiberglass body of a Lamborghini Reventon. He also moved the Audi’s 4.2-liter, 300hp engine to the back of the car to power its rear wheels and even built the iconic Lamborghini scissors doors. Hrycak says he did all of the work on the DIY sports car himself, in his spare time, to prove that anyone can build their own luxury automobile if they set their mind to it.

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Ukraine’s ‘Land of the Twins’ – Unique Village Boasts 61 Sets of Twins

Velikaya Kopanya village is better known as Ukraine’s ‘Land of the Twins’ because of its record-breaking 61 pairs of twins among the less than 4,000 inhabitants. The village is soon expected to be included in the Guinness Book of World Records, having already made its way into Ukraine’s record book.

According to locals, the number of twins born in the village is higher than anywhere else in the country. “The ultimate baby boom came in the year 2004,” said local councillor Maryana Savka. “But ever since then we are having at least between two and three sets of twins born every year.”

Maria Chorba, the town’s oldest twin with three pairs of twins among her own grandchildren, said the town’s twin-phenomenon is not a recent one. “When we were growing up we had some friends who were twins, so we are definitely not the first ones here,” she said, recalling her twin sister Anna who died in 2007. “No one could tell us apart. Later Anna moved to live far away and we met only once a year. But if she would get sick I would know that straight away. And then I felt that something really bad had happened to her – at the very moment she died.”

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Ukrainian Man Has Been Walking Barefoot for the Last 10 Years, Regardless of Weather

Despite the region’s sub-zero winters, a Ukrainian man from Kiev has been walking around barefoot since February 2006.

Andrzej Novosiolov apparently began the bizarre practice on a whim – his feet felt unusually hot one evening, so he tried walking on fresh snow without footwear and found the sensation surprisingly pleasant. Although his feet began to ache from the cold within a few minutes, he made a habit of walking barefoot on snow, going longer and longer each time. Eventually, in April, he stepped out of his house without shoes and was able to spend the whole day outdoors that way.

It still wasn’t easy for him, though, as Andrzej often injured himself stepping on broken glass and other sharp objects. But reading about Olga Gavva, a manager from St. Petersburg who had also adopted a barefoot lifestyle, he decided not to let these accidents keep him from doing something he genuinely enjoyed. Over time he taught himself to walk intuitively, learning where he should step and where not to. This way he slowly got to the point where he didn’t need to invest in footwear any more. He claims to be able to walk barefoot in temperatures down to seven degrees below zero and when it gets colder than that he just runs to keep his feet from freezing.  

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Ukrainian Drivers Are Converting Their Cars into Wood Burners to Save Money on Gas

With the advent of an energy crisis and the rising cost of gas, people are becoming interested in alternative forms of energy. For example, a growing number of Ukrainian drivers are turning to wood to power their cars to save money on fuel.

With the automobile industry slowly going electric, using wood as fuel hardly seems like the most practical solution. The technology isn’t exactly new. People have been creating wood-powered cars for decades, and they were actually quite popular during World War I, but in modern times, people have mostly built them as experiments, to prove that it can be done. Nowadays, more and more drivers in the Ukraine are fitting their old cars with wood burners and boilers to save money.

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This Ukrainian 220-Year-Old Apple Tree Has a Very Unique Way of Staying Alive

The city of Krolevets, in Ukraine’s Sumy region, is home to the world’s most unique apple garden, consisting of only one tree. Spanning 10 acres, the 220-year-old tree – known as ‘apple tree colony’ – has dozens of individually rooted trunks that constantly spring to life, making it seemingly impossible to die.

The tree seems to have worked out a brilliant survival strategy, and it looks prepared to survive for centuries to come. It started off as a regular tree, but as it aged, its branches bent so low to the ground that they started to take root as well. Every time one of the ingrown trunks dies, its branches immediately bend to the ground and take root. It had only nine trunks in 1970, but that number had doubled by 2008.

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Ukrainian Man Claims to Have the World’s Bushiest Eyelashes

Long eyelashes are generally considered beautiful, but this Ukrainian man’s extra-long lashes are just plain creepy. 58-year-old Valery Smagliy, from Kiev, believes that he has the world’s bushiest eyelashes, a trait that he attributes to a secret ingredient in his diet.

Valery said that he started eating something, and noticed that it made his eyelashes grow really long and thick. And when he realized that it made women jealous, he decided to keep the ingredient a secret in order to market it later. “Women would stop me in the street and ask me what the secret was, they can see that they are real and not fake,” he said. “And whether it’s man or woman, most people don’t seem to pay much attention when I’m talking to them because they’re always looking at my eyelashes.”

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Badass Ukrainian Grandmother Nicknamed “The Punisher” Trains Alongside Army Cadets

68-year-old Ekaterina Bilyik is fondly known as ‘The Punisher’ in her home town of Zhidaev, Ukraine. Contrary to her appearance, the frail-looking grandmother is a total badass – she recently completed a gruelling military training alongside army cadets four decades younger than her.

The amount of energy and enthusiasm that she displayed during training is quite awe-inspiring. Footage from the training camp shows her rolling over snow-covered fields, leaping high, and firing assault rifles along with all the young men in her troop. And believe it or not, she is now training to take part in the raging battle in eastern Ukraine.

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Young Ukrainian Builds Awe-Inspiring Miniature Frigate with 17,000 Coins

This is what I call expensive art! While most artists spend money on art supplies, this Ukrainian man actually used money itself. 29-year-old chef Sergei Nikolayev Knurov fashioned a detailed miniature ship out of a variety of Ukrainian coins. The final piece contains a whopping 17,000 coins, with bank notes for sails.

Sergei, a resident of Mykolaiv city in southern Ukraine, first started the project with coins from his piggy bank. But he soon ran out of material – his personal stash only covered the keel. So he began to exchange paper money for coins whenever possible at drug stores and markets, and sometimes with friends. When people found out what the coins were meant for, they were glad to part with their loose change. The coins Sergei used are mainly 2 and 10 kopecks, and the sails are made of 25 five-hryvnia notes.

At first, it wasn’t easy for Sergei to actually create the 3 dimensional model of the ship using just his sketches and notes. But lucky for him, his wife Alena is an amateur numismatist (a person who studies and collects currency). She helped him fuse the coins together using silicate glue, which worked pretty well. Sergei said that using regular super glue could have resulted in oxidization, but this way the metal structure will last longer.

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Alina Kovaleskaya – Ukraine’s Newest Real-Life Doll

It’s official, Ukraine is the land of real-life Barbie dolls. After the now-famous Valeria Lukyanova and Anastasiya Shpagina, it’s now time for another Ukrainian real-life doll to take center stage – meet 20-year-old Alina Kovaleskaya.

Hailing from Odessa, the same city as the above mentioned internet stars, Alina Kovaleskaya  has managed to attract a decent online following after uploading a series of photos of herself in doll form. That means laying on several layers of makeup, especially around the eyes, to make them look abnormally large and posing as a lifeless toy. It’s now a well-known recipe used by all of the seven (yes, seven) human barbie dolls in Odessa who all use the same tricks, hold photo-shoots at the same locations around the city and sometimes even appear in each other’s photos. Although accused of being yet another clone of the internationally-famous Valeria Lukyanova, Alina, however, claims to be different from all other Barbie imitators. She says she resembles the popular doll naturally, with her big eyes, small nose and small plump her lips. And yet it’s obvious she uses tons of makeup to enhance her features, just like every other human doll we’ve ever features, from KotaKoti to Vanilla Chamu. Although no self-respecting barbie wannabe would ever admit to it, there are some who accuse her of also using photo manipulation software like Photoshop.

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