Lake Hlynka is being prepared for construction. Residents of houses on the dangerous slope received new windows

The city of Kyiv is located within the so-called Dnieper landslide zone, which developed within two geomorphological units of the Dnieper Upland and the Dnieper Lowland, separated by an ancient tectonic fault, on the surface of which the Dnieper River now flows. The specified condition, as well as the special structure of the surface background is fragile at its base of forest-like loams and sands have led to a significant spread in the capital of landslides, which over the past 50 years have become almost ubiquitous. On average, a year, depending on the district, Kyiv “slips” by 1.5-2 cm. These processes have become especially intensified in recent years, due to the chaotic and uncoordinated development of the city.

Recently, the capital’s web community was shocked by the news of another attempt to build a slope over the picturesque Lake Glinka in the Pechersk district of the capital. A few years ago, the lake and the area on this slope were surrounded by a fence with the inscription of  city utility of Kyiv, which as indicated on the fence, was only going to carry out work to strengthen the slope. And recently, a probable developer posted a visualization of a project to build this fenced area on one of the sites for the sale of real estate. The premises for the sale of apartments in a new building have already been built on the site of the demolished cafe.

    “Aktyvni Hromadiany” decided to first find out the opinion of residents who live 50 meters from the cliff in the old 9-floor building and who previously demanded that the authorities do something by landslide processes under their houses. In the meantime, they got the prospect of being close to another building monster, they may soon appear at blvd. Druzhby Narodiv.

“So what?? Let them build. They are not just like that. They will reinforce what is needed there and build it, but they put up windows for us, they made repairs in the main entrance”, – shared the good news local resident Lidia Anatoliivna. The woman admitted that the activation of the “construction” of the space over the lake coincided in time with the beginning of repair and finishing works in the entrances of nearby houses.

       Such an interesting regularity surprised us no less than for a pensioner, because the programme for replacing old window-based sets with modern steel-plastic glass unit is a citywide program with budget funds allocated for it. And the repairs in the entrance halls are carried out by the property management company for the maintenance of the house for the funds collected from us and in the order of priority, however, not the real estate developer. Our words were also confirmed by the Kyiv City Council, where    “Aktyvni Hromadiany” asked for clarifications on who and how is replacing windows in houses and repairing entrances.

Well, let’s see if the other houses have the same fancy look as Lidia Anatoliivna’s house. It turned out that, surprisingly, the houses in the immediate vicinity of the future construction of a new residential estate have all the hallmarks of a full-fledged cosmetic repair, these are houses at blvd. Druzhby Narodiv, 4/6, lane Filatova, 3/1, street Ostapa Vyshnia, 3.

And here is the house at blvd. Druzhby Narodiv, 6, which is only 100 meters from the group of renovated buildings, apparently was not so well-disposed to utilities folks that they should be engaged in repairing and arranging the buildings that are in their service. As for the construction space itself, we also met communal workers , there are employees of the Municipal Enterprise for Maintenance of Green Plantations of the Pechersk District of Kyiv, who, however, refused to explain the reasons for their stay near the site, which already has all the hallmarks of commercial construction. At the site where public utilities are now working, there is a single information plate notifying that … landslide works are being carried out on this territory (!).

However, certain suspicions about the accuracy of the posted information arise when we see the posted by builders on the territory of “strengthening works”, which is very reminiscent of the future sales department. Even greater doubts about the ultimate goal of such development are caused by the fact that according to the public cadastral map of Ukraine, the purpose of the land has already been changed to “apartment blocks”, and the site itself is privately owned.

However, this was not always the case. On the map of 1894, the lands around the present lake are marked as the territory of the brick-making plant of the businessman Subbotin. Actually, by that time the lake itself did not exist yet, and clay-mining quarries were gradually growing in its place. Over time, the plant ceased to exist, production buildings were dismantled, and a huge lake up to 25 m wide and 10 m deep was formed at the construction site.

The irony of circumstances, what once created a picturesque lake, may eventually lose it. After all, one of the concepts of building the territory involves draining the lake and creating a park in its place. Similar ideas were heard in the Soviet period. There were even several attempts to start the implementation of this ambitious project. But, nature has always been interfering with man.

      The fact is that although the lake is of artificial origin, however, it feeds on clean spring water, the horizon of bedding of which at one time ” tackled” factory owners. Each time water was pumped out of the lake, it easily replenished its volume from underground sources. The maximum result achieved by the builders at that time was a lowering of the level by 5 m, then the “base point”, when the speed of water pumping approximately coincides with the speed of filling the lake basin.

     It is worth reminding that this is the third attempt to build a slope over Lake Glinka, the first two attempts for developers ended in failure in 2015 and 2017. Then Mayor Vitalii Klychko personally promised the community that the slope will be strengthened, and a new park will appear on the site of the construction site. For the implementation of this project has been given 65 million hryvnias from the local budget. Now it turns out that these funds went to the preparatory work for the construction of a new commercial residential estate?   A similar problem befell the residents of the Kyiv neighbourhood unit of Mysholovka. Locals have been slowly watching their homes slowly slide into another lake for more than 10 years.

“These lakes, they arose as, even before the war there were brick backwaters, they mined loam … Factories were closed, the quarries were filled with water, but since then no one has produced any reinforcing works. It stood there and gradually slipped away. The last serious landslide happened in 2017, during the summer rains about 3 meters descended into the lake, “- told us, a local resident Oleksandr.  “Then a commission came from the Holosiivska administration, they measured something there and wrote it down, but since then no one has never done anything.”       

Now people fearfully await every new spring and every summer or autumn downpour – the height from the edge of the slope to the water’s edge is more than 15 m, and the distance from the edge of the slope to Korchuvatska Street, on which there are residential buildings, is no more than 10 m!

To clearly show the danger of the situation, “Aktyvni Hromadiany” decided to conduct a small experiment. We selected rock fragments from landslide-prone slopes of Pechersk and Myshelovka  and on a microscale tried to reproduce the influence of two main destructive factors for this type of rock (light loam) there are a gravitational pressure and soluble effect of water.

The following video clearly demonstrates what happens to the rock on the slopes if you do not carry out appropriate anti-landslide and strengthening works.


Dmitry Perov , founder of the NGO “Green Minute”

Translated by Polina Bevz

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