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Hlukhiv as a model for the whole of Ukraine

Institutional and Political Issues
Date: Friday, 23 February 2018 18:00 - 20:30

Venue:  Brussels Press Club Europe  |  City: Etterbeek, Belgium

Despite Hlukhiv is much smaller than Kyiv, this city near the border to Russia is a key city in Ukraine’s history. From 1708 to 1784, it was the brilliant European-style capital of the Cossack Ukraine, with embassies, chancelleries, colleges, musical academy, theater… In the 18th century in Hlukhiv was born the idea of an Ukrainian independent nation. In 1784, after liquidating the Ukrainian Hetmanate, the Tsarina Catherine the 2nd punished the proud Ukrainian city by ordering that it would be fully burned (only 2 buildings survived this tragedy) and never rebuilt.

In the 19th century, thanks to the proceeds of the sugar production from sugar beets, Ukrainian entrepreneurs rebuilt the city of Hlukhiv elegantly, and among them the ancestors of the Terestchenko family: Artemiy Terestchenko, bourgmeister of Hlukhiv from 1841 to 1850, and then his oldest son Nikola Terestchenko, first elected Mayor of Hlukhiv from 1850 to 1872 (22 years’ mandat). After the Bolshevik revolution, the family had to emigrate to France where Michel Terestchenko, direct great-great-great-grandson of Artemiy, was born in 1954.

His programme – a corruption-free, EU-oriented city with sustainable development principles as a model for the whole Ukraine – created enthusiasm as well as resistance.

Michel wants to concretise the ideal of the Revolution of Dignity (Maidan), to make it happen at least in one small Ukrainian city, in order to prove to all Ukraine that this dream is possible, that it is possible to get rid of corruption and contraband, to crush this system of influence and corruption deeply installed in this post-soviet society, to be a successful small European city where there will be perspective for the young generation to build an harmonious family life and business career – even at 15 kilometers from the Russian border.This incredible challenge has turned out to become a violent fight against not only the Ukrainian oligarchy but also against local police, justice, procuracy, even against the Governor and the Presidential Administration – all legal pressure is now applied to try to get rid of this “European Mayor” that is trying to serve the people of his city fairly – and doing this is bothering all the installed oligarchy and their servants, from local bandits to the top of the Presidential Administration.

This “battle of Hlukhiv” is now receiving high resonance in Ukraine and Hlukhiv is becoming a symbol for all Ukraine. Could Hlukhiv also become a model for all Ukraine?

To share with us his experience and aspirations, Michel is visiting Brussels. #EUevents


Rue Froissart 95
1040 Etterbeek, Belgium




All Dates

  • Friday, 23 February 2018 18:00 - 20:30

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