On September 1, 1866, the first train from Vienna arrived at the Chernivtsi railway station. Local people were both fascinated and scared. 150 years ago, the railway used to be associated with accidents and problems for local producers. With the train Galicia and Bukovina could receive goods from the West – of higher quality and often cheaper than local ones. On the other hand, the train seemed to be saying to each and every one: Now you are in Europe too!

Together with the railway, to the Eastern outskirts of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire came modernism, bringing along economic and cultural development. Within one empire a set of processes, now generally referred to as globalization, were initiated. To share in those processes, one merely had to buy a train ticket, choosing between three classes – like today one only has to connect to the Wi-Fi network.
Залізничний вокзал Чернівців
This train could bring an ordinary citizen of Chernivtsi or Lviv to Vienna within 24 hours, the city which had seemed as distant as the moon. Hence, the year 1866 was for the people of Galicia what Neil Armstrong's steps were for the people of the Earth in 1969.

Chernivtsi, Stanislav (Ivano-Frankivsk), Lviv, Przemyśl, Krakow, and Vienna got connected by one route and one aesthetic field. The things remained so all the way through to the great catastrophes of the 20th century, when the single cultural space was torn apart, leaving behind only disparate memories and Franz Joseph's portraits hidden under the bed.

We invite you to visit these six cities to see what has changed on this route, what is to be expected, and whether the mythologized link between them is still alive. Among the remnants of the former Empire, in the lands of Galicia and Lodomeria, we will be looking for the Austrian Atlantis.

« …the train stops at the Chernivtsi railway station.
The city spreads itself out majestically, high on a hillside.
The person who comes here has a weird feeling:
suddenly, he is in the West again, where one can find
civility, decent behaviour and a white table linen…»

Karl Emil Franzos
If the writer Karl Emil Franzos could come to Chernivtsi for a weekend today, in 2017, he would be sure to find a white table linen in local restaurants, but not the West. The post-Soviet style of everyday life in Chernivtsi competes with its European spirit, preserved mainly in architecture and German-speaking societies. There are still some people who know about Chernivtsi's Kaiser times from their grandparents, but few of them live in Ukraine now.
From the railway station, we are riding to the hotel along the Main street, which was once named after General Karl von Enzenberg, the second stadtholder of Bukovina. After Kyiv's concrete architecture, with all those grey "cheshkas" and "khrushchovkas" (types of low-cost apartment houses in the USSR), the symbols of the Soviet times, the city of Chernivtsi fascinates visitors by its elaborately designed and eye-catching buildings. Almost every facade bears antique female masks – the bas-reliefs quite typical of the Austrian architecture. However, not all of those stone faces look like the "Angels of Modernism". With broken noses, dirty faces and tired eyes, the masks of the beauties have survived the Soviet Union. Now they have to survive the Independence.

'We are in Ukraine's appendage.'

'What do you mean?'

'I mean that Chernivtsi should be more open to Ukraine. The city lacks a quality transport connection with other regions. Chernivtsi is stereotypically viewed as a European city but its link with Europe exists rather at the interpersonal level, it is not institutionalized,' says Natalia Yeromenko, an urbanist in Chernivtsi.

Among Chernivtsi's strengths, she indicated its landscape and terrain, which make it possible to cross the city in half an hour, and also the openness of the local government to new ideas. Nevertheless, the local youth tend to move to Kyiv or Lviv, and their place here is taken over by newcomers from the countryside. 'The city has no decent concert-hall, nor alternative cultural spaces,' Natalia says. Indeed, after 9 p. m. Chernivtsi is dead quiet.

On the other hand, the deserted city centre in the evening has a romantic touch to it. Olha Kobylanska Street, or 'stometrivka' (100-meter promenade), as it is popularly called, is one of the most beautiful streets in Chernivtsi. A closer look at the city will reveal that everything here speaks about this land's link to Austria-Hungary. At such moments, one has a weird feeling that the events that have happened here after the Second World War are pure fiction. Chernivtsi has been lucky to preserve its pro-Western aspect, even if in appearance only.
Now local activists are trying to restore the European look of the city. There are a couple of German organizations here, such as Gedankendach and Goethe-Institut. Numerous local projects are supported by OeAD, the Austrian agency for international mobility and cooperation in education, science and research. For example, there are summer exchange programs for students, language courses, a literary club, etc. Volunteers from Germany come to give a helping hand to bring the city back to its European family.

Steve, one of those volunteers, says that German culture is still present in Chernivtsi, only it is dead. 'Some people here take an interest in their past and start learning German. The German language opens up new economic opportunities for Ukrainians. And the Ukrainian language opens up new cultural opportunities for Germans,' this is the way Steve explains his wish to study Ukrainian in Chernivtsi.
'There is true Austria there!' a passer-by, aged fifty or so, responds when we ask him the way to the literary café. And having noticed that we are holding a city map from a local tourist office, he adds:

'That map is good for nothing, you'd better take mine,' and produces a map of Chernivtsi printed on an A4 sheet.

'OK, but why is true Austria in the literary café?'

'Because the old furniture from the Habsburg café, which was here in the Habsburg times, has been carried over to the literary café. That place is better than our museums. All the worthy stuff has been taken away to Lviv and Kyiv, and we are left with crap, so you'd better go to the literary café. And one more thing: use their toilet. They have the old toilet bowl. No, just wait. The toilet bowl has been broken – someone climbed up on it with his feet.'

'Is that true that every Chernivtsi resident once felt obliged to visit Vienna?'

'Previously, before the Soviet regime, as I was told, every hotel had the telephone connection with Paris or Berlin, or Vienna, for that matter. It was not a problem.

'Well, thank you!'

'Wait a minute. Take my advice: they will offer you a mannik pie, but don't buy it, it is Jewish here. Also, they will offer you some wine – but don't drink it,' the man added with a mischievous wink and walked on to the road crossing.
Chernivtsi's multicultural identity has not only been preserved in old wives' tales; it can also be seen in the streets. During our five-day stay in the city we heard eight languages: Romanian and Italian, Polish and German among them. There was nothing like this in any other city on our way. Here, the café " Bucharest" and the Romanian language courses can be found alongside the Polish Cultural Centre and the Viennese coffee house, all in one street. The first phrase we heard at the Viennese coffee house was in Russian: 'Если хотите десертики, то смотрите на баре.' (If you want some little desserts, just choose them in the bar)
According to Serhiy Osachuk, a historian and Austria's Honorary Consul to Chernivtsi, the houses in Chernivtsi before the Habsburg rule were clay-walled, and few people could read and write. 'In the times of Austria-Hungary, people started getting education. Sometimes parents could even be fined, if they prevented their children from going to school. The grown-ups, however, were not compelled to study. If someone wanted to make a career, they had to learn the German language and become literate. If one chose to graze cows, then they did not need to speak German. You can speak any language to cows,' Mr. Osachuk says.

Indeed, in a periodical of those days we find a job advertisement for a nanny that marks the knowledge of German as a key eligibility requirement. Local newspapers in Chernivtsi in those times were multilingual – they included texts in Polish, French, and German. But the laws were drafted mostly in German, Old-Ukrainian, and Romanian.
The German Cultural Centre in Chernivtsi is in the very centre of the city. The front door is always open, which is not at all typical of the post-Soviet space. But the history of the building shows itself in the wooden beams in front of the entrance and the door painted red (in the Soviet times, floors, ceilings and doors were sometimes painted dark red. Often, even a high-quality parquet floor would be painted over).

In the hallway, young people are already waiting for the beginning of the German club, which is moderated by a German named Daniel; he has come from Jena, a city in the east of Germany.

'This is the best way to learn German,' says Karina. 'I was surprised to meet a German volunteer here. He is learning Ukrainian. Now, a German guy has a better command of Ukrainian than myself, a native Hutsul.'

Daniel, a language assistant, is not the one who speaks Ukrainian. But he is fluent in Polish and Russian. He says he takes a great interest in other cultures. His choice of Chernivtsi as a place to live and work for the next six months was not random. Daniel says that in Lviv or Kyiv you are but one in a million, while in Chernivtsi people tend to treat you more personally.

'I love Chernivtsi. In Germany, I met some people whose ancestors left this city in the early 20th century.'

'Who are the people that come to you to study German?'

'Those who have German or Austrian ancestry. They want to know the language of their forefathers. However, I am trying to speak not only about the language, but also about the traditions, everyday life and culture. I think people must realize that a country means more than just a language. It's a system.'

'Do you feel the connection with local Germans and Austrians?'

'I feel that sometimes they are more German than I am. They are the stereotypical Germans that people often imagine. They sing to accordion, celebrate all German festivals and so on. They are like the Germans from the past. Therefore, here I am not only learning things about Ukraine, I am also learning things about myself and Germany.'
Impressed by the sheer number of the projects and opportunities provided by Austria to the people of Chernivtsi, we walk out of the German House. The situation looks hopeful indeed – young people are learning German; they also know English and are willing to join the European family. This feels like a slow motion; the triumphal music is playing, our eyes are wet, and not from the rain. Suddenly, we hear the voice of a man, aged 60 or so:

''Tis good, but wouldn't it be better if the Germans had given us a couple of millions instead of this,' and he points to the German House. 'We would know how to handle the dough.'

« Thanks to Stanyslaviv's architecture, Ivano-Frankivsk remains in the same aesthetic field as Vienna, Budapest and Krakow. You realize this immediately as you get off the train and see the artistic metalwork on the railway platform.»
Halyna Petrosaniak
We are travelling to Ivano-Frankivsk by the express-train Chernivtsi-Lviv. As there is no direct train service to Vienna anymore, we are bracing ourselves for frequent transfers. There are no berths in the carriage; this is rather a suburban train with new seats, automatic doors, and cleanliness. This train can take you from Chernivtsi to Ivano-Frankivsk in 1 hour and 45 minutes. It takes almost the same time to get from Kyiv's outskirts to its centre. The mobility is impressive and reassuring – we will not have to spend half a day in the usual stuffiness or cold of Ukrainian trains. However, today the railroad tracks are covered with thick snow, and we arrive two and a half hours late. At the Ivano-Frankivsk railway station, the guard woman does not even open the door. Looking dreamily out of the window, she suddenly hears our voices:

'Hey, let us get off,' we begin to panic when the train starts off ready to depart for Lviv.

'I didn't think any one was going to get off here,' the guard woman says and opens the door.

Indeed, only we two of all the passengers get off the train, and our two suitcases. Then the station café and a cup of tea, followed by our attempts to hail a cab to the hotel, and the awareness that we will have to walk.

'I am telling her that she should go to Poland to earn money for an apartment. Either with or without her husband,' says a woman in her mid-thirties sitting at a neighbouring table.

'Why don't you go?' her companion says, finishing his light beer.

'I'd rather go to Moscow. Why not? I'll be giving sports lessons there,' and the woman cuts the conversation short.
The walls of the café are decorated with the pictures of Stanislav, the city that Ivano-Frankivsk used to be named eighty years ago. One can hardly recognize the present-day 'Franyk' (the city's popular nickname) in those pictures. Ivano-Frankivsk in the 21st century is a monument to the illogical character of Soviet architecture: Secessionist buildings are intermingled here with the Soviet-era constructions in a chaotic way, and the surrounding space seems to be filled almost exclusively with 'khrushchovkas'. Ivano-Frankivsk, destroyed during the First World War, further destroyed during the Second Wold War, and awkwardly redeveloped in the Soviet times, has, nevertheless, retained some features of its former European glamour, thus showing that some time ago it was a quite different world.

That world was so different that only a few diehards still dare to call the present city Stanislav. Among them are writers and artists, who are inspired by the history of the Austro-Hungarian Ivano-Frankivsk. Stanislav is a sort of local legend about good old times, when trees were high and ladies wore long, showy dresses.
Yuriy Andrukhovych, a writer, believes that the city should officially resume its former name only on condition that a historical and cultural reserve is created in the central area. Otherwise, this makes no sense, since it is not only the architecture and people that are different in contemporary Ivano-Frankivsk, but also the very lifestyle. 'The 20th century caused irreparable damage to Ivano-Frankivsk. Take Holocaust. An overwhelming majority of local Jews were killed. The Polish population was forced to leave the city. Moreover, the Ukrainian population of the city in 1946 was not the same as the Ukrainian population of the 1930s. There was a great relocation of people here: some were exiled to Siberia, some were killed, and others moved to the West,' says the Patriarch of the modern Ukrainian literature (this is what Yuriy Andrukhovych is called in the literary community). And the deserted apartments and houses were later taken over by newcomers from eastern parts of the Soviet Union and people from rural areas, he adds.

'Did you feel as a Soviet child in Ivano-Frankivsk of the 1960-70s?'

'I was growing up with the opposition: there are 'us', and there are 'them'. "They" are party members, "they" are not local, and "they" are Russian-speaking. Meanwhile, the Russian-speaking folks called us 'the locals'. We called them 'Russians'. Many of them, though, had family names ending in '-enko' (the most typical suffix of Ukrainian surnames), they came here from Kyiv or Kharkiv regions. But we didn't care. I was dreaming about Europe. When I was eight, I visited Prague: it turned out that our relatives who had left Ukraine some time before lived there. That was in 1968, and that event seems to have determined my further life. One may wonder: what was so special about the communist Czechoslovakia? But there we witnessed the culmination of the Prague spring, and when we returned home, we heard that the Soviet troops invaded Czechoslovakia (the Soviet troops invaded Czechoslovakia in summer 1968 to suppress the anti-communist protests). I remembered Prague as a colourful world, where people were friendly, not angry nor aggressive. It is there that I first saw long-haired boys and girls wearing mini-skirts. Local TV channels were broadcasting concerts of the Beatles. I remember that after that trip I became a kind of informal leader in the boys' community: they would listen to my stories about the Western world, and look at the toys and clothes brought back from there. I was like Orpheus, who returned from the hell. Hence, I was shocked to learn that the Soviet Army invaded that beautiful world. Moreover, my father was then drafted as a reservist into the army. And I was not a fan of the Soviet Army. Thus, at the age of eight, I had my first political conflict with the Soviet regime.'
Today, Ivano-Frankivsk is a city where many urbanistic projects are being implemented. Also, this city is rightly regarded as the literary capital of Ukraine. Suffice it to mention the so-called 'Stanislav Phenomenon' (the artistic and literary boom in Ivano-Frankivsk in the 1980-90s, which represented a watershed in the Ukrainian culture).

The local youth is full of enthusiasm and ideas inspired by Western examples. This can be accounted for not only by the 'us – them' opposition, which existed in Ivano-Frankivsk throughout the whole Soviet era, but also by the Austro-Hungarian influence. In the Ukrainian Galicia, people tend to be more pragmatic than in other regions of Ukraine.
Taras Prokhasko, a writer, says that the Galician common law, which was shaped mainly in the Austro-Hungarian times, is still very much tangible in Ivano-Frankivsk. 'The social agreement is important here. The unwritten rules are a lot more powerful in Ivano-Frankivsk than in Southern or Central Ukraine,' Mr. Prokhasko explains. While the railway to Chernivtsi was being built, the Austro-Hungarian Government was guided in its actions by the fundamental principles of democracy. The government officials knew that the Empire was multinational; therefore various conflicts had to be resolved by soft methods.

For example, the government encouraged the establishment of a number of organizations, societies, etc., and, as a result, a civil society emerged. In the 19th century, the Austrian Empire brought in the culture of initiatives to the Galician lands. However, according to Yuriy Andrukhovych, that practice reached its climax only under the Second Polish Republic: 'The Polish government was pursuing a very aggressive policy towards Ukrainians, trying to assimilate them. Those attempts were fiercely opposed – not only through terror (the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army), but also in legal ways – through the development of the civil society'. In any case, Galicia today is at the forefront of changes in Ukraine.

The office of the ' Warm City' project is swarming with activity – everyone is trying to get things done in time, to do more and better. The ' Warm City' is a platform for various local initiatives – from bike paths to online radio UrbanSpace. Yuriy Fyliuk, the head of the project, says they just want to make life more comfortable:

'Self-help is common among the people of Galicia. The Austro-Hungarian period positively affected the sense of private ownership as well as some cultural issues.'

'So Austria-Hungary still remains a source of inspiration, doesn't it?'

"Our task is to find sound elements in the cultures where we used to belong, and construct our own identity. Because we are Ukrainians after all,' says Yuriy Fyliuk.
Today, in Ivano-Frankivsk one can find not only a good żurek (a traditional Polish soup), but also an active community, original ideas, and a cooperative local government. As a big artistic residence, Ivano-Frankivsk still inspires writers and artists, just like it did a century ago. Without the Vienna-Chernivtsi railway, the most comfortable Ukrainian city could well have remained a depressive village stuck at the turn of the 19th century.

But thanks to the railroad, Ivano-Frankivsk became a gateway to the Carpathian Mountains, a port in which the resources from the mountains and profits from the 'Hutsul tourism' flow. It was not by chance that the office of the railway management was located in Stanislav.

The location of the office is rumoured to have been a hotly debated issue, and even a bribe was allegedly given to someone in Vienna – but that is an entirely different story.

« On the other side of the monarchy, in Lviv, the capital of the crown land, several minds at once were pondering over the need for the railway in Galicia… Common to all provincial Galician minds was their belonging to the same body, which was more of a symbol than an authority.»
Taras Prokhasko
'Please, buy sopilkas,' someone at the end of the third-class sleeper is saying. An old man, aged about eighty, is playing Hutsul melodies, selling simultaneously wooden Carpathian flutes.

'Was it you who made them?' we ask.


'Well, are they handmade?'


'What's the price?'

'20 hryvnias.'

The dim light of the car is flickering like a dying butterfly. Only one thought is racing through my mind: 'Why is it always so hot here?' And another: 'When are we going to arrive?'

We are travelling to Lviv, the capital of the crown land Galicia. It was there that in 1855-1856 the Galician nobility decided to start negotiations with the Austrian government on the construction of a railway from Przemyśl to Lviv and Chernivtsi. However, the Austrian officials believed that it would be more reliable if the railway belonged to the state, rather than to private owners. Still less did they want it to be the property of the Poles, whom the Austrians did not depend on too much. This was conducive to a confrontation between the government officials and the Galician nobility. But the financial crisis which followed forced the Government to agree to share the costs with the Polish nobility.

At the same time, many German investors were involved in the construction of the railway. Thus, the Austrian state maintained its control over the Vienna-Chernivtsi railway. Unfortunately, because of financial difficulties, the tracks were only laid to Lviv. And then the Chernivtsi community leaders decided to ask the Kaiser to extend the railway to Bukovina.

Lviv's railway station is a vivid proof of how much the Empire valued the city. Only in Vienna was the railway terminal building more impressive. Neither Krakow, nor Przemyśl, nor Chernivtsi, nor Stanislav had a similar railway station.

The main hall of Lviv's railway terminal is as crowded as usual, and it smells of the Poltva (the stream flowing under the city) – at least, that is how the local government explains the permeating smell in the city. The walls of the station make an impression that the building has been refurbished – the white tiles on the columns clearly go back to the Soviet times.
As we have decided to buy tickets to Przemyśl in advance, we go to the only international booking office at the station.

'I was told that here I can buy a ticket for a suburban train,' a woman with a kerchief on her head says.

'It is written here distinctly: INTERNATIONAL!' her companion protests.

'It is only written!'

Unfortunately, the only international booking office at the station does not only sell international tickets, it also sells tickets for suburban trains. The explanation for that is hard to find; perhaps, it is because Ukrainians usually travel abroad by bus or by plane, and the railway is not particularly popular. Therefore, to keep itself busy, the booking office sells tickets for suburban trains as well.

'What's the problem?' the women in the line start to get nervous. They are worried, for they think that the cashier is too slow. Also, they are anxious that someone is going to buy international tickets here. And they get really furious when a man wants to print his electronic ticket here, which he has a legal right to do without waiting in the line. However, in this case, the legal right challenges the unwritten rules.

'Mister! You are a gentleman, are you not? Let us buy our tickets! My train is about to depart.' A squabble breaks out at the booking office. We are lucky, in the end, to have bought our tickets, having miraculously escaped the women's wrath.
These days trains going to and from Lviv are overcrowded. People are coming to the Galician capital in great numbers to study at local universities, to start their careers, and to get new impressions. Yaroslav Hrytsak, a historian, says that in the 19th century Lviv was developing faster than Krakow, the latter being a military fortress bordering Russia. "The Habsburgs prohibited burials near churches in Lviv, as this heightened the risk of epidemics. This is how the Lychakiv Cemetery was established,' Mr. Hrytsak says. Lviv was the heart of Galicia. But after it was incorporated into the Soviet Union, the city lost its ties with the Western world; as a result of the repressions its population changed dramatically, and Lviv became poorer.

The decline was the worst in the 1990s, when the facades of the Secessionist buildings were crumbling, the unemployment was running high, the tourism sector was underdeveloped, and the former Soviet factories desperately needed upgrading. Suffice it to mention that until 2007 the Rynok Square – the central square in the old town – was a parking place rather than the pedestrian zone with street lamps, horses, and mulled wine, which it is today.

The modern Lviv is developing so fast that it can already compete with Kyiv – not only economically, but also in terms of human resources. Today, Lviv has the most powerful creative environment in Ukraine. The driving force behind these changes is Lviv's romantic past coupled with the elements of the civil society in Galicia and the atmosphere of "otherness". Old buildings are being renovated, abandoned industrial areas are being redeveloped, and new public spaces and entrepreneurial communities are burgeoning.

'Lviv is casting a long shadow, as once Vienna was. Lviv shows the otherness which is possible. Lviv is Europe without the Schengen system. In Lviv, you feel different. Lviv is a bacterium that has to be developed and exported. A lot of young people come to Lviv from Eastern Ukraine. In Ukraine, human and financial resources migrate westward. I believe that Lviv can bring Ukraine closer to Europe, as it can also bring Europe closer to Ukraine. A nation means communication. Communication means trains. If it takes 24 hours to reach Kharkiv from Lviv, then forget about the connection between the east and the west. We have to work as a virus. But there have to be channels for these viruses,' Yaroslav Hrytsak is reflecting on Lviv's role in Ukraine.

Lviv is exporting its brand to the rest of Ukraine more and more from year to year. Some residents of Chernivtsi say that a coffee-shop was first opened in Chernivtsi, while the similar event happened in Lviv fourteen years later.

In any case, it is the Galician capital that is now commonly regarded as the city of coffee houses. Another thing is that not all residents of Lviv keep pace with the evolution of their city. The city's infrastructure also leaves much to be desired – the transport connections are bad, the roads are in disrepair, and there are problems with waste recycling. However, if we keep in mind that only ten years ago water was supplied to people's homes in Lviv during several hours in a day, then the progress is evident. If in the past a young man had to take his girlfriend to Vienna to propose to her (at least this is the way the legend goes), then in modern Ukraine such city is Lviv.
White tablecloths, newspapers, the scent of coffee, and even Sacher cake. We are at the Viennese coffee house in Lviv, which existed as far back as the Austro-Hungarian times and, as historians say, was very popular.

We expect to plunge into the atmosphere of imperial times; instead the atmosphere comes along with new visitors – office workers and Turkish tourists.

'I'd like some cabbage wraps!' someone in the room is saying.

Without the railway, Lviv in the 19th century would have been sandwiched between Teatralna Street on one side and the High Castle on the other. That small area was surrounded by marshes and forests, where until the mid-19th century people used to go hunting wild ducks.

Yaroslav Hrytsak says that modern Lviv is the creation of the Habsburgs. It is hard to imagine that in place of Lviv's Opera House there could have been forests with wolves, or still worse – 'khrushchovkas'. Forever did Austria-Hungary place Lviv in the common aesthetic field with the most beautiful cities of Europe. And Lviv seems to be successfully taking advantage of this.

«I In present-day Przemyśl, Ukrainians are called 'shoshons'. This is, of course, a tribute to phonetics – the reaction to the phrase most often heard at the farmers' market: 'sho-sho?' (what-what?). Two decades ago, when Lviv's central area was literally crowded with Poles selling things right from their cars, we started to call them 'psheks' – by the same phonetic principle.»
Yuriy Andrukhovych
The picturesque border city of Przemyśl has spread itself out over the San River. This river is highly significant for both Ukrainian and Polish patriots. It is believed that the relations between Poles and Ukrainians are particularly strained here. The former think that the recent conflicts are fomented, while the latter believe that they are seeking historical justice. As you have probably guessed, we are heading towards Przemyśl – the next destination point on our way from Chernivtsi to Vienna.

According to historians, initially the place was inhabited by White Croats; later Prince Volodymyr the Great of Kyivan Rus took it over. During several centuries, Przemyśl was under the rule of Galician and Kyiv princes, until it was taken by King Casimir III of Poland. In this way, the town became Polish, and after the First Partition of Poland, Przemyśl was incorporated into Austria-Hungary.
It's about 10 p.m. We are at the Lviv railway station. A homeless man wearing a railroad uniform is walking on the platform. He asks for a cigarette, but there is nobody here except us and a Polish-speaking woman. We do not smoke; the woman does not understand him. The train which is to take us to Przemyśl is on the platform already, but its doors are closed. A guard emerges from the train and stretches himself lazily.

'Would you tell us, please, which way is our carriage?'

'Tam, (over there)' the guard replies in Polish and points out the direction.

Having realized that our carriage is dark and still inside, we start banging on the windows. We are banging, and the uniformed homeless man, seeing a guard woman in the window, shouts:

'Madam, give me some bread! Madam, a cigarette, please! Madam, do you have any booze?'

The three of us must be making an awkward impression, but nonetheless, the guard opens the door. The nice Polish lady as she is tells us to go to our compartment, simultaneously explaining to the homeless that she cannot help him. The train is empty, but neat and tidy. There are no annoying smells inside, which baffles us: are we really on a train? We have been told that the road to Przemyśl takes three hours, including the passport control procedure. It should be much faster than travelling by bus. Suddenly, at the very last minute, the carriage gets filled with Ukrainians carrying bags. We are not alone, which is rather good.

'Excuse me, it's too hot here,' a passenger says to the guard.

'Then why don't you open the window?' the lady replies. The passenger is shocked.

The matter is that it is strictly forbidden to open windows in Ukrainian trains. Even when the air is burning hot and people are blushing, not with embarrassment, windows have to be closed. Such are the rules, you will be told. Therefore, to hear that you may let some fresh air in is not just surprising, but amazing.

Soon enough we reach the border. The passport check starts. The Ukrainian border guards look strict and focused, while their Polish counterparts are making jokes and telling stories. The Ukrainian border guards speak Ukrainian and Polish; the Polish border guards speak only one of the two languages. And, as you may have already guessed, this is not our official national language. Upon hearing that we are travelling to Przemyśl, the border guards are utterly perplexed: 'You mean you are travelling to Przemyśl by a night train? While you could have used the pedestrian border crossing or a bus?' It is twice as expensive to travel to Przemyśl by train as by bus; so whenever Ukrainians travel to Przemyśl, they are unlikely to use railway. It is by train that Ukrainians travel to Wroclaw, Warsaw, etc. However, it is our aim to reach each destination by train; therefore, we have no option. After making sure that we are really travelling to Przemyśl, the border guards decide not to check our suitcases at all. It is hard to imagine that someone who has paid 500 hryvnias for the ticket should be smuggling some cigarettes to sell them eventually for 300.

In Przemyśl, only the two of us get off the train.

At first sight, the place looks like real Europe. At least, the Europe that comes to one's mind on hearing the word: clean streets, majestic Austrian buildings, street lamps, good roads, nice coffee houses in which one can see elderly people as well – a rare sight in Ukraine. After 9 p.m., the streets become deserted, and the unique romantic atmosphere sets in, which is only possible in European provincial towns.
Snowflakes are hovering above the San River, evoking, apparently, Stepan Bandera's spirit. For how else can one explain the fact that a bookstore next to the river has a whole shelf of books such as Volhynia on fire (the Volhynia tragedy is the mutual ethnic cleansing between Poles and Ukrainians in Volhynia in 1943-1944), UPA Murderers (UPA – Ukrainian Insurgent Army), Lviv, a Polish City (some Polish nationalists argue that Lviv is a Polish city and that Ukrainians must give it back to Poland), etc.
Maria Tucka, Head of the Przemyśl branch of the Union of Ukrainians in Poland, says that conflicts between Ukrainians and Poles have been stirred up by politicians, who are trying to score political points on these issues. The Second World War forced Ukrainians to leave the city. Some emigrated to Canada, others – to Australia, and still others – to the Lviv or Ternopil area. Today, about two thousand Ukrainians live in Przemyśl, some of them having had their roots in this land for generations. Unfortunately, some Poles fail to understand this, Maria Tucka says. Quite a few of them believe that Ukrainians have come to Przemyśl but recently and are trying to 'seize' the city.

'Back in the 1990s, there were conflicts between Poles and Ukrainians. There were insulting graffiti on the walls and attacks on Ukrainians – which is still the case today. I experienced some of those things when we wanted to open the Markiyan Shashkevych School in 1990. During the Ukrainian Culture Festival, someone set fire to the buses that had brought the children here. Similar things happened when we were trying to reclaim the Ukrainian House. There are always some people who are only too ready to tell us that we are but guests here. However, my grandparents and great-grandparents are buried here; my parents lived on this land. I was born and bred here. And I want my children to have a peaceful life here,' Maria says.

She adds that Poles want respect for themselves in other countries – for example, in the United Kingdom, but they show no respect for Ukrainians: 'Some just don't know the history; nor do they understand that we pay taxes, give our energy, and invest in this city, in this land, just as they do.'

Today, Przemyśl has a Ukrainian kindergarten and a Ukrainian secondary school, where children can learn Ukrainian. The ancestors of the children who go to that school lived in the city long before the Operation Vistula took place (a forced resettlement of Ukrainians and Poles from their ethnic territories after the Second World War). Among the students there are also the refugees from Eastern Ukraine, who fled their homes because of the war. There is the Ukrainian House functioning in the city; however, Przemyśl today is no longer the multiethnic and multiconfessional place it used to be. In Przemyśl, you are unlikely to see signs in a language other than Polish. For example, a local pizzeria holds an old photograph of the Przemyśl station that has been photoshopped to delete the Ukrainian name of the city.

The owners of the pizzeria appear to want to delete the Ukrainian name of the city from history in this fashion. The Jewish presence, which actually used to be very large in Galicia, is now hardly noticeable in Przemyśl; the Ukrainian minority is treated with hostility, and the Austrian influence is almost gone.
Interestingly, when a fragment of the old town called 'the Knight's Gate' was being renovated, the Austrian national emblem was removed from it. The local government announced it to be the symbol of the occupation, Maria Tucka says.

She adds that now there is a problem with transport connection as well: 'Now Przemyśl is virtually cut off from the rest of Poland, thus being turned into a provincial town. Under the Austrian-Hungarian rule, Przemyśl was a cultural and scientific centre, sitting at the crossroads of commerce. Meanwhile, to travel to Warsaw today, you have to change trains in Rzeszów. Young people migrate to other places and the city is gradually losing its former significance.'
The Ukrainian House in Przemyśl was founded in 1904 on donations from the local Ukrainian community. The building is located in the very centre of the city, next to the bookstore that sells books mainly about 'the bloody Volhynia'. It is hard to say whether this is just a coincidence.

The Ukrainian House used to be the centre of the Ukrainian life in Przemyśl, which was rather active here before the Second World War. Solomiya Krushelnytska (a Ukrainian opera singer) performed here, Olena Kulchytska (a Ukrainian artist) worked here, Ivan Franko (a Ukrainian writer) visited the city, and – which is most important – Mykhaylo Verbytskiy, who composed a melody to the national anthem of Ukraine, lived here. Local Ukrainians say that they still need support from Ukraine, but it is not often that they get it.
Getting inside the Ukrainian House turns out to be a problem, for the door is locked. As we learn later, the building is under renovation. Tonight, there will be a commemoration of Ivan Franko, and we want to get inside. We notice an old man wearing a suit jacket over an embroidered shirt. Our intuition – or is it his embroidered shirt? – tells us to follow him. This proves to be the right decision. The man comes to a big and spacious hall with the moulding in the shape of sunflowers. It looks stylish, although it was made in the early 20th century.

'Good afternoon, our dear Ukrainian family!' the man starts in a mellow voice. Then follows a speech about 'foreigners', 'traitors' and 'fighting'. Unfortunately, this stuff is largely out of touch with the actuality. I recall Daniel from Chernivtsi, who said that the local Germans are like the Germans from the past. The Ukrainians in Przemyśl also remind the Ukrainians from the past. Almost all the people who have come to the event speak Ukrainian, if with an accent. And almost all of them yearn to feel part of the community they cannot find in the streets of Przemyśl.

After the Second World War, Ukrainians lost the Ukrainian House, and only during the 'Thaw' (the late 1950s – early 1960s in the USSR) did they file a request to rent the first floor to hold cultural events there. Until 2011, the Ukrainian community had to rent their own building. Having paid a part of the building's price and having given another building to the Polish community in Lviv in exchange for this one in Przemyśl, the Ukrainians started to renovate the Ukrainian House, which was in dismal condition. The renovation works have been funded by grants and donations of some members of the community. It is planned that the Ukrainian House will become a free space where one can spend time, have coffee, and attend various events. Also, the Polish and English language courses will be organized here. For that purpose, the roof is also being repaired. All these facilities will be available not only for local Ukrainians, but also for the residents and guests of the city.

'The Ukrainian House will be a bridge at the border between Ukraine and Poland. For Ukrainians, it will also be a gateway to Europe, and for Poles – a gateway to Ukraine,' says Ihor Horkiv, the manager of the project.

'You've started a colossal construction here, that's great! But don't you get complaints from the neighbours?' we ask Mr. Horkiv during the tour of the Ukrainian House, which he agreed to guide.

'You know, there have been so many calls to the police, so many complaints from the neighbours as no other building in the town has ever caused.'

On the floor, still in want of repair, there are some proofs of Ukrainians' presence here a century ago: Ukrainian books, a flag, etc. Moreover, Mr. Horkiv has been lucky to find in the chimney some documents of the Ukrainian society Prosvita (Ukr. 'Enlightenment'), proving that it used to function in Przemyśl. Mr. Horkiv treats those documents with special care: 'Young Poles think that the Ukrainians in the streets are the descendants of those who were involved in the slaughters in Volhynia. We can be easily noticed and identified as an enemy. Today, in Przemyśl, the majority starts feeling hostile to the minority, who are not hiding. The city is declining economically, so someone has to get the blame. Who is to blame? The Ukrainians are.'
It is worth mentioning that we personally have not experienced any hostility towards Ukrainians. Perhaps, we have been just lucky. However, in the reality of today the link between Przemyśl and Ukraine is weak. On the other hand, it is obvious that the city's link with Europe is deteriorating, and Przemyśl risks to turn into a sleepy backwater town. Intercultural processes are dying; the safest option for the people here is to keep a low profile.

'Przemyśl is an aggressive city, which recently has been benefiting a lot from Ukraine and Ukrainians. Closing the border would be a hard blow to Przemyśl. But some people here live in fear that this used to be the territory of Ukraine. They apprehend that Ukrainians can claim it back. In Krakow, however, such sentiments are rare,' Yaroslav Hrytsak says.

We set out for the railway station – our next destination is Krakow.

'We need two tickets to Krakow,' we say in English. The lady at the ticket office looks lost.

'Нам потрібно два квитки у Краків,' we say it in Ukrainian.

'Och, dobrze! (Oh, well!)' Ukrainian is not a problem here.
« Avant-garde is in the very nature of Krakow; this was young Poland. Krakow was a city of free spirit, while Lviv was a city of bureaucrats. In Lviv, experiments were impossible. The avant-garde culture in Lviv is what we have learned from Krakow. A lot of Krakow residents whom I know love Lviv,
they have a brotherly feeling for it.»
Yaroslav Hrytsak
The new railway terminal building in Krakow is connected to a big shopping mall; so don't be surprised if right from the platform you get into a large hall with fashion boutiques and restaurants. It may seem that the old terminal building is not used anymore, since to get to ticket offices you will also need to cross the shopping mall. This is like a metaphor for the whole city – Krakow is overcrowded with people, who look forward to emotions, souvenirs, old Europe, and cheap entertainment here.
We feel as if we had been here before. Actually, everyone who has spent a lot of time in Lviv feels this way – the two cities are very similar. Lviv still retains some evidence of having been a capital city once; and contemporary Krakow does not look provincial at all either. Its only difference from Lviv is in clean streets, good infrastructure, and a lot of drunken British tourists.

In Krakow, one can often hear that in trying to please tourists the city is losing its special aspect and identity. For example, Krakow has few coffee houses with the flavour of old Europe, while pubs and night-clubs are ubiquitous. It is quite seldom that you can hear Polish in the old town, while English is heard everywhere. But if you want to feel the real Galician atmosphere, go to Kazimerz – the old Jewish quarter, where you will find good old Krakow. In fact, Jews were among those who shaped the Galician identity.
In the 'Chimera' coffee house, which still feels like old Europe, we are talking to a Pole called Szymon. He seems interested in our project and tells us what he thinks about the whole idea:

'We, Poles, think nothing bad about modern Austria, but the time of Austria-Hungary was for us the time of occupation and the partition of Poland. Of course, the Austrian Empire was different in its methods from the Prussian or the Russian ones.'

'What was different?'

'Lots of things. But the first important difference was that the Austrian Empire allowed all cultures to develop freely.'

Szymon says that after 2014, he started learning Ukrainian, since at that time quite important events were unfolding in Ukraine. At the same time, Szymon began traveling to Lviv, and the likeness between the two cities amazed him.

'When I first came to Lviv, I felt like I did in Krakow 30 years ago, both in the good and the bad sense. But I didn't like that some souvenirs in Lviv bore the German name of the city, Lemberg, while there was none with its Polish name – Lwów. Why so?'

Shymon speaks of Lviv as if it were a Polish city which Poland has lost. The idea is rather popular among the Polish people. However, today one cannot but notice the Austrian appearance of both Krakow and Lviv.
Janna Komar, the organizer of the exhibition 'The Myth of Galicia', says that some Polish people do not accept the fact that Lviv now has a history which is not Polish. Older people are under the impression that the life in Lviv stopped in 1939, and they cannot believe that the city is still vibrant and developing.

Mrs. Komar says that the myth of Galicia in Poland and the myth of Galicia in Ukraine are two different things. 'In Ukraine, the myth of Galicia is more important at this point in history.'

In the 19th century, Krakow's railway station was far less significant than Lviv's. Karl Emil Franzos referred to the impossible smell in Krakow and its provinciality in comparison to other imperial cities. But in 2017, Krakow is a major tourist attraction in Europe. The city has convenient transport communication with all Western countries, which is accountable for both its advantages and disadvantages.

The key disadvantage is the lack of a powerful Krakow brand, similar, say, to Lviv's brand. It is hard to say what Krakow is to Poland – except that it is a stereotypical tourist city. Instead, Lviv is the epitome of Europe in Ukraine. At least, if one does not go outside the old town.
In the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Krakow and Lviv were regarded as rival cities; today, however, Lviv as a tourist city is inferior to Krakow. One reason for that may be its worse transport communication with Western Europe. Today, to travel to Poland from Ukraine one either has to wait in the line at the border, or travel by train with multiple transfers. Unfortunately, there is no direct train service from Lviv to Krakow. A plane ticket costs 800 zloty, while a ticket for a flight from Krakow to Mexico costs only 70 zloty. This is sure to keep back people who would like to visit Ukraine, but they do not know how to do this without paying through the nose.

On the other hand, Lviv may benefit from its isolation, since today people mainly come to Lviv to attend various cultural events and get a sense of Europe. This is unlikely to impress tourists from Western countries; hence, they go to Krakow – to drink cheap alcohol. Krakow locals do not recommend to go out after 9 p. m., as there is a risk to bump into some merry Brits.
It is Sunday night; we are in the centre of Krakow, in the famous HardRockcafe. The people around us are speaking English. There is a smell of alcohol – the smell that comes from people's mouths, rather than from their glasses. There are no vacant tables, so we are advised to wait at the bar.

The first thing that strikes us is that everybody in the restaurant looks sad or tired. There are mostly couples here: women stressed by the travel, and rumpled men. They are literally rumpled. Almost everyone has a bruise on the face. It was Saturday yesterday, and some of them, apparently, had great fun.

The men must know each other, or, perhaps, they are trying to support each other:

'How are you, man?' A limping visitor comes to his fellow countrymen sitting at the bar.
«To the contemporary young people who lived behind the allegedly unbreakable 'iron curtain'.
Vienna was something special.»

Volodymyr Ohryzko
There are only three passengers going from Krakow to Vienna in the train carriage: the two of us and an American tourist from the state of Delaware. The only reason for the American to travel to Vienna by train, not by plane, is that he has a monthly rail pass that allows unlimited rail travel across Europe. The matter is that it is rather inconvenient to travel from Poland to Austria by train, as you have to spend a night in a coach. But a monthly rail pass makes the train travel cheaper than the air flight.
John is talking about the election; he expresses his opinion of Donald Trump, and explains why he likes Europe so much. 'Here you can feel history in the air; you realize that a lot of things happened before our time. In the United States, such places are much fewer,' he says.

The guards start checking tickets about two hours after the departure. There will be two more checks like that: at the Czech border and at the Austrian border. The carriages will be uncoupled for different destinations: one will go to Prague, several others – to Budapest, and the last one – to Vienna. The border guards appear to be surprised to see someone in a coach at three in the morning.

The sun rises over the Danube River and lights up Vienna. It is the city that concentrates in itself the whole European history; it seems to be telling us that once upon a time everything started here. The cities that we have visited until now owe their existence to Vienna, and we realize this more and more clearly. The Austrian capital is open to all people of all religions and all nationalities today, just as it was a century ago. While Krakow and Lviv are mostly tourist cities, Vienna is a place to which people come to study and work also.
'In Vienna, I have a feeling that everything is well-planned. Everything happens as scheduled; everybody knows what they are doing. There is a measured rhythm and confidence everywhere. Even those who are on vacation accept this organized lifestyle,' says Vitaliy Bondar, who was born in Chernivtsi.

Vitaliy has been living in Vienna for the last 20 years. He cannot imagine returning to Ukraine. He first came to Vienna because he was studying German at the Chernivtsi University. But another reason why he moved here, Vitaliy says, were the stories about Austrian hussars his grandfather used to tell him.

'We knew that he might be exaggerating, but that was not very important. I imagined that streets in Vienna should be covered with gold, but when I came here I saw that the buildings looked like those in Chernivtsi. It was not the facades that were different. It was the people.'

'Why did you feel that you couldn't live in Ukraine anymore?'

'In Ukraine, many people want to do things illegally. In Vienna, it's different. Here you pay money and you get a quality service in return. And you can be confident about that. Meanwhile, in Ukraine people don't trust each other.'

Vitaliy says that it becomes increasingly difficult for him to get to Chernivtsi to visit his parents. There is no direct train service; nor are there any flights, since Chernivtsi has no airport. Bukovina is cut from the Western world, even though it was part of this world once. Some 150 years ago, it was a matter of honour for a Chernivtsi resident to visit Vienna, the historian Serhiy Osachuk says. Written records say that you could not walk around the capital of the Empire in the 19th century without meeting someone from Chernivtsi.
Interestingly, Ukrainians would not only come to Austria for a weekend, but they also took an active part in its public life. We have met a grandson of Volodymyr Zalozetskiy, a deputy from Bukovina in the Austro-Hungarian parliament. Volodymyr Zalozetskiy's descendant does not speak Ukrainian, and he has only been to his grandfather's native Chernivtsi twice. He has the same name as his famous ancestor, and he has heard a lot of romanticized stories about those old times.
Volodymyr Zalozetskiy is elegant and friendly; his excellent manners reveal his noble parentage. He offers us some coffee and says that he would like to visit Chernivtsi again. But it is difficult because of the inferior transport communication.

'When I visited Chernivtsi I saw that it reminds Vienna architecturally. But the economic situation was bad there. The infrastructure was imperfect, people were selling things right out in the streets, and everything looked poor. When I was a small kid, I heard stories about the Jewish, Polish, and German communities in Chernivtsi, but then, in the 1990s, that feeling was completely lost. The former multiculturalism could only be seen at the graveyard.

'But it is only in Ukraine that I don't have to spell out my name. Wherever I book a hotel, I have to spell my name out, as it is difficult to pronounce for native speakers of German. And only in Chernivtsi was I not asked to repeat my name – the hotel manager wrote it down correctly at once. Nothing like that has ever happened to me before. And at that moment, I felt at home.'

'Do you remember any other interesting stories told by your grandfather or father?'

'I remember I was told that in the 19th century many people would travel from Chernivtsi to Vienna for shopping, or to visit the Opera. Those things must have been a customary practice in those times. My grandfather also said that Vienna was good for walks, while in Chernivtsi it was good to bathe your legs in hot water, put on some warm clothes, and go to bed.'
In Vienna, the Ukrainian 'trace' is more visible than in Przemyśl or Krakow. Historians explain this by the fact that the Austro-Hungarian authorities favoured Ukrainians over Poles. Yaroslav Hrytsak says that Vienna provided a different context for Ukrainians, so they could feel worthier. However, he cautions against idealizing those times. 'Under the Polish rule, Ukrainians suffered the inferiority complex. There was the Polish-Ukrainian conflict.

But in Vienna those things disappeared because the Poles were looked on with huge scepticism there. There was a stereotype in Austria that the Poles had 'two left hands'; the Poles were associated with the nobility who did not know how to do business. For example, 'the Polish bridge' was the metaphor of a bridge with a hole in it. Meanwhile, the Ukrainians travelled to Vienna to enjoy the comforts it offered,' Mr. Hrytsak says. He adds that many important events and phenomena in Lviv originated in Vienna.

One example is the Greek-Catholic Church. Ukrainians were regarded in Austria as a people without a state, to whom it was notoriously difficult to teach discipline and responsibility. At the same time, Austrians believed that Ukrainians were a people most loyal to the Empire, and they treated Ukrainians like children who needed to be taught how to live.
Today, in the streets of Vienna, one can also meet Ukrainians who come to Austria to enjoy its comforts: from guest workers to artists and students. For example, while we were interviewing someone, a woman came up to us, as she heard that we were speaking Ukrainian:

'Oh, are you Ukrainians?'

'Yes, we are.'

'Fantastic! I was walking down the street and suddenly heard my native tongue.'

The woman's name is Halyna. She says that she is a teacher of Ukrainian by education, while her husband is a chemist. They came from Chernivtsi, but before that they worked in Italy. The woman says that she feels at home in Vienna because of the architecture, to which she's got used very much in her native city.

Saint Barbara's Greek Catholic Church is the centre of the Ukrainian spiritual life in Vienna. We go inside to attend the Sunday service, and we are impressed by the sheer number of the Ukrainians who have come to pray here. They are of different age and gender, but they have come here with the single purpose to see their fellow countrymen. The priest starts the service, and then he says to the people: 'You have been forced to leave your home to earn money.' At that moment, some curious tourists are passing by the church: their attention is caught by the huge crowd as well as the foreign language of the church service, which can be heard outside.

Saint Barbara's Church in Vienna is not only a place of worship, but also a place to meet people. There are apartment rental ads on the church noticeboard, announcements of events for the Ukrainian community, etc. After the service, the Ukrainians do not go home – they stay to make acquaintances and share recent news.

Nonetheless, the Ukrainian community in Vienna appears to be more dispersed than the Polish one. But it is here that Ukrainians and Poles build bridges of understanding, and even celebrate various anniversaries together. For example, in 2015, the Polish community offered the Ukrainians to celebrate together the anniversary of the end of the Turkish siege of Vienna, says Olexandra Sayenko, the organizer of the Days of Ukrainian Culture in Vienna. Moreover, the Polish Embassy in Austria was a partner to the Days of Ukrainian Culture.

'Days of Polish Culture in Vienna are held more often, as there are ten times as many Poles in the city as Ukrainians, by my estimate. We are still little known here, and a lot remains to be done,' Olexandra says, adding that today it is necessary to create a positive image of Ukraine. We should speak less about the hardships and war, and more about the Ukraine that is changing and has great prospects. Olexandra believes that the best way for Austrians to learn more about Ukraine is through culture, traditions and art.
Today's Vienna means comfort, good infrastructure, knowledge, and opportunities. Also, it is the 21st century Babylon. It attracts people from different countries: Ukrainians and Poles, Hungarians and Slovaks, Czechs and Romanians, and dozens other nations that have never been in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Here they meet and study, work and share their opinions with each other.

After the Second World War, Vienna was a depressive city, which had lost a lot and could not recover from the aftermath of the war. For some time, its residents were supported by the Red Cross. However, that did not hinder modern Vienna from becoming the most comfortable city in the world and a magnet for people, at least in Eastern Europe.

In response to our question why Austria is interested so much in Ukrainian projects, always trying to get engaged in them, the historian Serhiy Osadchuk answered:

'Every Austrian understands that supporting democracy, education, and culture in neighbouring countries makes the things that are happening today in Russia impossible in Europe.'
Railway made the 21st century special; it has become a symbol of separation and unification of thousands and millions. Some say that without railway the Holocaust would have never happened. Others argue that it is hard to imagine technological progress without trains. One way or another, without railway our world would have been an entirely different place.
Five of the six cities we visited are located in the historical territory of Galicia and Bukovina, and they are like a bridge between the East and the West. They are a treasure-trove of opportunities waiting to be explored. Ukrainian historians argue that Galician cities can bring Ukraine to Europe, and that Lviv holds the key to the West.

Vienna, Krakow, Przemyśl, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, and Chernivtsi are like carriages of a single train, which used to be moving together, but the latter three have uncoupled from the train and fallen behind. Nevertheless, they still have a chance to become a locomotive for Ukraine. The locomotive called ' Europe'.

Mariam Shelia
Text, photo
Andriy Pryymachenko
Angela Kamyanets and Tetyana Nekryach