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Dr.-Ing. Dipl.-Wirt.-Ing. (FH) Laurenz Görres

Visit to Kyiv National University for Construction and Architecture (KNUCA) in Ukraine in March 2023

Link to:


"Sound of Sirens"

The "Sound of Sirens" in Kiev sounds like this:

"Sound of sirens"

Recorded at an open window during an attack at nighttime on Kiev.

This attack let to several dead people.



00:13 AM

Cell-Broadcasting works perfectly in Kiev |
Air-raid sirens can also be heard regularly.

The "training times" of Belarusian and Russian low-flying fighter jets are very regular.

How often air alarm sirens sound in and around Kiev is shown on this website: Air-raid alarms Ukraine

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Kyiv National University of Construction and Architecture (KNUBA or KNUCA)

I traveled to Kyiv at the invitation of KNUBA to present my teaching program and to encourage an exchange. KNUBA is the largest university in Ukraine for civil engineering and architecture. I went to Kyiv by train. This trip allowed me to get to know more of Ukraine as a country, to establish further contacts with Ukrainian universities and to gain more knowledge about the Ukrainian society.

Main building "Kyiv National University of Construction and Architecture"


At "KNUBA" I was expected by ...

... Prof. Zhuravskyi, who is the Head of the Department of reinforced concrete and stone structures.

During a university tour, I was shown the laboratories and a "concrete kayak" with which students of Prof. Zhuravskyi won first place in a "building materials competition". I was allowed to introduce myself at the university to the professors of the department and present my teaching concept about "Construction Management". Existing language problems were overcome with the help of a blackboard and "Google Translate". It was a very interesting two-hour event. At the end of my presentation the professors of the department not only thanked me for coming to Kyiv, but also asked me to come to Kyiv more often to teach and to exchange ideas. I promised to try and to do so.

The faculty meeting was turned into a presentation
on my teaching concept about the subject "Construction Management".

In total 12 professors / persons
participated in this event.

Even after the presentation there was a
lot of exchange and discussion.

A picture of all participants

You can see from the photos that it would make sense to invest in teaching at KNUBA in order to bring the equipment up to a higher standard. Because of war, however, there is no money for this. The beamer used for the presentation belonged to an "older generation" and did not manage the resolution of my notebook. There was no screen for optimal readability of the presentation. While many universities in Germany spend their budget for completely senseless investments such as an "outdoor beamer" that costs tens of thousands euros and then "rots" unused in a corner of the university, KNUBA could have purchased more than 10 high-quality presentation beamers for this money.

My presentation pleased the professors at KNUBA:

The interest in my teaching concept and a teaching exchange exists
(Email KNUBA 27th March 2023).

Maybe I will also teach in Kyiv and tell the students something about "construction management", infrastructure construction", "special foundation works" and "international project management":

Expression of interest of the "Kyiv National University of Construction and Architecture" for my teaching program
(Email KNUBA 12th April 2023).

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Kiev (alias "Kyiv")

The journey to Kyiv was by train from Lviv. The train went through to Kyiv without any stops and arrived in Kyiv after 7 hours on time. The return trip took 8 hours, chose a slightly different route with some stops in between and also arrived in Lviv exactly on time. If you don't believe it, "Welt-Online" has written a report about the punctuality of the Ukrainian railroad during war times on 30th March 2023 → click here! Deutsche Bahn (DB) could learn from Ukrainian railroad. By the way: "Kiev" is the Russian spelling. The correct Ukrainian spelling is "Kyiv". 



Lviv main train station - beautiful steel works from the end of the 19th century |
Train rides in Ukraine are an experience.

Repairs to a destroyed railroad bridge near Irpin (pictures was taken from the train passing the bridge)  |
The bridge was blown up by Ukrainians to stop the Russian advance on Kyiv in March 2022.

"Wanted" call to Putin in a Ukrainian train  |
Even in difficult times, Ukrainians keep their sense of humor.

Putin is being seen as a
"particularly dangerous terrorist."

Kyiv at night is a beautiful city. Because of the war it is kept rather dark, but some important sights are illuminated. Since there is a strict curfew in Kyiv starting each day at 11 pm, the city is rather deserted in the evening. At this time you have the sights all for yourself.


Kyiv city centre

I was able to move freely in Kyiv at all times and even as a cyclist the car traffic was no problem (apart from the exhaust fumes from the old busses and cars). However, as a cyclist, it is important to keep in mind that Kyiv is very hilly: it is either uphill or downhill. The roads have either cobblestones or potholes. But a bike is great for exploring the city.

The back side of St. Michael's Monastery seen at night

... and by day (front side)

St. Michael's Monastery seen from the front yard at night

... and by day


On the monastery front yard you can watch destroyed Russian war equipment  |
To imagine that the crews of these tanks probably did
not survive the destruction, let you feel bad
(in the front you can see the remains of a russian missile).


St. Sophia Cathedral by night
(the yard in front of the cathedral is completely deserted)

... and by day.

Kyiv "Cave Monastery"  |
It belongs to the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

During an air raid alert in Kyiv, I thought it was the
safest place to wait for the air raid alarm to end. All this time I had this UNESCO World Heritage Site
for me alone.

The bell tower at the Kyiv "Cave Monastery"

Bell tower explanation

Bridge over the Dnieper  |
Kyiv Glass Bridge  |
former "Monument of Friendship between
Ukraine and Russia".

former "Monument of Friendship between
Ukraine and Russia"

Protection of the sculptures carved in
stone by means of an old PERI formwork.

What a missile impact from one
Russian missile can do,
shows this picture of a completely
destroyed high-rise building in Kiev.
"Friendship" looks different for me!

With beginning of the war, the monument has been unnamed to "Freedom Arch of the Ukrainian People".


"Homeland-Statue" (center)  |  to the right the War Museum with open-air exhibition


This is how Ukrainians see their struggle against Russia.

Open-air exhibition with Russian war equipment.

Probably the largest Ukrainian
flag in the country

The "Homeland-Statue"  |
Unfortunately, you can not get closer to it.

The Maidan - the starting point of the "Orange Revolution" and the "Uprisings of 2014"

Maidan seen from the Statue of Liberty.

Anti-tank defense on the Maidan

If Putin really believed in February 2022 that he could take over Kiev within a few days, then thousands of anti-tank defense barriers in the city are proof to the contrary of this assumption. Ukrainians do not want to belong to Russia and certainly do not want to be ruled by Putin.

Maidan: "I love Ukraine" with Statue of Liberty in the background

Maidan: Monument to the
100 "Maidan heroes" at
the Statue of Liberty.

Maidan: A sea of
memorial flags for fallen
Ukrainian soldiers.

The fallen soldiers from Kyiv are paid their last respects in a military ceremony at the Statue of Liberty on the Maidan before being buried in a municipal cemetery.

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The fallen soldiers of Kiev


The wall surrounding St. Michael's Monastery lists the fallen soldiers from Kyiv since the beginning of Russia's occupation of Crimea. Looking at this wall with all the dead soldiers, you realize that people in the West are probably not properly aware of the many victims in this conflict who have already died between 2014 and the beginning of the invasion in February 2022 (only people from Kyiv!). Since the beginning of the war in February 2022, the space on this wall is not enough for all the fallen soldiers from Kyiv.

Wall at St. Michael's Monastery with
a memorial of fallen soldiers from 2014.

The first fallen soldiers since the
beginning of the war in Feb. 2022.


The first fallen soldiers since the beginning of the occupation in spring 2014


Recently fallen soldiers from Kyiv


The wall is simply not long enough for all the fallen soldiers (men and also women!) from Kyiv! Click on a photo and zoom into the photo so that you can see the faces, then you become more aware of the absurdity of this "Putin's war". There is no justification for such a war.

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Bridge of Irpin


The bridge of Irpin became a symbol at the beginning of the invasion. It is a road bridge over the small river "Irpin", which connects the suburb of Irpin with the city of Kiev. The bridge was blown up by Ukrainian soldiers to stop the Russian advance on Kiev. Similarly, the railroad bridges over the "Irpin" were blown up (see previously "Getting to Kiev"). There was a hard fight for the road bridge, but it was held by the Ukrainians and the Russians eventually withdrew. This was followed by the massacres of Butscha and Borodyanka. Irpin itself is separated from Butscha by the river "Buzhanka". However, the two towns more or less merge into each other.  

With Prof. Zhuravskyi I visited Borodjanka and on the way back I was dropped off in Butscha, so that I could ride with my bicycle from Butscha via Irpin to the center of Kiev. The distance is about 30 km.

Quelle: Google-Maps and "Welt-Online" from 6th March 2022 (click to enlarge)

Shortly after the bridge ends Irpin |
After a few kilometers comes Kiev.

The destroyed bridge of Irpin (photo taken on 22nd March 2023) |
In the background you can see the city of Irpin.

View from the destroyed bridge in the direction of Kiev  |  A new bridge is being built on the right side of the picture

On the bridge is still a damaged stroller with a
stuffed animal  |
Both were left behind a year ago.

In Irpin itself, many buildings along the main road are significantly damaged.

Irpin: Shot up and burned out houses with burned out cars in front of them.

Irpin: Shot up house with shot up car in front of it.

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Massacre of Butscha


In Butscha, which was under Russian occupation in March 2022, a massacre took place, when Russian soldiers shot dead Ukrainian civilians. The Russian advance on Kiev got to a halt at Irpin and made no progress. At the same time, the Ukrainian army attacked near Butscha to push back the Russian military. In "Vokzal'na Street" south of the railway station, the Russians were stopped by the Ukrainians inside a residential area and a Russian convoy rolling through this residential area was completely destroyed. Russian casualties in Butscha were high, after which the Russian army shot a lot of civilians in Butscha.

Butscha railway station | South of this station, in Vokzal'na Steet, the "Butscha Massacre" took place, where Russian soldiers shot Ukrainian civilians.

But also north of the rails the damage is still clearly visible on 22nd March 2023.

Vokzal'na Steet on 22nd March 2023: The complete street of the "massacre" is being restored under high pressure.

Vokzal'na Street on 22nd March 2023: Construction is going on all over this street.

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Massacre of Borodjanka and a Banksy

In Borodyanka, also in the course of the Russian advance on Kiev and the retreat of the Russian army, there was a massacre of Ukrainian civilians by Russian soldiers.

Destroyed residential building in
Borodjanka after tank shelling.

Another destroyed and burned out residential building
in Borodjanka after tank shelling.

The opinion of the population or the Borodjanka people can be clearly read from the graffiti:
"Fuck Putin".

What was the aim of the tank firing on a residential building = ?

Destroyed apartment building in Borodjanka after a missile strike, that leaves a crater in the ground.

Opposite the destroyed apartment building
you find a Banksy!

Opposite the apartment building destroyed by a missile strike, there is a destroyed garage, on the front wall of which the street art artist Banksy has left a message: The Ukraine war is a "battle of David against Goliath", which in Banksy's opinion David will win (possibly by a "lucky punch"). There you go to Borodjanka, to make your own picture of the destroyed infrastructure as an infrastructure engineer and stands suddenly in front of a Banksy, which probably not many people in the world have seen before. The place was ingeniously chosen by Banksy, because ...

The missile strike cut the house
like a knife cuts a cake.

The statement is more than clear and many people in Borodjanka hope that exactly that happens. I am sure that the Ukrainians (the little judoka) will give everything for it.

.. the view into this destroyed residential house is somehow "crazy", when you look at the intact bookshelf or the intact kitchen equipment. However, looking at the flowers and candles lying in front of the crater, you realize that people died because of the missile strike at this place. And not even 20 meters away from this apartment building, you find a Banksy on a destroyed garage wall. In the background of the Banksy, a huge hole gapes in an apartment building, while another apartment building to the right is burned out.

Many thanks to Prof. Zhuravskyi and his son, who were my "guides" in Kiev for one day |
The destruction of residential buildings in the back of the Banksy is clearly visible on the photo.

The Bansky graffiti leaves open the question whether the small judoka can keep the big judoka on the ground after such a "lucky punch" without the help of a third party?

Hello Banksy: There you have to give another graffiti as an answer please!


last updated: March 2023

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