Kiev Commonwealth of Naturists
"The Australian Naturist" # 6
Naturism in the UkraineAndrii Litovchenko
The Ukraine is a country with the population of approximately 52 million people and an area twice the size of New Zealand. Before 1991 it was a part of the USSR. The geographical center of Europe is situated here. Politically the Ukraine is considered an Eastern European country.
The Ukraine is a steppe country with a temperate continental climate. The Carpatian mountains (rising to 2061 m) are at the western border of the country. In the south it is washed by the Black Sea. The largest city of the Ukraine is its capital, Kiev, with a population of 2,8 million. Kiev is more than 1500 years old. The city played a key role in the union of the ancient Slavonic tribes. The capital of the Ukraine is situated in the North of the country on the border of the steppe and the forest zones and lies on the banks of the longest Ukrainian river, the Dnieper.
An abundance of greenery and water, clean air and hot summers encourages tens of thousands of the locals to enjoy their recreation either within the precincts of the city or in its suburbs. A lot of them are naturists. The totalitarian regime in the past forbade nudity in public places. Rare daredevils had to hide in the nooks to suntan stark naked. Everything has changed since the disintegration of the USSR.
Following the overthrow of Communism hundreds of naked or half-naked people began to appear on the central (textile) beaches in the Ukrainian cities. They roamed among the "textiles", lay on the sand, played cards and volleyball. At each end of the textile beaches one could find naturist holiday makers.
This freedom didn't last for a long and within a few years the authorities started to "restore order". Naturists were arrested and fined, not only at the textile beaches but also in the remotest corners of the parks and islands. To protect their rights naturists united into clubs.
The Kiev Commonwealth of Naturists is the largest naturist club in the territory of the Ukraine. It has more than 200 members excluding children and teenagers. The core of the club is formed by several families united by personal friendships. Other families have joined them and lonely, divorced, men and women, who shared naturist ideas, followed. Children came with their parents and a large friendly family has been formed. It continues to attract new members as the old ones bring their relatives, friends, colleagues or acquaintances.
The club was registered by the local authorities and accepted into the INF as a representative of the Ukraine. The club rents three saunas on weekends. In the warmer months (April - September) club members meet each other at a beautiful attractive beach at Dnieper Bay. There is an equal balance of men and women. The average age for women is 33 and 37 for men.
The naturist clubs which have appeared in the Ukraine and Russia differ considerably from the traditional clubs in the West. After the disintegration of the USSR the overwhelming majority of the local population found itself on the verge of poverty. The enterprises either stopped work or didn't pay wages to their workers. Inflation continues to eat into most incomes but our people are used to living in poverty.
A much more serious situation, however, occurred in the sphere of social relations. Many became isolated from society due to "wild' capitalism. As a result many rushed to join sects and groups in an effort to overcome their social isolation. However those who were attracted to naturism were seeking real human communication. Nature and the natural way of communication should be combined harmoniously with life. The best model is that of a large and friendly family. So we started to build our club in such a way.
We tried to minimize the membership fee and one-off payments for visiting our club. This has attracted a lot of highly educated and low income people, mainly women. We banned alcohol (champagne is accepted for some celebrations). This action disciplined the men and a potential source of conflicts disappeared. We get together on average five to six times per year and organize something funny like a carnival. This allows the members of the club to feel united with each other. We organize trips abroad, to the sea or to the mountains, at prices two to three times lower than those offered in the travelling bureaus. However the main feature of our club is that the women are the organizers.
This is not feminism, this phenomenon is unknown in our country. The
Ukraine has so many clever, educated, young and pretty women that the
men simply stopped appreciating them. In contrast we, in the club, gave
them freedom to determine the inner policy. The result surpassed all
expectations. Of course there are no miracles and one should pay for
everything. We had to rent an old sauna at the outskirts of the city to
decrease the expenses. We have been agitating the authorities to get a
separate beach for naturists. Unfortunately, we do not have the finances
to rent a swimming pool with warm water and a sports hall. But all this
is compensated by the club atmosphere, so that newcomers continue to
Amongst our members is Elena Verezemskaya, 36, a member of the club since its foundation. She lives in California (USA) now:
"My impression of the American clubs could be expressed in a few words. They demand a lot of money and very few young people go there. However the environment and the services are perfect. The club rules are very strict. Naturism here, as well as all other sides of life in the USA, is subordinated to the laws of commerce. For those of us accustomed to the warm atmosphere of the Kiev club, it was very unusual."
Tatyana Voytenko, 25, an office manager, came to Kiev a year ago from a small town at the Black Sea coast:
"It is difficult for me to imagine my life without the club now. All members are so attentive and nice. This reminds me of an island in the sea of quite different people."
We are pleased to welcome everyone to the world of naturism in the Ukraine. Our address is: P. O. Box 74, Kiev-213, Ukraine ore-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
President of club "Kiev Commonwealth of Naturists " (KCN)
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