Anthrax Cemetery Becomes Construction Site in Kyiv
How about I build you a home at a 19th-century burial place of people who perished from anthrax and plague, provided that anthrax spores can live for centuries? In the profit-crazed reality of Kyiv’s construction boom, it’s not a joke. It’s a fact of life — or possibly, death — as this story suggests.
The scandal has been gaining momentum over the last week, resulting in a string of articles and forum threads appearing online. Although the building permit had been issued in 2004, under former Mayor Oleksandr Omelchenko, construction proceeded unchallenged under current Mayor Leonid Chernovetsky.
However, faced with yet another public relations disaster, as the specter of early mayoral elections closes in, Mayor Chernovetsky ordered that the work be suspended and that the construction site be quarantined for testing and cleanup.
Located at Shovkovychna Street, which adjoins the premises of the Central Municipal Hospital, formerly known as the October Hospital, the site belongs in an upscale downtown neighborhood, a plum for any developer.
But what if that plum has a viral biological contaminant buried into it? Did the developer have prior knowledge about the cemetery? Aren’t there any historical records? This case warrants a full — and independent — investigation, for anthrax makes no distinction between the rich and poor.
Contrary to the woes of the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis and its financial impact worldwide, the bizarre, barbaric, and bubble-like proportions of Kyiv’s housing cartel remain an oasis for speculative capital.
Welcome to Kyiv, a city where average salaries run at about $500 a month and yet housing prices rival those found in London and Paris.
The profiteer prospers here, while the vast majority of Kyivites have no chance whatsoever of buying a home, given the average life expectancy of 67.7 years. And anthrax doesn’t prolong that expectancy, even if the person has the money to buy a home.