The year 1991 brought dramatic change to the Soviet Union. Many of the republics became discontented and broke away from the Soviet Union creating, ultimately, 15 independent states. Ukraine declared its independence on August 24, 1991.
Much has changed in the preceding 19 years. I have witnessed many of those changes. I moved to Lugansk in February 1994. Many of my first sights are still etched into my memory. My very first memory is walking down the steps of the ramp from the plane and seeing a military person standing there with a rifle at Borispol Airport in Kyiv.
Another vivid memory I have is the long bread lines and virtually nothing on the shelves in the small shops. Sliced bread did not exist back then, but the bread was so delicious. I think it was much more delicious then than it is now!
The three years I lived in Lugansk saw some changes, but it was after I moved back to Texas to attend seminary that most of the changes took place on the fast track!
Borispol Airport has changed its configuration numerous times, and is preparing for its biggest yet. New terminals are being constructed and hopefully will alleviate the horrible lines that exist today.
Shopping has become incredibly easy today compared to 19 years ago. Multiple shopping malls and centers have been constructed all over the country. Even today I visited one mall called, Donetsk City. As I walked through it, I just couldn’t believe the stark differences from 19 years ago. There is even an Apple store in the mall (of course, I can’t afford anything from the store as the prices are usually 2-3 times more expensive than US).
Ukraine is still developing. While I become frustrated at the seemingly slow progress, I must admit that they are really doing well considering all things. And, after all, Ukraine is STILL a teenager…! Happy birthday Ukraine!