Two heavily-armoured knights close on each other in a wooden stockade.  In a flurry of swords they're at each other, hacking at shields, helmets, and anything else they can reach.  As smiting goes, it's enthusiastic stuff; and it's quite a relief when a referee shouts "End the fight" and announces that one of the two men is the victor.

Kyivska Rus Park is a kind of historically-themed open-air park in a village around 40 km outside Kyiv.  On the weekend of 22-24 May they've been running a "13thC Kyivan Rus" Festival, complete with battling knights, dancing maidens, massed ranks of soldiers in armour, and some nifty Cossack-themed horse-riders doing stunts (see pictures below).  Backed up by stalls selling everything from swords to linen jerkins and bows and arrows, plus refreshment yurts and fresh country air, it makes a pretty good day out.  The transport's fun, too: we took a tube to Vydubychi, then organised our own marshrutka to the theme park (thanks, organisers). 

According to the site at the link above (in Ukrainian) there are various other activities planned at the Kyivska Rus Park over the coming weekends.  Good luck to them, I say.  Kyiv undoubtedly has enormous tourist potential, and there's plenty to see in town.  It's great to have someone building up a good week-end excursion, too.  Chernobyl is fascinating, but not to everyone's taste.

Leigh Turner
British Ambassador to Ukraine

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