#FundReise Day 6 – Darkness

07.12.2022 | cb — No comments

Sibylle experiences her first power cut, a routine for so many people in Kyiv. She was just out shopping. She wrote this article at home, by candlelight and on her smartphone (!). Mobile internet works, Wifi doesn’t.

This is the blog of Sibylle von Tiedemann, co-founder of Munich Kyiv Queer. She no longer wanted to just watch what’s happening in Ukraine and travelled there. In Munich’s twin city Kyiv, she visits our friends and partners, writes this blog and collects donations.

Energy: not enoug
Temperature: winter
Donations: 3671,51 out of 18.000 Euro
Special occurrences: Easter bunnies
All blog posts: Sibylles trip to Kyiv in the midst of war

For years, I was allowed to live in Kyiv with Anya, who took me in just like in 2013 when I travelled there with many other people from Munich to support KyivPride. When Anya wanted to tease me, she called me дойтше фрау, pronounced “doiitsche Frau”. It means “German woman”.

Once I was late and she wrote: “Sibylla, 5 minutes late! Kyiv has spoiled you!!!”. In 2017 she moved to Israel. It was an incredibly painful move for me. At the time, the Munich based artist Naomi Lawrence, a friend of mine, said to me: “Who knows what this is for!” Since 24 February, I know: Anya is safe.

In front of the metro station “University”. This used to be “my” stop. Photo: Sibylle von Tiedemann

On my second day in Kyiv, I visit “my” former house where Anya lived and “my” former metro station at the Old Botanical Garden. Can you see the sandbags stacked up? This is due to the war.

The Khreshchatyk/Maidan metro station is completely closed. A video shows how the train simply passes through. For Kyiv people, this closure means long detours. It also affects the LGBTIQ* organisations KyivPride and Gay Alliance Ukraine, which are based here in the centre. I visited KyivPride yesterday.

Easter bunnies and snowmen in Roshen’s chocolate shop. Photo: Sibylle von Tiedemann

I absolutely have go to Roshen’s chocolate shop, owned by former President Poroshenko, which was closed on Monday due to an air alert.

At the checkout, I discover Easter bunnies next to Santa Claus. I send a photo to Conrad, who is busy updating this website with my blog, and write: “Nothing is normal here any more.” So true.

Black-out. Photo: Sibylle von Tiedemann

The real “Nothing is normal here anymore” happens in the evening at the supermarket. It’s my first “real” power cut. While inside – especially as a tourist who has only been in the country for a short time – it can seem quite cosy when you have your “candlelight” dinner, outside it is unexpected. And impractical. Also dangerous.

So it happens in the supermarket, in front of the freezers, to be precise. Suddenly the lights are switched off. Customers from Kyiv react fast because they have already practised this. They take out their smartphones to use their flashlights. I take a photo.

The woman at the cash desk wants to finish now, I can still have my bread. I take my smartphone and light her. She’s writing article numbers in a notebook. She does ist so accurately and precisely.

They cannot believe I pay exactly the amount that’s needed

I got 340 hryvnia. I hold the money in my hand. I think about whether it is appropriate to ask if I can take a picture of this scene. I decide to be a patient customer though. She calculates the amount and says: “That’s 339 hryvnia.”

When I hand over the money, she’s irritated. No wonder, I had the exact amount. I tell her that this must be a coincidence, and that’s how my career as a cash desk scanner ended.

Only the cars provide light. Photo: Sibylle von Tiedemann

When I turn home, I find it a bit dangerous. It’s dark, it’s slippery, traffic lights on smaller streets are switched off, street lights too. The houses are black anyway. Can drivers even see me? I don’t really want to know.

How, by the way, can you tell that the power is back on in your dark flat?

The refrigerator starts to work again.

#FundReise #MunichKyivLove #18.000 Euro

Sibylle collects money for

Individual help

Munich Kyiv Queer has its own fundraising campaign via to support people in Ukraine with whom we have worked closely over the past ten years. Keyword: #FundReise. They are our friends and partners. We know them personally and we miss them. We can help fast, directly and unbureaucratically.

Help for War Victims

The association “Bridge to Kiev” supports people in need, especially children and large families.

Recipient: Brücke nach Kiew e.V.
Bank: Raiffeisenbank München Süd eG
IBAN: DE74 7016 9466 0000 0199 50
Keyword: #FundReise

A donation receipt can be issued for donations of 200 euros and more.

Help for LGBTIQ* organisations

To support LGBTIQ* in Ukraine we have helped set up the Alliance Queer Emergency Aid Ukraine, in which around 40 German LGBTIQ* Human Rights organisations are involved. All these groups have access to very different Human Rights organisations in Ukraine and use funds for urgently needed care or evacuation of queer people. Every donation helps and is used 100 percent to benefit queer people in Ukraine. Donate here


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