Business vs memory. The scandal with the Punisher cafe near the House of trade unions

Бизнес vs память. Скандал с кафе Каратель возле Дома профсоюзов

The founders of the Punisher wanted this place was comfortable for participants ATO

What the true causes of the scandal club, the Punisher, adjacent to the House of trade unions on the Maidan.

“I constantly hear the accusations against our team. Like, not on the bones of victims evromaydanovtsev clubs open, – energetic art Director of the Punisher Maria Burgun. But if it comes to that, the blood spilled from TsUMa to the Mariinsky Park and Arsenalna Bank. And Vladimir of journalist Vyacheslav Viremia shot. If so to judge, and the October Palace should be closed – there walls remember the executions of the NKVD, where terrible things happened. And during the Maidan there was scary. But nothing, the concerts are held every day…”

A year ago the club Punisher, who was conceived as a meeting place for fighters ATO, was located on the street Turgenev. But because of the rent increase, the owners of establishments had to close it down, writes Vladislav Lazarev at No. 14 in the magazine Reporter on April 15, 2016. When they reopen the club in a place adjacent to the building trade unions, broke out a huge scandal. The owners were accused of cynically they earn shed during Euromaidan blood. In the near future the city authorities plan to close the school.

It is noteworthy that previously, there was also a café – only network L Kafa. It is also closed. At first the owners were accused of that staff was not allowed on the threshold of a soldier in uniform. And then on a painful subject, decided propiaritsya policy period was the election. They say, ‘ you don’t trample on the memory of the dead?!

We tried to make sense of what is happening quietly and without emotion.

Cooley helmets

“The fact that information was distorted, – shrugs burden. – I imagine a man, not the inhabitant of Kiev who reads the news “café in the House of trade unions”. I would myself in his place was indignant. But go outside, look at where we are, and where the building in which people died. Arch between us, we have no connecting stairs. In this room during Euromaidan was a mothballed branch of the Bank and not one of the Maidan activist. Let’s count how many places, where people have fun in the neighboring houses, on the opposite side of the street”.

Бизнес vs память. Скандал с кафе Каратель возле Дома профсоюзов

Photo By Dmitry Nikonorova

Art Director of the Punisher Maria Burdon not see anything offensive in open places near the House of trade unions

Indeed, tens of metres from the Punisher – summer Playground and pizza, and sparkling neon signs cafe. There is also enough place even for a hall of slot machines under the brand sovereign the lottery.

“Do you remember a place called the Kozatskiy hotel, where he brought the wounded heroes? Now there is a coffee stall, selling sweets, music plays, emphasizes Maria Burgun. But he doesn’t bother anyone.

Our conversation is interrupted by one of the waiters. Said that visitors ask permission to watch the game: “There is a Madrid with someone playing…”.

So far, they’re looking for the TV remote, I inspect the interior of the Punisher.

The first thing the visitor sees the cafe, a box of ammunition with empty cartridges. On the walls the flags of the volunteer battalions with autographs of soldiers, camouflage and topographic maps. In the next room from the ceiling hangs a pair of anti-tank guided missiles. They were hung in place of mirror disco-balls and they rotate slowly. Chair covers draped over the planes.

Бизнес vs память. Скандал с кафе Каратель возле Дома профсоюзов

Photo By Dmitry Nikonorova

The interior of the Punisher made in military issues

Visitors not so much, a few people came in military uniform with stripes Aydar. They communicate with each other and refuse interviews.

“I’ll tell you everything, – smiles another visitor, Maximus, who before the war lived in Lugansk and visited in captivity by the separatists. – I like the atmosphere of the club, and Ukrainian songs you can listen. It’s not entertainment, it is a memory. Although there was a place for smiles. The menu is very witty, makes fun of fakes of Russian propaganda.

My interlocutor opens a heavy file and reads:

“Noodles life news”, “Paste Raissa-24”, Caesar salad – “Ave!” and starter of veal tongue – “second gosudarstvenny”. And here is the cocktails: “Bloody pastor” and “sack in a forehead”. Drinking is a special action. First, the waiter puts on the customer’s helmet, knocking it with a cocktail, and only after that the visitor can enjoy. And, with the words: “Kul in the forehead – so Kul in the forehead!”. You know, it’s our story, we need to remember.”

At the next table a man in the “slide” adds: “And most importantly, what’s going – those who understands you perfectly.”

“Humor saved us on the Maidan and at the front”

“When I came back from the war, I had the idea to create a café for the patriots and atashikov. Such, to be able to sit in the form. And so in this case you no one looked askance. Or, conversely, did not hide his opinion, says ex – fighter Aydar, past the ilovaysky copper, Igor Milavec. – My friend-it guy was Finance and I worked in Maidan club, the restaurant business. Here we sat down and came up with the Punisher. We then listened to Russian propaganda and decided to make a joke about it. Humor saved us on Maidan and at the front. In our school we don’t laugh at their comrades. We are putting a fool of the enemy.

Opened Punisher-1 on Turgenev in may last year. On October 14 the day of Defender of the Fatherland, the owner of the premises raised the rent. And cafe had to close. In Punisher-2 Pravec acts only as a facilitator. Co-owner of the institution he is not. Says he has two jobs. And forces all lack. Moreover, the first draft of special revenue did not bring.

“On the contrary, we got into debt, – says Pravec. – The minimum prices set, and it was necessary and utilities to pay and staff to pay, and fees to artists to give. The project turned out to be more social. The more that we spent in the club lectures on the topic of psychological rehabilitation of ATO soldiers. Everyone knows that come back from war guys need it”.

In Punisher-2 old mistakes I want to fix. Hope and social mission to fulfil, and to receive profit.

“Why not? – says Maria Burgun. – I as a volunteer during these two years all of home made, starting from money and ending TV. But also want to earn. By the way, have you seen on the fence near the cafe is the inscription “café Museum”? There will be exhibits from the front. Are there many in the capital permanent exposici about ATO? And tell us where people are more willing to go to the Museum or the café?”

The patriots use?

The first stone in the side of the Punisher threw known the volunteer Alexey Mochanov. And excited him solely ethical things:

“I remember it was some kind of motka with a cafe at the end of the burned trade Unions, – he wrote in Facebook. Then people protested, and the diner in a mass grave of the missing defenders of the Maidan and Gdnet didn’t work out. Now what has changed? The Statute of limitations has passed? Who and with whom agreed? Type “roof”?”

Then there was also even scandalous information. Rumors that the cafe leases and subletting Ivan Balaban — ex-the candidate in people’s deputies and the President of Federation of Greco-Roman wrestling in Kiev. In 2008 in capital Newspapers wrote that he was engaged in illegal construction in the protected area of the Park syretsky grove.

“John Balaban and the company has created about six private companies that deal with rental buildings, says the head of the Moscow Defense Alexander Medved. They do repairs, they give premise for a penny, and the sublease cost is another. At first Ivan Balaban and provided With premises network L Kafa Café. The owners have made repairs of the basement and funded the installation of elevators in the building. But then L Kafa Café had to move out. And in the same room settled Punisher. It is noteworthy that the equipment L Kafa Café gave only partially. And they are unable to get your 3 million. I feel that the patriots were using. But I’m sure the guys from the Punisher will understand what’s what.”

The Balaban to comment on the allegations is unwilling. And journalists don’t communicate.

“What happened is called raider seizures of property! however, a spokesperson for L Kafa Cafe Marina Samborsky. – We had only a sofa, some musical equipment, some fixtures. Tables, ventilation, details of external upholstery – all were there. In order for you to understand the volume loss, I would say that we have invested 4.5 million USD in repairs. Today in the room left of the property and equipment worth over 2.5 million USD. We are now trying to recover costs through the courts, in the consideration of two criminal cases. About Ivan Balaban can say that initially we cooperated with it. And then I realized who he really is. Only in the Shevchenko district on it seems to be “hanging” 13 episodes, according to our information, he was held as an accused and a suspect as an accomplice to various fraudulent schemes. He gave us false documents. The renovation project was not institutionalized, planning to sub-lease did not meet the technical passport BTI. Balaban is often getting away with things – he draws on himself the property does not appear neither a founder nor a Director of companies. But we are working hard to prove his involvement.”

“What does Ivan Balaban? – surprised burden from the Punisher. – My grandmother used to say: “On the fence, write the word from three letters, but no matter how much I looked, there was nothing.” Balaban is not a Director, not the roof, not the mafia structure. This man comes to us at lunch, eating a set menu and leaves. Officially he is no relation to us has not. There was not a single of his signature, not one mention of him.”

Turns out that around the Punisher broke out not only moral and ethical conflict, but also things like business scandal

True or not, but turns out that around the Punisher broke out not only moral and ethical conflict, but also things like business scandal.

“It is actually much more difficult, – said the volunteer Irina Soloshenko. – The question is that questionable firm trying to go legit, using the prestige of the patriots. We all need to be very careful. Unfortunately, often in Patriotic colors dye unseemly behavior”.

Agree with her and former political prisoner, dissident and head of the Association of psychiatrists of Ukraine Semyon Gluzman: “With all my positive attitude to the memory of the UPA (I was sitting with these old men!), I thought the appearance Krivci in Lviv monstrous abuse, he says. – For me it was a symbol of shame in Western Ukraine. I dislike such titles as the Punisher. I don’t feel the irony. Not the time for such a cafe, now they need to open, and when the memory is only a memory, and more there will be people who survived this nightmare. I think that in such institutions people are just making money. But if it is a social project that need a military, let 100 of atashikov will write a letter to the owners: “Open the school with the name of the Punisher. If the café makes the exhibition of the ATO, let the KSCA decide that there should be a Museum. Only in this case, I have to accept the fact of appearance of such a place”.

Бизнес vs память. Скандал с кафе Каратель возле Дома профсоюзов

Photo By Dmitry Nikonorova

The same opinion is shared by the city authorities. In administration say that the cafe in the Unions is not the place.

“In economic activity of the enterprise we have no right to interfere. And we will not do. But we are entitled on the basis of conclusions about the accident rate of the building to dismantle the illegal constructions and to enclose all the fence,” said city hall.

But what is the fence for popular places? In the capital there are many places who will not hold a catchy name plate and full. And ultimately the fate of the Punisher will decide not volunteers and the authorities, and visitors. However, while they are openly a little, and it once again emphasizes how far from Kiev the war as indifferent to the inhabitants of the capital what is happening in our country – in the East.

“Oasis of the ashes”

I’m out of the Punisher and look at the flowing white canvas, which closed the House of trade unions. After the Euromaidan took about two and a half years, but the memory of the dead and immortalized. No memorial plaque, no relevant inscriptions.

The green metal fence around the building can be seen only snatches of the ads: “cheap Hostel” and “Offered a job”, “the Concert”.

A group of young guys in front of my eyes glues to the fence new ads.

“Yes, of course, we know that there was – they are justified. – But we for people trying to work”.

A few metres from me on the perimeter of the building a series of light boxes with advertisements. Posters urge residents and guests to the city to attend football matches, order a pizza, go to the recruitment office and sign the contract on service in army. About the tragedy of two years ago here a word. Nobody but I’m not surprised.

Around the corner on Church street, the white cloth ends, the builders have covered only the front part of the building. Wall, and in the winter of 2014, black with soot, the Windows are gaping holes. And right beneath them the tables of summer cafe. There are ringing glasses of wine, enjoy a dinner.

“Yes. Know what was on the Euromaidan, remember. But we came here to relax and not think about the past,” cutting off the head of the family and angrily puts a fork. His appetite after my inquiries clearly deteriorated.

Here, on Church, right on the wall of the House of trade unions recently, a new sign advertising the salon. It is located in the building of trade Unions.

“A little inconvenient to get there – sigh of the employee of the salon. – You will need through the gate in the fence then go past a building site. But you do not worry, we have everything repaired, we since last fall work. We are an oasis in this ashes. The smell of burning still remained, but he is faint”.


This material is published in No. 14 of the magazine Reporter on April 15, 2016. Reprinting of publications of magazine Correspondent in full is prohibited. With the rules of use magazine Reporter, published on the website Корреспондент.net can be found here.