Advertisement Hell

Ads in Kiev 1

In Soviet times the underground train stations were praised as masterpieces of art by Russian society. Each one was in depth planned in the smallest detail by the best Russian architects and artists. All the stations were decorated with the best sorts of stone and marble. There were large mosaic art works devoted to the Soviet life on the walls on the floor and on the ceilings. People coming from Russian countryside were astonished when they first time entered the Russian metro, it looked even more triumphantly than the museum of Communist party.

Now, the times have changed. If in Moscow they still try to preserve those magnificent interior looks, in Kiev, Ukraine they decided that no any Soviet art work is worth of displaying, when you can earn one more dollar by placing the advertisements on almost every square inch of the free surface. Who needs marble when you can put SNICKERS ad on it?

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The trains themselves also suffered from this advertisement wilderness. All of them were totally
covered with ads, as from outside so is inside. Almost every square inch of surface was tried to be used. Just note those hand-rails – they have the ads on them too.

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photos by 81412

70 thoughts on “Advertisement Hell”

    • OMG theres no homeless people sleeping on the floor unlike Russian trains and stations. Looks like Ukrainian are far more advanced than 3rd world Russia. And the boys are total hotties too 😀

      • 3rd world refers to all the neutral countries durind WW2

        2nd world is USSR, and China

        1st world is USA and allies

        so russia is 2nd world not third world (and so is ukraine)

        i travel on the moscow metro quite often, i dont see any hobos either (maybe very rarely)

        only because THOSE pics don’t have hobos in them doesn’t mean there are no hobos in ukraine

        Compared to this advertizing in moscow is nothing.

        id hate to live in ukraine

        • Actually the second world embodied the communist countries in general, in addition to Soviet Union and China. E.g. Cuba and North Vietnam.

          The 3rd world referred to developing countries, not ‘to all the neutral countries durind WW2’. For Example Finland wasn’t neutral in World War II nor an ally of The United States during the cold war, but it has never been referred as a 3rd world country.

          In my humble opinion, as communist regimes have decreased in number, this three worlds concept has become part of out-of-date rhetoric.

      • You bet we are!

        PS: the picture with lenin and ‘UFO’ ads is quite funny though ))

      • Hey SmallLonelyWorld,

        I am sure Miss India is not from India. There are so many of these Pakistanis who go about posing as Indians on different websites and put derogatory comment so as to defame India! This is an old strategy used by this people from the Middle Ages. Please don’t fall prey to these.

        • lolz, u mean india is so great that nothing bad happens there??? . wow its so easy to put all balme on Pakistanis??????


  1. ofcourse leave it to the ukranians to wreck anything thats beautiful. That nation has no appreciation for culture and history. I guess though when you are so desperate for money that you cant even pay for gas that is subsidized to you for half price, you need to look to make money any way you can. This is absolutely disgusting

  2. There is similar advertising in the St. Petersburg and Moscow metro as well, although not to this point.

    Obviously the Ukrainians don’t realize that when advertising reaches saturation levels it loses it’s effectiveness to grab attention. Look at the people inside the metro cars, they are all ignoring the ads.

  3. Man, that’s depressing. I always thought the London Underground was bad but that’s like my worst nightmare. I think advertisers shouldl have to pay each person individually for the right to invade their surroundings with advertising – let’s start with a pound (or dollar, euro, rouble, whatever) for every square metre of advertising you see each day. Then another £10 for every second you have to see on the TV. That might make the world a more bearable place…

  4. “обери свого переможця”. Украинцы, вы как какую-нибудь кору отмочите!!! Прямо можно сказать: “побережно, двери зачиняются!” 🙂

  5. What is more pervert – Pop-Art, or Socialist Realism?
    A Coke ad featuring the bloody Santa Claus, or the ideology ad featuring the bloody Lenin?

    As far as architecture is concerned, the underground in Kiev obviously comes from the 70s/early 80s, the “leaden years”. This style IS worthless – if it is a style at all. The expensive materials used cannot disguise the tragic dullness and total lack of any idea.

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    • I agree! One of the best images I had seen about ex-cccp ‘new times’,
      this pic will appear in the history books in a few years.

  7. See what filthy capitalists have done?!?!? Evil advertizements cover beautiful artworks of people standing with farm impliments and hammers. And metro trains now look like large candy bar – but you cannot eat it!!!!

      • I only wish for capitalist swine to stop making metro look a like giant candy. I am on special reduction diet. The candy-metros make me hungry. How can man loose fat when metro he rides on look a like candy?

        I also wish swine to die. And for you to develop sense of humour.

  8. I sort of like the contrast between two ideologies shown on these pictures. Lenin and ads, there is something intriguing there. I remember the first time I took a metro in Kiev. It was just after the orange revolution and there where some big tv-screens (you dont see that in Moscow or St:Pete) on the halls and on the wagons also and they where playing a music video by Britney Spears. I hate Britney but we had had some drinks with my friends so we started dancing and partying there and it was so cool!

  9. That bronze Lenin with all those ads looks just weird and sad at the same time.
    Take him away, this is disgusting, he would NEVER thought that something like this will happen.
    It reminds me about all those t-shirts with Che Guevara, which was socialist and communist and against capitalism. Now his face is being sold in millions and he is earning those same capitalists millions of dollars. Sad…

    • I have just bought a lighter decorated with Lenin, CCCP and Hammer/Sickle. It was made in China and cost me some 0,3 EUR. That much for symbols… although I am in a serious doubt there is a manufacturer daring to make lighters decorated with e.g. Adolf Hitler and Nazi Swastika.

      As far as Guevara is concerned, my opinion is that he was an idealist who could not cope with reality. It is well known that he despised Khrushchev for his lack of intelligence and Castro for his thirst for power. His premature death turned him to a Pop-Art icon (similar to Robin Hood, Jesse James etc.).
      Unlike Castro, he was spared the destiny of a revolutionary-turned-aparatchik.

      If you read his Bolivian Diaries, you will soon realize he was trying to make a revolution in a country where nobody wanted one…

      • Excellent observation, but be careful not to crash the dreams of all the others out there who are not able to deal with reality. For examples, see the campus of any major American university.

  10. Too bad! I guess USA market philosophy has infiltrated this societie to its core. Now get to work, buy more and more until you go Bankrupt!!!

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  12. Welcome to the western world of advertisement! While America doesn’t have very many metro or subway systems, their buses have been covered in advertisements from the beginning, and the bus and subway in London are all covered also. Seeing these pictures still makes me miss the St. Petersburg train system…

  13. This is truly sad. Just because they don’t want people to cry over Soviet artwork, they plaster the walls with advertisements. Soda and Cell phone ads are no replacement for real art.

  14. This is unfair. The trains inside were covered by countless illegal advertisement before. It’s good that they remove the unartisitic ads and replace them with more well designed, elaborate paid ads. You should learn that public transport system is always losing money, the mere income from passenger fare never covers the cost of maintenance, save for buying new trains. If they don’t open more ways of income there will be impossible for any construction of new line and extension. Government subsidy isn’t dependable you know.

  15. I think that “preserve those magnificent interior looks” should be very difficult in some cases. Maybe some people prefer to see the “snickers” add much more than some thing who remember the soviet era.

  16. It’s not that the Kiev railway station has covered up art with advertising. It’s that it now has a different type of advertising that’s covering up the old government advertisements. We have advertising in the U.S., too: The government buildings in Washington were designed from the beginning to send the message that the U.S. Government is big, powerful, stable, and deserving of respect and obedience. They were intended to get people to buy into an identity as citizens of a country that not so long before hadn’t even existed. It’s all advertising. Some government advertising can be called art, and so can some private, commercial advertising be called art. But it’s all advertising.

    May I have permission to put image #13 in a blog article of my own? It’s the one with the old government advertisement at the end of the same hall that has some of the new commercial advertisiments.

  17. No. Look how clean it all is. How civilised. You won’t find that in any New York subway. These pictures show it is all well-lit, nobody has to be afraid to go there. Yes, it is a lot of advertising, but it is still better than most anywhere else as far as an underground system. And, others are right, there are no homeless people wandering around, waiting for the crowds to dissipate so they can go to their cardboard pallets. I love that it is so clean. And, despite the ads it is still beautiful.

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  20. I was born in Kiev Ukraine. The metro stations always seemed grandiose to me (the marble, the high ceilings, the chandeliers, very beautiful).

    In today’s modern society I understand the need for a unique advertisement placement. However in this case, it does look excessive. It should still definitely be there, just as in any big city, but there should be a sense of balance and respect to the magnificent architecture.

    Also, I don’t think the Soviet art work should be covered up. Yes, unfortunately it doesn’t represent the best, but it is history, it is our history. I think it is important and special. It shows how much we’ve been through, and how much we have accomplished.


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