Culture News Society, 18/06/2018

Veteran Café Gets New Life in Kharkiv

Kulya coffee bar for war veterans was launched again as an art-café in Kharkiv on June 15. The re-opening gathered a lot of Kharkiv volunteers and activists, who highly rated the cuisine and atmosphere of the new bar.

The idea to open a coffee bar for former combatants, who fought in the east of Ukraine, came from 23-year-old activist Danylo Akulenko. He served in Azov battalion for a year and a half and was demobilized in 2016.

The soldier took a course in psychological adaptation for a year. During this period he managed to complete a higher education and to conceptualize his business idea.

The Kulya project, which means “bullet” in Ukrainian, started in autumn 2017, but the premises was so tiny that only a small number of visitors could fit inside. Since then Kulya has changed its location twice. Today it is situated on 23 Rymarska St, in an ample basement.

As planned, it is not only a coffee bar and a restaurant but also a meeting place for war veterans, volunteers and civil activists. Furthermore, the owners are planning to use the bar as an art area for screening films, giving educational lectures and training as well as holding literary parties and exhibitions.

The administration is planning to create a database of phone numbers, contacts and information to help former soldiers, internally displaced persons and their families solve daily problems. For example, some volunteers can host ATO veterans or some companies could employ them.

“There are many people who are ready to help but they do not know where to publish relevant information. We are going to create a database, where you can post and find valuable contacts,” says Savva Chuikov, the café ‘s manager.

Text: Olena Sokolynska

Photo: Olga Dun