Kharkov is on the Russian border of the Ukraine. If you take the amount of cold and snow in Kiev and multiply it by four, you get a pretty good idea of the Kharkov is like.
This is the central town square of Kharkov, which is decorated with bright blue lights on every tree up and down the street. There is an ice skating rink in the middle, complete with hulking Soviet-throwback KGBesque security guard that came up to me and asked why I had such a large camera. I told him it was because I was an American capitalist and that’s the way the cookie crumbled. He didn’t know what I meant, and he simply pointed in the direction, indicating a hasty egress was my best course of action.