Kachalka is Kiev’s answer to “muscle beach.” It spans more than 10 square kilometers, making it’s one of the world’s biggest outdoor gyms.
But the equipment here is older than most of the people using it. Soviet era metals and chains pieced together over the course of a half century.
There’s no padding on the benches, no digital monitors to tell you your heart rate. It’s just like the so-called “good old days.” But those here say: it has everything a fitness fanatic could want…and it’s free. Kachalka survives through donations.
27-year old Nikita Zamorski is a freelance web developer. He canceled his membership at a modern Ukrainian sports center, in exchange for the open air.
Nikita Zamorski, web developer says, “This is a really special place. Everything that you see here was handmade by people have put their souls into it. It wasn’t done for business or for money. It was done for health and for sport. That’s why I’m inspired when I come here.”
Some say, it’s a part of the country’s history that will always live on as long as Kachalka does.
Oleksandr Ostalov, former Soviet paratrooper says, “Right before my very eyes, I’m seeing more and more young people coming. Parents are arriving with their children, friends are bringing friends. Information is spreading, and slowly but surely, this place is becoming a part of our culture.”
CCTV’s Roee Ruttenberg reports from Kiev.