In a big political shakeup, the local Ukrainian Orthodox Church has been granted independence from Russia. Such developments will undoubtedly encourage a renewed sense of nationalism in Ukraine and a greater sense of self-identity.
Perhaps, given the new political climate, old medieval religious centers such as Chernihiv, located two hours north of Kyiv, will assume greater importance.
Outside the collegium, I came upon a statue honoring Ivan Mazepa, a famous 17th-18th century Cossack and controversial historical figure who refused to offer military assistance to Russia. In return for such insolence, the Russian Orthodox Church shunned Mazepa. In 2009, when the Mazepa statue was erected in Chernihiv, the event prompted clashes between police and opponents of the historic Cossack leader.