Ukraine to visit Munich for UEFA EURO 2024

So much Ukraine is in Munich: Refuge, culture and sport

Ukraine will face Romania at the UEFA EURO 2024 in the Munich Arena. The fans are happy - because distraction helps. After all, since the start of the Russian invasion, Munich has been a safe haven for many Ukrainians who have fled and found support here. But Munich and Ukraine also have a lot in common beyond that: from a Ukrainian-language university to Ukrainian food, which is quite similar to Bavarian food, there is a lot to discover.

Father and small child with Ukrainian flags
Freepik

Ukraine to play in Munich

Logo of the host city Munich at UEFA EURO 2024 with the towers of the Frauenkirche

Laskavo prosymo shanovni ukrayinsʹki hosti ta shanuvalʹnyky futbolu – that's Ukrainian and means: Welcome, dear Ukrainian guests and football fans!

Ukraine has qualified for UEFA EURO 2024 via the play-offs and will now visit the Munich Arena on June 17 (3 p.m.) to face Romania. This match is not only a sporting event, but also an opportunity to get to know the vibrant Ukrainian community in Munich. A community that has enriched Munich in both good and difficult times.

Munich and Ukraine are linked by a deep partnership that began long before the Russian war of aggression. We will show you how this partnership is lived and celebrated, where in the city you can discover Ukrainian influences – and what you can do to support Ukrainians in Munich, not just in the fan stands.

Ukraine: Facts about the European Championship guest

  • Area: 603,700 km²
  • Population: 36 million
  • Capital: Kyiv (1,392 km from Munich)
  • Ukrainian citizens in Munich: 21,899 (as of 31.12.2023)

Ukrainian Consulate General in Munich
Riedenburger Str. 2, 81677 Munich
Website

Munich as a refuge from the war in Ukraine

Since the start of the Russian war of aggression, Munich has proven to be a safe haven for Ukrainian refugees. Around 25,000 people have fled to Munich since 2022. There are currently just under 22,000 (as of 31.12.2023) Ukrainian nationals living in the city.

Munich helps war refugees from Ukraine at the arrival center at Dachauer Straße 122a, among other places. Here they can register and receive information about the next steps after their arrival.

There is also a tent city on the exhibition grounds for up to 2,000 refugees, which will initially be used until June 2024. The Munich Refugee Council, which is funded by the Social Welfare Department, supports Ukrainians as they arrive and informs them about their rights and obligations. There are also numerous civil society initiatives that help people settle in and promote integration.

The city administration has compiled a wealth of information for refugees on its website to help with integration in the city:

Municipal institutions such as the youth information center JIZ also have a lot of information for refugees and supporters on their website:

Support from Munich for Ukraine

Flagging at the town hall
Michael Nagy/Presseamt München
The Ukrainian flag (center) waves at the New Town Hall on Marienplatz

Munich is not only supporting the Ukrainians who live here, but is also mobilizing aid for the country and its population, for example through a large donation campaign: "Russia's terrible war of aggression against Ukraine has now lasted for over two years, but Munich's willingness to help has also lasted for over two years - your willingness to help the people in Ukraine, for the people in our twin city Kyiv," said Munich's Lord Mayor Dieter Reiter. "But Kyiv still needs our help. I therefore ask you to continue to donate so that we can support our twin city and alleviate the suffering of the people."

The Ukrainian capital Kyiv has been a twin city of Munich since 1989 - even before Ukraine became an independent state - when it was sealed by Munich Mayor Georg Kronawitter and his Kyiv counterpart Valentin Sigurskij. Over the years, the partnership has grown through student exchanges and cultural programs, and since the Russian attack it has never been closer. Kyiv is dependent on Munich's help, as the current mayor Vitali Klitschko emphasizes: "Please continue to stand by us. To Ukraine, to your twin city Kyiv. I am deeply grateful to you for this and will never forget it."

Donations for Ukraine

LHM
You can obtain the bank details via the QR code

The City of Munich has set up a donation account at Stadtsparkasse München to support the people in Ukraine, especially in our twin city Kyiv:

Landeshauptstadt München
IBAN: DE86 7015 0000 0000 2030 00
Purpose „Solidarität Ukraine“

You can find the paypage with various payment options here.

Ukrainian culture in Munich

You can discover Ukrainian culture in Munich not just in recent years. It has been an integral part of the cityscape for many decades. The Ukrainian Free University in the Nymphenburg district is probably the best known. Although it was founded in Vienna in 1921, it has been based in Munich since 1945.

It is taught entirely in Ukrainian and the course is well received, as shown by the approximately 500 students, whose numbers have doubled since the beginning of the war. Numerous Ukrainian works and documents are stored in the archive and library, making it the largest specialized Ukrainian library in Western Europe.

The Ukrainian-Greek-Catholic church Maria Schutz & St. Andreas near the Flaucher is another institution with a Ukrainian connection in Munich. Festivals and charity concerts are regularly held here, where you can learn about local customs and traditions. A memorial in front of the church commemorates the Holodomor, the famine that claimed the lives of countless Ukrainians in 1932.

The GOROD cultural center at Arnulfstraße 197 is also dedicated to cultural education and offers numerous projects for children and young people in Ukrainian and Russian. But even if you don't speak these languages, it's worth a visit, as there are always concerts, exhibitions and other events taking place here.

Ukrainian art in Munich

Peaceful Sky
Yuliya Grzmehle
Work by the artist Yuliya Grzmehle, which was on display at the "Peaceful Sky" exhibition evening

In recent years, a lively Ukrainian art scene has established itself in Munich, with exhibitions and performances by Ukrainian artists in various locations.

In 2022, for example, the Haus der Kunst dedicated the exhibition "A Letter from the Front" to Ukrainian artists, works by artist Zhanna Kadyrova were on display at the NS Documentation Center until October 2023 and the exhibition evening "Peaceful Sky" was held at Werk 12 two years ago.

The Munich City Library launched the project "Ukraine between War and Hope" with various exhibitions and the Munich choreographer Anna Konjetzky started a residency program for Ukrainian artists in 2022.

One institution in Munich is the Ukraina Munich Chamber Orchestra, which was founded in 2016. The orchestra of Ukrainian musicians brings works by Ukrainian composers such as Mykola Lysenko, Mykola Stesyun and Zoltan Almashi to Munich audiences.

In February 2024, Ukrainian pop singer Artem Pivovarov also performed in Munich on his European tour.

Ukrainian for beginners

Note: The Cyrillic spelling used in Ukraine is always shown in brackets in the translation.

EnglishUkrainian
HelloPryvit (Привіт!)
Good afternoon!Khoroshyy denʹ (Хороший день!)
yesTak (Так)
noNemaye (немає)
Please!Budʹ laska (Будь ласка)
Thank you!Dyakuyu (Дякую)
What's your name?Yak vas zvaty? (Як вас звати?)
My name is [...]Mene zvaty (Мене звати) [...]
Where is the stadium?De znakhodytʹsya stadion? (Де знаходиться стадіон?)
Good game!Khorosha hra (Хороша гра)
Goal!Meta (Мета)
See you later!Pobachymosʹ (Побачимось)

 

Ukrainian cuisine in Munich

Vareniki
Maria_Domnina/Pixabay
Varenyky are the Ukrainian national dish

Ukrainian cuisine is diverse and even has certain similarities with Bavarian cuisine, but to get to know it you should definitely start with the national dish: varenyky. These are dumplings that are cooked in salted water and filled with all kinds of things - whether savory with mushrooms, meat or cheese or sweet with fruit or jam. Kotlety are also very popular in Ukraine and are very similar to our meat patties, not only in appearance but also in taste.

The Ukrainian soup borscht with beet, onions, white cabbage, carrots, potatoes and beef is world-famous.

You should also try holubtsi (cabbage rolls with a filling of rice, minced meat or buckwheat) or mlynzi (pancakes filled with poppy seeds or fish) and for dessert you can treat yourself to traditional syrmyky, which are dumplings made from curd cheese dough.

Although there is currently no purely Ukrainian restaurant in Munich, GastroOma, a start-up founded by Ukrainians, offers numerous Ukrainian specialties as handmade frozen food.

How long a journey from Kyiv to Munich takes

  • By plane: 2 hours 15 minutes, but the airspace over Ukraine is currently closed due to the war
  • By car: approx. 19 hours
  • By long-distance bus: approx. 28 hours (fastest connection)
  • By train: approx. 24 hours (fastest connection)
  • On foot: approx. 15 days

Ukrainian personalities in Munich

Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the Munich Security Conference 2024
MSC
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during his speech at the Munich Security Conference 2024

Most recently, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was a guest at the Munich Security Conference 2024 at the Bayerischer Hof. Here he spoke with influential politicians from all over the world, such as US Vice President Kamala Harris, and appealed for further support for his country. The mayor of Kyiv and former world boxing champion Vitali Klitschko is also a regular visitor to the Bavarian capital, most recently at SiKo 2024.

The Ukrainian athletes put in an impressive performance at the European Championships 2022 in Munich. They won an impressive 22 medals in the competitions, including five gold medals. The high jumper Jaroslawa Mahutschich, who also became world champion after her first place in Munich and is one of the top favorites for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, is a good example of this.

The story of young basketball player Desmond Yiamu is inspiring: he fled to Munich with his parents from Kharkiv because of the war and managed to play for the second FC Bayern Basketball team.

Ukrainian football: via the play-offs to the UEFA EURO 2024

Ukraine's participation in UEFA EURO 2024 is an outstanding achievement in itself, as no matches could be played in their home stadiums due to the war. Instead, it had to move its "home games" to Trnava, Wroclaw, Prague and Leverkusen. Despite this, Ukraine finished third in the group stage of qualifying behind top teams England and Italy. In the play-offs, they then beat Bosnia-Herzegovina 2:1 before securing their European Championship ticket with another 2:1 win over Iceland.

At the last European Championship, the Ukrainians advanced to the quarter-finals, meaning they went further than Germany - and then, like the Germans before them, had to bow out against England. Ukraine co-hosted the 2012 European Championships with Poland, but failed in the preliminary round, just like in 2016. At their only World Cup appearance in Germany in 2006, Ukraine pulled off a surprise by reaching the quarter-finals.

The biggest star in Ukraine's young soccer history is Andriy Shevchenko, who was named "European Footballer of the Year" in 2004 and is the national team's record goalscorer with 48 goals. He has been president of the Ukrainian Football Association since January 2024.

The current team also has some highly talented players in its ranks: Mychajlo Mudryk from Chelsea FC is an extremely agile winger and is one of the best assist providers in his team. Oleksandr Zinchenko provides defensive stability for city rivals Arsenal and is one of the mainstays of the national team. Goalkeeper Andriy Lunin, who is Real Madrid's number two behind world-class keeper Thibaut Courtois, is an exciting prospect.

It is therefore entirely possible that the Shovto-blakytni - the Blue and Yellows, as the Ukrainian national team is nicknamed - could spring another surprise at UEFA EURO 2024 under the leadership of head coach Serhiy Rebrov.

Ukraine's group matches at the European Championship:

  • Monday, 17.6.2024, 3 p.m. in Munich: Romania - Ukraine
  • Friday, 21.6.2024, 3 p.m. in Düsseldorf: Slovakia - Ukraine
  • Wednesday, 26.6.2024, 6 p.m. in Stuttgart: Ukraine - Belgium

Beitrag auf Instagram ansehen.

On behalf of the Department of Education and Sport

This article about the UEFA EURO 2024 in the host city of Munich, one of 10 host cities of the European Football Championship in Germany, was commissioned by the Department of Education and Sport (RBS). The content was coordinated between the RBS and muenchen.de, the official city portal.

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