Don't be surprised to come occasionnally accross a drunkard or a bum in a Russian or Ukrainian cemetery (I did in one of my cemetery visits this time), they're probably looking for booze leftovers....
This hasn't to do with wild parties taking place at night in these unlikeliest settings but it is rooted in one of the most special relation that the people of these regions have with life, death and earthy pleasures. For Russians, Ukrainians and Belorussians (actually this is the same extended family) ther's a very important concept named "be together" in Russian translated either in the word Vmiestie (бместе) or Zastolie (застолье) and you can see it embodied everywhere from the friends/family picnics in the trains to the drinking parties on the benches of city parks, but this life philosophy doesn't stop with the end of this present life : survivors will make sure to pay regular visits to the dead in the cemeteries to sort of share with him/her some hearty meal and generously poured vodka.
[for more insights on Russian words through which you'll discover the Russian soul, check this great and insightful Russian-language blog (in English)].
This post is an ode to the simple beauty of cemeteries in this part of the world.
The woman portraited on the gravestone [picture on top] along with glasses and caviar is Svetlana Alexeevna Kovtun (4 VIII 1948 - 24 IV 1997).
The 6 or 8 empty plastic glasses that were strewn on this particular grave weren't there because these people didn't care and left rubbish behind them : this is obviously a way to share drops of the drink with the deceased.
Visit Elena Filatova's pages (click at the bottom of each page for the following page) about Chernobyl and the trip that she made on her motorcycle into the forbidden zone.