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7 (2014)
Tunnelling Towards Hope

28 February - 6 March 2014

Ukraine History

A Stronghold of Rulers and Rebels

With the recent death toll jumping to nearly 100 and 1,000 injured, Hrushevskoho Street, one of the strongholds of EuroMaidans three-month-long protests, made headlines around the globe. It was here, on 19 January the countrys stand against government corruption, abuse of power, and the violation of human rights turned from peaceful protest to all-out revolution. Having witnessed much over the years, Hrushevskoho is a street with a history, and not only care of recent days.


Ukraine Today
Acelebrity using their status and intelligence to influence public views and opinion is rarely seen in modern society, even less so in Ukraine. Here, the majority of celebs use their time, effort, and money to enhance or further their career rather than put their name to something that can do good for others. However, as EuroMaidan intensifies, some are making themselves heard and they fall either side of the EuroMaidan divide.
It used to be that when rebellion and revolution occurred, the intellectual, creative, and spiritual elite would be front and centre.


Ukrainian Culture

When Walls Can Talk

People have been writing on walls since the dawn of civilisation, we call it graffiti, and ranges from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings. Sometimes it is merely the creator wanting to leave his or her mark; sometimes there is an underlying social or political reason. And it is due to the latter that graffiti has exploded across Kyiv in recent months. Anti dictator messages aside, we peel back a few layers of paint to look at graffiti in the city in general.


Ukraine Travel
Polish nobleman Count Stanislaw Szczesny Potocki must have loved his great wife Sofia very much because he created what is now one of the most famous examples of late eighteenth-early nineteenth century European garden design. And he spent a fortune doing it. With lakes, waterfalls, fountains, statues, ornate buildings and a plethora of flowers from all over Europe, it is a truly remarkable place and by far the most popular day trip from Kyiv. But Id never been. It was time to remedy that.
How about a trip to Uman this weekend, my friend Colin suggests one evening while Zhenya and I are having dinner with him and his wife Oksana. If youre not doing anything.

When it comes to quick getaways, the options that make it worth your while are few. Theres Paris; however, Ukrainians still require visas to even think about flying there. Theres Turkey; but there again, you need to take the time to visit a travel agency. And then theres Crimea; which, despite the long-lasting reminders of Sovietism, boasts a beautiful sub-Mediterranean climate made possible because of its location sandwiched between mountains and sea.

Coming to Kyiv from various ports of call can and does include certain costs. Youll be happy to know, however, that your sleeping arrangements dont have to be included in your bigger expenses. The Ukrainian capital has picked up on the influx of tourists over recent years, and offering travellers a more affordable option when it comes to where you lay your head, the hostels of Kyiv are affordable, (mostly) clean, and open for business.

With the summer well underway, vacation planning forces many to take hard decisions: where to go, what to do, how much time to spend and so on. To make for smoother sailing (or caravanning or however you plan to travel), Whats On has compiled a list of the top 10 spots to visit on the Black Sea. Sound easy? It wasnt. Factoring in value for money, ease of access and proper infrastructure for tourism (often questionable in Ukraine), we actually had to do a bit of homework, but what we arrived at should make any visit down south a memorable treat.
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When I came to Ukraine, which seems like just a few short years ago, the first city I stopped in was, of course, Kyiv. But of all the cities I have been to on my travels throughout this incredible country since then, it is Lviv that remains on top of that incredible places to visit list. 
The first time I had the opportunity to take in Lviv was in the autumn a couple of years back, and, to be honest, the area seemed a bit gloomy and unfriendly.
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Continuing our look at travel, and just broadening the horizons, we here at Whats On have put together our Top 10 of cool places to visit this summer while staying within the borders of Ukraine.  Full of outstanding nooks and niches, there are a number of ancient castles, incredible cathedrals, Greek temples, enormous parks, crystal-clear lakes, mountain chains and even a few submergent caves. Scattered about Ukraine, some of them are easy to find, others not. But all of them are marvellous and definitely worth checking into.

Hotels mean different things to different people: To a holidaymaker they are places of relaxation and enjoyment, but to a businessman they can become a necessary evil where all seem much the same as any other. However, a five star hotel is something special a place of luxury you can retreat to when youre in need of some pampering, a night away from the kids and domestic duties, or as a special treat for the woman you love. Kyiv now boasts a number of five star hotels, so were going to test them all to see just how good an escape they can be. Were starting with the InterContinental

With the weather warming, weekends in Ukraine can be spent much more enjoyably than being cooped up in your apartment. What to do? Get out of the city! To make the decision process about where to go a little bit easier, weve compiled a list of a few fascinating destinations that wont take you too far, but far enough to feel like you have had a bit of a break.
A great way to spend the day/couple days/extra long weekend, take in a number of these rarely talked about spots and spider web your way around Ukraine, getting better acquainted with this great country as you go.
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The territory of Ukraine is very unique. Weve got the Carpathians, the Crimean coast, industrial Donbass and beautiful Eastern meadows; but like many nations we almost always tend to overlook what we have for whats over the border. When it comes to skiing, the tune is no different as many of us drive to Slovakia, train it to the Alps or hop on a plane to the Rockies.
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Everybody raves about the place, but in the three something years in Ukraine Ive never been. And it is one of the places Ive always wanted to go, so when the subject of a weekend trip to Odesa was broached when some friends and I were drinking beer one evening, the answer was a resounding yes. Here is our story. It is a true story; only the names have been changed to protect the guilty.
Friday noon and my mates Daffy and Colin arrive at my office. Weve been told its a six hour journey to Odesa, and we want a Friday night out when we get there, so we throw our things in the car and head out of town. Daffy, techno guru that he is, delves into his bag as were heading through Kyivs traffic and pulls out a GPS navigation system, insisting we stick it on the windscreen and follow instructions.
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Ukraine Truth
Rights We Didnt Know We Had

Throughout EuroMaidan much has been made of Ukrainians making a stand for their rights. What exactly those rights are were never clearly defined. Ukraine ratified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1952. The first article of the Declaration states all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, they are endowed with reason and conscience, and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. The ousted and overthrown Ukrainian government showed to the world they dont understand the meaning of these words.

Kyiv Culture

Pulling Strings
Located on Hrushevskoho Street the epicentre of EuroMaidan violence, home to battles, blazes and barricades childrens favourite the Academic Puppet Theatre had to shut down in February. Nevertheless, it is getting ready to reopen this March with a renewed repertoire to bring some laughter back to a scene of tragedy. Operating (not manipulating) puppets is a subtle art that can make kids laugh and adults cry. Whats On meets Mykola Petrenko, art director of the Theatre, to learn more about those who pull the strings behind the show.


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