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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.


Kyiv Cars
Women dont understand why, what they dismiss as toys, still attract so much of our (mens) attention. Whether its modelling a plane or a train, through to creating an elaborate diorama of a legendary battle the idea of building a scale replica from scratch and finishing it to look as close to the real deal as possible sparks boyhood nostalgia in men. It also stirs something more primal. Its possibly a lesser version of the satisfaction the designer of the original took from standing back and admiring the finished product. After all, the plastic modellers creation may be 1/25 scale, but the feeling is the same I made that.

The Mitsubishi Evolution series has become something of an icon for boy racers throughout the world and has a massive following all over the globe, including here in Kyiv where there are numerous owners clubs. Its younger (and cheaper) brother, the Lancer Ralliart was launched only last year, but already it is coming of age, and it proves to be a very exciting car.
The Lancer Ralliart is a sexy looking young thing. While it is the orange/brown hue of an airhostess, it is just as sexy: this car has some truly beautiful curves, and some very sensual bumps. With a big spoiler on the back, its going to attract the attention of the young testosterone-filled males right from the start, and the air intakes on the bonnet along with the front grill and sexy lights will probably make that testosterone flow even faster.
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Times have changed a little bit in the world of automobiles here in the Mother City of the Slavs. For a long time, easy credit and cheap petrol conspired to create a local situation in which the bigger, the better was the operative logic, which means that you couldnt walk 10 metres in the city without bumping into a massive brand-new night-coloured SUV. (Or it bumping into you.) But with Ukraine feeling the squeeze of the financial crisis, thats all over for the moment, and it might be time for Ukrainians to start taking to smaller cars. The new Mitsubishi Lancer X Sportback is precisely one of those cars. We took it out for a test spin.
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Kyivs a city where people love their SUVs. But if youre in the mood for a more elegant and supple little car, which also has the virtue of being able to zip in and out between all the houseboat-sized off-road vehicles on the local streets, then maybe a Mini Cooper Clubman is for you.
The first thing we thought about this car when we saw it waiting for us was that it was even more cool-looking than we had expected. Mini Coopers are some of the hippest cars around extremely well-designed and colourful little nuggets of style but the Clubman model takes the cake.
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The big luxury SUV has become one of the symbols of contemporary Kyiv the sort of automobile that, like the black Mercedes sedan at the turn of the century, you simply cant be without if you plan on being anybody in local society. (In fact, sometimes certain Kyiv sidewalks even resemble the parking lots of SUV dealerships.) One of the newest SUVs to hit town is the Lexus RX 400, a hybrid vehicle. Our guys took it out for a spin.
A hybrid in Kyiv? Thats right: a responsible sort of car (at least as far as SUVs go) for a car-loving city. And there it was, waiting for us: the big intimidating beauty that we were supposed to take out for a days worth of test-driving. We climbed into the cab and got ready to wail away.

If you look in the dictionary under the term misnomer, it should quote as an example most car manufacturers use of the term off road. Speak to anyone honest in the echelons of vehicle manufacturer management (they are quite easy to find, surprisingly) and they will tell you that their 4x4 SUV off-roader is not built for going off road. But heres one that is!

The Ford Focus is an innocuous-looking car that, while being comparatively stylish for a car in its class, wouldnt worry you if it was sitting next to you at a streetlight, revving its engine and nudging forward as if ready to race. In fact, seeing it might put a patronising smile on your face and not for a second nudge you out of your sense of superiority. But if its the Focus Titanium sitting next to you, that sense of superiority could well prove to be your undoing.
The first thing to say about this car is you have to be able to drive to drive it. You cant just put go on one pedal and stop on the other and direct the thing with the big round thing you hold in your hands, so if you bought your license then look elsewhere, because this car is a proper car with a gear stick and a clutch. While many bemoan such things as cumbersome, they are wrong.
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The Jaguar XK series was first launched in 1996, and in my humble opinion it was the most stylishly beautiful and elegant car ever produced. Twelve years later, it still is.
Look at it. Just look at it. Takes your breath away doesnt it? If this car was a woman it would be Cindy Crawford, Daryl Hannah, Raquel Welsh, Keira Knightley, Jennifer Aniston and Olga Kurylenko all added together and thats just the looks, she would also have the graceful athleticism of Anna Kournikova, the sophistication of Jacqui Onassis, the brains of Marie Curie and the imagination of Mary Shelley. Simply put, this is the most beautiful car ever made And thats not all.

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The Ford Mondeo first appeared in the early nineties and the first time I saw one I remember thinking what an aw-ful looking thing. It may have been marginally better than its predecessor, the Sierra, but at least the Sierra looked a little cool when it was launched. Therefore, Im not exactly
buzzing with excitement when I go to collect a Mondeo for a test drive, but Im pleasantly surprised when I see the latest model.
Very surprised. The new Ford Mondeo is a good-looking car. Ok, you can see the wind tunnel has played a large part in the design of the thing, but its sleek and stylish all the same, and has some interesting features that for a family saloon make it a bit of an eyecatcher.

The Porsche 911 Carerra S is a status symbol. It is a dream car the people with low self-esteem believe will make their lives complete, the adequate think will make them more so, and the show offs want one to be able to do more showing off. Whether thats a good thing or not is always down to individual thinking, but what is often forgotten behind all that is this car is built to drive, and it does that superbly.
Stepping into the car isnt easy because it sits so low to the ground, and for forty-somethings like myself, thats going to mean an accompanying grunt every time you get in or out of the thing, which may not make you look so cool, but once youre behind the wheel with the door closed that changes instantly. 

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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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