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On the cover
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.


Just a Minute
Publishers Provocations
I was not here during the Orange Revolution, so its with great excitement and not a small amount of trepidation that I am here to witness the current protests supporting Ukraines EU aspirations.
During the last two weeks I have witnessed some awe-inspiring sights, and viewed many tragic occurrences as opposing forces battle for the soul of Ukraine. While nothing in life is black and white, it seems true that in this part of the world, everything appears more grey.

Publishers Provocations
Its been a long time since I understood the flaws in democracy, and current circumstances do nothing to alleviate my feelings towards this form of government one man has just f*cked 46 million. And thats not right. (Excuse the language, but no other word fits as well here).

Publishers Provocations
Last week we watched Kyiv slip further down the slippery slope into the realm of authoritarianism as we said goodbye to any semblance of freedom of the press and hello to a world of constant positive PR for Yanukovych.

Publishers Provocations
As many readers will know, I have a little baby girl. What you wont know is that Katya and I like to take her with us when we go out (actually, whether thats because of a lack of baby-sitting opportunities or not, I am not so sure, but either way, we often take her with us when we go out).

Publishers Provocations
Ive often written here about the terrible no, not even terrible: damn right derisory service you can come across in some of Kyivs restaurant and bars, so I sighed when I read a post on Facebook on this very subject last night as I was scrolling through newsfeeds on my phone.

Publishers Provocations
My dear Ukrainian friends, can you please learn to use a lift! Its quite simple:

Publishers Provocations
As the Vilnius summit (at which the Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine may or may not get signed) looms ever closer, there is a lot of talk about Tymoshenko, whether or not Yanukovych will release her, and whether or not this will prevent the agreement from getting signed. There are those who argue Yanukovych is sto percent to blame here, and poor Yulia is just a victim in all this. These are the ones who, despite all the evidence to the contrary, still see her as the saviour of Ukraine. I am not one of those. Allow me to explain...

Publishers Provocations
If I was to say the name Damien Hirst youd know exactly who I was talking about. But if I was to say the name Jack Vettriano... While I certainly know both names very well, I probably only know the latter because, like me, he is Scottish. And yet, if I was not a fellow countryman of this artist I would know several of his paintings prints of his works are amongst the best-selling in the world, often outselling those of Monet and Van Gogh.

Publishers Provocations
I realised not long ago that I had not offered proper congratulations to the newly married couple. I couldnt, for a very good reason, attend the event, and I did send good luck emails beforehand, and posted congratulations and liked all the photos on Facebook during and after, and at one point I even thought of making a video with Katya and Mila that could be sent over and used as a kind of modern day telegram (but dismissed this idea on the grounds it might be deemed wanky).

Publishers Provocations
On my way to work today, I passed several young men dressed in the same way as a Glasgow ned (what the English would now call a chav, and what Ukrainians would call a gopnik). Only people from Glasgow will know what a ned is (as only people from England will know what a chav is), but it has been touted that the word ned is actually an acronym for Non Educated Delinquent.

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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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