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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

Last week Russias President Putin announced an ambitious quarter billion dollar programme to lure ethnic Russians cast adrift by the collapse of the Soviet UNI0N home. Addressing a Congress of Compatriots in St. Petersburg Putin pledged his full support for those who decide to return to Russia, adding we understand that the overwhelming majority of Russian speakers abroad ended up there against their will. At present the most interest in returning to Russia has come from the Central Asian republics and Ukraine.

It is common knowledge in Russia today that malicious Estonia and aggressive Georgia are out to conquer Russia and divide up the loot afterward. While addressing the current wave of anti-Georgian xenophobia currently sweeping Russia Moscow-based social research specialist Yury Levada of the Levada Centre polling agency suggesting last week that Russian popular opinion may be overly susceptible to manipulation via the countrys Kremlin-controlled media

Three cheers for Belarus democracy fighter and opposition leader Alyaksandr Milinkevich, who has won the European Parliaments human rights award for 2006. The award, titled the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought was given to Milinkevich for succeeding to unite the opposition forces in Belarus and expressing the desire of a large part of Belarus society to restore democratic rights and political freedoms in the country. For his part Milinkevich commented modestly the whole Belarus nation deserves this prize rather than me personally.

A European Commission study has revealed that Ukrainians top the list of East European countries when it comes to sending money home from Western Europe. The survey estimates that a grand total of 152 million dollars was sent back to Ukraine in 2004, largely from Portugal, Latvia and Lithuania. The figures involved are thought to be a significant underestimate but do accurately reflect general trends. An estimated five million Ukrainians are currently working legally and illegally throughout the EU, with top destinations being Italy, Spain and Portugal. Many send cash home to support family members and also pay for their childrens education. Morocco topped the overall list, with thrifty Moroccans currently working in Europe sending back an estimated 1.5 billion dollars in 2004.

Every week we publish an unusual view of a well−known Kyiv building, monument or landmark, and ask you to try and guess what it is. Send you answers in to whatson@tmu.in.ua and you may get a mention in the next weeks issue! Last weeks WAS IST DAS!?! was the Samson monument in Podil, considered by experts to be the puniest depiction of the strongman in the world. Congratulations to Aidan Broderick, Anna Tubolets, Olga Pruska, Vasyl Romanyuk and everyone else who guessed right.

1 (Comments)

Meddling American lawmakers have put a distinct downer on men looking to import their dream wife from Ukraine and other internet marriage hotspots by introducing new legislation designed to protect future wives from abusive partners. This summer the immigration service froze 10,000 visa applications for foreign fiancees because they did not conform to the new law. This is an unequal partnership where you have somebody dependent on somebody in a profound way, said Senator Sam Brown− back. It puts women at a significant dis− advantage in a potentially violent situa− tion, he reasoned, clearly without having much experience of the dynamic ladies who dominate the Kyiv sexpat scene. In− cidences of violence in internet marriages is not thought to be particularly high, but the inherent inequality of such marriages often mean that in practice the woman is forced to accept unsavoury conditions. Last year 37,500 women entered the US on fiancee visas, many of them from the former USSR.

Goal shy Andriy Shevchenko finally broke his drought 22 October with the opener against Portsmouth in a 2−1 win for Chelski in the English Premier League. Shevchenko had previously gone nine games without a goal in Eng− land, his worst run of form in some years, but the 74 million dollar man hit the target for only his third goal in a Chelski shirt, which averages out at approximately ten million pounds sterling per goal. Such was the strikers delight he celebrated by jumping into a pack of Chelski fans, and was subsequently booked for his over− excited celebration.

The earthly remains of Ukrainian nationalist icon Stepan Bandera are to be returned to his native Lviv and reburied in a new grave within Lycharkiv cemetery in a special ceremony planned for 7 November, it was announced earlier this week. Until now the nationalist leader had been buried in Munich, where he was assassinated by KGB opera− tives in 1959.

Every week we publish an unusual view of a well-known Kyiv building, monument or landmark, and ask you to try and guess what it is. Send you answers in to whatson@tmu.in.ua and you may get a mention in the next weeks issue!

Last weeks WAS IST DAS!?!
was the TSUM building on Khreschatyk

2 (Comments)

When it comes to naming the biggest star to emerge from the wreckage of the former Soviet UNI0N you can forget Klitschko, Sheva, Tatu, Kornikova and Princess Yulia; the man who takes that title is surely be faux Kazakh reporter Borat, a comedic creation of British joker Sacha Baron Cohen who is getting belly laughs all over the world for his ridiculous send up of the central Asian republic. Cohen first became notorious for his Ali G character, who played on the popularity of black street culture among young British Pakistani males, but his Borat persona has gone much further, reaching inter-governmental levels of scandal and provoking the Kazakh government to recently taking out a four-page ad in the New York Times to defend itself against the ridiculous claims made by Borat.

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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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