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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.


On the Sofa with...

If Ukraine is to eventually join the EU, a significant amount of the groundwork would have been done by Dr. Jolanta Taczynska. As head of the Ukrainian-European Policy and Legal Advice Centre (UEPLAC), Jolanta and her team are responsible for bringing Ukrainian law, both civil and corporate, into harmonisation with that of the EU. Its a long process and one which the legal expert, spurred on by the events of the Orange Revolution which she personally witnessed, relishes. The EU may be but a distant dream to some, but Jolanta is quietly confident that for Ukraine it isnt too far off.

For thirteen years Bill Emmott was one of the most influential media men in the world. As Chief Editor of renowned current affairs and business weekly The Economist, Emmott was in a position not only to shape public opinion but also influence policy makers throughout the world, from Washington to the Kremlin. Whats On caught up with the seasoned journalist during his recent master class in Kyiv for business journalists, to talk about post-Soviet society, and freedom of the press in particular.

One of Ukraines leading young artists in the 1970s and 1980s, Mykola Zalevsky was nonetheless known only to a handful of people, as the painters hyper-realistic style forced him to go underground with his works. Having immigrated to America in the early 1990s, Zalevsky returned to Kyiv to open his I Remember collection in Kyiv, the first time his works have been displayed officially in the Ukrainian capital.

Gauging the nations opinion is never easy and was particularly hard prior to the Orange Revolution, with the general public feeling jaded and despondent after a bombardment of political propaganda coming from all sides. But while people may still be reluctant to give their opinion, top pollster Andriy Bychenko has noticed that those who do want to speak out about are generally more optimistic about the nations future.

Despite being only two years old, Yulia Cherniavskayas production company Production.ua has already made an impact on the television schedules. The company made an immediate impact with its debut offering, The Obsession of St. Patrick, a wide ranging costume drama starting with the Knights Templar and ending in the present day. Directed by the brilliant Andrey Benkendorf, the series starred Vasiliy Lanovoy, Olga Sumska, Daniil Spivakovsky, Les Serdyuk and Oleg Vasilkov and went on to scoop two awards at the VII International Movie Forum in Crimea. Yulia puts the success of this project down to the fact that today people miss good stories about humanitys condition, and respond well to them when they see them. Over the past year Production.ua has shot six feature films which are due to be screened in Ukraine, the CIS, and abroad sometime in the near future.

A whirlwind of activity, former champion gymnast Stella Zakharova is certainly a woman who knows how to get things done. A goal orientated person with a passion for her country and the citizens of tomorrow, the Olympic gold medalist has ruffled feathers in her bid to improve the state of gymnastics in this country, and her belief that many local charities are nothing but an excuse for undignified VIP love-ins. Sporting champion, patriot, and fundraiser, there are few who can match this Soviet hero in terms of passion, determination, and good intentions.

Ninety-three year old Vasyl Kuk is one of the last surviving members of the leadership of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) which fought both Nazis and Soviets during WWII and enjoyed particular infamy in the USSR. Last weekend saw the group organise a major demonstration in Kyiv to mark the anniversary of their foundation, provoking rival anti-UPA rallies and raising tensions among many Ukrainians. We asked this senior UPA man to share his thoughts on the historic events he has lived through and helped shape.

Kyiv is fast becoming a major regional air traffic hub with the number of flights increasing all the time and the international airport undergoing constant improvements. The air travel industry is also attracting more and more senior professionals such as Friedrich Burger, the new Ukrainian country manager for Austrian Airlines who arrived in Kyiv earlier this month to oversee the expansion of the airlines operations in this fast emerging market.

Since June of this year, Comedy Club Ukraine in Arena has been pushing back the boundaries of humour. Every Saturday night an audience of the local great and good gather to enjoy a serving of satirical sketches and stand-up which lampoon politics and the growing cult of celebrity in the capital. The man largely responsible for this comedy revolution is the clubs producer Maxim Ledokol Bahmatov, and Whats On caught up with the funny-man to see just what Comedy Club is all about.

Well-known Kyiv beauty Lilya is best known as the face behind the Miss Ukraine beauty franchise, but while she is most readily associated with preening princesses and forced barbie doll smiles, the Kyivlanka is currently displaying an unexpected sense of humour and irony as the husband-hunting star of new 1+1 comedy 'Let's Get Married'.


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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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