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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 Today

As the old song puts it, For every 10 girls there are always nine boys. The competition to find a husband is intense in Ukraine, giving Svetlana Mitrofanova, head of the Kyiv Brides School, a market opening. Whats On looked into the Schools how-to-get-yourself-hitched programme.

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Hes an unsung hero of independent Ukraine: Scotsman Jim Gillies, a 66-year-old retired electrician who over the years has raised 17,000 pounds for a needy hospital in Malin, a village in the Chornobyl zone.

Twenty years have passed since Ukraine registered its first AIDS case. Whats On talked to two HIV-positive Ukrainians about their experiences in a country that has developed the most savage HIV/AIDS epidemic in Europe and Central Asia.

Three years after the Orange Revolution, when the euphoria has long passed and following infighting, stagnation, and constant reshuffling in the government, its time to ask: what exactly did the thrilling events of late 2004 change?

Despite widespread suppression over the centuries by both the Poles and the Russians, Ukrainian today is actually one of the world's widest-spread languages, spoken by more than 50 billion people in Ukraine and abroad,

Ukrainians like to make jokes about their countrys foibles. Take the countrys Soviet-era heating system. How do you regulate the heat, given that half the year you cant turn on your own radiators, and for the other half of the year you cant turn them off?

Russia sent a Shockwave through the western world when it turned off the gas supply to Ukraine in January 2006. Following the 30 September elections when the Orange parties came out on top, Russia threatened to do so again, citing Ukraine's debt as the reason while denying any political motivation. It is likely the threat of such drastic action will remain hanging over the country's head unless Ukraine becomes energy self-sufficient. According to the experts, this could well become a possibility,

It's Teachers' Day this week, so all the teachers, lecturers and professors in the country will be bundled up with bunches of flowers having little parties to celebrate themselves. Here at What's On we wish them all well, and recognise that, as the country's educators are not paid very well, it is perhaps understandable that they supplement their incomes a little. So along with our congratulations, we thought it would be the perfect time to offer our guide to students by informing them of the best ways to get a good mark from your teacher.

As with many countries, child abandonment in Ukraine is a serious issue with many children all over the country ending up in children's homes. National adoption is always the tirst choice, but, even with a large number of families in the country looking to adopt, many kids, especially older ones, are left behind. International adoption is often the last chance for these children to have a happy family life,
Last year, Yuri Pavlenko, then minister for the Department of Family and "Vbuth stated at a press conference that 1,419 Ukrainian children were adopted nationally, and 2,156 internationally in the year 2005. Due to a perceived lack of control, Ukraine closed to international adoption for most of 2006, but opened once more at the beginning of this year.

The elections are upon us and for the main political parties its a final sprint for the finish. The conventional wisdom is that four forces Party of Regions (PRU), the Our Ukraine-Peoples Self-Defense (OUPSD) bloc, the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc (BYUT) and the Communist Party (CPU) are strong enough to pass the 3 percent vote threshold and enter the Rada.According to the results of the last Monitoring Centre poll, some 27.2% of voters are ready to pull the lever for the PRU, 26.8% for BYUT, and 10.9% for OU-PSD. The CPU is expected to barely squeak over the vote threshold. The Volodymyr Lytvyn bloc, with its centrist strategy and its debatable Ukraine needs Lytvyn slogan, is a long shot for inclusion in the next legislative session. Worryingly for many, late runner the Kuchma party is gaining momentum at a frightening rate, and some recent polls already have them out front. Heres Whats Ons breakdown of the four main forces platforms.

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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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