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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...

A Woman on a Mission

When one speaks of a traveller who has traversed thousands of miles, and an inspector who instils fear and loathing into the very core of local restaurant and hotel-owners, the image of a big, burly, bearded man comes to mind. The fact is, however, that Ukraines severest critic and most restless traveller is none other than the delicate, golden-haired Olha Freimut.

Youll be hard-pressed to find a Ukrainian who doesnt know Olha. As the host of four television shows, she has literally been in the living room of almost every home in the country. Whether its wishing viewers a good day on the Snidanok and Pidyom morning shows, inspecting and critiquing hotels and restaurants all over Ukraine in Revisor, or travelling the country on CabrioLeto, revealing some of the most charming locales this is what people know and love her for.

The nickname Tele-blond stuck to Freimut when she left the Snidanok (Breakfast) morning show on 1+1 for its competitor, Pidyom (Wake Up) on Noviy Channel, in 2008. Together, along with colleagues Oleksandr Pedan and Serhiy Prytula, the threesome went about waking up the nation every weekday. 
In contrast to funny men Pedan and Prytulya, Olha brought a more serious side to the programme, recounting news and stories of the day. She had a natural rapport with the camera, which is in big part thanks to her degree in international journalism from Lviv National University, and later a masters from City University London. Olha herself will admit, however, that both of the morning shows she was involved in taught her far more than any class ever prepared her for. 
Her next step was an interesting one, especially since there was a time when Freimut honestly admits that being in show-business was never something she saw herself doing. Regardless, in 2011, the starry trio broke to allow for a new show to hit the Ukrainian television market Revisor. Premiering earlier this year, the premise had her going into restaurants and hotels unannounced, revealing the nitty gritty of various Ukrainian establishments. Tearing many of these venues to shreds, airing things owners of these places would never want to get out, it was immediately popular. We had to cut out some of the most disgusting scenes, as there were children who watched the show, examples of which included a used condom found underneath a mattress in one hotel room, squished cockroaches left to rot in a restaurant in Sevestopil, a wooden spoon with teeth prints still being used in a restaurant in Khmelnitsky, woodlouse crawling the walls in a rather prestigious restaurant in Yalta I could go on 

The Call of the Road
With 24 episodes shot and aired since January this year, Olha has become an expert at differentiating between Ukrainian and European establishments: Most restaurant and hotel owners here are not in business because they love it. They do it because it makes them money and it shows. That said, it would be unfair to say that everything here is bad, as the self-proclaimed critic recalls a small, provincial B&B in Khmelnitsky, run by a pleasant old man, who clearly gave it the proper love and attention it deserved. It just goes to show that there are a few good family businesses around you just have to look. 
Finishing her last episode of Revisor this June, Freimut was already involved with another new show by July, called CabrioLeto. Reuniting with Pedan and Prytula, the trio took to the road in a nice, new cherry BMW Cabriolet, ploughing the Ukrainian terrain all summer long. I have to admit, CabrioLeto was more like going on vacation than it was work, and as such, there was a risk in presenting the show over the summer. But it turns out that people really enjoyed it, and rather than putting together a CabrioAutumn here in Ukraine, perhaps well do a CabrioLeto in Paris or New York! 
Four successful projects later, and Olha is really enjoying life. Still, the days and weeks of a TV star are not all sugar and spice. With a young daughter at home, they miss each other terribly when Olhas gone for work. Its one of the reasons Zlata has begun accompanying her mother on location. I want her to see I work hard, that I am providing for her future.  

Check out Olha Freimut in CabrioLeto every Saturday at 10.00 on Noviy Channel

Vadym Mishkoriz

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Comments (1)
You are not authorized! Only registered and authorized users can add their comments!
Buffie | 01.04.2013 08:33

Didn't know the forum rules aollewd such brilliant posts.

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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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