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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.


Kyiv Celebrities

Shooting Star

It requires Zen-like concentration, in fact, the concentration required in shooting may be the highest of any sport. Mind and body must be completely still and relaxed to squeeze the trigger, fire and hit the centre of the small target. The best are those with the highest concentration, regulated breathing, and very low resting heart rates. Olena Kostevych is a prime example. Whats On catches up with the Olympic champion to find out about life looking down a barrel.

For Olena Kostevych, 2012 was yet another stellar year in her sporting career. In January, she was named third-best female shooter of 2012 by the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF). While it was a slip on her 2011 position, when she was seeded number one in the world, the ranking depends on votes cast by international journalists, athletes and coaches and demonstrates the esteem she holds in the shooting world. It follows her strong showing at London Olympics where she won two bronze medals in the 10-metre air pistol and 25-metre pistol disciplines.
She is also turning heads not just for her sporting prowess, website Zimbio named her on its list of Hottest Olympic Medallists 2012 profiling the hottest athletes to bring hardware back from London. The London medals add to the Gold she took in the 10-metre air pistol at the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004 and previous achievements. At the age of 17, Kostevych won the 10-metre Air Pistol event at the 2002 ISSF World Shooting Championships. She followed this with a victory in the 2003 ISSF World Cup Final. Now aged 27, when many athletes are slipping past their prime, Kostevych still has a long future ahead of her in a sport that is more mentally than physically challenging. So, what does it take to wield a pistol like a pro?

The Right Fit
Kostevych was active in sport from an early age, but she couldnt find a common language with her coaches. That all changed when she met shooting coach Ihor Cheredinov, whose approach to the then 11-year old turned shooting into entertainment for her. Its a working relationship that has now spanned 16 years. As Kostevych tells it, the shooting range is now her natural habitat and the place she feels most comfortable.
Whether its shooting competitively or just working on technique Kostevych stresses the most important skill a shooter needs is self-control the challenge is having that mental discipline. You should have an inner serenity as we are static while shooting and fighting only against ourselves. We keep our emotions in check, internalise and suppress them so we are always in control. While mental agility is the prime challenge, there are also some physical stresses, Kostevych says. The shooter spends at least four hours a day standing with a gun and all the stress falls on her spine, which she combats with regular gym workouts.
Kostevych says that she has never seen a professional who doesnt battle with their nerves at tournaments. Nerves ramp up yet another notch when you reach the pinnacle of competition the Olympic Games. She went to London with the understanding of the pressure based on her previous Olympic appearances in Beijing in 2008, and after taking the top position on the medal dais at her debut games in Athens. However, she wonders if her Athens performance made her complacent and is disappointed with her results in Beijing where she finished in 26th place for the 25-metre pistol and 31st for the10-metre air pistol. This led to her changing her approach.

A Steady Hand
She became even more disciplined to be in the best shape both physically and mentally before London, Kostevych says. As I was shooting in the first days of the Olympics and our (Ukraines) team hadnt won any medals yet, I felt people were counting on me. I was performing well in 10-metre air pistol and until the finals I was holding silver medal position. However, my French rival and I were fighting for the second and third places and I was really disappointed getting only bronze. Disappointment later turned to surprise, Kostevych says. My second event, 25-metre pistol, was an even greater achievement as I had never thought I was a strong competitor at this particular distance.
In addition to her sporting triumphs, Kostevych is also a holder of another interesting medal. Her 2002 title made her the youngest World Champion in Ukraines history and led to her being awarded with the Olha Knyahynya Medal an award given to women in Ukraine for their achievements that underline femininity. Despite this, Kostevych seems to have gunpowder in her veins to unwind she likes to go to the shooting range to fire off M16s or SKS semi-automatic rifles just to feel the recoil.

Vadym Mishkoriz

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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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