|On the cover|
Tunnelling Towards Hope
|28 February - 6 March 2014|
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 EuroMaidan’s three-month-long protests, made headlines around the globe. It was here, on 19 January the country’s 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.
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.
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|
Provocations & Observations (#3)
I am writing this on Tuesday after the emergency session of the Verkhovna Rada has ended, and I must say, the events of today should be met with some optimism – most of the Black Thursday laws have been repealed and PM Mykola Azarov has been booted out. (Strangely, there are reports he’s already left the country for Austria, and if those are true we wish him a warm welcome there.)
Parliament reconvenes in the morning, after this rag has gone to print, and if you’re reading this you’ll already know the results of that session. But right now, all I know is that they’ll vote on restoring the 2004 Constitution, on disbanding the Berkut and amnesty for the protestors who’ve been arrested.
And the first signs of disagreement between the opposition are already visible. Tyahnybok has stated that his Svoboda party will vote against restoring the 2004 Constitution, giving no other reason than there are bad elements to it. I had a feeling this guy was going to be trouble, and it seems I was right. I can’t think of a worse time for him to go against the other opposition parties and break the unity. But then, he is as close as you can get to a right-wing extremist in the Verkovna Rada, and therefore the one most likely to put a spanner in the works.
Over the past few days there have also been some rather strange actions on the part of the protestors, such as taking the Ministry of Justice building on Horodetskoho. I didn’t really see any good reason as to why this would improve the position of the protestors, and so it seemed an unnecessary provocation. There were better and more worthwhile buildings to take.
We also have to take into consideration the fact that, having made so many concessions today, Yanukovych’s counterpart in Russia is going to be giving him a call this evening, and it’s probable that call will include some serious threats given in some serious language. That may well force our illustrious leader into another U-turn.
Of course, as always, it’s all pure speculation, and we won’t know anything until it happens. We have grounds for optimism and we should welcome it. Let’s hope the government continues down the path it is on – one to conciliation and compromise, and that the opposition remains united and adopts the same attitude.
Kyiv Top Five
They are the names and faces that changed EuroMaidan. Men dedicated to the cause – four of them paid with their lives. Our top five this week takes on a somber note as we pause and pay tribute to the fallen and one man who proved unstoppable. Meanwhile the fate of those missing remains unknown. Lest we forget.
1. Serhiy (Samvel) Nihoyan, 21, died 22 January. Charismatic and oft’ photographed ethnic-Armenian recognisable to anyone at EuroMaidan and now the world.
2. Mykhailo Zhyznevsky, 25, died 22 January. From Belarus he was a dedicated activist and member of the Ukrainian nationalist group UNA-UNSO.
3. Yuriy Verbytskyy, 50, seismologist and EuroMaidan volunteer, found dead in a forest near Kyiv on 22 January.
4. Roman Senik, 45, protester from the Lviv region, died in a Kyiv hospital on 25 January after several operations including an arm amputation.
5. Mykhailo Gavryliuk captured by Berkut on 22 January, beaten and ritually humiliated. He was back on Maidan three days later.
Irony or bad omen, reasons for non-intervention, what isn’t making headlines, and body snatching? EuroMaidan battles for column space and broadcast minutes with...Justin Beiber? It’s that and more in our tweets of the week.
Markham Nolan (@markham) looks for meaning:
Bodes well for Ukraine – Peace doves attacked by crow and seagull seconds after being released by Pope Francis
Anna Frejlev (@Neta_insane) offers her take on why the world sits back:
Kyiv doesn’t threaten world with religious war, nor a nuclear bomb, doesn’t support international terrorism. So no foreign country will help
Ljudmyla Melnyk (@LjudmylaMelnyk) bemoans western media’s lack of interest:
Send @justinbieber to Kyiv so @CNN TV will finally cover the human rights crisis in #Ukraine #Euromaidan
Alec Luhn (@ASLuhn) poses an interesting question as people vanish:
Is Ukraine turning into Argentina? reports prominent #Euromaidan activist Dmitri Bulatov has possibly disappeared
Mykhailo Gavryliuk proves you can’t keep a good man down. On Wednesday 22 January, Gavryliuk was seized as he attempted to help an injured fellow protester. Pinned on the ground by a Berkut member’s boot to his head as other officers photographed the incident, he was later stripped naked in sub-zero temperatures as several officers again posed for photographs and one slapped him on the back of the head. Footage of the latter incident went viral across social media, potentially (although this has not been explained) leading to his release while other protesters still languish in custody. What did Gavryliuk do following his release? He went back to Maidan.
More EuroMaidan Photoshop magic in the form of the Opposition portrayed as Athos, Aramis, and Porthos from the 1978 Soviet musical d’Artagnan and Three Musketeers meeting Viktor Yanukovych. The trio may have clawed back a little positive PR from their “no deal” announcement on Saturday 25 January, but the fact remains only their staunchest supporters are towing their respective party lines. The majority on Maidan are apolitical, on Hrushevskoho Street even more so. People are mistrustful and critical of their leadership and their decisions, and the majority are determined to keep fighting with or without them.
Sochi Olympic organisers are concerned by the unseasonably warm weather. But they’re looking forward to the new downhill water skiing event.
You are not authorized! Only registered and authorized users can add their comments!
Provocations & Observations (#7)
Provocations & Observations (#6)
Provocations & Observations (#5)
Provocations & Observations (#4)
Provocations & Observations (#2)
|Rights We Didn’t 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 don’t understand the meaning of these words.
| Kyiv Culture|
Located on Hrushevskoho Street – the epicentre of EuroMaidan violence, home to battles, blazes and barricades – children’s 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. What’s On meets Mykola Petrenko, art director of the Theatre, to learn more about those who pull the strings behind the show.