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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.


Ukraine Today

Dissecting the Verkhovna Rada

The Verkhovna Rada literally Supreme Council of Ukraine is the highest legislative body in the country. It consists of 450 deputies from various parties across the political spectrum. According to constitutional changes made in 2011, the Rada is elected every five years. The world gets an insight into the work of Ukraines politicians, or deputies, for all the wrong reasons when they brawl, when they rig votes, and now as the power-holders battle for political survival against the opposition and half the Ukrainian population.

The most recent Parliamentary elections of 28 October 2012 were not met with a lot of enthusiasm among Ukrainians voters with only a 56.76% turnout. While carefully watched by international observers, who declared them legitimate, rumours of coercion and other violations abounded. Out of 22 parties, people supported only five at the ballot box: The Party of Regions, the Communist Party, Batkivshchyna, Udar and Svoboda. As a result, 445 deputies were elected in 2012 with five chosen in 2013 to complement them. These parties for better or worse now govern the country; Whats On takes a closer look at each of them.

Party of Regions
The Central Election Committee announced 6,116,815 people voted for the Party of Regions in 2012 equal to 30% of voter turnout. It garnered the Party 186 places in parliament. The faction now consists of 204 deputies giving the party the most votes in the Rada. They easily reach a majority of 226 votes thanks to the support of the Communist Party and non-factional or independent deputies. After being elected as President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych changed his title from Party of Regions Chairman to Honoured Leader of the Party. Former Prime Minister of Ukraine Mykola Azarov is now the Chairman of the party. Most of the ministers in the Cabinet of Ministers are drawn from the partys ranks, as is the Speaker of Verkhovna Rada Volodymyr Rybak, who is also the founder of the party, created in 1997.

Batkivshchyna Party
The second highest number of seats in Parliament went to the Batkivshchyna Party with 5,208,390 (25.54%) people ticking them on ballot papers. Headed by Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who is substituting the imprisoned Yulia Tymoshenko, Batkivshchyna received 105 places in parliament, however their faction has only 90 votes. The party has been represented in parliament since 2002. In 2012, Batkivshyna was reinforced with members of Reformy I Poryadok, Narodniy Rukh Ukrainy, Front Peremen, Za Ukrainu! Narodna Samooborona, Hrazhdanska Pozytsiy and others, which combined created the so-called United Opposition Batkivshchyna.

Udar Party
Vitaliy Klitchkos Udar Party finished in third place receiving the approval of 2,847,878 (13.96%) voters and earning 40 seats in parliament. So far, Udars faction has been bolstered by support from two independents now holding 42 votes in total. In 2010, what was then the Nova Kraina party was rebranded Udar and Vitaliy Klitchko was elected as its leader. The rebrand has paid off with the party steadily increasing in popularity.

Svoboda Party
The fourth party in terms of seats is Svoboda led by Oleh Tyahnybok. In 2012, Svoboda received 2,129,906 votes or 10.44% of the turnout. It gave them 37 places in parliament. Now the number of the deputies in faction has decreased by one member. Founded in 1991, Svoboda Party remains solid probably thanks to their radically-nationalistic ideas.

Communist Party
Probably the oldest party in the country, the Communist Party of Ukraine was supported by 2,687,246 (13.18%) Ukrainians earning 32 seats in parliament. Today that number remains the same; obviously the party doesnt play a huge role however it backs up the Party of Regions to reach the majority threshold for votes on legislation. The leader of the Communists Petro Symonenko has chaired the party since it was allowed to make a political comeback in 1993, after being prohibited completely in 1991 when Ukraine gained its independence.

Along with deputies who joined this or that faction in Ukraines parliament there are 43 non-factional deputies or independents. Mostly these are politicians who stood for election without being aligned to a particular party. There are also a couple of deputies representing less popular parties such as Soyuz, Narodna Partia, Edyniy Tsentr and others. The decisions they make and who they support swing and are highly dependent on the political games being played in Verkhovna Rada at the time.

by Vadym Mishkoriz

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Minhajuddin | 05.04.2014 18:22

26.03.2012 ?? 21:20?? ?????? ????? ???? ?????? ?????????????? : ????????????? ab?????????bb ????????? ab???????????? ???????bb ?????? ???? ??????????? The Houe of the rising sun ????????? The Animals . ?? ? ??? ??????????????, ??? ????????????????? ? ???? ??????b?????? ???????????? ????-?????!

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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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