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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

Pro and Anti

The EuroMaidan movement may be centred in Kyiv, but its eventual result could be determined in the mainly Russian-speaking cities of Eastern Ukraine. The voices of those away from Ukraines seat of power give a mixed point-of-view Whats On takes a listen to those from the heartland of Government support and finds EuroMaidan is not just dividing Ukraines east and west, its dividing families.

EuroMaidan is shaping up to be an entrenched battle, a political stalemate appears to have settled over Kyiv and neither side seems to have the means to score a decisive blow against the other despite renewed violence on the streets. We talk to people from across Eastern Ukraine both based in Kyiv and outside the capital to get their take on which side of the barricades they stand.

Voices From The East:
Ihor, 28, Myrhorod, Poltava Region
In my home town oof Myrhorod, as in Poltava which is pretty close to us, I would say about 40% of the citizens support EuroMaidan ideas. At the same time, half of the city seems like it doesnt really care about whats going on in Kyiv and there are around 10% of people who are totally against EuroMaidan. Sadly, I think about 70% of youngsters in Myrhorod would join the titushky with great pleasure, as jobs are hard to come by here and 200hrv per day is a good deal for them. I really hope Im wrong with these statistics.

Serhiy, 25, Sevastopol, Crimea
People say different things in Sevastopol, but mostly no one really understand whats going on in Kyiv or why the President cant put an end to the riots. The protestors are fighting for Euro integration, burning militia, and doing whatever they want. Weve always been in good relations with Russia, so why to spoil it? People say activists are coming from Kyiv to Sevastopol and we are ready to protect our city from them. Extreme actions never bring good results.

Oleksandra, 28, Severodonetsk, Lugansk Region
I had trouble with my sense of national identity growing up in an industrial city in the Lugansk region. I left Severodonetsk, my hometown, in 2003 when I turned 18. None of my family members, including me, speak Ukrainian in daily life though we all learnt it in school.
Even still, I support the Ukrainian revolution with all my heart. I participated in the Orange Revolution in 2004, but as I grow older and wiser I see a whole new reason for me to be there with all the other people on Maidan now. I have been greatly disgusted with politics in this country for about 10 years, but Ive never had this sense of I cant stay at home like I do now. My idea of this Ukrainian revolution is as a national struggle for our future, and for future generations. I strongly believe that people living in Ukraine deserve a better life, no matter who they are, what language they speak or what cultural or ethnic background they are from. I despise President Yanukovych and his Party of Regions for ripping off my country economically, and for trying to hide their crimes. The whole reason for them to hold power is to enrich their families, nothing else. My mother supports me and shares the same thoughts about Maidan, but unfortunately she is the only one in my family. My father tries to take a neutral position, but when I ask him what he really thinks he supports the idea of strong connections with Russia, though he knows what it will mean for Ukraine (gas prices, manipulation in the field of international relations, economic and political dependence). I think my father really is a patriot, but he worked for the Russian Federation for more than 20 years.

Olena, 27, Zaporizhya, Zaporizhya Region
People who want to live honestly and fairly came out in support of EuroMaidan. Unfortunately, our country does not educate us to be humane and respect other people. As a result the government or rather uneducated officials do not allocate funds for the development of modern science, medicine, or the arts. Our country lags behind all other indices of the civilised world. Corruption, bribery and nepotism runs in the veins of our officials. I was saddened to see in the media events back home in Zaporizhya. Officials can choose to react differently to peaceful demonstrations; it is absolutely not acceptable when alongside the police are unknown perpetrators armed with sticks attacking peaceful demonstrators. Its shameful for Zaporizhya! Not just the shame of a city but shame for the whole of Ukraine! There are different opinions, but all of them are united by one our country is going backwards. Ukraine could become a developed country, strong competitor to other European countries. We need to stop talking of getting rid of corruption, and actually prove it in deeds, be open and honest in our business dealings. These are the changes we need, and we must ensure these changes happen in a peaceful and civilised way.

Roman, 31, Simferopol, Crimea
I was pleasantly surprised by the unity shown by Ukrainian people in fighting for a better future and fighting against a corrupted government. The EuroMaidan movement has actually shown everyone that Ukrainians really can stand up and fight for their rights and ideas. I support EuroMaidan, even though my parents and most of my friends who live in Crimea do not. They still support Yanukovych; they are still blinded by the idea that Russia and Ukraine are forever united by bonds of blood, religion, culture and history. But in my opinion, joining the EU is a step forward for our country, if we are wise and do not waste this opportunity.

Dasha, 25, Teplohorsk, Lugansk Region
I dont support Maidan. Here (Eastern Ukraine), people are working and the west (of Ukraine) is just drifting. We give money to the budget on time, but theres not much money coming from the west and thats why theres a budget deficit, no pensions, and salaries arent paid on time. We all need to work and then everything will be good.

Tetyana, 18, Tokmak, Zaporizhya Region
Thank God everything is peaceful in our city so basically theres nothing to talk about.

Masha, 25, Stakhanov, Lugansk Region
Of course, Im not supporting it (EuroMaidan). Theres no point in talking about it. This is obvious.

Elena, 45, Sevastopol, Crimea
Im categorically against any form of lawless acts and methods of protest. I take whats happening in the country as nothing more than a simple lawless attempt to overthrow the government. Fascist, nationalists, and other marginal groups have shown their true faces on Maidan. The opposition is not controlling the situation and doesnt have the power. I dont see any point in an Association Agreement with the EU at this stage of Ukraines development.

Kateryna, 34, Alchevsk, Lugansk Region (currently lives in Moscow)
Of course, Ive heard about Maidan. Some sort of protest with burning tyres and shooting. But Im not sure what its all about, and Im not really interested. Sounds like déjà vu...

Oleksandr, 50, Sevastopol, Crimea
Im totally against whats happening on Maidan. The opposition is not the whole of Ukraine (and the last elections prove it). It does not take responsibility for whats happening and does not have a straight-forward programme or adequate leader. They change their demands all the time. I think the actions of extremists are financed by the US and the EU. Visits from officials from the West, their pleas to overthrow legally elected authority, and intimidation with sanctions are unacceptable for the sovereignty of Ukraine. Im sure if extremist actions like these happened in those countries (in the EU and the US) they would be stamped out very quickly.

Tamara, 54, Stakhanov, Lugansk Region
I saw how they (protestors) left Lviv City Council. Everything was clean. No garbage, because they tried to keep what was their home clean and tidy. Real Europeans.In Kyiv theyre damaging everything. And whos going to pay for the reconstruction? I think this is the wrong way. They should learn to negotiate at the table, like normal people and not barbarians.

Unfortunately, the divide is not limited to the east and west of the country, but within Kyiv as well. And just like EuroMaidan supporters, those against have harnessed the power of social media to push their point. Of a number of AntiMaidan Facebook pages, groups and events an example of the latter called Kyivites Against the Sh*t on Maidan (Kyivlany Protiv SracheMaidana) boasts more than 2,300 people who committed to taking part in a citizens attempt to clear the EuroMaidan protest site. While the cleanup crews failed to materialise, the numbers who stated they would take part spoke volumes. Whats On made attempts to get in touch with the pages administrators Ivan Protsenko, Tatyana Taran, and Kristina Hubbezoglu for comment, none of whom were forthcoming.

by Jared Morgan and Vadym Mishkoriz 

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Read also:
  • Nebesna Sotnya
  • Darkness, Flames and The Screams of My Soul
  • A Drink to Go with the Food
  • EuroMaidan Celebrities Weigh In
  • The Fight for Freedom

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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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