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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 Cars

The Most Beautiful Car in the World!

The Jaguar XK series was first launched in 1996, and in my humble opinion it was the most stylishly beautiful and elegant car ever produced. Twelve years later, it still is.
Look at it. Just look at it. Takes your breath away doesnt it? If this car was a woman it would be Cindy Crawford, Daryl Hannah, Raquel Welsh, Keira Knightley, Jennifer Aniston and Olga Kurylenko all added together and thats just the looks, she would also have the graceful athleticism of Anna Kournikova, the sophistication of Jacqui Onassis, the brains of Marie Curie and the imagination of Mary Shelley. Simply put, this is the most beautiful car ever made And thats not all.

Listen to it. Just listen to it Oh, you cant, but trust me, this car also makes the most beautiful noise in the world. Its a growl that turns into a roar with a press of the accelerator, but its not animal, its music. This car, of course, has a state of the art music system, but why would you need it? When youre in this car all you want to hear is the mesmerising sound of the engine.
Climbing into this car is like getting inside auto heaven. Theres something sensual, yet divine about the experience. This all-leather and wood-trimmed interior is the ultimate in sports car luxury comfortable and spacious. The seats are electronically adjustable in all directions, and this car has something Ive never seen before you can adjust the sides of the sports seats in or out so it snugly fits your back! How cool is that?
The dash and gadgetry are elegantly simple: it doesnt need lots of flashing lights and buttons. In fact, anything like that would be sacrilegious in a car built in heaven, as this surely must have been. That said, everything you need is here, all controlled by a touch screen display. Theres the aforementioned top quality audio system with a frontloading 6-way CD player, GPS system, climate control, well laid out dials and phone. But thats not mentioning the best thing about this car. The best thing about this car is that at the press of a button the roof folds away into the rear. Yes, this is a fully automatic convertible, and thats got to impress the pants off anyone.
This XK is controlled by a proximity sensor you can keep in your pocket. To unlock it all you have to do is pull the handle, and to start it you just put your foot on the brake and press a button. Then sit back for a second or two and listen to that sound. Press the accelerator a couple of times And listen to that sound, while scaring the bejesus out of passersby, especially elderly ones who will look over their shoulders at you in disgust. And when that happens, you just know youve reached the top level of cool.

Divine Driving
Driving this car is simply one of the most pleasurable experiences known to man, and is akin to making love to all the above-mentioned ladies at the one time (only an assumption of my part of course, because I have driven the XK, but have only made love to four of these ladies and all on separate occasions, so far at least). Not only that, but driving one of these things is going to go a long way to assisting a person in seducing such beautiful damsels probably more than just about any car on the planet. Get yourself one of these and youve got me, thats a dead cert.
This car is a machine that wants to move. It doesnt want to be stuck in endless traffic jams. In fact, it really gets quite peeved in such situations. So the first thing you have to do is get it out on the open road, or take it to Chaika racetrack as I did. Thats when the fun really begins.
Of course, with a 4.2 litre engine putting out 298 bhp theres no need to even mention that this car goes thats a given. From a standing start youre doing 100km/h in only 5.3 seconds, and with an electronic limiter, it tops out at a scarily fast 250km/k, which is going to beat everything but a super car when youre late night drag racing down Lesi Ukrainka Boulevard, and youre going to look a damn sight better doing it. With active suspension and traction control, you can throw this into a corner at a velocity youd think would have to throw it off the track, yet this car defies gravity and stays where it should be. But thats no fun. With the press of a button the active suspension and traction control are off, and then its just you and machine against the road. Now thats what makes life worth living.
Now when you push it into a curve too fast it slides, and it slides beautifully. A touch of reverse steer and you can glide it round the bend like a rally driver; a flick of your wrist, it corrects with precision and youre off again down the straight, wondering how fast you can throw it into the next corner and remain on the road. The car has a 6-speed automatic transmission with a sports option, and you can control it manually with switches on the steering wheel just like an F1 car. Stamp on the breaks, throw it into a long, sharp bend, drop down into second, kick your foot down on the gas and smile broadly at the roar it makes as you take off again.
The Jaguar XK is low slung, so its not ideal for mounting pavements for parking, but the suspension is quality and it handles all but the most severe of Kyivs potholes with ease and majesty. Finally, this car is the most beautiful car in the world, and its easily going to get you the most beautiful women too.

Neil Campbell

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Comments (1)
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fabulous | 20.03.2009 00:44

go head

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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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