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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 Cars

An Innocent That Gets Down and Dirty

The Ford Focus is an innocuous-looking car that, while being comparatively stylish for a car in its class, wouldnt worry you if it was sitting next to you at a streetlight, revving its engine and nudging forward as if ready to race. In fact, seeing it might put a patronising smile on your face and not for a second nudge you out of your sense of superiority. But if its the Focus Titanium sitting next to you, that sense of superiority could well prove to be your undoing.
The first thing to say about this car is you have to be able to drive to drive it. You cant just put go on one pedal and stop on the other and direct the thing with the big round thing you hold in your hands, so if you bought your license then look elsewhere, because this car is a proper car with a gear stick and a clutch. While many bemoan such things as cumbersome, they are wrong.

A manual transmission gives you far more control and, in my opinion, the only true driving experience.
With a 2 litre petrol engine that puts out 145 BHP, the Focus Titanium gets from 0-100 km/h (0-60 mph) in 9.3 seconds according to the manufacturers, but I have to say theyre selling themselves short. If youre the one sitting in this car with some pointless huge fuel-guzzling giant sitting beside you at the lights, have some fun. Rev the engine, nudge forward, look for the patronising smile ensuring that a sense of superiority is instilled in your rival and, as the lights turn green, laugh tyrannically as you leave your foe behind.
You wouldnt think it possible with the performance figures quoted above, but believe me, I tested it and it works. Yes, I allowed myself to regress to the age of 24 when I got in behind the wheel of the Ford Focus. On the outside it may look innocent, especially the saloon version I was testing, but once youre sitting in the drivers seat you get a whole different impression.
With leather-trimmed racing seats, a three-spoke sports steering wheel, silver-trimmed black dials, a top-notch Sony 8-speaker sound system and a groovy little gearshift, the Focus feels a lot different on the inside than it does on the outside. It feels like a boy racer, and thats how the Ford Focus Titanium crosses over from being a practical car about town that comfortably seats four people and has plenty of boot space into a sporty little fiend thats a huge amount of fun to drive.
Now, I say its spacious on the inside, but when I first climbed in behind the wheel I felt a bit like a kangaroo trying to hide in a cupboard my head was pressed against the roof and there just wasnt enough legroom. I quickly found the height adjuster, which solved the headroom problem, but even with the seat all the way back still I was some way from a comfortable driving position. But then I found a little button on the front of the seat. I pressed it and felt things moving. It took me a minute or two to figure out what, but then I realised the pedals were moving away from me. Now thats a nifty sort of trick Ive never quite come across before.
These moving pedals mean that you can find yourself the perfect driving position, even when youve got legs as long as mine, without encroaching too much into the rear passenger space, leaving everyone nice and comfortable.
Ford boasts Control Blade rear suspension in this car that, they say, allows the rear wheels to adjust independently of each other to bumps and undulations. Sounds good, and it is. The Ford Focus gives a smooth and comfortable ride, and handles very well around town. It can mount pavements with ease, but the bumper panel is a little low so be careful if youre wanting to park up on a higher curb. Potholes and tram tracks, however, arent a problem, and the car corners easily without any roll.
This, as I said, is an innocent-looking car, so its not going to instantly catch the eye of any damsel digging for gold, but then again, its not a huge 4x4 and so removes any question of compensation on the part of the driver. This car conveys the message: Hey, Im secure in all aspects of my character, and dont need my car to say things I cant. And that should be a persuasive argument for all but the most ardent money-grabber.
For the traffic jams, this car has an excellent sound system complete with CD and MP3 player, and theres plenty to twiddle and play with to keep yourself occupied. Once youve battled your way through the gridlock and get yourself out onto the open road, the Focus does a grand job there as well. With a top speed of 210km/h (130 mph), its going to get you where you want to go as quick as safety requires.
All in all, I was well impressed with the Ford Focus. For an all- round family car, it covers all the bases and has a lot extra thrown in as well. The price tag of around $35,000 might be a little on the high side, but you get a lot of drive for your dollar.

Neil Campbell

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Comments (4)
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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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