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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.


What's On Archive 42 (2008)

42 (2008)/2008
13 November - 19 November
Comedy Kings
Talking With Comedy Club Kyiv-Style Stars Sergey Prytula and Alexander Pedan

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From the Editor (42) - Editorial
I know something about politicians who run their countries into the ground, but whats going on in official Kyiv strains belief. Consider this. In order to qualify for the $16.4 billion International Monetary Fund loan that just might prop up Ukraines economy, the Rada had to pass preparatory legislation. Of course it finally did pass it, and the IMF loan is coming, but one reason the legislation took so long is that President Yushchenkos party tried to slip a campaign finance loan into the bill. That is, it tried to use this crucial bill to help forward the Presidents kooky project to hold December elections. Those elections, of course, represent Yushchenkos latest attempt to destroy Prime Minister Tymoshenko, with whom the President is obsessed in that creepy way in which a frustrated 15-year-old boy might be obsessed with the good-looking, catty girl at school.


Say Goodbye to Money Exchange Points - Whats Up?
Chalk them up as another casualty of the financial crisis: Kyivs money exchange points. Those ubiquitous features of the city will disappear with the new year according to National Bank Decree Number 353, an apparent attempt to gain control over and rationalise a monetary system thats teetering on the brink. The decree also obliges banks to sell currency at the official National Bank rate, and to buy it at a rate no cheaper than three percent less of the sale price.


Transportation Fare Hike Spurs Protests - Whats Up?
So now a ride on the citys dependable (if dilapidated) transit lines, including its trusty (if crowded) metro, will set you back two hryvnia, or quadruple what it cost before last Tuesday. The government had been mumbling about the increase for a while, so it wasnt surprising. But it was abrupt. One day youre sliding your gummy 50-kopeck piece over to the nice women behind the kasa glass, and the next you have to dig in your wallet for a wrinkled pink-orange two-hryvnia bill. Presumably the financial crisis and rising energy prices led to the decision, but youd think a fiscal crunch thats hitting citizens as hard as the government would militate against so sudden and drastic a hike.


More Ukrainians Tie the Knot in 2008 - Whats Up?
The weekends at the countrys ZAGS facilities have been busy this year. According to the Justice Ministry, over 106,000 couples were married between July and September of this year, more than double the number married in the same months last year. Those figures came on the heels of a busy April to June, when 48,000 people were married - good news indeed, in a part of the world with a falling population. You might have noticed such a trend yourself, if you spend anytime up there on the Uzviz, watching the couples shift impatiently while they eye the steep stairs up to Andriyivsky Church, then later descend in a rush of black and bridal white, climb into the sleek rental, and speed off to the reception, the dancing and the booze.


Taming the Celling-and-Driving Craze - Whats Up?
Reports in the media have it that those upstanding gentlemen in the State Auto-Inspection Ukraines traffic cops will soon be cracking down on drivers who talk on the cellphone while tooling down the city streets, or down sidewalks, or across parks, or through childrens playgrounds. In an interview with Gazeta 24 TV news, a certain traffic policeman named Serhiy Budnik said, This is one of the worst traffic-related problems we have these days. Mobile phone conversations used to be exotic, but now theyre one of the leading causes of accidents. One in four traffic accidents in Ukraine are the result of someone talking on a cellie behind the wheel.


Obama and Ukraine: Different Tone, Same Policies - Whats Up?
Change! Hope! Thats what US President-Elect Obamas constituency expects from him. Ukrainians, at least as far as we can tell anecdotally, preferred Obama to his opponent John McCain, but theyre probably too realistic to believe that an Obama administration will usher in a radical change in terms of US policy toward this part of the world. Said Obama after he was elected, And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand. That sort of soaring American rhetoric doesnt play so well overseas, much less in Eastern Europe, so it was no surprise when, a few days later, local boy Borys Tarasyuk, Ukraines former foreign minister, responded: If you ask any serious Ukrainian politician whether a Democrat or a Republican US president is better for Ukraine, he or she will reply that ultimately there is really no great difference. And this is the truth.


Ukrainian Dissident Hero Poet Vasyl Stus - Ukrainian Culture
The year 2008 is officially the year of Vasyl Stus in Ukraine. Had the KGBs labour camps not destroyed the Ukrainian poet, translator and literary critic, he would be 70 this year. In commemoration, the state has released a jubilee coin and a jubilee envelope emblazoned with an image of the man, and over a hundred events in his honour are being held across Ukraine. A look into the life of a great Ukrainian martyr and cultural hero.
Vasyl Stus was born in Vinnytsya oblast on Christmas Eve in 1938. Later his parents were sent to work at a chemical factory in the city of Stalino (today Donetsk). After receiving a diploma as a teacher of Ukrainian language and literature, Vasyl went to work in a school in Kirovograd oblast. While there, he began to publish his poetry in literary magazines, and in 1963 he became a PhD student at the Institute of Literature of Ukraine, which marked the beginning of his prolific Kyiv period.


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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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