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¹7 (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 EuroMaidan’s three-month-long protests, made headlines around the globe. It was here, on 19 January the country’s 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 ¹ 1 (2009)

¹1 (2009)/2009
23 January - 29 January
Kyiv Renaissance
The Lorenzo de Medici Carnival Comes to the Capital

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From the Editor (1) - Editorial
Coming back to Ukraine from the West after the holidays felt a bit like being helicoptered back into a combat zone after leave: a sense that significant discomforts awaited me on the other side haunted me throughout the weeks I spent back home and became acute as I cabbed it back to Kennedy Airport. The Russians had turned the gas off – again. The Ukrainian economy was cratering – even more. But what can you do? I slumped onto the plane and lost consciousness and tried to forget all about it. As it turned out, waking up on this side, on one of those sunny post-snowfall winter mornings that the weather gods bestow on Kyiv once in a while, was nice. Also, the picture of life in Ukraine that you might have gotten from reading the New York papers wasn’t accurate. No, Ukrainians weren’t sitting around their ovens in their overcoats, lips turning blue in their own apartments (that was the Bulgarians). There was a backlog of gas.


Mayor’s Crony’s Girl Wins Sex-Bomb Prize - Whats Up?
More glory has accrued to Ukrainian womanhood, as 19-year-old Kyiv native Irina Zhuravska has won the honour of being called the Sexiest Woman Alive for the year 2008. Well, there’s a lot of women out there, but who are we to argue? This honour materialised because Zhuravska represented Ukraine at the recent Miss World pageant in Athens, and during the pageant, television viewers could SMS in their opinions about which of the girls on the screen most turned them on, so to speak. Zhuravska garnered the most votes. Right on, baby! Now if you poke around in the right precincts on the Web, you’ll find a poster, designed by the pageant organisers, depicting the lucky winner’s face under the slogans ‘Sexiest Woman Alive’ and, bafflingly, ‘The Sexy Carnival’. Ukrainian women being ogled and called ‘sexy’ by foreigners is, of course, nothing strange.


Chernovetsky Plans ‘Army of Babushkas’ - Whats Up?
Another week, another plan from Kyiv’s mayor, Leonid ‘Cosmos’ Chernovetsky. This time around the plan is related to one of the eccentric city head’s pet projects, cultivating local old people (it’s Chernovetsky’s ability to get out the pensioner vote by means of big promises and social spending that explains why Vitaliy Klitschko is not mayor of Kyiv right now). The mayor wants to set up what he’s calling Best House, a sort of nursing home super-facility for Kyiv’s retirees, where they’ll be able to pass their golden years in comfort, with the best-quality care. Creating such a facility, the mayor said, is “theme number one in my life.” He added, “We’re starting up this project on a mass scale.”


Russians Love Putin for Gas Dispute - Whats Up?
Putin’s refusal to send gas through Ukraine may have ticked off everyone from Kyiv to London, and left some Southern European nations totally without supplies and thus heat in this very chilly winter. But it’s also earned him even more approval back home. So reports a Western source, citing an expert who explains, “The more they criticise Putin abroad and the more they fight with Russia, the greater his political weight grows.” A historically minded observer might note that this is the sort of distraction tactic at which Russia has always excelled (and which has always worked). Got problems at home, like, say, a devaluing ruble and shrinking economy? Pick a fight abroad, then play the innocent victim, then follow it up with a lot of tough-guy rhetoric.


Local Businesses for Sale, Cheap! - Whats Up?
Ukrainian companies and business are seeing some of the most feverish selling activity in years – maybe ever – as the Ukrainian economy declines during this acute financial crisis that’s continuing to do some severe damage to most people’s new year optimism. But not all bad times are bad for everybody, and these days they’re not so bad if you’re in possession of loads of hard Western currency. Given the hryvnya’s decline over the past several months, Western currency holders have their pick of Ukrainian enterprises to buy for a relative song from native owners. Those owners prefer getting some sum of hard currency now, even if it’s less than they would have liked to settle for, in return for relieving themselves of the stress of watching their businesses deteriorate even more during what are expected to be some very difficult economic quarters here in Ukraine.


Britons Come Through For Ukraine’s Neediest - Whats Up?
Here’s some heartwarming tidings amid the not especially cheering news of crises and general hardship this winter. Apparently thousands of destitute Ukrainian children have received hundreds of thousands of gifts thanks to generous people across the U.K., all through an appeal called Operation Christmas Child run by the charity group Samaritan’s Purse. The appeal, which has occurred every Christmas since 1990, asks givers to wrap shoeboxes full of gifts for shipment to needy children in hospitals, orphanages and street shelters across Europe and elsewhere.


Getting to Know Ukraine’s Ski Resorts - Ukraine Travel
Ukrainians tend to look to their neighbours like Poland or Slovakia for skiing, or, if they can afford to, they gaze as far away as the Alps or the Rockies. Why? Simple: those places have more well-developed resorts (while the Rockies, up there on the high-altitude middle of the American continent, simply have more and drier snow). But in the last few years domestic winter tourism has been on the rise in Ukraine, and resorts in the country have been rushing to meet the demand.


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Ukraine Truth
Rights We Didn’t 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 don’t 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 – children’s 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. What’s 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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