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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 41 (2009)

¹41 (2009)/2009
6 November - 12 November
Ukrainian Democracy
Is it really as bad as you think?

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Ukraine History
Ukraine Today
Special Feature
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Kyiv Kino
Castaway in Kyiv
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This Week

From THE EDITOR (41) - Editorial
One could safely say there’s a certain tendency towards hypochondria in this part of the world: one can see it by the number of aptekas there are, which are even more ubiquitous than the ever-burgeoning coffee shops (ever burgeoning ‘til a year-or-so ago that is). How often have you heard the expression: “I’ve got a temperature”? Now, the normal temperate for the human body is 37°C, but it can fluctuate without concern between 36.1°C and 37.8°C. But as soon as the slightest sniffle hits, almost everyone will be reaching for the thermometer, and if the result is only 0.1 degrees over, the declaration will be made: “I am sick,” and there will be a rush to the nearest apteka to stock up on all sorts of ineffective remedies regardless of the cost. And that’s all under normal circumstances, so when we heard here at the What’s On office on Friday that the government had announced the first few cases of swine flu in the country, we were sure there was going to be pandemonium, and we were right!


Yushchenko Extends his Finger to the IMF - Whats Up?
They asked him not to do it, explaining it would jeopardise the next instalment of the loan, but he went ahead and did it anyway. On Friday, President Yushchenko signed the bill that will increase the minimum wage in Ukraine by over 20% despite quite clear indications from the IMF that doing so would put its $16.4 billion bailout “off track”. Despite the threat, Yushchenko appeared before reporters on Friday and proudly stated, “I would like to inform you that I have signed the bill.”
Quite clearly the bill is being used as a political football in the run up to the presidential elections, and with some left wing groups recently declaring the IMF funding is having a negative impact on large sections of society here in Ukraine, Yushchenko obviously hoped to win himself a few brownie points by passing the  law.


Ukraine’s Banks Need Another 100 Billion Hryvnia - Whats Up?
When it comes to the news on Ukraine, everything these days is about money, and while it may seem from time to time that the country has reached bottom and the only way is up, we’re still a long way from being out of the woods yet. In fact, according to Olga Ignatieva, the director of Fitch Ratings CIS, Ukrainian banks are going to need about 100 billion hryvnia in additional capitalisation if the financial sector is to remain stable. That’s quite a lot!
She said the indicators of the quality of banks’ assets have drastically worsened due to the devaluation of the hryvnia, the steep economic decline, drawbacks in the sphere of loan underwriting, and lack of borrowers’ discipline.


Chernovetsky’s Hot Dogs - Whats Up?
The man might be crazy as a lune, and his latest idea might just be up there with the best of them on the insanity meter, but we’re not complaining because in the near future hot dog stands are going to appear in the centre of Kyiv, and we like hot dogs.
Kreshchatyk is very soon going to be like a New York street, fully equipped with its very own hot dog stands, increasing the fast food offerings in the city by a factor of two, and that can’t be a bad thing (apart from maybe your heart). Seemingly, our mayor from the moon has teamed up with a Moscow company in a deal that will see an initial 16 hot dog stands in the centre of Kyiv, and apparently, 30% of every sale will go to the city administration, and more likely than not, straight into the man’s pocket.


Putin Stirs up More Gas Trouble - Whats Up?
He’s a card, isn’t he? He really likes to do his best to stick his oar in and upset the apple cart (it may be a mixed metaphor, but it creates a rather humourous image), and last week he was back on Ukraine’s case, claiming, yet again, they’d be unable to pay for the gas. Not only did he say Ukraine would not be able to pay, he also said that the EU would not be lending a helping hand this time round. And apparently it’s all Yushchenko’s fault.
“It seems we are again seeing problems emerge with paying for energy supplies,” he said. He went on to say that Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko told him during a telephone call that Yushchenko was the one blocking the payments.


Don’t Panic! - Whats Up?
Well, actually, panic! That certainly seems to be what everyone’s been doing here over the past week since the first cases of swine flu were made public on Friday. Within hours aptekas were swamped, selling out of every conceivable flu remedy and surgical mask within hours. Despite blatant profiteering by most aptekas (prices for some medicines rose by over 50% within a matter of hours), they were out of stock by late Friday.
And it wasn’t just the people who let themselves fall into a state of panic, the government was at it as well.


Ukraine’s Masterminds - Ukraine History
9 November, ‘Day of the Inventor’, is set aside every year to pay homage to all of those whose brains were wired just a little bit different from the everyday person, and to offer a small nod of thanks for changing our lives. It is also to acknowledge all of you up and coming scientists, researchers, testers, and inventors: we wouldn’t have made it thus far without you. Here are some of those clever boys from around our parts – betcha some of these will make you go hmmm…


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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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