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On the cover
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 9 (2010)

¹9 (2010)/2010
12 March - 18 March
Living the Dolce Vita
Ukraine’s top rockers Okean Elzy return with a brand new album

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From THE EDITOR (9) - Editorial
I interviewed Slava Vakarchuk this week, front man with Ukraine’s most popular band Okean Elzy, and he had many interesting things to say about his music and the band’s forthcoming album, Dolce Vita, but one thing that really stood out to me was when I asked him to give his comments on the country’s new leadership. In response to this question, he told me that in his opinion the people of Ukraine are not ready for significant change – they want it, but they’re not ready for it. These words returned to me as I was lazing in front of the TV on Saturday afternoon watching the movie Quiz Show. Based on a true story, it was about the birth of that particular brand of TV show and how, in its early days, some of the quiz shows were corrupt, feeding answers to contestants the producers and sponsors wanted to win in order to boost ratings.


Verkhovna Rada Changes Law Regarding Coalition Building - Whats Up?
Believe it or not (which we reckon you wouldn’t in most other countries of the world, but will here quite readily) the Verkhovna Rada has passed a law that allows individual deputies to join a government coalition rather than insisting a faction joins as a group.
The amendment, passed by 235 out of 450 votes, means that any deputy can do as they please regardless of the bloc under which they were elected, making the switching of sides even easier than it has been before.
For example, the former president’s party, Our Ukraine has 72 deputies, the bulk of which do not want to join with Yanukovych supporters, but the dozen-or-so that are willing to do so (probably in return for a large deposit in their offshore bank account) can now do so, giving the Party of Regions the majority they need to form a coalition.


Gunman Shot at Ukraine Consulate in Istanbul - Whats Up?
A Turkish security guard at the Ukrainian consulate in Istanbul shot a man who claimed to be armed and carrying a bomb. It is said the man was shot when he tried to enter the building in the Florya district of the city. According to Istanbul’s Governor Muammer Guler, the man claimed to be carrying a bomb, then pulled out a gun and started firing. “We don’t think it is a bomb,” he said, “but we’re going to get the police to check it, just in case.”


Yanukovych Sucks Up to Putin - Whats Up?
Despite making Europe his first international visit as president, Viktor Yanukovych has performed as expected in Moscow – effusing praise all over Putin, signing a joint statement of partnership, and pretty much being a good boy.
“The Russian people, maybe, have not yet realised the value of the stability in Russia,” he told Putin, which is a big pat on the back for the Russian prime minister’s iron-fist rule, while at the same time sounding like a warning of what could be ahead for Ukraine.


Bad Behaviour On Public Transport to be Punished - Whats Up?
This is good news for all of you who take the metro or marshrutka to work every morning  - the Verhovna Rada is currently considering imposing fines on people who engage in rude behaviour on public transport.
Oleksandr Ihnatenko, a department chief at Ukraine’s Housing and Utilities Ministry said that regulations already exist that oblige passengers on public transport to give up their seats to elderly people, mothers with young children, handicapped and sick people, but that currently there is no penalty for not doing so. However, a draft law is currently before parliament that will force people to behave considerately to those in the aforementioned groups or face a fine of between 85 and 350hrv.


Ukraine’s Foreign Debt Teetering on the Edge - Whats Up?
According to a recent report in Forbes written by Oxford Analytica, Ukraine's foreign debt policy currently resembles an “unsustainable financial pyramid scheme”, which is a bit of a worry.
According to the report, Ukraine’s total debt from 2004 to 2006 hovered around $16 billion, increasing to $17 billion by the end of 2007, but over the past 18 months the Ukrainian government resorted to “unusually active debt-financing operations in response to fiscal pressures.” And that sounds even more worrying, especially when the report states that by January of this year Ukraine’s total state debt (including state-guaranteed quasi-sovereign debt) more than doubled to $37.8 billion. Which is quite a lot.


Parlez-vous Francais? - Kyiv Culture
Tired of the same old Hollywood soap operas and happy endings? Want something real, classy and in its original language? Well then clap your hands because the French Cultural Centre, with the help and support of the French, Swiss, Belgian, Canadian, Romanian, Egyptian, Lebanese and Moroccan embassies, has organised its third annual Francophone Festival!
With all movies shown in their original language, French, the Third Annual Francophone Festival is an event not to be missed! Want the lo-down? Read on.


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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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