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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.


What's On Archive 33 (2010)

33 (2010)/2010
10 September - 16 September
A Load of Hot Air!
Take a balloon ride and see Ukraine from a different perspective

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From THE EDITOR (33) - Editorial
A hotelier, a restaurateur, vice president of an airline, representative of a car manufacturer, a retailer, and a duty free man what do they all have in common? (And no, this is not a new verse to tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor.) Well, I was speaking to all of them over the weekend, and while that may seem particularly unimpressive, what they all had to tell me you may all find very interesting. Lets start with the hotelier: Business is good" he said. "Occupancy during August was high, quite often 100%. Good news for the hotel industry here in Kyiv. The restaurateur told me things were picking up quite substantially. The vice president of the airline said passenger numbers were up dramatically and the duty free man concurred telling me that business was very good with them.


An End to Moonlit Strolls - Whats Up?
Another great move comes from Kyiv City Administration this week when they announced that all the citys parks will be closed during the night. From now on, the parks will only be open from 06.00 to 22.00 during the summer and only 20.00 during the winter, putting an end to after party strolls with loved ones.
The reason, according to Deputy Mayor Viktor Sivets, is that every year the city has to renew 30% of park stock including benches, lights, litter bins and other such things all of which are getting constantly damaged by drunks.


Ukraine a Tax Haven? - Whats Up?
We think not! But thats what Prime Minister Azarov seemed to be hinting at on Friday when he unveiled the amended tax legislation. We will introduce low taxes, perhaps the lowest in Europe, he said.
According to the latest amendment, as examples, tax on profits will be reduced year-by-year from 25% to 16% by 2014, and VAT will come down from 20% to 17%. So far so good, as it is often said that taxes in the country are too high, and if they were more reasonable, more people would pay them.


Back to School with Soviet Curriculum - Whats Up?
As everyone is aware, the new school year started last week, and all the kids, some for the first time, excitedly made their way to school hoping to meet new friends, and, of course, learn something.
But the new year started with thousands of pupils having no books to learn from, and teachers not having programmes to teach from, and apparently its all down to the new Minister of Education, Dmytro Tabachnyk, who wants to turn back the clocks. Way back by the looks of things.
Mr Tabachnyk decided he wanted changes made to the education system, but left it a little late, forcing it through the Verkhovna Rada only on 6 July. He wanted the curriculum changed back to the old 11-year system instead of the European 12-year system that had been adopted way back in 2000.


Ukraine to Give Russia Joint Control over Gas Pipeline - Whats Up?
We hoped it wouldnt happen. We hoped against hope. But as soon as Putin said he wanted it, we knew it would. And now it is about to.
Yes, we cannot believe anyone could be so stupid, but the government has said it is willing to hand over a 50% stake in the gas pipeline to south-eastern Europe in exchange for a bigger discount on gas. Apparently, as we reported last week, the deal done earlier this year which jeopardises Ukrainian sovereignty by allowing the Russian Black Sea Fleet to stay in Crimea until 2042 was not a good deal.


EURO 2012 Campaign Launched While Budget Cut - Whats Up?
On Saturday 3 September the government launched a campaign to promote EURO 2012, but what they give with one hand they take away with the other as at the same time announced budget cuts of over 20% for the preparations.
The good news first. The campaign, called Friends of UEFA EURO 2012, aimed at promoting the event, will name Ukrainian and Polish celebrities and sports personalities as Friends of EURO 2012, with Slava Vakarchuk of Ukraines top rock band Okean Elzy, President of the National Olympic Committee Serhiy Bubka, and President of the Athletic Federation Valeriy Borzov amongst the first to be given the accolade.


Corruption: Good or Bad? - Kyiv Culture
Corruption is endemic in Ukraine, of that there is no doubt, and its presence in the higher echelons of government is dragging the country down to its knees. But it permeates all levels of society, and is often the way many a low paid government official provides for himself and his family. And if you ask most Ukrainians about corruption they will smile and say, If the answer is no, and you really need it to be yes, you can make it yes. 


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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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