|On the cover|
Tunnelling Towards Hope
|28 February - 6 March 2014|
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.
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.
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 6|
23 February - 1 March
Health and beauty tips for Lent 2007, from fruity combinations to sexy exercises!
Going Out Chef’s Corner
Just a Minute
On the Sofa with...
|From THE EDITOR - Editorial|
President Yushchenko finally struck a meaningful blow for a better Ukraine last week when he banned mobile phones from high level government meetings (see page 5 for details). This might seem at first glance to be a minor administrative decision, but in fact it directly addresses the widespread lack of consideration for others that continues to plague Ukrainian society while highlighting the fact that infringements of mobile phone etiquette are not restricted to the lower echelons of the population. It is in some ways comforting to know that government officials and cabinet ministers are also incapable of sitting in meetings without fiddling with their mobiles, and for once Yushchenko appears to be on solid moral high ground. Most readers will be more than familiar with having their peace and quiet shattered by some joker bellowing into his mobile phone, or had to suffer as business meetings are continually interrupted by seemingly unimportant calls that are nevertheless received as if you weren’t even there, and then there is the all-time Kyiv classic of the people at the table next to you gleefully going through their entire collection of idiot ring tones as if they’d never seen an electronic device before. Banning phones at a governmental level is a step in the right direction, and we can only hope it has a knock-on effect throughout wider Ukrainian society. After all, the person who thinks twice about taking personal calls at the opera is also likely to hesitate before driving down the pavement at fifty kilometers an hour or shamelessly jumping a queue. Such consideration for others would go a long way to making life in Kyiv more of a pleasure, but the real danger now is that the current government, on learning that Yushchenko is against mobile rudeness, will instinctively go out of their way to have a minimum of three phones on them at all times. It would not be the first time they placed pettiness over principle and would no doubt prove a popular move among many of Kyiv’s less enlightened mobile phone users.
|No Sign of Crimean Compromise - Whats Up?|
Hundreds of Crimean Tatars rallied on 19 February in Simferopol near the main government building to demand the return of land seized after the Soviet regime deported the Tatars from Crimea during WWII for alleged collaboration among Tatars and the Nazi invaders. The rally is part of a rising climate of confrontation with the local Moscow-leaning Russian-language population as Tatar returnees gradually grow in confidence and numbers and begin to become more assertive. They are primarily demanding legal recognition for lands that they have occupied since repatriation to Crimea began during Perestroika, but are thought to harbour far more wide-ranging long term demands over the peninsula. Mustafa Jemilev, the chairman of the Crimean Tatar National Mejlis (parliament) and MP from the Our Ukraine Bloc denied that the protest rally was timed to coincide with Yushchenko’s planned trip to Crimea this week, but many observers saw the protest as a direct attempt to undermine the authority of current community leaders and take a more radical stance towards the Crimean authorities. Jemilev had previously promised the president that there would be no large-scale demonstrations in Simferopol this year but at this latest rally thousands gathered and banged away on metal barrels in what was an echo of the Orange Revolution before pausing for Muslim prayer. Tatar activists also demonstrated against changes to the criminal code that toughen penalties for the illegal occupation of land. Large tracts of Crimea remain in the hands of the Slavic Ukrainian population, with officials often reluctant to allow large-scale Tatar settlement. The land on the Black Sea coast between Alushta and Sevastopol is still widely regarded to be unofficially prohibited to Crimean Tatars, thus cutting them off from much of what they consider to be their ancestral homelands. The Crimean Tatars have a history in the Crimean peninsula stretching back to the early Middle Ages. This long association with the land came to an abrupt end on 18 May 1944 when Stalin exiled the Crimean Tatars to special settlements in the deserts of Uzbekistan. Over 180,000 Crimean Tatars were deported by train over two days, with many dying in transit. Since 1989 approximately 270,000 Tatars have returned to their ancestral homeland from Central Asia.
|Yushchenko Bans Mobile Phones - Whats Up?|
President Yushchenko has come out and banned members of the National Security and Defense Council from attending sessions of the high-level government body with their mobile phones switched on. The move came after Deputy Prime Minister Mykola Azarov’s phone went off in the middle of a speech by the president. Yushchenko interrupted his speech to chastise the minister, calling on security officials to deny entry to anyone who attempted to attend future meetings with their phone functioning. “Mykola Yanovych (Azarov), you demonstrate every time you attend that you have your mobile phone with you,” the president is said to have boomed. (UNIAN)
|Yanu Bully Allegations Resurface - Whats Up?|
In a worrying development allegations surfaced at internet news source Ukrayinska Pravda last week that Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich has resorted to physically abusing his subordinates, according to an unnamed source within the Cabinet of Ministers. The allegations state that as tempers rose over the controversial new law on the Cabinet of Ministers Yanukovich attacked Minister for the Cabinet Anatoli Tolstoukhov for his failure to publish the law and make it legally binding, battering the hapless official in the liver. During the Orange Revolution rumours of Yanukovich’s uncontrolled temper and tendency towards physical violence were rife throughout Ukraine, with various ministers and collaborators allegedly hospitalised as the government’s attempt to fix the elections unravelled spectacularly. Yanukovich is no stranger to claims of brutality having served two terms in prison as a youth, one of which was for violent assault.
|University Exit for Living Barbi - Whats Up?|
Ukraine’s very own living barbi doll Inna Tsymbolyuk may well be the media darling of the moment but she received a severe setback last week when she was kicked out of her university for failing to complete her fourth year winter exams. Tsymbolyuk was a student of International Tourism at the Kyiv University of Culture run by ‘Young Eagle’ Mykhail Poplovsky, but it seems that she has been made an example of in order to demonstrate that the much maligned institution is not just a diploma factory for the capital’s pretty set and beautiful crowd, despite the fact that they are the only institution of higher education in the world to offer bachelor degrees in model management. Tysmbolyuk, who delighted the Kyiv public last year by embarking for the Miss Universe finals with a miniature Lavra on her head, is now expected to concentrate on her TV career.
| Free Press Under Attack - Whats Up?|
Ukraine’s fledgling free press came under attack last week in Dnipropetrovsk when the chief of the Kanal 9 news service was severely beaten in the street over claims he’d made over the management of Dnipropetrovsk’s Kanal 51 by Oblast Council member Viktoria Shvedova, who he accused of firing employees of the channel in breach of Ukraine’s employment laws. Kanal 9 press service reported that a gang of hooligans led by Ms. Shvedova’s husband attacked Anatoli Shynkarenko in the city centre and beat him, demanding he stop reporting on the situation over at Kanal 51. Local police refuse to take action and are treating the incident as an everyday scuffle. A free press has been one of the major gains of Ukraine’s Orange Revolution, but this new found media freedom is thought to be under threat in the regions as members of the old regime return to power.
|Anfield Awaits for Ukraine Star - Whats Up?|
Pony-tailed Bayer Leverkusen striker Andriy Voronin looks set to become the latest big money Ukrainian flop in the English Premier League after completing a surprise transfer to English giants Liverpool that will see him sign a four year contract with the five-time European champs in the summer. Dynamo Kyiv stars Sergiy Rebrov and Andriy Shvevchenko have each been the subject of major transfers to top English sides in recent years, only for both to struggle in the physically demanding league. Rebrov failed to make an impact at Spurs and West Ham before eventually returning to his native Ukraine, while national team captain and former European Footballer of the Year Shevchenko is currently under fire and being labelled as a sixty million dollar flop at much-hated London side Chelski. Voronin is thought to be made of tougher stuff, and has been a regular goalscorer since his arrival in Germany, with six goals to his name so far this season. The twenty seven year old is a free agent in the summer, and a host of clubs were looking at him including Scottish champions Celtic, but the Ukrainian striker is thought to have relished the chance to go for Champions League glory with the legendary Anfield Road outfit.
|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|
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.