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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 8 (2008)

8 (2008)/2008
7 March - 13 MarchA Message
From SMS

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From THE EDITOR (?8) - Editorial

Conversations about Ukraine often turn to the oligarchs and the vast sums of money they have made since the collapse of the Soviet UNI0N, and to many, including myself, it seems that there is something wrong when 5 or 6 people have made vast fortunes through the privatisation process, and according to those in the know have used some extreme methods to gain those fortunes. Many, of course, argue that this is the way it always is in such situations, citing examples throughout history where extreme ambition and hunger for money and power has led to the situation where a massive amount of a country's wealth lies in the hands of a very few people. Here, however, it seems more extreme when you see that only half-a-dozen people have managed to capture most of Ukraine's coffers, and have allegedly used exceptionally extreme methods to do so. When such conversations arise, someone will always come to the defence of the oligarchs by describing how much they are doing to redress the balance and legitimise themselves. Really? Does issuing a set of non-falsified accounts or starting up an AIDS foundation really make everything better? Not in this humble chap's opinion, not by a long way. Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko used to bang on about taking it all back from them, but she has strangely gone quiet on that one probably due, in most people's opinion, to western pressure on rights of ownership, and reprivatisation at this stage in the country's economical development would not be a good thing for inward investment. So, my suggestion, oligarchs of the country, is that you should do a Bill Gates, and give all your vast personal wealth back to the people of Ukraine. Not because they are forced to, but because it is the right thing to do. As with Billy boy, we will allow you to keep $40m each, which, let's be honest is far more than 99.9% of the country's population can ever even imagine, and you will all still own your vastly profitable businesses, and you will be rich again beyond any normal person's wildest dreams probably by the end of next week. Come on chaps, if you want to be the good guys you're trying to present yourself as, give it back. It will make you feel better, honest it will! (Hey, it's good to dream!)

Neil Campbell, Editor

Kyiv to Host Miss World - Whats Up?

Just in case there weren't enough beauty pageants taking place in Kyiv, the capital will host the 2008 Miss World competition, which will take place in October. The pageant seems to be coming to Ukraine due to the efforts of Elena Franchuk, who is quite busy these days (see the piece about her purchasing a London mansion elsewhere in this section). Franchuk, head of her eponymous anti-AIDS foundation (as well as wife of tycoon Viktor Pin-chuk and daughter of former President Leonid Kuchma), was a jury member at last year's contest, which was held in China, and seems to have charmed the organisers into awarding the pageant to Ukraine. And so this fall will see Palace Ukraine shining with the collective beauty of the spectacle's participants, who supposedly personify the event's slogan 'Beauty with a Purpose', presumably meaning that they're strutting around in the interests of charity and awareness about the plight of impoverished orphans and other unfortunates.


Jessica Simpson: Huge in Ukraine! - Whats Up?

Just when you thought the constantly shifting landscape in Eastern Europe couldnt surprise you any more, it turns out that American pop culture icon Jessica Simpson has suddenly become a huge star in Ukraine and might even show up here in the near future. Simpson, in case you dont know, is the nice Texas girl famous for being a pop singer and an actress. But what shes really famous for is being a sex symbol, personifying a certain sturdy, super− blonde, huge−breasted, glossy, heavily made−up, shiny−teethed, high school−cheerleader version of Middle American beauty largely associated with the American South.


Franchuk Buys Top London Home - Whats Up?

Elena Franchuk, the fetching blonde whos married to super−ty− coon Viktor Pinchuk and is the daughter of former President Leonid Kuchma, has just bought a London mansion for 80 million pounds, a record price for residential real estate in the British capital. The five−story house in Upper Phillimore Gardens in Kensington reportedly has upwards of ten bedrooms and a panic room for security purposes. Builders are currently installing an underground swimming pool plus a sauna, a gym, and a home movie theatre. Neighbors have been complaining about the uproar that the huge rebuilding project has caused, among them Moscow Mayor Yuriy Luzhkov, who owns a house in London with his super−rich Russian businesswoman wife.


Ukraines Richest Announced - Whats Up?

Focus magazine has announced its rating of Ukraines richest people, and while the cast of characters is mostly unsurprising it consists of much the same people who show up on such lists every year one fact does raise an eyebrow: native billionaires got richer by an average of 25% this year. So much for the world economic slowdown, at least as far as it affects the former Soviet UNI0Ns oligarch class. Another telling fact is that 18 people who sit in the Rada entered the list this year, and that the majority of them are members of the Party of Regions. Number 1 on the list is perennial Ukrainian wealth leader Rinat Akhmetov, the baby−faced Donetsk oligarch and Regions deputy, with $14.62 billion.


Chornovil Sees Car Towed - Whats Up?

Party of Regions Deputy Taras Chornovil is ready to take Mayor Leonid Cher− novetskys administration to court over the fact that his car got towed last week from its parking space on Sadova, near the Rada. Its not exactly the sort of bold anti−establishment activity that Ukrainians used to expect from Chornovils father, the legendary Soviet−era dissident Vyacheslav Chornovil, but then, its a less heroic age. I always leave my car there, and theres never been any problems, com− plained the sad−eyed deputy, who, as one of Viktor Yanukovychs most loyal and high−profile political minions, must be making his father spin rapidly in his grave.


SMS Goes Retro! Girl Trio Returns with Old Songs - Cover Story

After a period of silence and a line-up change, SMS is back with a new record. We met with Tanya, Marina, and Sasha to find out whats new in their little corner of girl-pop heaven.
Spring is around the corner and its high time for something new, which is good, because SMS has it. The new album, Hits from the 80s, contains exactly what it claims to, including songs by Boney M and Modern Talking as well as the chestnuts Youre in My Heart, Youre in My Soul and Im Your Venus.  In response to which some readers might say, Wait. Wasnt Boney M from the golden age of disco in the 70s? And wasnt Im Your Venus from the 1960s?


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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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