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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 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.


Whats Up?
Yanukovych and 50 other members of government and top law enforcement officers are to be charged with the mass killing of protestors. As we go to print, the official death toll of protestors since the very beginning is 83, but that looks set to rise significantly as shocking photos emerge of a burnt corpse inside the Trade UNI0N building.

(now there’s a sentence we never thought we’d say)
The laws adopted in the Verkhovna Rada since 21 February, a day marred with murder, number 44 as we go to print on 25 February.

As everyone is probably already aware, presidential elections have been set for 25 May. This is also the date set for mayoral elections in Kyiv, and we reckon, while appointed by Yanukovych, acting mayor Volodomyr Makienko should be considered due to his jumping ship early and condemning the actions of the government.
Talking about jumping ship, 74 Party of Regions members have defected from the party so far, with those left declining to join the coalition, and instead setting themselves up as the opposition.

While the capital is no longer in the hands of the Yanukovych regime, and with most parts of the country now understanding what has happened here wasn’t about “fascists” or “extremists”, there are still parts of the country suffering from cynical lies being told by the former regime, their allies in the media, and now, clearly, Russia.

Rightly, those brave men and one woman of Ukraine who died during the protests will be honoured forever. Already Dnipropetrovsk and Kirovograd have renamed their central squares Heroes of Maidan, and there is much talk in Kyiv of honouring them in a similar fashion.
The Verkhovna Rada has already agreed that the next president should award the fallen with the title Heroes of Ukraine, and Denis Moskal, Chairman of the Standing Committee on Environmental Policy for the Kyiv City Administration, is initiating the creation of a park in the Svyatoshyn district of the city in memory of the Heaven’s Hundred.

It’s All About the Money
Ukraine’s state finances are in a bad way. Why is obvious – money that should have belonged to the state didn’t come to the state. The coffers were looted in various ways, including through “tenders” where insiders were paid by the state triple what a project was worth, and who then delivered a low quality product produced at the lowest possible cost.
With estimates of $10 billion per year having been stolen from the state there is now an urgent need to fill a hole in the country’s finances of about $35 billion. A little bit of quick maths here: Yanukovych was President for four years short three days, you do the rest.

The Maidan Trust Circle
It’s unprecedented: Parliament has been in session for five uninterrupted days (as we go to print), binning laws the old regime put in place to save their sorry asses, and returning the country to one that is far more democratic.

The Embarrassing Tymoshenkos
So the darling of Europe (proving once again how ignorant she is of politics in Ukraine) got out of jail on 22 February and boarded a plane straight to Kyiv. Sadly (not really) she turned up on stage at Maidan (sitting in a wheelchair wearing heels) thinking she would be hailed as the conquering hero. She’s been in prison for the last two years so was probably unaware of how much the country has changed in that time.

Ukraine’s Most (Un)wanted
Poor former President Viktor Yanukovych has gone from being unwanted by the people to being very much wanted by Ukraine’s acting government. Problem is, Yanuk is not willing to reciprocate. In a saga that is playing out like the plot of a Frederick Forsyth novel, where exactly the fugitive former head of state is, as we go to print, unclear.
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Weekly Language Tutorial
Vy ne vstyhnete za namy skuchyty!
You won’t have time to miss us!
Parting for a short time, a meeting in the nearest future is imminent – so soon that no party will notice a pause in a relationship. We here at What’s On aren’t breaking up with you dear Kyiv – we will be back!

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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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