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7 (2014)
Tunnelling Towards Hope


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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.

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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.

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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.

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Ukraine Travel
Its October, and the summer is gone. Kitten and Bear are already tired of the citys fuss. Kitten suggests the two fly away to a place where time stands still. Where? Bear asks. Uzhhorod, says Kitten, purring.
Like clockwork, summers placidity always turns into falls rush hour, and were feeling rushed more than we should. We could use a weekend away. Somewhere away from the noise, the traffic jams, the nonstop haste and even the rain. With train tickets in paw, we ready ourselves for the 14-hour trip that will take us to Zakarpattya. A smile stretches the length of my whiskers at the prospect of a little beauty sleep.

Having explored most popular towns and cities in Ukraine, Kitten and the Bear recently turned to a less touted corner of Ukraine, and found it no less interesting. A weekend offered the perfect opportunity to traverse a historical route called the Golden Horseshoe of Cherkasy. It led them to the very roots of Ukrainian statehood and independence.

Kitten and I like to get about a bit as you know, but having no car means we always have to go by train. Of course, we like taking the train, but it does demand a certain amount of forward planning, removing any chance of spontaneity. Most of the time we dont mind not having a car, but sometimes, at weekends when we suddenly decide we want to go somewhere, it can cause problems. Then a friend told me about a hotel in Kaniv, on a beautiful section of the Dnipro with lots to see and do. And you could get there by boat!

Problems finding a place to kick off your shoes and let your hair down for the summer? Well, look no further because Whats On has got the definitive guide to vacation destinations for this season of sun, sand and warm summer breezes. All you need is your passport. And maybe your swimming trunks
There is no question: Ukraine is full of some magnificent places just waiting to be discovered.

Together with Lviv, Chernivtsi is also part of the beautiful cultural centre that is Western Ukraine. In addition to being right in the middle of the marvellously indigenous Bukovyna region, a sanctuary for a number of wonderful Ukrainian traditions, it is also home to a large number of ethnic nationalities, many of which lead a naturally European way of life.

When asked what alcoholic drink they would most readily associate with Ukraine, visitors and residents alike would most likely reply vodka or even beer given that the latter is a common sight on the hot summer streets of Kyiv. What would surprise many is the increasing importance of wine as a choice of alcoholic drink for Ukrainians.

As summer approaches at full steam, turning the busy city into a hot oven, its time to discover both Ukraine and its culture, by touring around the country and visiting the numerous ethnic, music and art festivals. Whats On is here, as always, with a schedule of the most interesting open air events in Ukraine to make your summer fun and relaxing!

Over its long history, Ukraine has seen more than its fair share of invasion, war and strife, clear evidence of which is provided by the many castles dotting the land in their silent majesty. Whereas 3 000 of these feudal defensive outposts once protected Ukraines various regions and their peoples, a mere 116 remain.  Still, for those inclined towards chivalric romances, or for those more attuned to the cold, hard and often cruel facts of military history, castle fans will find no shortage in Ukraine.  The attrition of Ukraines castles should be on the wane, as UNESCO and national recognition of some of these historical sites as worthy of protection may help to stem the tide of oft-destructive progress. 

The territory of Ukraine is unique: the wild Crimean coast, industrial Donbass, beautiful Eastern meadows, and, especially great in winter, the precarious Carpathian Mountains. Like many nations, however, we almost always tend to overlook what we have for whats over the border. So with school taking its winter break in the next couple of weeks, take the kids and travel around the Ukrainian landscapes. Or better yet, extend your 2011 Valentines Day celebration with one of these exceptionally enterprising mini-breaks. Whoever youre with, you wont regret getting active in Ukraine.

Christmas/New Year New Year/Christmas Christmas/New Year/Christmas Take your pick and then take a break!
The celebrations in Ukraine are extensive, but few are so enjoyed as the night we all ring in the New Year. While expats and foreigners tend to break a little earlier than locals, the same great holiday options are available to all, so whether youve got time for one, two or all three holidays, make sure to make the time to include these fabulous Ukrainian getaways into your plans this year!


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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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