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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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Kyiv Celebrities
...a star-studded Kyiv, who want to wish one and all a Happy New Year and Merry Ukrainian Christmas! This last year has been one of chaos, exhilaration and uncertainty, but fear not 2014 is just around the corner. Along with all of us here at Whats On, some of the countrys most recognised personalities want to wish you a wonderful holiday season.

It has been said creative people are paradoxical, both humble and proud, both extroverted and introverted, both rebellious and conservative. The epitome of this is Serhiy Babkin, a Ukrainian singer, composer and actor who doesnt chase fame but finds it comes nipping at his heels because the music he makes is too good to be forgotten.

You might not know the name Matthau, without including Walter at the outset; a brilliant actor of the 20th century, who gave the world such films The Odd Couple, The Bad News Bears and Grumpy Old Men. Continuing in his fathers footsteps, if behind the camera rather than in front of it, son Charles Matthau builds upon his fathers legacy as head of the Matthau Company. Kyiv is an unlikely a place as any to find him we sit down to find out whats brought him here.

Margarita Sichkar is well known in Ukraine, though identifying her profession is a tall order. She juggles being one of Ukraines most successful restaurateurs with being a TV-host, the organiser of charitable events, an author, and a mother of three. As if that wasnt enough, she admits she feels limited within the restaurant business, and is making another addition to her already packed schedule an eco-friendly equine-assisted therapy centre called Kamelia. Sichkar shares her far-reaching plans with Whats On.

It requires Zen-like concentration, in fact, the concentration required in shooting may be the highest of any sport. Mind and body must be completely still and relaxed to squeeze the trigger, fire and hit the centre of the small target. The best are those with the highest concentration, regulated breathing, and very low resting heart rates. Olena Kostevych is a prime example. Whats On catches up with the Olympic champion to find out about life looking down a barrel.

Alyosha, the blonde singer with a guys name, otherwise known as Olena Kucher, is undergoing cross-examination by Whats On. As usual, we dig up gossip from the Internet, put the charges to Alyosha, and ask for her plea guilty or not guilty. But before the trial starts lets go through her previous history.
Born on 14 May 1986 in Zaporizhya, Alyosha was raised in a middle-class family together with two brothers who used to jokingly call her Leshka (a derivative of Alyosha). Her father was a traffic cop with the DAI (yup, one of them), while her mother worked at an aircraft factory.

Her morning face is always camera-ready, but among the plethora of pretty faces holding presenter jobs on the Ukrainian small screen theres more to Dasha Kolomiets than meets the eye.
While landing on your feet in the Ukrainian entertainment industry can be a case not of what you know, but who you know, Kolomiets is an exception to the rule.

Its a title he freely admits to being proud of, but Dominic Millers musical collaborations dont end with the former The Police fronts-man gone solo. The names hes worked with read like a whos who of music from opera to pop. Work with names like 60s icon Donovan to British pop-ettes The Sugababes interspersed with his own solo-recordings. Whats On meets Miller in Kyiv to chart a musical career less ordinary.
Bryan Adams, Joss Stone, The Backstreet Boys, Phil Collins, Sheryl Crow, Placido Domingo, Peter Gabriel, Nigel Kennedy, Tina Turner, Luciano Pavarotti, The Pretenders, Rod Stewart, Paul Young and more.

In 2008, Ukrainian group Stereolizza crossed the pond to the States, since then becoming a top international act. Headed here for the holidays, we catch up with the frontster, sexy, near-eponymous Lizza, for the lowdown.
Lizza was born Kateryna Shalayeva in Russia and moved to Ukraine in her teens. Her parents had wanted her to be a diplomat. However, this was not what the young Katya wanted, as the aspirant rock chick started getting further into the music scene. Going under the moniker Lizza, she and collaborator Alex Ginchev (multi-instrumentalist, producer and composer) founded Stereolizza in 2004, adding fellow musician Ingvo to the mix in 2005.
3 (Comments)

Before we leave 2012 behind, Whats On tracked down several Ukrainian stars, a few diplomats, some artists and writers too who share with us their plans for the holidays and wish Whats On and all of our fabulous readers a very Merry Christmas and Happy New 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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