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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.


From The Editor (7)
What’s On, Kyiv’s most popular English-language entertainment magazine (and not just because it’s Kyiv’s only English-language entertainment magazine – we hope) has some news we’d like to share. The magazine will be closing – but only for a few short weeks.
Funded by advertisers, What’s On has been unable to procure the funds necessary to warrant its publication considering the current political situation and financial market. It is, however, our plan to be back in business just as soon as the country lands back on its feet, so that we may continue to offer you, dear readers, the best in information, entertainment, and reviews concerning events and venues in Kyiv and beyond.
2 (Comments)

From The Editor (6)
Wednesday 19 February
I slept little and in fits last night, able only to return to a slumber where mad men stole my dreams when the thunder of Maidan reached my ears. At least under a rain fireworks and cobblestones and yes, even Molotov cocktails, I knew she still stood. Before the sun hit the horizon I hastened whatever news I could get my hands on, eating every last word as though my stomach had been empty for days to learn the fires still burn, the people still come, the naysayers still resist. But Maidan stands, Maidan still stands.

From The Editor (5)
I met up with tens of thousands of like-minded friends on Maidan the other weekend. We wore blue and yellow ribbons, we sang songs, we shouted at the current powers that be, some of us even carried umbrellas in support of what was one of the only independent television channels in Russia being cut off. Then we listened to the various faces of EuroMaidan as they took to the stage.
Ihor Lutsenko – activist, kidnapped from the hospital by unknown assailants, beaten, tortured, and left for dead: “The government cannot intimidate the people with the kidnapping and torture of activists.”
Oleksiy Haran – Professor of Kyiv Mohyla: “As a political scientist, I see no reason to accept the new government of Yanukovych after his trip to Sochi to discuss its composition with Putin.”

From The Editor (4)
I had an electronic discussion with a fellow colleague in the world of journalism this week, who had picked up What’s On in the early days of the revolution, and was surprised to see that it had become so political. It’s true, What’s On has taken a stance in light of recent events here in Kyiv and across Ukraine, despite our mandate as an inherently entertainment-based magazine to, well, entertain an English-speaking readership.

From The Editor (3)
Once upon a time there lived a greedy king who ruled a large and beautiful land. He lived in a beautiful castle with a roof of pure copper, a zoo with ostriches and kangaroos, an 18?-hole golf course, riding club, tennis court, bowling alley, shooting range, yacht club, 70?-car garage, and helicopter. The greedy king acquired all of these things by stealing from the people in the village below, and though he had everything he could ever want, the greedy king was selfish and wanted more.
The people who lived in the village on the other hand were poor but they were happy. They worked hard day in and day out, only to give what few kopecks they earned to the greedy king.
1 (Comments)

From The Editor (2)
Whew. What a week. You have to give the Ukrainian government credit: they sure do keep things interesting. What’s On began the year thinking that perhaps the Ukrainian populace had tired of Kyiv looking more like an episode of Survivor than their beautiful capital of Ukraine – and, to be sure, there are plenty in town who would like nothing more than to see this all wrapped up tomorrow, with Maidan “squatters” duly punished.
Considering the rather dismal amount of people turning out on Maidan as of late, we here at What’s On were getting slightly concerned that those AntiMaidaners might just get their wish.
1 (Comments)

From The Editor (1)
Revolutions are happening all over the world, though you wouldn’t know it necessarily from international press. Here in Ukraine, as we go to print, we are on day 55 of EuroMaidan, and there are no signs of it stopping anytime soon.
Our Turkish neighbours to the south are also facing a bit of unrest, with demonstrators coming out against the corruptive practices of their current ruling leader – Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

From The Editor (48)
New Year’s resolutions are great if you’re short on conversation topics at parties, but not much else; especially when you try promising yourself something you know you’re not going to follow through on, or worse, you can’t guarantee. Getting married to your unavailable mistress before the end of the next year for example isn’t something you can guarantee. Nor is losing weight by stopping eating chocolates and biscuits at the office, especially when your secretary refuses to keep her desk free of the tasty little morsels.
Drinking less, quitting smoking, and exercising more – they’re all good healthy options.

From The Editor (47)
Though the atmosphere has been more tense than festive in recent weeks, Western Christmas figures prominently this week, and we will certainly be partaking of all its goodies. While it’s a holiday that has become increasingly commercial, not unlike most holidays really, there are still lots of festive activities to enjoy without breaking the bank.
A few of my favourites include decorating the house and Christmas tree with coloured lights, making gingerbread cookies, and sipping eggnog by a fire, made all the easier this year with an abundance of Yultide logs adding to the excitement down on Kyiv’s central square.

From The Editor (46)
There are so many things wrong with what is happening in the country right now, exacerbated only by the greed of the majority of the current government: the beatings, all of them – from the attack on students on the morning of 30 November to the horrendous use of force during what was a peaceful protest on 1 December;

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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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