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On the cover
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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Editorial
It was Monday evening when I sat down to write my editorial this week. Silence pervaded the office, the hallways, even the streets seemed unusually quiet, which was strange considering what had happened on the same street just the day before. Monitoring the situation on Maidan all day, a calm seemed to have engulfed the city, despite residents having taken over Kyiv City Hall, blockading city streets and reports of a fire just breaking out at the other end of Khreshchatyk. It all felt rather surreal.
The sensation was no different Sunday night, as I lay in my bed considering all that we had done and witnessed earlier that day: it was the March on Kyiv, dubbed EuroMaidan, where hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets, demonstrating for freedom, democracy and a future untainted by the lies and corruption of a devious but dying government.
1 (Comments)

They say that change starts with one person. That just one person has the ability to affect the world for the better. If you believe that, then you were very likely one of the hundreds of thousands on any one of the dozens of EuroMaidans around the world this past week, affecting change, with nothing more than your presence.

I made my husband write the restaurant review this week, not because I am lazy, or even because I had too much to do. I asked that he do it, so as to present an unbiased report of what happened: I was starving, the service was less than ideal, the music was deafening, and there were far too many people drinking alcohol and getting evermore excited about a pretty important football game that night.

Its amazing the memories music elicits. The band we have on the cover this week, a Russian rock group from Vladivostok, takes me back to a time when I first arrived in Ukraine. It was the autumn before the Orange Revolution, when all was quiet on the home front. Come the weekends, when the days were ours and ours alone, we would sit around the kitchen table, laid with a knifed up old plastic tablecloth, on benches pulled from all corners of the house.

I have only ever been wall climbing (an activity we review in some detail this week) a handful of times. Its not suitable for anyone who doesnt bite their nails, or at the very least keep them very short. Grab the wrong rock and its game over: you slip and fall to your death, or at least to the nice beanbag matting lying on the ground if your spotter isnt paying attention. That, or your break a nail an even worse fate depending on who you are and what youre into.

Im really diggin our cover this week, not because theres a few cute guys featured (with one particularly suspicious-looking one in the middle), but because it highlights a hugely significant but often overlooked subject matter here in Ukraine mens health.
Movember kicked off almost a decade ago by a few dudes down in Australia who thought it important to raise awareness of male cancer.

Halloween has always been a favourite holiday of mine. As kids, we would dress up as our favourite superheroes and go door-to-door begging for candy an act thoroughly frowned upon on any other day of the year. Even if the weather gods threw up ridiculously cold temperatures, necessitating winter coats, ski pants, scarves, hats and mittens (which was not uncommon), costumes would go over all of this winter wear, turning neighbourhoods across town into a breeding ground for little abominable Supermans and Rainbow Brights.

Stories at the expense of others are often the most humourous. Heres one of mine.
I woke up one morning this week before my alarm feeling pretty good. I poured myself some hot water with lemon (its my post wedding detox strategy), sat down to a little online research (an activity different to online shopping), and whipped out the old yoga mat. I took a shower, threw on a comfy-cas pair of jeans and a button-up, and even found a few minutes for a little make-up.

So, its a Saturday night, my mother has just left after an extended visit and my husband has just returned from watching Man U narrowly lose to Sunderland down the pub. Its still early but neither of us feels like straying too far from home luckily, theres a boxing match about to come on the tube.
Volodymyr, or Wladimir as the international press like to call him, Klitschko is taking on Alexander Povetkin.
1 (Comments)

Back to the grind after a short sojourn abroad, I have to agree with little Dorothy there really is no place like home. Despite the cabbie getting lost at the airport (how do you get lost at one of the most visited venues in the city?) and coming home to an icebox of an apartment (when temperatures hit near freezing its time to turn on the heat dear mayor), its good to be back.


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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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