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On the cover
№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.


Just a Minute
Provocations & Observations (#7)
Publishers Provocation
The feeling in Kyiv at the moment is a strange one. As I commented on Facebook while posting photos I’d taken on Maidan on Monday of flowers stacked upon flowers, there is no sense of celebration or jubilation, only mourning. And yet usually, even when losses have been suffered, victories are celebrated. The fact that no one is celebrating now highlights the political maturity the people of Ukraine have now reached.
1 (Comments)

Provocations & Observations (#6)
Publishers Provocations
It’s not good to be speechless when writing a column, but that is how I am feeling right now. As I write this on the morning of Wednesday 19 February, looking back over the past 24 hours, there’s not much I can say that wouldn’t be repeating what everyone else has been saying – shock and horror.

Provocations & Observations (#5)
Publishers Provocations
Since I first arrived in Kyiv almost eight years ago, I’ve been amazed by the creativity and artistic bent of the Ukrainian people – almost everyone, whether it be lawyer, doctor, street cleaner or teacher, is involved or directly participates in one or other of the creative arts.

Provocations & Observations (#4)
Publishers Provocations
There’s been a lot of talk about the possibility of civil war in Ukraine, and many are clearly inclined to compare what’s happening here to what’s happening in Syria, Turkey, Egypt, Thailand, and other places around the world. But this is not that. This is not two opposing political or religious factions fighting each other. To a large extent this isn’t even an argument for democracy over authoritarianism or vice versa. This is virtually the complete informed population of a country fighting against a gang of thieves.

Provocations & Observations (#3)
Publishers Provocations
I am writing this on Tuesday after the emergency session of the Verkhovna Rada has ended, and I must say, the events of today should be met with some optimism – most of the Black Thursday laws have been repealed and PM Mykola Azarov has been booted out. (Strangely, there are reports he’s already left the country for Austria, and if those are true we wish him a warm welcome there.)

Provocations & Observations (#2)
Publishers Provocations
With increasing reports of police from various cities around the country stating they do not want to come to Kyiv and go against the people, and the army staying away, I am for the first time in several weeks feeling optimistic about the current political situation in Ukraine. But for this to end in the manner we all hope it will, the people of Ukraine need certain things...
1 (Comments)

Provocations & Observations (#1)
Publishers Provocations
Let’s be honest, it’s not been the brightest start to the new year for Ukraine – protestors are still on the streets slowly escalating their actions in an attempt to be heard, and the bandits are still in power, showing absolutely no signs of moving or capitulating to the will of the people they have been elected to serve.
1 (Comments)

Provocations & Observations (#48)
Publishers Provocations
I’m sure most Ukrainians and expats living in Ukraine will not be feeling too Christmassy right now, what with everything going on in the country. But this is the time to forget about all the stuff going on in the big world, and enjoy the most important things in life – friends and family.

Provocations & Observations (#47)
Publishers Provocations
While at a charity fundraiser on Saturday eve­ning, someone started (later in the evening) giving me a bit of a hard time about my inability to “filter” what I say, to always say things as I see them, and how that can impact upon the people around me.

Provocations & Observations (#46)
Publishers Provocations
I know here I should be writing something positive and optimistic, but for the last few days I’ve had a sinking feeling slowly creeping over me. And this sinking feeling was compounded on Monday 9 December when I saw the videos of the militia clearing the protestors from the areas around the Presidential Administration and the Cabinet of Ministers: not a baton was raised or a word said in anger, just a slow moving sweep of the area.
1 (Comments)

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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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