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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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Just a Minute
Publishers Provocations
So Kyiv has had record rainfall this month (see page 5), and the incessant precipitation is set to continue for at least a week, making me feel like Im back living in Glasgow. In fact, its the incessant rain that falls in the West of Scotland that was one of the factors that encouraged me to leave my homeland and travel, because theres nothing more likely to get you down than constant dull, grey, wet weather.

Publishers Provocations
It was with some sadness that I read this weeks Whats Up story regarding the decline of Ukraines population. The numbers given in this story concern a natural decline in that deaths far outweigh births. Ultra-low fertility rates and high death  rates are given as the main causes, and this whole rapid decline will be exacerbated by the number of people leaving the country looking for a better life.

Publishers Provocations
On Friday 6 September 2013 at 16.10, little Mila entered the world, and she is the most beautiful thing I ever saw. I am, for the first time at the age of 46, a dad, and its the most amazing feeling. I must admit, I cried when I first saw her, and while at the moment all she does is eat and sleep, I love spending time with her. Mother and daughter are doing incredibly well and all is good in the world.

Publishers Provocations
Ongoing events in Syria have sparked a lot of debate, and those debates got me thinking. I have very strong views on the situation, and, of course, I believe those views are well thought out, and based on logic, decency and historic precedent. I find it hard to understand that some people dont see things the same way I do. But in fact there are many whose position is completely polar to mine, and they also believe their position is well thought out, and based on logic, decency and historic precedent. This made me think.

Publishers Provocations
At the weekend, I heard (second hand, through a third party via Chinese whispers, on the grape vine, from a reliable source) that the EU absolutely will sign the Association Agreement as planned before the end of the year.

Publishers Provocations
So this is our last issue before the summer break, and a welcome break it will be. Putting together a weekly magazine, as I am sure our illustrious editor Lana will tell you, gets to feel a but like Ground Hog Day. While we (and she, especially) put a lot of effort into finding different and varying topics to write about every week, the process becomes kind of repetitive one issue is sent to print and we (especially she), like the big digital clock before Bill Murrays eyes swings to 06.15, and we have to (especially she its all a repetition) start the whole process again.

Publishers Provocations
Freedom is something we hear a lot about these days freedom of speech, freedom of the press, religious freedoms, sexual freedoms, political freedoms, free access to information and so on. We even have a register upon which national freedoms of all countries in the world are rated. Ukraine is rated very low, the Land of the Free not quite as high as one would imagine, and European countries usually topping the list.

Publishers Provocations
Yesterday evening as a friend and I were enjoying a cold beer on one of the citys many excellent summer terraces, a man walking down the street caught our attention. He was quite wide with a baseball cap and oversized headphones and clothes, and quite a large beard (make of that what you will).

Publishers Provocations
At the weekend I was watching Say Yes to the Dress (What? Its perfectly fine for a man to get excited when a bride is choosing her wedding gown... Well, okay, in truth, Katya likes the show and I had nothing else to do), and this particular episode was focusing on a young sales assistant who wasnt doing too well.

Publishers Provocations
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote here my opinions on the inadequate policing of traffic around the world, and especially here in Kyiv, basically stating that most traffic policing is aimed at generating revenue (whether to the state or in the policemans pocket), and has very little to do with making the roads safer.


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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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