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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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Ukraine History
Tymoshenkos husband, as you doubtless know, recently fled for the border. Did a bunk. Legged it. Headed for the hills. You get the idea. Hes not the first Ukrainian to leave the country hoping for better times though. We have a look at a few exiles/expats and see how their post-Ukraine fortunes fared. Was leaving their homeland a Hit or Miss? Ukraines own Serhiy Baltacha, legend of Soviet football and Dynamo Kyiv, tells us his experiences.
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The Ukrainian people have two reasons to commemorate 14 October. Not only is it the Day of the Virgin of Mercy, it is also Day of the Cossack! Because our ancient protectors of the nation were long believers in God and the Holy Mother, it is an important coincidence that these two celebrations fall on the same day. Rather than give you a boring lecture on Ukrainian history, however, we thought we might perk up your pride in some of our countrys most resourceful innovators! So without further ado, we give you the Zaporizhska Sich: Military Mechanics!

The city continues to move at a hares pace, while our beautiful, ancient and often mysterious Sophia Kyivska just sits right there in the centre taking it all in. As one of Ukraines most significant sites both historically and spiritually, there isnt much shell have missed over the years. Celebrating her 1000th birthday this year, there are many Kyiv residents who will no doubt be surprised to learn that she is in fact so old!
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One hundred years ago this week, the National Opera of Ukraine was giving a special performance for Tsar Nikolai II and his family. Quitting the royal box seats during second intermission, the rest of the audience followed suit, leaving behind two gentlemen standing in the front row of the theatre talking. What they were talking about is a mystery. As is the reason a third man, wearing a tailcoat and glasses, entered the grand hall with a gun and fired, twice. The man shooting was a member of the Russian Empires secret police by the name of Dmytro Bogrov. The man he was aiming at was the Russian Prime Minister, Pyotr Stolypin.
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The unbearably loud court cases taking place in Ukraine at the moment, which involve both Lutsenko and Tymoshenko, are shaking up the entire international community. Even with our windows closed, locked and boarded shut, there is no escaping the awful racket that occurs down below. A barbaric and unjust system of justice once controlled the people of this land, and it would seem fair to say there has been little done to change it today. Which got us thinking, which other Ukrainians other than Tymoshenko and Lutsenko have spent time behind bars for political reasons?
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The last Saturday of the last month of summer is the day Ukrainians lift up their eyes and give thanks to the gods of aviation for smiling down on them. What would certainly add to the enthusiasm raised by such a holiday is if the gods on the ground might permit an air show in celebration. As that is an unlikely prospect for various reasons (theyre cheap and light-fingered), let us here at Whats On expose the incredible accomplishments achieved by our own National Air Force of Ukraine.

Turning the big 2-0 this year, Ukraine has the opportunity to create a new path for itself amidst all of the din and gloom it has come face to face with in the past. But it won't come without adjustments. Wondering what the countrys first president, Leonid Kravchuk, would do if he were at the helm these days, we sit down with him and ask.

It may have a very long and interesting history, but ironically, this great country we live in is one of the youngest in the world. Later this month, Ukraine turns 20, and we here at Whats On would like to wish the country and every one in it, a very happy birthday. As part of this issue dedicated to this great celebration, were taking a look back at the last 20 years, noting the most important events in the countrys young life as it comes of age.

As a 31-year-old Englishman, Ive always been aware of my Ukrainian roots. My grandfather was from Western Ukraine, and came to England at the end of WWII. To help him integrate, he took an English surname. But when I got married last year, my wife and I decided to change it back to Oryszczuk because its something I felt proud of. When my wife was offered a secondment in Kyiv, we jumped at the chance, because, we thought it would be an incredible opportunity in so many ways. There is family here Ive never met, but desperately wanted to know.
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Since 1965,  9 May has been officially celebrated as the Victory Holiday of the Soviet Peoples in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945. Since then, Ukraine has marked 9 May as a state holiday, accompanied by splendid military parades and other events, like a day off, with a festive concert and fireworks at night.
This year will mark the 70th anniversary of the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, so Party of Regions deputy Vadym Kolesnichenko has registered a draft resolution declaring 2011 a year of commemoration of the victims of the Great Patriotic War. In his explanatory note, Kolesnichenko states that this will promote patriotic feelings among the younger generation, using the example of our nations great victory.
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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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