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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.


On the Sofa with...
Clarence Benjamin Jones wasn’t the personal council and advisor to just anyone. It was a role he filled for Dr Martin Luther King Jr, defender of civil rights and liberties for all people, regardless of colour, race, religion… Here in Kyiv last week, What’s On jumped at the opportunity to talk to the man who helped King draft the celebrated speech “I Have a Dream”.
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Andriy Kurkov is without question the most successful Ukrainian author of the post-Soviet era with his books published in nearly 65 countries and featuring on European bestseller lists. Even though he writes in Russian and his name in foreign languages is spelled with the Russian transliteration, “Andrey”, Kurkov is a truly Ukrainian writer – writing with black humour and elements of surrealism, Kurkov captures the post-Soviet reality of life in small Ukrainian towns with common Ukrainians the protagonists of his novels.

Lutique isn’t just a DJ, he’s a hot producer, talented composer, accomplished musician and all-round top guy. As host of Kiss FM radio show Preview, this House man has also gathered hordes of fans through his club appearances all over Ukraine, and beyond. We get him to stop spinning monster mixes for a few moments, and give What’s On a sampling of himself.

Name: Oleksandr Bogdanov; 
Age: 26;
Height: 178cm;
Languages: Ukrainian, English, Russian, Spanish;
This is the information you will find on the Mr World website about Ukraine’s entry this year. What it doesn’t tell you is how warm, funny, innocent and completely unaware of what a good person Oleksandr really is. Competing for the title World’s Most Desirable Man, he’s up against 47 rather handsome odds. That hasn’t seemed to deter him, however…
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I ran into African supermodel-cum-actor Eebra To’o’ Re’ (often referred to by the French spelling of his name, Eebra Tour?) in Kyiv not long ago. I was thrilled to learn more about the actor, who is on the brink of his latest movie role yet.
Eebra was born in Paris to African immigrants. He became a successful model before deciding to pursue a career in acting. Though he has earned acting credits in various films, his latest vehicle, 22 Minutes, has the potential to launch him to worldwide fame.
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The Hetman and Him
The four years Kindle bestselling author Alex Shaw lived in Kyiv in the late 90s inspired his writing, his works infused with Ukrainian locations and references. It’s something that has clicked with audiences, as Shaw’s books have frequently hit #1 in international Kindle charts. On a flying visit from his hometown of Worthin in the UK, the Hetman creator popped into the What's On office for a chat about his favourite muse – Kyiv.

A Guy in Gear
Darren Alff is the man behind Bicycle Touring Pro – a website which tells you everything you need to know about how to travel with just yourself, your bike, and a couple of inner tubes. On the road for much of his life, the American started bike touring at 17. Now, having cycled through 30+ countries, he’s gone more than 75,000 miles on just his trusty two wheels. On (around) 14 October, the 29-year-old cruises into Kyiv, and advance of that, we spoke with him about spokes and more…
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An Extraordinary Athlete
We’re always on the lookout for new faces to feature in our On the Sofa segment, and this week, an athlete from Donetsk caught our eye. With nine Ironman triathlons under his belt, Viktor Zyemtsev is the most lauded triathlete in Ukraine. We caught him shortly before he took off to Hawaii to compete in the Ironman Triathlon World Championship later this month.
While triathlon competitions in Ukraine often take a backseat to football and other crowd-pleasers, the world of triathlons is not without its own fanbase, and its athletes are just as impressive as any footballer.

The Bandura: Remixed
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the bandura? An old grey-haired kobzar with a long beard singing Cossack songs? What about a young man with feathered locks playing rock hits, jazz variations, pop melodies and ethno-house? Whatever your preconceptions, What’s On sits down with Yaroslav Djuice, a talented, young bandurist who shatters all the old stereotypes about this ancient Ukrainian instrument with his unique, genre-bending performances.
Constantly challenging the old stereotypes about this folk instrument and his unique repertoire, which blends heavy metal, jazz variations, world pop-hits, classical music and any other genre of music one can imagine, Yaroslav Djuice first emerged on the music scene a few years ago.
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A Woman on a Mission
When one speaks of a traveller who has traversed thousands of miles, and an inspector who instils fear and loathing into the very core of local restaurant and hotel-owners, the image of a big, burly, bearded man comes to mind. The fact is, however, that Ukraine’s severest critic and most restless traveller is none other than the delicate, golden-haired Olha Freimut.
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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.


Essential Kyiv listings
Car Rental
Bars & Pubs
Catering Services
Courier Services
Foreign Banks
Hotel Service
Internet Cafes
Lost & Found
Medical Care
Language Courses
Souvenir Shops
Travel Agencies
Real Estate
Cable & Satellite TV
Fitness Centers
Flowers and Gifts delivery
Food Delivery
Freight Forwarders
Internet providers
Translation Services
Veterinarian Clinics
Beauty Salons
Whatson Birdies Party