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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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Picture Perfect

It was a novelty for the Ukrainian capital last week as the first−ever Em− broidered Shirt Parade (or Vyshyvanka Parade, if you want to use the Ukrainian name) took place in the city. The event was organised by VV singer and rock icon Oleg Skrypka (whos been known to appear in public in an embroidered shirt) as part of his Kraina Mriy (Country of Dreams) ethnic festival, one of the big local cultural events on the yearly calendar. The parade started on Andriyivsky Uzviz and descended to the Skovoroda memorial in Podil. No surprise, that, as the Uzviz and Podil are among the more ancient parts of the city, and thus appropriate for an event honouring Ukrainian costume.

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This year right before Easter a very nice map of Ukraine indeed appeared on Khreschatyk. The kicker was that it was made of Easter eggs. Some 17,000 boiled eggs went into this great artistic/patriotic feat, and on Easter week− end everyone could take and eat the eggs, thus contributing to higher protein health among the population. The map itself included places of historical and cultural note St. Sophia Cathedral, the Kamyanets−Podilsky fortress, the Kodak Cossack fortress in Zaporizhya, the Vorontsov Lighthouse in Odessa, the Swallows Nest in Yalta, and the Pysanka museum in Kolomya, all made of eggs. Nice idea for this holiday, no?


It may have got warmer over the weekend and the city streets are lying thankfully free of snow, but the Protasiv Yar slopes in Kyiv have enough snow for the snowboarding and skiiing enthusiasts to get out there and hone your skills. Last Saturday there were plenty of people out practising some big air stunts and having some real winter fun.


New Years concert, Palace Ukraine (103 Chervonoarmiyska), 27-28 December at 13.00 and 16.00
Yolka means Christmas tree (although its more a New Years tree around these parts), but it can also be a New Years celebration for young kids. The biggest yolka in the country will take place at Palace Ukraine, naturally enough. Ded Moroz and Snegurochka will make their expected experience, and there will be all sorts of magical fairy− tales dramatised on the huge stage. Cartoon characters will keep the little ones entertained and hand out little gifts. Tickets are 35−100 hrv. For more information call 501−2520.


On 2 September Odessa celebrated its 213th anniversary with all sort of celebrations including a fabulous parachuting display in which the parachutists landed on Prymorsky Boulevard. The celebrations, however, were marked by controversy when a new statue of Catherine the Great was to be unveiled in the town, but the city council rather sensibly delayed the ceremony amid fears of protests from Ukrainian Cossacks who vehemently oppose the monument.


Ukraine celebrated 16 years of Independence 24 August with the usual celebrations taking place all over the city. President Yushchenko addressed the people from Saint Sofiya Square where her spoke about much needed constitutional changes that will help the country move forward. After all the ceremonial stuff was over it was time to get down and party at Maidan where the traditional Independence day party took place with many of Ukraines top bands and pop stars taking to the stage. Whats On would like to wish Ukraine a very happy sweet sixteen birthday!

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Kyiv welcomed the participants of the First European Sports Games last weekend, with disciplines including everything from Sumo Wrestling to Motor Sport. The Body building contest drew big biceps from all over the continent! For more on this sporting sensation turn to this weeks Kyiv Life section (pages 36-43).

 Photography: Maria Bykova


This Crimean Tatar couple stand outside the house in Simferopol from which they were deported in May 1944 during Stalins wartime purges. Although they possess ownership documents for the property the couple have never set foot inside the building since their return to the peninsula in the 1990s. The Soviet government deported the entire Crimean Tatar nation during WWII and gave land and properties over to mostly Slavic settlers, forcing post-Soviet returnees to search for new homes amid an environment that is often characterised by ethnic prejudice and mutual suspicion.


President Yushchenko was in party mood last weekend for the big Ivana Kupala holiday, joining in celebrations at Kyivs Pyrohovo open air museum and taking part in the traditional fire-jumping rite, a ritual believed to date back to pre-Christian times.


These two fun−loving young ladies are caught on camera in a classical prazdnyk pose during Constitution Day celebrations in central Donetsk which separatist groups hjacked to call for more autonomy for the region and denounce plans for NATO membership. The two Donbass day−trip− pers are captured on film on the centrally located Lenin Square preparing for a souvenir photo next to the remnants of a demonstration organised by members of the so−called Donetsk Republic, an NGO grouping of Donetsk activists which supports the creation of a separate republic in South East Ukraine. Their flag (see right) is extremely similar to that of Russia, except the top bar of their horizontal tricolor is black instead of white.

 Photo: UNIAN

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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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