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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 Today
As the festive season retreats into the background for another year, scores of Ukrainians are still clinging to the resolution they made at New Year to find Mr or Mrs Right in 2014. However, in Ukraine, Mr or Mrs Right often comes with the suffix Now. Ukraines divorce rate is the highest in Europe, and with studies showing Ukrainians marry young and for emotional rather than practical reasons, we decide to delve deeper into relationships here.

Agriculture in any country means business. In some places it means employing the latest in technology to all but ensure the best yields possible. In others, the scale is much smaller, where workers of the land still use an ox and cart to get the job done. Ironically, or perhaps not, Ukraine is both of those places combined. To find out whats in store for the country in terms of farming for this year, Whats On talks with two gentlemen who come at the issue from different angles: Mr Peter Thomson of Ukrainian Agrarian Investment and Mr Nigel Thwaites of Syngenta.   Whats interesting, however, is that when it come to Ukraines incredible agricultural potential, their thinking differs very little.
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January 2013
The year starts off well for Ukraine International Airlines, which takes over a number of flights after Aerosvit files for bankruptcy because it sucks. A man opens fire on a local café in Rivne injuring eight people, and a loony in Odesa who wants to become the next Anders Breivik goes online with a picture of himself and his gun, saying he has chosen a student dormitory to start his mission. The country introduces a smoking ban in all public enclosed spaces, while Yulia Tymoshenko is named a suspect in the 1996 murder of Ukrainian businessman Yevhen Shcherban and his wife. Ukraine takes its traditional dip in the Dnipro for Khreshchenia or Epiphany and Gazprom slaps the country with a $7 billion gas bill (little do we know at this point that our financial issues only get worse). Bloomberg publishes a list of the worlds richest men, on which Rinat Ahmetov occupies 26th place, and Serduchka splashes out on a new car Freddie Mercurys 1974 Silver Shadow Rolls Royce, worth a whopping £74,600! Plus, the lovely Yulia Gritsenko wins the Whats On Face of Kyiv Cover Model 2012 competition!

Ukrainian land and its people have long been a bartering tool for nations either further westward or eastward, and battles for its rule have been ongoing since its heyday in Kyivan Rus. From the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, to the Russian and Austro-Hungarian empires, to Stalins Soviet experiment gone horribly wrong, Ukraine has seen its fair share of revolutions. The question is, will this one end much like the rest, effectively forcing the Ukrainian people back into serfdom? Or is there another fate for this country?

 I am appealing to you, young men and women, who are of approximately the same age as our independence. To the young people, whose active life is just beginning, and will be connected with this country. Most of you will live, work, start families, and build your future here.
I am appealing to you to the ones who are now around 20 -25. To you precisely to you, because I am not sure that the older generations will hear me and understand clearly. But somehow, I am confident in you!
2 (Comments)

Many people cant imagine life without travel: meeting new people and discovering unknown lands. But can you boast knowing the languages of the countries you visit? English is mostly international and will get you by, but not always. This summer I went to France...not speaking French. Back in Ukraine I met a French journalist...who did not speak Ukrainian or Russian. Bearing the mirror-like similarity between our situations in mind, Whats On holds up a mirror to what it is like to be robbed of the ability to communicate, or tongue-tied.

It was the worst of times in the Soviet Socialist Republic, literally. Leader of the Soviet UNI0N, Joseph Stalin, had enforced a sweeping collectivisation as part of his Five-Year Plan, designed to strengthen the countrys economy. What it did was commit the Ukrainian nation and surrounding areas to starvation, and death. They called it Holodomor, extermination by hunger.

With debate concerning Ukraine and the EU Association Agreement, the country has turned the European spotlight on itself and not merely because of the prospective signing at the Third Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius. Alongside the Association Agreement, Ukraines population decline has been ongoing since the Post-Soviet 1990s, which is of concern at a time when prospective future mass migration is on the agenda something evidenced when Ukraines neighbor Poland joined the European UNI0N. Ukraines population decreases are predicted to be the largest in Europe with estimates stating from 2011 to 2050 a fall from 45.5 million to 3336 million people will be experienced. As a part of Europe and a member of the former Eastern-bloc, Ukraine is far behind its neighbours. With the prospective Association Agreement, perhaps Ukraine has a chance to flourish.

Music is known as a powerful tool for social and political change. But what if the tables are turned? In Ukraine, a government proposal to cut state-funding in the music education sector threatens to muffle the sound of music. Whats On looks at the ramifications of privatisation for both the tertiary institutions and students.

Yuriy Miroshnikov is a bit of an enigma among Ukraines corporate high flyers. While he does fly high as President of Ukraine International Airlines (UIA), he shies away from the personal spotlight preferring to concentrate on the company he has been part of for 20 years. Whats On profiles Miroshnikov and UIA as Ukraines leading carrier celebrates 21 years in operation.


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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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