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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 Today
The theatrical world is renowned for its, well, theatrics but when the drama offstage starts to rival that onstage theres a problem. Last summer Kyivs theatre scene was rocked by scandals involving the biggest names in classical and modern ballet in Ukraine Denys Matvienko, ex-soloist of the National Opera, and Radu Poklitaru, choreographer and director of Kyiv Modern Ballet. Whats On revisits the drama now the weather and emotions have cooled and the new theatre season has opened.

The most stressful times in life include moving house, getting married, the first time in a marshrutka and starting your own business. Despite the latter though, many shrewd young people with new ideas are trying to establish themselves in Kyiv, hoping to produce the next big thing. Whats On meets three budding business people to discuss their inspirations, successes and challenges in business and looks at where you can turn for business mentoring and education.

Last year it was football, football, football and this year its been basketball, basketball basketball. With Kyiv playing host to the Under 16 Eurobasket, where Ukraines junior squad racked up a rather dismal 10th place out of 16, and the senior side doing much better in the Eurobasket Championships in Slovenia by making it to the quarterfinals, the future of Ukrainian basketball is a hot topic right now.
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They allegedly have abilities that set them apart from the rest of us mere mortals. A sixth sense that allows them to communicate or perceive by means other than the physical senses, and whether you are sceptic or believer they make for good television. Whats On profiles four participants of the 12th season of Ukrainian smash-hit show Bytva Ekstrasensiv (Battle of the Psychics) soon to be launched on STB channel. Will they predict our questions?

The Soviet UNI0N was one of the worlds most ethnically diverse countries, with more than 100 distinct ethnicities living within its borders. While Stalinist policies shoehorned those ethnicities neatly into various corners of the UNI0N, there was one place where they all came together the rynok. Whats On takes a look at Kyivs Volodymyrskiy Rynok 23-years post-Soviet and finds while the goods might have changed, in terms of the make-up of those that trade within it, its business as usual business as it always was.

Were all for getting behind a good cause and one of the lots up for auction at Burns Night back in February was an interview and cover for Whats On. Snapped up by Velvet Hearts, we speak to young representatives of the charity, Iryna Serdyuk, Anna Kuznetsova, Oleksandra Balyasna and Alena Titilkina about the work they do for others, especially topical on the eve of their upcoming event Dobriy Den (Good Day) scheduled for 8 September.

Ukraines blind enjoy books, reading more than sighted people: official statistics state people who use Ukrainian libraries read an average of 10 to 12 books a year, blind and visually impaired read almost 50. Its hardly surprising blind people have limited means of getting information but that information does not come easy in Ukraine. Printing braille and recording audio-books is so underfunded some state libraries for visually impaired people have not received new books for years. Where the state policy fails, society steps in Whats On takes a look at initiatives to provide Ukraines visually impaired with audio-books.

It was a landmark date in Ukrainian history 24 August 1991. Ukraine proclaimed its independence, finally throwing off the shackles of the Soviets. I was born after that date and each year when Independence Day rolls around, I try to understand what it actually means to me. Unlike my parents and grandparents, my generation of young Ukrainians have not been brought up on a diet of official ideology. We are radically different.
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Summer is synonymous with sun, surf, and sand. In Ukraine, we commonly add Crimea to this list, as a footnote we might add the word dirty. Every summer the beaches become grimy, and the water dirty, from the sweat and refuse of the tens of thousands of predominantly Ukrainians and Russians who pack the region to sun themselves. For those planning on joining the summer migration to the Crimean Peninsula, Whats On gives a few tips on how to choose a safe and clean beach.

They inhabit the streets, the underground passages and the metro stations of central Kyiv, some are simply begging, some literally sing or play instruments for their supper and others are running businesses of sorts. Among the business-minded types are the painters and sketch artists supplementing meagre incomes or relying solely on passersby for their bread and butter. Unlike those that readily pose for them, they are reluctant subjects themselves as Whats On discovers.


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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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