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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

Graduation season is coming up and Kyivs graduating hordes will be entering the job market. Natalia Marianchyk has some advice for them.
Since the beginning of the year my good friend Lilia has been facing the job-search issue here in Kyiv. Lilia, a 22-year-old university graduate, had some prior PR experience with a leading global advertising company so she had a nice base from which to start her career. But looking for a job was no fun.

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The big Europe Day celebrations are taking place in Kyiv on 11 May before heading on to Odessa on the 14th and Donetsk on the 17th. As usual, there will be a lot to see and do, and the day will finish with a big concert on Maidan with some excellent bands performing. This week we caught up with Dirk Schuebel, Head of the Political, Press and Information Section of the EC Delegation here in Ukraine, to find out whats happening, what its all about, and how EUUkraine relations are progressing.


Driving recently to Chornobyl, where Im from, my thoughts travelled back to 1986, and to what happened then in Ukraine and my own north-central region of it, known as Polisya. I remembered how my elderly relatives broke down history into two halves: the era before April 26, 1986 was before the war, while the era that started that day was after the war.

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A new girl-pop band is launching in Ukraine. Big surprise, right? But wait this group wont be singing about expensive cars and up-market clothes. Its actually a parody of the whole post-Soviet girl-group phenomenon. What? Making fun of girl-pop? Its a sacrilege! The groups Andriy Kuzmenko gave Whats On the low-down.
But first a little more about Ukraines pop music scene. Its still all about half-naked, weak-voiced, big-chested bimbos miming along to a soundtrack and manipulated by male producers, even though they make girl-power pronouncements about how theyre out to achieve success on their own terms.


Foreigners aren't in Ukraine long before they encounter the local health myths. Yet foreigners bring their own hang-ups to Ukraine, to the natives' amusement. What's On looks into the tall-tales, just because it's International Health Week,
Ukrainian Myths:
1. Don't Sit on that Bench, You'll Go Sterile. We heard this one as we sat on a Maidan bench, minding our business. Then an old wom an started berating us to stand. Being well-raised, we moved to an other bench - only to have her try to get us up again. Why? Because sitting on a cold surface will destroy your ability to have children. It's not good to freeze any part of your body, but if this were true, ski- area chairlifts would be illegal. Truth factor (out of ten): 2.9.

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Young Ukrainians are getting serious exposure to worldwide standards by participating in international student organisations like AIESEC. If youre a local student and your goal is to work in a high-level profession or eventually head a big companys representative office here, the experience you gain from participating in something like AIESEC could be invaluable.

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Whats Ons Kseniya Karpenko (a Ukrainian woman!) discusses local womens values and wonders if something is missing.
One of the most underrated devices for sampling social attitudes is also one of the simplest: googling. Just typing an idea into the search engine and looking at the first bunch of results that come up produces rather telling results, sorted by relevance and filtered through the collective unconscious of Web surfers. In honour of International Womens day I devised the idea of using Google to explore how Ukrainian women compare with Western women, particularly American women.

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In the Soviet UNI0N, women had very little access to modern contraceptives, and mostly the only option open to them was the Intra Uterine Device (IUD). Even then, the IUD was only issued to women with certain health risks and therefore most women relied on traditional methods of birth control, which resulted in one of the highest abortion rates in the world. Today in Ukraine, things are changing, but misinformation among both the public and health workers still remains frighteningly high.

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Ukraine finally being granted membership of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has been big news, and many see it as the first step on the road to EU membership. This week we caught up with Ian Boag, Head of the EU Commissions Delegation to Ukraine, to get his views on this big step forward for the country, and what the implications might be.

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Who are all those skinheads, punks, metalheads, hiphoppers, and emo kids who have materialised on Kyivs streets over the last decade or so? What do they want? Who do they think they are? Should you avoid them? Heres Whats Ons guide to the capitals youth tribes.



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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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