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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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Kyiv Culture

Crime in Ukraine

Crime in Ukraine isnt typically violent but it is prevalent. Take the time to remind yourself about these few scams that happen all the time in our entrepreneurial city so youre not the next victim.
It could happen to you. Youre walking down the street, probably smiling unaccountably, as expats are wont to do, and you see the man walking ahead of you drop his wallet and continue. Instinctively, you snatch it up and tap him on the shoulder, already basking in the warmth of your good deed.

He turns around and looks at you suspiciously, weighing his wallet in his palm as if it feels lighter in his palm than he remembered. He quickly counts the bills inside, and informs you that he had 5,000hrv in his wallet before he dropped it, and now has only 4,500hrv. Bystanders begin to take notice. A man claiming to be a plainclothes policeman flashes what appears to be a badge and walks over to mediate what is quickly escalating into a tense situation. What do you do?

The Drop 
Eager to prove your innocence, you take out your own wallet and proffer its contents. The officer counts your money and inspects your wallet for hidden pockets (where you might have squirreled away the stolen money). To your relief, the officer rules in your favour and returns the wallet. You scurry away from the scene, embarrassed but relieved. It is only when you get home that you realise a great deal of your own money has gone missing from your wallet. 
The variables can change, the mediator might not claim to be a police officer at all, and may take off running with your wallet as soon as you hand it over. The scam, however, remains the same: drop a wallet (or plastic bag with cash) as bait and prey on the unfortunate person who tries to return it. The Wallet Drop is ingenious in its speed and simplicity, the perfect crime in a cash-based economy          like Kyiv. 
Most criminals targeting expats and foreigners rely on smarts not violence. In fact, recent statistics show that violent crime rates in Ukraine are among the lowest in all of Europe. Most crime here aims to divest the victim of his or her money with as little fanfare as possible, from pickpocketing and so-called confidence scams like the wallet drop, to Internet-based fraud and ATM and credit card rackets. 

Electronic Cons
The last two kinds of crime have helped make Kyiv a predominantly cash-based economy. Internet hackers prowl WiFi networks, particularly public ones in cafés and restaurants, for key information and credentials that could be used to tap into your bank accounts. The easiest way to address this threat is to carry out bank transactions at home, through a Virtual Private Network, or VPN. VPN networks channel the user IP address through a proxy network, helping to shield your banking transaction or Amazon purchase from curious hackers. 
Credit card and ATM fraud are also widely reported here. Criminals have been known to install copying and PIN recording devices in ATM machines and use the copies to create duplicate credit cards. In commercial businesses, employees have been known to run the card on a separate, concealed card reader to either copy the cards information or make a separate, illicit charge. For this reason, it is generally advisable to use only reputed bank ATMs to withdraw money, and to avoid using your credit card at restaurants and stores. Dont assume that you are safe if you go to a fancy restaurant or expensive bar. Instances of credit card fraud have been reported in reputable establishments! You can also help mitigate potential damage by setting daily withdrawal and spending limits through your bank. 
By taking these few small steps, you lower the risk of being the next victim on the streets of Kyiv. Be aware always the holiday season should not be spent at your local police office.  

3 Key Ways to Keep Your Valuables Safe 
1. Keep your wallet and phone close. This may seem obvious, but its easier said than done. Make sure you remove your wallet from your coat before you turn it over to coat check. Dont hang your coat or purse somewhere other people can brush against it (ie a crowded bar or restaurant). 
2. Trust your instincts. If someone on the street gives you a weird feeling, keep him at arms length. As we point out, violent crime is rare, but pickpocketing is fairly common. Better safe than sorry! 
3. Carry only what you need. It is easy to carry large sums of cash here, given the dearth of reliable ATMs.

Yohanca Delgado


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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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