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On the cover
7 (2014)
Tunnelling Towards Hope

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.


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.


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.


Ukraine Today

Tracking Down Tymoshenko

As you doubtless know, ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko was recently removed from her prison in Kyiv and sent nearly 500km away to Kharkiv. Some see this as a ploy by Yanukovych to get her out of the media spotlight, others speculate as to more sinister motives. Either way, Kharkiv is not renowned for being a pro-Tymoshenko city. We headed down to check out the prison, Kachanivska penal colony No 54. Located about 5km from the city centre, its surrounded by bleak, half-ruined buildings, it seems wholly inhospitable to visitors and theres the feeling of latent threat that at any moment a black unmarked car could appear.

We walked around taking photos with some of the nervous residents shuffling by, jokingly asking if we had permission. But no one was really laughing. Some spoke to us by the prison, many refused. Those in the city itself were much more candid.

Serhiy I suppose its a shame it happened but I cant say that I think about it a lot or care about it too much. Tymoshenko had her chance to change things, she didnt do that and now this is just how things are.

Natalia I cant say that I like Tymoshenko. Maybe she doesnt deserve to be in prison, maybe she does. Im not interested enough in it to follow all the details. I leave making the decisions to our government and hope for the best.

Daniel Ive got other things to think about. Im studying architecture at the moment, planning for my future. Our politics is just a mess so I keep out of it, focus my energy on other things. Whats the point of getting involved with all that?

Ina I wouldnt say that Tymoshenko was a bad lady but she wasnt a particularly good one either. Now, ok, shes in prison but Im sure shes pretty comfortable in there, probably still living better than most Ukrainians. 

Nastya Im disappointed in her. I remember a few years ago there was so much hope. Then, it all disappeared. Now young people dont believe in politics, dont trust our politicians. Im not sure if she really deserves to be in prison but I know she should have done better.

Zhenya I live right next to the prison, I see people coming here, asking questions all the time. Im surprised people are so interested. Its just politics, she made mistakes, now shes in prison. It doesnt change my life and even though I see the prison every day, its not something I think about.

Vasyl Its a shame. Youve come here asking questions about it, I know you think its bad. I know the West doesnt like it. It makes me a bit ashamed, but what can I do about it? Its not my life. Its not my fault.

Anatoliy I think its really bad. Theres no way she deserves to be in prison, even if she made a bad deal. Ive heard what happens there, its not good. 

Mykola I dont care, what difference does it make to me? She lied, she made mistakes and now shes in prison. Maybe thats not the best thing or the nicest thing, but in life, if we make mistakes, sometimes we have to pay for them.

Iryna I really dont like her. Shes where she deserves to be. Actually I hope she stays there. Many people suffered because of her actions, theyre still suffering. At least she is warm and comfortable.

Chris Collison and Graham Phillips

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Comments (1)
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Fan | 13.02.2012 17:43

Reading all that opinions, of all that people, young and old.. I could't have but wonder..where is ukrainian sense of national dignity?! Thats not to say Tymoshenko is "pure" politician, but, what I think, she doesn't deserve to be where she is! There were no reasons for her to be in jail for the deals, she was forsed to sign at the time! Both, European leaders and Putin, were DEMANDING to take a decision! so what she was supposed to do? And, Mykola says "sometimes people pay for their mistarkes"?! but it which way this is related to the political repression of tymoshenko?! seems to me a way too "expensive" price to pay! Moreover, the case of Tymoshenko is a terrible step back from the democracy we were so much willing to build in Ukraine! I honestly feel ashamed of the government and the president of MY Country (which I happed to adore!). Those are people who doesn't have anything ukrainian inside and so it is not a surprise they don't care about the image, international position of the country, and moreover, stability and prosperity of Ukraine from inside. I can't say that I support Tymoshenko, but I feel REALLY SORRY that the person is the only one in jail for an absourd, when there are so many officials hiding behind planty "potencial life-long sentenses" but they are hanging out in carribians and maldives instead, being at the same time judges, prosecutors, ministers, businessman etc. If you want to punish - punish all who deserve it! Rules and laws must work the same for everyone! Otherwise, we are moving in wrong direction!..and, to my huge disappointmen, we are intensively moving there..

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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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