|On the cover|
Tunnelling Towards Hope
|28 February - 6 March 2014|
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 EuroMaidan’s three-month-long protests, made headlines around the globe. It was here, on 19 January the country’s 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.
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.
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.
|Just a Minute|
That Said (#13)
Before leaving for Ukraine last summer, I did a road trip right round England. It was a way of saying goodbye, aware that I’d be away for a while. In my trusty Rover 45, I cruised from Penzance to York, Whitstable to Newcastle, Scarborough to Sheffield. And in all its counties and all its wonder, I love the place! London, though, is home for me, having spent most of my life there.
The other day, I was looking over a story in the news, illustrated by photos of London. There it was, in all its glory: soaring skyscrapers, tree-lined river embankments, majestic older buildings. It all led me to wonder, sitting in my slightly bleak Soviet flat in the middle of a forest of similar dwellings, “Why on earth am I in Ukraine?”
For many people here, their main desire is to leave. Actually, you can find reported in What’s On previously that 15% plan to do so. Yet, it’s incredibly hard for them, if not in many cases impossible. They dream of a life beyond the constraints of their country, and such other, in effect, ‘holiday destinations’ (Egypt, Turkey) where travel is visa-free. Unless you have the connections, the qualifications and, let’s be blunt, the cash, you can ascribe those aspirations to pipe-dreams. Yet, I could go and hop on a plane in a couple of hours. I could be in London later today. So, why don’t I do just that?
I was pondering this question whilst on the metro travelling into the city. It was a metro ride in which a chap had precariously placed a stuffed bag of oranges. The metro shuddered, the bag spilled its considerable contents and a cascade of oranges ran down the metro aisle. Passengers were standing, clutching the overhead railings, as an orange sea engulfed their ankles. Then, they snapped out of it and started picking up the fruit, forming a ‘bucket line’ until the bag was replenished with its former contents.
I got out at Khreshchatyk, still rather surprised at what had just happened, and went up the stairs to switch over to the Maidan metro line. There was a huge bottleneck headed for the escalator. Circumventing that to walk down the stationary escalator, I saw the cause. An old man was trapped in a way I still can’t quite fathom. The escalator was moving, yet he was staying in the same position, seemingly clutching the moving handrail and running the other way, looking terrified. He was like a computer game character, trapped in perpetual motion when your computer crashes. Getting out at Lybidska metro station, I was walking under the underpass, still pondering, when a banana hit me in my leg. It had been dropped (although it did feel more like it was thrown), from one of the concessions lining the underpass. As I picked up the fruit to hand back, I remembered why I’m in Ukraine. I’m here because you just never know what’s going to happen next!
What’s been on your minds this week? Well, the weather of course, with several shades of seasonal sentiment making it through to Tweets of the Week...
Marika Barisheva @Zlajamasha Hello Earth! In Kiev, now the sun is shining in the sky floating gray clouds) have a nice day!
???????? ??????? @migorg Snow in April: Yesterday in Kiev was a snow. Now sun shines in the blue sky, +15. It`s very interesting =) pic.twitter.com/2EEXrdfW
?????????? @ua_traveler Seems that spring finally came to Ukraine :) The sun is shining :)
ErinJoy @ejtotheworld it’s a beautiful day! the sun is shining! the snow is falling! just another day in Ukraine :)
Mike Lee @AgronomyUkraine #Ukraine Jeez, what a day...sun, rain, snow, lots of snow, sun, snow gone, rain, sun...cold. Four seasons in one day.
I’m an attractive young lady who has recently moved to Kyiv. I’m a bit concerned, as it’s already been a couple of weeks and I haven’t yet had carnal relations with Kellen Derry. Having asked around my friends, I seem to be the only one in this position. What’s the problem – am I not attractive enough? I’ve always rated myself as a solid 8 out of 10. Has Kellen left town? What’s going on? Please, Graham, help me out here!
Due to a recent high volume of lady-traffic, Kellen has been extremely busy. However, be assured, your request is in the queue and Kellen will be with you as soon as possible. In the meantime, there’s always myself.
Ukraine and Russia are ready to come round the table, crack out the Jacobs and sort out their cheese conflict. Will they have meaningful talks though, or just shoot the bries?
Website Skyscanner has seen a surge in flight searches from people coming to visit Ukraine. For Euro 2012? Not exactly, more before and after Euro 2012. Still, dobro pozhalovat tourists!
It’s coming up, it’s in Kyiv, it’s huge, it will be all white on the night…
Ukrainian goalkeepers just keep getting banned and injured at the moment. Not that I’m happy about that. Even though I’m English, I live in Ukraine so will support Ukraine. Of course.
A ship with 16 Ukrainian citizens has been detained in Hong Kong, for unknown reasons. According to crew members, there is no fuel, air conditioning or ventilation and meager stocks of food and fresh water. Sort it out Ukrainian diplomat-types!!
Business Visas for British Citizens
Did you read last week’s piece? Turns out it’s our own ruddy fault after all. And all those hours I’d spent moaning down at Lucky Pub. Humble pie for muggins Phillips!!
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Provocations & Observations (#7)
Provocations & Observations (#6)
Provocations & Observations (#5)
Provocations & Observations (#4)
Provocations & Observations (#3)
|Rights We Didn’t 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 don’t understand the meaning of these words.
| Kyiv Culture|
Located on Hrushevskoho Street – the epicentre of EuroMaidan violence, home to battles, blazes and barricades – children’s 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. What’s On meets Mykola Petrenko, art director of the Theatre, to learn more about those who pull the strings behind the show.