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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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Ukrainian Culture

A Long Shot for the Home Team

They do have home advantage in the notoriously hostile-to-opponents Donbass Arena in Donetsk. Whats the likelihood, however, of Ukrainian glory at Euro 2012? We have a look at the team and assess their chances.
Bookies dont fancy Ukraine much at all for this tournament, with odds of 50/1 still available on the home team. This seems a little harsh, after all Ukraine got as far as England in the 2006 World Cup, and odds on Ukraines opponents, the Three Lions, are hovering around the 10/1 mark.

That said, Ukraine didnt qualify for either EURO 2008 or the last World Cup, and they are up against some tough opponents, in the shape of England, France and Sweden. Leading the pack in that, at least in FIFA rankings, are England in 7th place, with France in 16th, Sweden in 17th and Ukraine all the way down in 50th. 
Ukraine have actually played against France and Sweden in the last year, in friendly fixtures here in Ukraine, losing 1-4 and 0-1 respectively. On the plus side, their record against England is a bit better, with a narrow 1-2 reversal at Wembley in April of 2009, before beating them 1-0 in Dnipropetrovsk later that year. 
As for personnel, their legendary captain, Anatoliy Tymoshchuk, one of two foreign-based players (the other being Andriy Voronin) with Bayern Munich, has endured an indifferent season, only being played due to injuries and then being played out of position. As for Shevchenko, doubts remain whether he will even make the final 23, due to be announced any day now. And then theres the goalkeepers... 

Key Players:
Andriy Yarmolenko
Position: Forward/Left Winger
Age: 22
Strengths: Skilful, young, tall, and a very good scoring record at club and international level. The team will need his drive, goals and assists if they are to progress.
Weaknesses: Inexperienced in tournament football, his final delivery is still inconsistent.






Andriy Shevchenko
Position: Striker
Age: 35
Strengths: He is a legend, having enjoyed a career showered with club and individual awards. His scoring record for the national team is phenomenal; hes been there and done it.
Weaknesses: Has been dogged by injuries, his best days seem to be behind him, and hes just had an indifferent season with Dynamo.

Yevhen Khacheridi
Position: Centre Back
Age: 24
Strengths: A huge figure, at nearly 2 metres tall, he will have the responsibility of shutting out opponents attack. He is a hard-tackling presence who knows how to clear his lines.
Weaknesses: Still very inexperienced at the national level. Not the most mobile of players and yet to perform at his best in the international arena. 



Andriy Pyatov
Position: Goalkeeper
Age: 27
Strengths: Capable of match-winning saves, versatile, reads the game well, and experience of top-level football having played against the likes of Barcelona.
Weaknesses: With regular goalkeepers Oleksandr Shovkovskiy, Oleksandr Rybka and Andriy Dikan all either injured or suspended, a lot of pressure is on his shoulders. And, at under 6 foot, there are questions about his stature. 

The WO Verdict
The Ukrainian team will need every one of their advantages to come into play to avoid being eliminated on their home soil just over a week after their tournament begins. On paper, making it out of the group stages looks unlikely. But then, of course, football is not played on paper.  

We caught up with a Ukrainian legend who has done it on the biggest stage, Serhiy Baltacha. This was what he had to say: 

How do you rate Ukraines chances?
I think we have a decent chance of at least getting out of the group stages. Obviously home advantage is important, the guys will need the Ukrainian support to get behind them and spur them on.

What about the players, any standouts for you?
For me, its not about individual players, its about the team. I played for the Soviet UNI0N in the 1982 World Cup (where he scored) and 1988 European Championship. In 1982, we got out of the group stages but no further, in 1988 we made it all the way to the final. The difference wasnt so much quality of players, as overall team spirit. 

And the manager?
Obviously I know Oleh Blokhin very well, we played together for Dynamo Kyiv and the Soviet UNI0N national team. He was a fantastic player and is a great manager. I trust that he will get the best out of his team. 

Should Shevchenko go?
Sheva has been a legend for the Ukrainian national team and will always be remembered for what he has done. Whether he should be included in the squad for this tournament is entirely about his form and fitness. 

Finally, as a man whos been there and done it, what is your advice to the current Ukrainian team, many of whom are going into their first major tournament?
Its all about believing in yourself, believing in your teammates. You have to be able to motivate yourself and then share that motivation with those around you. Thats the key to success in football, of course on the bigger stage the stakes are higher, but the principles are the same.

Graham Phillips

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Read also:
  • When Walls Can Talk
  • Rights We Didnt Know We Had
  • The Path to Europe Begins Here...
  • Documenting Life
  • Head into 2014 Healthy

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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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