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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 Travel

From A to Z-aporizhia

The word equidistant is hard to use without thinking of Alan Partridge, however, its hard not to use in the case of Zaporizhia, equidistant as it is in so many ways. Its near the same distance from both Luhansk and Odesa, and a similar distance between Kyiv and Sevastopol.
It was this favourable location, combined with climate, which attracted people to the settlement, back in the day.

Archaeological finds in the area have indicated that Scythian nomads (ancient Iranian) were living there two to three thousand years ago. Zaporizhia benefited from being on the trade route from the Varangians to the Greeks, an important thoroughfare of the time, which connected Scandinavia, Kyivan Rus and the Byzantine Empire. 

Early Days
In 1552, legendary Dmytro Vyshnevetsky, Hetman of the Ukrainian Cossacks, known as Baida in folk songs, erected wood-earth fortifications on the island of Mala Khortytsia in the Dnipro River, near Khortytsia Island. These provided the prototype of the Zaporizhian Sich, a historical territory that existed between the 16th and 18th centuries. In 1789, Mennonites from Prussia accepted Catherine the Greats invitation and settled in what became known as the Chortitza Colony, northwest of Khortytsia Island. They established industry and trade in the area, building factories which would later be expropriated by the Communist government. 
Following years saw a rope ferry built for transport across the Dnipro replaced by the large Kichkas Bridge (since replaced), which was of great strategic importantance during the Russian Civil War, carrying troops, ammunition, the wounded and medical supplies. It was also the subject of fierce fighting, and in 1920, a 40m hole was blown in the centre of it. A replacement section was promptly ordered and the Order of the Red Banner of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic awarded for the promptness of execution! 
In 1921, the town was renamed Zaporizhia (literally beyond the rapids), and its growth continued apace. Between 1929 and 1932, a master plan of city construction was developed, which saw the city become an industrial powerhouse with major steel and aluminium facilities. Of particular note was the huge hydroelectric dam, DniproHES, which finished construction in 1932. Its construction saw the Dnipro rapids flooded, creating a river between Kyiv and Kherson.

Soviets and Wars
The architecture in Zaporizhia provides some excellent examples of architectural idealism of the time, constructivist master himself Le Corbusier even visited the area a few times in the 1930s. Reflecting the idealistic Soviet philosophy, the road leading to the factories was once called Enthusiasts Alley. It has also been called Shevchenko Avenue, and Stalin Avenue in its time, before the present name of Metallurgist Avenue.
World War II was a very difficult time for the city, witnessing the shooting of political prisoners in the city and the blowing of a large hole in the hydroelectric dam, which produced a fatal wave sweeping way to Nikopol. Under German occupation, it is estimated 35,000 were shot and 58,000 sent to Germany as forced labour. Rebuilt and growing since WWII, modern day Zaporizhia, the sixth largest city in Ukraine with a population of 776,000, is an important industrial centre of the country, with key car, metal and aircraft engine plants located here, as well as a thriving port.

For the Tourist
Despite its industrial background, Zaporizhia actually boasts a lot for the tourist, with an abundance of museums, theatres, fountains, statues, sculptures and the like. Be sure to check out the daily art exhibition and sale near the Fountain of Life at Mayakovskoho Square, where you can chat with the artists and craftsmen while bartering over a price for their work. 
The island of Khortytsia is located in the geographical centre of the city and is well worth checking out to take in its epic bridges, while the historical and cultural museum Zaporizhian Sich is on the rocky northern part of the island.
The smaller islands between the dam and the big island each have their own legends and stories attached, and the one named Stolb has a geological feature, which looks like a large bowl in granite slabs, and is called Cossacks Bowl. It is said that on summer days, under the hot sun, you can even boil water in this natural feature.  

Graham Phillips

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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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