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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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Ukrainian Culture

The Party You Cant Say No To

This summer is going to be a big one for two of my friends who will go through the life-changing ritual of tying the knot. While I am not getting married myself, Im still under pressure as both of them have asked me to be their best man. According to Ukrainian tradition, the best man should be one who has never married and unfortunately for me I am that guy.

However, faced with the choice between finding my own bride stat and agreeing to witness two weddings in a row, Im more inclined to the second option. Still, doing my mates the honour of being their best man carries with it a weight of responsibility. Before their weddings take place, my boys need a stag party. Ive got no yardstick, Ive never been to one myself and the booze-fuelled chaos of the movie The Hangover is probably not a model I should emulate. Instead, Ive done a little research into the world of bachelor parties (including bachelorette, or hen parties, for good measure), which Ill happily share here in the pages of Whats On.

Its All In The Planning
Perhaps the most unique thing you can do at a stag or hen party is not get drunk, but then it would seem to render the whole exercise pointless, right? So a few alcoholic beverages, it would seem, are a must. As for the rest, I turn to the Internet for inspiration. It is of little help thousands of links are offered and the conclusion I make is basically it would seem any activity can become a bachelor party if you gather all your guy friends together right before the wedding.
So instead of searching globally, I decide to think locally. Fortunately, there are so many things to do in Kyiv all thats left for me is to resort to some planning. Before engaging in drinking or any activity, its a good idea to chow down some food. So Ive decided to take the boys out to one of the many meat restaurants in Kyiv for steak (check out the list below).

Dining Options For Boys:
PivBar (Maidan Nezalezhnosti, Globus 2nd Line), 099-044-3334
Chorne Porosya (B Zhytomyrska 8/14), 067-434-7077
Grill do Brasil (L Ukrainky 24), 593-9898

Theres one in particular I like that serves a Churrasco menu. For those who dont know, this South American-style barbeque includes a set of meat dishes brought to you one-after-another, all you can eat for a set price. We are men after all and a few cuts of juicy meat eaten in the morning wont harm us. A lot of venues also suggest a beer degustation so we can take that in too.

A Wealth Of Activities
After satisfying our mannish hungers we need to do something physical. A good option to burn testosterone is to go and play paintball: take pleasure in shooting your friends in the back, take a ride on quad bikes or maybe conquer the waters of the Dnipro in kayaks at Hydropark. There are also a couple of shooting ranges in Kyiv if you want to shoot real guns and hear the deafening sound of gunfire and smell gunpowder. Some companies even offer a ride in a real tank and various other military vehicles; however the prices are far beyond simply expensive.
After playing soldiers I think Ill take the boys to the Pedestrian Bridge on Poshtova Ploshcha and force them to bungee jump I see that as sort of symbolic of jumping out of the childhood that lasts for many men until they are 30 or beyond. With adrenalin pumping we could cross the bridge to Trukhaniv Island and grill some shashlik as a way to get back to normal.
As theyre about to become married men their responsibilities will be higher, and what can take you higher than an aircraft, delta plane or air balloon? In Kyiv these too are available, however the price for a 15-minute flight on a jet runs up to 7,000hrv.

Extreme Activities:
KGB Paintball Club www.paintball.kgb.ua
Hyperion Paintball Club www.hyperion.kiev.ua
Quad Rental www.quadroquest.kiev.ua
Bungee Jumping in Hydropark, 592-4610
Bungee Jumping on Pedestrian Bridge, 093-962-5592
Kayaking in Hydropark, 383-7553

Military Vehicles Rental and Shooting Ranges:
Sport Complex Sapsan www.sapsan.ua
Military Tourism Agency www.tanki.kiev.ua
Shampantrance Company www.shampantrans.com.ua

Aircrafts Club:
V Nebo Agency www.v-nebo.com.ua

With physical activities over, Im thinking a few drinks and an evening pub-crawl is just the thing to get into the real spirit of a stag party. Focusing on shots rather than drinking beer is a good way to drink more...and faster.

Pub Crawl Options:
Art Club 44 (Khreshchatyk 44b), 279-4137
Bochka (Verkhniy Val 22), 200-0360
Dockers ABC (Khreshchatyk-Zankovetskoi 15/4), 278-1717
Porter (Konstantynivska 2a), 425-0281
Tolstoy Club (V Vasylkivska 19), 200-3838

With the pub crawl at its end, Ive got a special cab that will take us to the last stop of the night. My boys are not fans of glamorous limos or big Hummers, but they will definitely appreciate a retro 30 40s style vehicle to take us to our final destination. 

Retro Cars Rental:
AutoLimo www.avtolimo.com.ua

Yes, call me misogynist, but boys love girls, especially when they are scantily clad and thats why a strip club is simply a must. Its not hard to find one in this city so ordering a couple of lap dances is an easy way to cap off a whole day of stag adventures. What they tell their fiancés the next morning is up to them.

Strip Clubs:
Arena Stars Cabaret (Baseina 2a), 209-3797
Dolls Mens Club (V Vasylkivska 57/3), 099-380-7744
Myatniy Nosorog (Artema 37/41), 461-9087
Egoist (Horlovska 124/140), 098-110-1010

The Bottom Line
Throughout my investigations, it was interesting to note that ladies tend to pay more attention to detail with their hen parties compared to men, for whom a bachelor party usually just involves a lot of booze. For the boys, the magic of alcohol will probably lead to the even best laid plans going slightly awry, but its all about the intent and symbolism of the event. Marriage these days doesnt guarantee 100% fidelity on the part of both partners but, with best intentions at heart, most men think their stag night is their last opportunity to do whatever they want.
While mens imagination doesnt extend much beyond raising glass to lips when it comes to these events, the ladies are pretty good at organising their shindigs for the bride-to-be. Even before the term hen party was used to refer to a pre-wedding event, women in Europe and America used to gather for a tea and chitchat session, gossiping about their men folk. Basically, the same occurs now, with todays ladies being a bit more frank compared to the 1819th centuries. In fact, bachelorette night outs sometimes become as debauched as stag parties, and explains why male stripper or servers wearing aprons only became standard at a hen party. Girls will often wear veils, rent limos, and go clubbing, polishing off their fifth bottle of champagne on the way. This usually means dancing on the bar is inevitable, with a little striptease from the bride or her friends included in other words, things they wouldnt necessarily do unless they were wasted.

Gifts For The Bride and/or Groom-To-Be:
Eroticon Intim Shop www.erotikon.com.ua
Klubnichka On-line Shop www.klubnichka.in.ua

A little poll among Whats On employees reveals hen parties may well be the wildest. One of my colleagues told me she was up to telling her fiancé about the party plans, but she doubts shes ever going to tell him what really happened. To find out the truth about hen parties you need to be a girl...or a male stripper.

by Vadym Mishkoriz

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  • 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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