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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.


Kyiv Traditions

15 Years of Flying the Flag

It has been 15 years since The Governmental Flag of Ukraine was adopted as the Ukrainian nations national flag. Since January 1992 it has flown over the country uninterrupted, but it is not the first time the flag was raised over a united Ukraine. It was officially adopted for the first time in history in 1918 by a short-lived Ukrainian Peoples Republic. At that time it was blue and yellow just as it is today, but it also sported a Tryzub in the upper left-hand corner. The insignia remained unchanged by the succeeding government of Pavlo Skoropadsky and was later integrated into the flag of the Ukrainian SSR by the Bolsheviks. However, under Soviet rule this flag was forbidden as a symbol of nationalism, and the Ukrainian SSR adopted its own flag. Blue and yellow banners were widely used by Cossacks between the 16th and 18th centuries. This was not the only possible combination, since Cossacks would normally fly their hetmans banners which were similar to the coats of arms of the nobility. However, yellow and blue were the colors common on coats of arms in Galicia. In fact, the coat of arms of Lviv remains to this day a golden lion on a blue field. The true starting point of the current national flag of Ukraine can be traced back to 1848, when during the spring a yellow and blue banner flew over the Lviv magistrate for the first time. Although this move didnt have significant consequences, the newly formed Ukrainian divisions in the Austrian army adopted yellow and blue banners as their insignia.

It has to be noted that although most Ukrainians identify their flag as yellow and blue, the current flag is in reality blue and yellow. The reason for the reversal is quite simple. Although in 1848 the flag was indeed yellow and blue (yellow on top, blue at the bottom), in daily work Ukrainian nationalists turned the flag to be able to explain its meaning. The common explanation of blue sky above a yellow field of wheat was invented around that time, and, although it has nothing to do with the choice of colours and the history of the original yellow and blue banner, the idea stuck giving us the flag we have today. In the late 19th century, the Austro-Hungarian Empire was much more tolerant towards the Ukrainian national movement than the Russian Empire. A lot of nationalist literary work was written in the Austro-Hungarian controlled areas at this time, which then spread to the rest of Ukraine. With the introduction of Gorbachovs Perestroyka and the subsequent Glasnost years, the individual Soviet republics felt an increasing sense of national identity. This was particularly strong in the Baltic States and Western Ukraine, which were the last territories to join the Soviet UNI0N. These nationalistic efforts were accompanied with attempts to restore the respective historical national symbols. In 1988, the Supreme Soviet of Lithuanian SSR re-established Lithuanias historic coat of arms as the state symbol. The Parliaments of Latvia and Estonia soon followed.

The events in the Baltic Republics soon spread to Ukraine, particularly in the West and the Ukrainian SSRs capital Kyiv. During this time political demonstrations were held almost constantly with the national yellow-and-blue flags waving above the heads of the people. Once the ball started rolling it was impossible to stop. On March 20, 1990, the town council of Ternopil voted upon the usage and re-establishment of the yellow-and-blue flag and the Tryzub as well as the national anthem Sche ne vmerla Ukraina. On April 28, 1990, the Oblast council of Lviv also allowed the use of the national symbols of Ukraine within the Oblast. On April 29, 1990, the yellow-and-blue flag was flown from the Ternopil city theaters flagstaff without the official flag of the Soviet UNI0N hanging above it. On July 24, 1990, the yellow-and-blue flag was flown for the first time over an official governmental building of the Kyiv City Council on Kreshchatyk. After the declaration of independence of Ukraine on August 24, 1991, the national yellow-and-blue flag flew for the first time over the Ukrainian Parliament building on September 4, 1991. And finally the original flag was officially restored in January 22, 1992. Article 20 of the Constitution of Ukraine (1996) states: National Flag of Ukraine is a banner of two equal-sized horizontal strips coloured blue and yellow.

 Anatoli Artemenko

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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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