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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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Ukraine Today

The Market as a Microcosm

The Soviet UNI0N was one of the worlds most ethnically diverse countries, with more than 100 distinct ethnicities living within its borders. While Stalinist policies shoehorned those ethnicities neatly into various corners of the UNI0N, there was one place where they all came together the rynok. Whats On takes a look at Kyivs Volodymyrskiy Rynok 23-years post-Soviet and finds while the goods might have changed, in terms of the make-up of those that trade within it, its business as usual business as it always was.

Gevorg is proud of his English and admittedly its good. Its the smell that leads you to the stand manned by him and the rest of his Armenian family. Youll find him here most days among the heady aroma that wafts from the dizzying array of legumes, nuts, and dried and powdered fruits. My family has been here long time, he tells me. Everything we sell we bring from home (Armenia).
Gevorg says half his family were based in Kyiv as part of a small Armenian diaspora pre the fall of the Soviet UNI0N, but his branch of the family are refugees of sorts. He hails originally from the tinderbox that is the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh or Mountainous Karabakh a de facto independent state but effectively part of Armenia. Internationally however, the region is considered part of Azerbaijan and it is the turf warfare the erupted in the brutal 1988 1994 Nagorno-Karabakh War between what was a largely Armenian civilian force and paid-Azerbaijani troops that Gevorgs family fled from. The war is officially on ceasefire status and, while he returns home regularly, the fact it could all blow up again tomorrow keeps him and his family in Kyiv, he says.

Race Relations
When I inform him Ive been to Mountainous Karabakh and seen the damaged infrastructure and bullet-riddled houses for myself, I become his brother and Gevorg becomes my guide through the market. You are foreigner, well I am too, but I work here everyone will try to sell you things for double, he tells me. When I ask if he pulls the same trick, he simply grins. It begs the question though, as Armenians, do he and his family share the market with their enemies. Yes, he says. There is an Azerbaijani woman here, and there are Turks, traditionally we dont like either they are Muslim we are Christian. However, distance mellows any antagonism. We arent friends, but we are all trying to make business and we respect each other, we like the Georgians very much they are more like us.
So how many different ethnicities work here? You can buy anything here and I think you can find almost any person (ethnicity) as well, but most are Ukrainian and you get many Ukrainians who dont want to pay rent setting up outside, he says nodding towards Telmana Street and the line of people sitting on fruit boxes selling everything from potatoes to berries. It is that ad-hoc trading that led to the formation of Volodymyrskiy Rynok in the first place.

Market On The Move
Its origins begin in the Pechersk district and it is associated with development of Kyiv in the first 30 years of the 19th century, including the new Kyiv Pechersk fortress and street planning in the Lybid River valley. Originally, a group of entrepreneurs would come to Pechersk and hawk their wares outside the 1766 Volodymyr wooden church. In 1833, the church was demolished to make way for the fortress. A replacement church was consecrated in 1835 on Velyka Vasylkivska Street (the site of Palace Ukraine). As before, the church lured traders and became an organised market drawing its name from the church. There it stood for 130 years, trading in agricultural produce, animal feed, fuel, livestock, and horses.
In 1930, Volodymyr Church was destroyed a victim of Soviet state atheism. The market remained until the mid-60s when the site was commandeered for construction of Palace Ukraine. It had operated even during some of the most trying times for Kyiv in 1933, during the famine known as Holodomor, it traded although the range of produce was scant, likewise World War II and into the even more difficult conditions post-war. Following completion of a dual-level building in 1968, the market was moved a block downhill and now stands on a 14,690 square metre site bordered by Antonovycha (Horkoho), Volodymyro-Lybidska and Telmana streets.
The market shuts shop at 19.00 daily, I dont know why, Gevorg says. But it is the rules; it has always been this way. He leads me past a makeshift bar, every night this is Georgian party here, if we have extra money we join too.

by Jared Morgan

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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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