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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 EuroMaidan’s three-month-long protests, made headlines around the globe. It was here, on 19 January the country’s 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.


Ukrainian Culture

Head into 2014 Healthy

There are few places in the world you will find health so highly esteemed as in Ukraine. People toast to your health all the time, and there are rules to follow to ensure wellbeing, such as eating a good amount of parsley, which is polezna (healthy), while sitting in a room with a stream of air conditioning is not. We can’t necessarily follow the best advice of our babushkas all the time – thank goodness there are places you can go to reclaim that healthy, youthful glow that fades with every piece of parsley you turn away.

You might not have known it, but Uk­raine is a haven of spas, sanatoriums and health resorts, with venues to choose from across the country. Mixing traditional natural treatments with modern science, these venues offer great results for relaxation and rejuvenation, almost always at cheaper prices than what you will find around Europe.
Two of the most popular spas in the country are Truskavets and Morshyn. However, another spa has slowly kneaded its way forward as not only the best in the country, but the world. According to the General Assembly and International Scientific Congress of World Federation of Hydrotherapy and Climatotherapy (FEMTEC), Myrhorod wins top honours as the world’s best spa resort of 2013.

Found in the Poltava region, just three hours by train from the capital, is the 400-year-old town of Myrhorod. Rich in historical heritage, the mineral springs of this region were discovered in 1917 by retired major general Dr Ivan Zubkovskiy, who opened the country’s first clinic offering spa treatments.
Containing many trace elements beneficial for health, Myrhorod mineral water is used to treat liver and gall bladder diseases as well as chronic gastro-intestinal problems. The spa also has a number of comfortable rooms in which to relax, an attentive medical staff, and a picturesque landscape perfect for anyone looking to enjoy a healthy week away.
Some of the treatments in which you can indulge include mud and chloride-sodium baths, pearl, carbon dioxide, pine and aromatic baths, various therapeutic showers (circular, underwater, hydro-laser), plusluminotherapy, speleotherapy, inhalations, a cryosauna, and a swimming pool. The mineral water found here has been compared to that of world-famous resorts Soden, Aahen, and Baden-Baden, with the cost of stay and treatment starting at 300hrv/day/person.
With its newest title “Best Spa Resort” awarded by FEMTEC in November last year, Myrhorod was chosen by leading experts in the spa and health industry of 27 countries for its holistic approach and its well-equipped facility including extensive therapeutic and diagnostic capabilities. CEO of Myrhorodkurort Dr Oleksandr Havlovskyy, MD says it’s thanks to the “more than 20 rehabilitation units within the resort [complex that] allow for the complete healing of the body”. Now that sounds like a good way to spend a week following the nepolezno reality of the holidays.

To get to Morshyn you’re going to have to travel a little further – just 90 kilometres from Lviv, the mineral waters found here have, for over a century, restored the health of thousands. As one of the best balneological resorts in the country, the trip is well worth your time. Found at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains, Morshyn compares with foreign options Wiesbaden in Germany or Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic in terms of quality and effectiveness, plus it is also more affordable.
What you’ll find here are local mineral springs rich in sulphates, sodium, and magnesium, which are used to treat stomach ulcers, gastritis, various gastro-intestinal problems, plus hepatitis, pancreatitis, Type 1 diabetes, and various allergies. Every sip helps to accelerate cellular purification, eliminate radionuclides, and boost your overall immune system.
As far as treatments go, you’ll be able to bring your body and soul back to a state of balance easily with pearl, mineral, pine or iodide-bromine baths. Or, try the various mud baths, solariums and phytotherapy, massages, and physiotherapy. The cost of stay and treatment in any of the spas located in the area starts at approximately 180hrv/day/person.
Should you decide to make the trip, you’ll undoubtedly enjoy the woodland territory found on the grounds of Morshyn. While there, ensure you take in the numerous historical and cultural monuments, such as The Rocks of Dovbush geographic reserve.

It may be one of the smallest spa resort towns in the country, but that doesn’t take away from it being one of the most well-known. Located just 80 kilometres from Lviv, Truskavets sees more than 500,000 spa visitors each year, thanks to its 14 mineral springs. Its famous Naftusia mineral water was recognised for its medicinal properties as early as 1833. High in organic matter, it stimulates the endocrine glands and protects and regenerates red blood cells. It also ranks highly in the treatment of renal, urinary, and gall bladder disorders.
Another mineral water, recognised as Truskavetska, stimulates body metabolism, and is recommended for weight loss, as it suppresses the appetite if drunk before a meal. Then there is mineral water from the Yuzia spring, which helps preserve the skin’s fat-bearing cells thanks to glycerine oil inherent in the water, renewing the skin’s structure and suppleness.
Mined a few kilometres from Truskavets, Ozkerit or mountain wax is also actively used in treatment procedures. First heated, it has been successful as an anti-inflammatory agent, as well as being used for degenerative diseases. In addition, to various new-age treatments including aerophytotherapy, speliotherapy, and singlactic-oxygen therapy, the more traditional options can be had enjoyed here as well.
As one of the ritzier spa complexes in the country with a large number of venues to choose from, prices in Truskavets generally start at around 300hrv/person/day.

Other spa options around the country:
Kuyalnik – therapeutic mud resort, just 13 kilometres from Odesa. Treats musculoskeletal and nervous system disorders, skin inflammations, gynaecological and urinary diseases, circulatory and digestive system illnesses.
Soledar – therapeutic salt mine, in the Donetsk region. Treats respiratory diseases and allergies using speleotherapy, thanks to the biologically active aerosol sodium chloride in the air.

Don’t want to go that far? Here’s a few spa options closer to home:
Diva Spa (Opera Hotel, Khmelnytskoho 53, M Vokzalna)

Spa Naturel (Hyatt Regency, A Tarasova 5, M Maidan Nezalezhnosti)

Leonardo Wellness Club (Khmelnytskoho 17/52a, M Zoloti Vorota)

Mimoza Mobile Spa

by Lana Nicole

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Ukraine Truth
Rights We Didn’t 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 don’t 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 – children’s 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. What’s 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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