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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.


Ukraine Today

The Orange Revolution Three Years On

Three years after the Orange Revolution, when the euphoria has long passed and following infighting, stagnation, and constant reshuffling in the government, its time to ask: what exactly did the thrilling events of late 2004 change?

First, it might be useful to note what hasnt changed. Despite all the orange revolutionary rhetoric that painted Ukraine as as a European country, and all the talk among jubilant protestors that it was time to live as our westward neighbours do, Ukraine remains a badly managed and divided country. Instead of making an easy transition into the more affluent democratic future that seemed visible from Maidan, Ukraine now finds that Brussels is stand-offish when it comes to eventual membership in the European UNI0N. The leaders of what used to be the orange opposition have wasted their energy in endless quarrels and corruption scandals, new officials often lack professionalism, and the old practice of nepotism and influence peddling still dominates. Yes, the countrys economy is booming, but it was booming even under President Leonid Kuchma. You dont have to look far to find people convinced the Orange Revolution was a waste of time, and that nothing much has changed. The rich in Ukraine continue to get richer, regular people stay poor, the government is still corrupt, the Kremlin still tries to tell Kyiv what to do, and meanwhile inflation and housing prices are rising astronomically.

 Its human nature to grumble that way, but the truth is that three years after the Orange Revolution, things really are much better. Take the media - in the Kuchma days, media was increasingly embattled. Journalists were beaten and murdered as they are in Russia, and the television channels openly parroted talking points from the Presidential Administration. There was, in fact, no free media. These days, big business groups still control the news, but the large-scale violence against journalists is over, and even if politicians dont take the power of the Fourth Estate seriously, at least you can write and report what you want. Also, the political opposition is no longer harassed, at least not to the spectacular levels that it used to be, and the results of elections are truly unpredictable a new thing for Ukraine. Another important change is in the way the Party of Regions and other political groups known as pro-Russian behave themselves. While its true no one would confuse Regions for a European- style green party, and the party is alleged to still use massive bribery, they no longer traffic in open violence and intimidation. This autumns parliamentary election was instructive in the sense that Prime Minister Yanukovych and his allies more or less gracefully conceded election results that were unfavourable to them. Before the Revolution, they would have indulged in every sort of skulduggery to stay in power. Now they know they cant get away with that anymore. At the same time, Party of Regions has given up being an open tool of the Kremlin. Theyre no longer pro-Russian, theyre pro-Ukrainian they simply have another

 The truth is that three years after the Orange Revolution, things really are much better in Ukraine

 vision of what being pro-Ukrainian means. Yanukovych even goes out of his way to smile and charm Western leaders. EU membership is on the table for Regions now.

 Further, Ukrainians themselves have changed. Despite a post-revolution muddle that could have led to widespread disillusionment, people have not fallen back into apathy. Nowadays theres a feeling of empowerment. Expectations are higher and the democratic standards Ukrainians require of their leaders are the same as Europeans require of theirs. And although Yushchenko is often criticized by his supporters for being weak, there is little real nostalgia for a strong hand, as one might expect. For Ukrainians, the Orange Revolution was a school in which they first learned of their own power and then were disillusioned, which was also useful. People have grown out of their dreams about the possibility of quickly changing the country. They now know that real change will require incremental hard work over a long period of time. Anyway, its good that Ukrainians have become disappointed with their politicians, because a free people should idolise nobody a nation that wants a good tsar is not a healthy nation. When people abuse Yushchenko and Yanukovych equally, it shows that society is more healthy.

 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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