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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 Travel

Ukrainian Ski Resorts

When it comes to skiing, many in Ukraine look to neighbouring countries like Poland or Slovakia, and even further afield to Western Europe and North America, since the resorts in those countries are generally considered superior to those in Ukraine. But winter sports tourism is developing rapidly here, and domestic resorts are moving fast to meet the demand If you've never visited them, or have been away for a while, they might be worth checking out this year. The Carpathian mountains are spectacular all year round, and especially in winter. A number of Carpathian resorts are offering a complete range of winter sports facilities, and the apres ski options you'll find are unique. You can kick back with a glass of mulled wine in the Alps, but only in Ukraine can you drink it to accompany Hut-sul cuisine in a cosy wooden kolyba, or pub.

The largest ski resort in the area is Bukovel, located in the centre of the Carpathians at a height of 900 metres and not far from the village of Polyanycya, in the Yaremcha region. Stunning scenery, crystal-clear air, a rich historical heritage and the unique cultural traditions of the native highlanders always attract tourists to this resort. Bukovel is working hard towards a bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics, and the facilities are already of a high standard. The resort has everything you would expect in a European win ter holiday destination including numerous runs (some floodlit) catering to all levels, snow-mobiles, luxury hotels and cottages, nightclubs, pubs, restaurants, saunas, fitness centres, and even paintball. There are around 14 runs, the longest of which is 2,000 metres long, and a corresponding 14 lifts. Among the latter are seven chairlifts, generally scarce in the Carpathians. Considering the quality of the facilities, however, you're apt to spend a fortune here. A daily lift ticket costs round 180 hrv (250 during the Christmas season), and staying in a hotel or cottage can vary from 500 to 1,800 hrv per day. Western quality, after all, carries Western prices.

Drahobrat is another good option, and at 1,400 metres above sea level it's the highest-altitude resort in the Carpathians. With peaks such as Stih (1,704 metres) and Wizhnytsia (1,883 metres), it's the top Ukrainian destination for downhill riders, and skiing is possible here right through late April and even early May. There are eight runs of all levels ranging from 1,200 metres to 2,000 metres. There's even the chance to ski down 3,000 metres of untrodden snow and then ride a snow-cat to the top again. If you're just starting out, there's a 300-metre slope for beginners. Spending a day or two there in the care of an experienced instructor will get you on your feet fast. Drahobrat's facilities include a sauna, a number of pubs, cafes and restaurants, tubing slopes, a billiard room, table football and hockey, a ski school, rental centres and much more. A hotel or a cottage will cost you around 130 hrv per day, and 100 hrv more during the Christmas period. Drahobrat rarely gets overcrowded, making it a great location for those who like a bit of space on the slopes.

Tysovets, once a military base, has lately turned into another popular ski resort. Sitting at 1,017 metres above sea level, 142 kilometres from Lviv, it offers three main runs of 800 metres, 650 metres and 600 metres, each served by a chairlift. When you get to the top you choose the run you prefer, then give it a go. You'll schuss down to a long queue near a lift at the bottom of each slope. If it's a holiday period and the ski resort is overcrowded, you might find yourself queuing for 30-40 minutes. The lifts in Tysovets are pretty slow compared to those at Slavsko and Pylypets, and if you're not fit enough to manage to stand on your feet on a steep, uneven and slippery lift run, you probably won't get to the top without breaking a serious sweat. But that's okay - you'll only have paid around 60 hrv for your all-day lift-ticket, which isn't much to spend all day on the slopes, mastering your skills. There's also a 500-metre run located a bit to the side of the chairlift, on the way to a hotel and cottages of the highest standards. This small run is a good one for beginners and hardy riders can use it until 9 p.m. or so, since it's lighted. There is decent equipment rental here, separate trails for racing, a tubing slope and a couple of pubs.

Slavske, located close to Tysovets and about 120 kilometres from Lviv, is another popular ski resort that tends to get overcrowded throughout the winter. The popularity's due to the number and variety of the runs it offers, and to how close it is to the train station. Trostyan Mountain, which seems the most popular of Slavske's peaks, has five trails ranging from 1,000 metres to 1,500 metres in length. Prices for lifts are from 2 to 4 hrv per ride. Nice kolyba tend to be located at the bottoms of the runs, so you can have a nice warm drink while waiting for your next ride up. Apart from Trostyan, there are a few other mountains, among them Pohar, Menchul, Warsaw and Zhakhar Berkut, the last of which has two runs of around 700-800 metres in length. Politekh Mountain is the easiest option for those who have just started skiing or snowboarding. The pace of development at Slavske, by the way, is just amazing. Every winter you'll find lots of new pubs, hotels, cottages, and rental facilities. In general, this is a good place to spend your holidays, considering both the service and price.

 Ai-Petri in Crimea
Yes, Crimea offers more than the sea-coast and a relatively warm climate. It's also got spectacular snowy mountains and is becoming more and more popular among skiers and snowboarders in winter. The skiing set-up at Ai-Petri is fairly basic, but there are a number of lifts and runs, and you can rent equipment and hire an instructor. Accommodation is provided in the form of 'sovok' style apartments, which house from three to 12 people. The reason Ai-Petri is not yet up to snuff in terms of development is that it's located in a national reserve. Winter sports are actually technically illegal here, but the managers are pushing hard for recognition from the government, which will undoubtedly mean a drastic improvement in the services offered.

 Kyiv Slopes
You don't have to head off to those far-flung destinations to give winter sports a try. There are ski and snowboarding facilities right here in the centre of Kyiv. Located at 23a Protasiv Yar, the city's own little resort offers two runs with lifts - one of 300 metres and one of 500 metres. There is a halfpipe for more experienced riders and equipment rental and instruction. There are also ski runs, with lifts, of 300 metres in length in Vyshgorod and in Kyiv's Holosiivsky Park.

 Yulia Samus

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Comments (1)
You are not authorized! Only registered and authorized users can add their comments!
Shubham | 16.04.2012 23:25

Thank you! I tried this and made two on New Year's eve (at work) for my boyfriend. He htinks I'm completely adorable now. He took them home and hung them on his patio door. When he asked me for a blizzard at first I thought he was craving ice cream but he just cracked up and told me he wanted more snowflakes!! I hope to learn to make ones this beautiful someday.

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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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