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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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VIP Tourism

Pop Band SMS Goes on Vacation

SMS is a girl-pop group with a difference, one that leavens skilful and sugary post-Soviet pop with traces of acid jazz, rock, funk and rhythm n blues. Theyre the extremely good-looking brainchild of producer Alexander Yaremenko, and since 2004 theyve been cranking out the singles and videos and touring. At the moment theyre not only one of the top bands in Ukraine, theyre also big up in Russia. But despite all that hard work, which often continues through the winter holidays while the rest of us are relaxing, the girls still find time to travel and spend time with their loved ones.

And each has her own preferences when it comes to choosing where to go. We caught up with them for a post-mortem on where theyd been during the extended holiday season.

1. Do you prefer to stay at home during the winter and hibernate?
Masha: I like to go somewhere for the holidays, but usually I stay at home. Last year I went to Yalta with my friends.
Ira: I celebrate New Year with my parents only.
Maryna: Usually we go to hot countries in the winter and vice versa in the summer.
Tanya: My most memorable celebration was in Sri Lanka, with all the palms decked out for the New Year celebration.

2. What countries have you visited?
Maryna: If I go somewhere for the New Year, I tend to miss all the snow and the fir trees. Thats why its much better to stay at home for a couple of days and then to travel to warm countries. Personally, Ive been to Egypt, Thailand, India and the Seychelles.
Tanya: The most vivid memories I have are those from my childhood, when I was travelling with my parents around Europe. Another that stands out in particular took place in Italy, when our band went to Rome and the Vatican. We didnt have any comfortable clothes to change into before the excursion, so we had to spend all day walking in high heels through the ancient streets of Rome.

3. What was the most memorable New Year celebration for you?
Tanya: The most memorable was my first year in the band. I was very happy that we performed in Kyiv on New Years Eve, because it gave me chance to see my parents and friends. Unfortunately, when I came home that night, I fell asleep and woke up the next day. It ruined all my plans, but at least I got some rest.
Maryna: Its more important with whom you celebrate the New Year than where.

4. Did you notice any differences between New Year celebrations in Ukraine and abroad?
Maryna: India has its own calendar, they dont celebrate New Year on 31 December. But the main difference is that instead of having a New Years tree they decorate other trees. Often they use an artificial New Years tree.
Tanya: In Thailand people fast during the New Year to purify their souls and bodies, quite unlike how it is in Ukraine, where its definitely a holiday of the stomach. Even if youre in a tropical place for the northern hemispheres winter holidays, hotel staffs can do a lot to make your temporary home feel like, well, home, even to the point of setting up evergreen trees. Its funny to see people in swimsuits wearing Santa hats. Its also weird to tell the locals about snow. It ends up being difficult to explain.

5. What would you call a perfect winter holiday season?
Tanya: The very best thing for me would be to celebrate the holiday in a beautiful wooden house with a fireplace, a bunch of tangerines and many presents.
Masha: I want to spend the next New Year holiday in some tropical location wearing a costume made out of flowers.

Vadym Mishkoriz

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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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