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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 History

The Race to the Moon

These days we know everything about the moon, and we even know what people from there look like (Leonid Cosmos, our honourable mayor is a good example), but 50 years ago man new very little about our night light satellite. The space race, that peaceful metaphor for the east/west arms race, was already underway, and so was the race to the moon. Everyone knows that the west won out in the end when Neil Armstrong (allegedly) set foot on the surface of the moon, but the Soviets actually made it there first, 50 years ago this week

On 13 September 1959, Luna 2 designed by Russian physicist Konstantin Gringauz, touched down on the moon, and became the first manmade, albeit unmanned, object to reach the surface of earths major satellite.
It all started two years earlier when on 4 October 1957 the USSR became the first to put a rocket into space with the successful launch of Sputnik 1, an event that marked the start of what would soon become known as the Space Race (or, as we refer to it here, Whos Got the Bigger Balls Competition). One month later, the USSR made another first with the successful orbit of Sputnik 2 that carried the first living animal into space, the dog Laika, who died up there.
Now looking like the underdog, and fearing it might look less powerful to the world, a couple of months later the US made their first attempt to conquer the final frontier when they tried to put the Vanguard TV3 into orbit around the earth. But the rocket never left the launch pad, the fuel tanks ruptured and the whole thing exploded in a huge ball of flame, leaving the Americans with more than a little egg on their faces. The exact cause of the accident was never established, but what was clear from the off was that the USSR was streaks ahead, and the US had a lot of catching up to do.
The failure of the Vanguard project combined with the success of Sputnik caused such a furore in the States that the latter months of 1957 became known as the Sputnik crisis, and the Eisenhower administration was forced to take drastic steps.
Within the year, the US, feeling itself inferior, passed a bill through Congress that allowed for the formation of NASA, and within ten years of its creation it would make a giant leap for mankind. Meanwhile, however, back in the east, the USSR was the one making all the giant leaps, leaving the competition way behind.
While the US managed to successfully launch the Explorer 1 satellite on 31 January 1958, and quickly followed this with the launch of Vanguard 1, the USSR already had its sights on the moon. Almost one year after the Americans put their first satellite in space, the Russians launched Luna 1, and its destination was the moon. The first object to fire a rocket in orbit, it also made another major first reaching Earth escape velocity on 2 January 1959. It was on its way to the Moon, and came within 6,000km of Earths satellite.
The Americans continued to launch satellites into space, but the USSR was always a couple of steps ahead, and on 13 September 1959 they made it to the Moon with the probe Luna 2. Much to the embarrassment of the US, the Russians went very public with their success, and on 15 September Soviet Premier Nikita Krushchev presented Eisenhower with a copy of the pennant attached to the probe.
Further humiliated, the US kept launching, but the major first kept coming for the USSR. Luna 3 produced the first images of the dark side of the Moon, in August 1960 the dog Belka became the first space traveller to return alive, carried by the Soviet Sputnik 5, and in April 1961 Russian Yuri Gargarin became the first man in space.
The race continued with the USSR making all the major firsts. John F. Kennedy reportedly suggested various joint programmes but Krushchev declined probably based on the old Ukrainian proverb, If I wont eat it, you wont eat it (or, if you cant eat it, bite it), and for fear the Americans would get access to Soviet technology through such joint ventures.
It was at this point the US set their sights on putting a man on the moon, and the reasons for this are clearly presented to us through a conversation held between James E Webb and the then president. Everything we do ought to really be tied in to getting on to the Moon ahead of the Russians, otherwise we shouldnt be spending that kind of money, because Im not interested in spaceThe only justification for the cost is because we hope to beat the USSR to demonstrate that instead of being behind by a couple of years, by God, we passed them.
But the yanks werent the only ones planning on putting a man on the moon. Within the USSR Head of the Russian Federal Space Agency, Korolyov, declared that his Soyuz craft along with the N-1 rocket would be capable of making a manned lunar expedition, but with the failure of the first Soyuz flight, successive launch failures of the N-1 booster and, more importantly, the death of Korolyov, the programme suffered delay after delay and was finally cancelled.
Now it was time for the Americans, and the firsts came thick and fast. On 21 December 1968 Apollo 8 took men around the moon for the very first time, and then, as everyone knows, Neil Armstrong took that giant leap on 21 July 1969 on the Apollo 11 mission. The Race to the Moon was over, and the Americans finished what the Russians had started.

Ksenia Karpenko

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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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