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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

Some of the Best Spots To Ski

The territory of Ukraine is very unique. Weve got the Carpathians, the Crimean coast, industrial Donbass and beautiful Eastern meadows; but like many nations we almost always tend to overlook what we have for whats over the border. When it comes to skiing, the tune is no different as many of us drive to Slovakia, train it to the Alps or hop on a plane to the Rockies.

People say the reason for this is simply better developed resorts. But in the last few years, winter tourism in Ukraine has been increasing and resorts in the country have been rushing to meet the demand. Adding more modern equipment as well as access to a full range of winter sports activities, some of these ski options are first rate. And so even though you can find mulled wine in the Alps or a nice microbrew somewhere on the North American continent, nowhere other than here in Ukraine will you be able to find down-home Hutsul cuisine while sipping horilka, all the while relaxing in a cosy wooden Kolyba.

Once a military base, Tysovets is now one of the more popular ski resorts here in Ukraine as its about 1,000m above sea level and only 142km from Lviv. It has three main runs 800, 650 and 600m each and served by a single lift, you take it up to the top, then pick the run youd like and zoom down. Beware, however, that if its a holiday and the place is busy, you could end up waiting half an hour just get up there. Many also complain that the ride is quite slow but as your lift ticket will have cost you between just 60-80hrv, most just accept the inconvenience. Once youve decided that youve finished for the day, catch the 500m run off to the side, leading to the hotel and cottages.
Located in the Yaremcha region, not far from the village of Polyanytsia, it is right in the heart of the Carpathians and boasting a 2,000m long run, this has to be the largest and most state-of-the-art ski-resort in Ukraine. At a height of 900m, this resort offers some stunning scenery and working on a bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics, this spot also boasts equipment of the highest quality. Here, a European atmosphere reigns, as there are tonnes of runs with varying degrees of difficulty, snowmobiles for rent, luxury hotels, night clubs,  restaurants, saunas and even a place to play paintball. While a daily lift pass will set you back 200hrv (more during the Christmas season), keep in mind that only half the hills have lifts. And with regard to beddin down, a decent hotel room or cottage can be had anywhere from 600hrv to 2000hrv/night.

Only 120km from Lviv, these slopes are not at all far from Tysovets which means they are going to be crowded all winter long. You can see why too as lift costs are only about 5hrv per ride. Trostyan Mountain is the most popular peak at Slavske and has five trails all ranging from 1,000 to 1,500m. Behind Trostyan, there are a few other hills you may want to try, like Pohar, Menchul, Warsaw and Zakhar Berkut; the last of which has two runs of about 700-800m. But Politech Mountain is the best option for newcomers, especially since there are cosy little pubs situated at the base where one can sit and enjoy a beer or two while resting sore tired muscles. And as the number of hotels and pubs just keeps growing from year to year, this is quickly becoming a great little spot to getaway for the weekend, getting in a bit of skiing in the process.

This resort has got the highest-altitude in all of the Carpathians with peaks at Stih and Wizhnytsia reaching heights of 1,704m and 1,883m respectively. Its the altitude that keeps this place open longer than the others as you can ski here beginning with the first snowfall right through til the end of April, and sometimes even into May. Eight runs, ranging from 1,200m to 3,000m, and consisting of various degrees of difficulty, tend to draw out those with a mind for serious down-hilling, but even if youre just starting out, theres also a small hill of just 300m which is equipped with instructors, ready and willing to help. At the bottom of the mountain, the resorts facilities include a sauna, a number of pubs, cafes and restaurants, a billiard room, table football and hockey, a ski school, rental centres and if you still feel like you havent had enough outdoor activity, a tubing hill can be found as well. A hotel or cottage will set you back around 150hrv per day (250hrv during Christmas) and boding well in skiers favour: Drahobrat is rarely ever crowded.

Although you may only associate sunshine and seashore with this part of the country, Ukraines ski resorts arent limited to the Carpathians, as there are also a few slopes that can be found in Crimea. Catering to almost any taste with different lifts and runs, the set-up at Ai-Petri is pretty basic. Should you need instructors or rental equipment, they are at your service, as are the Soviet or Sovok style apartments which can house anywhere from three to 12 people. The one small snag with regard to Ai-Petri is its location as it is situated on a national reserve where winter sports arent even technically legal.

Slopes in Kyiv
If your wallet is crying havoc these days, get yourself in the car and head to Protasiv Yar 23, a resort of two runs 300m and 500m as well as lifts. Each lift will set you back 3-5hrv, inlcuding 100hrv for rental services, but as the hills are just around the city, the bonus here is that you can drive out, ski, and drive home all in the same day. Or, try your hand at some night skiing: the runs are well-lit and the sensation is very different! Vyshgorod and Kyivs Holosiivsky Park also have runs of about 300m.

And considering the current financial situation, here are a few reasonably-priced options outside of the country:
Georgia (Gudauri and Bakuriani)
You may have to fly to get to this locale, but tickets bought with UIA will only set you back $300 $500. The ultimate run length here is 3100m but newcomers to the sport may want to try the gentler 2200m slopes first. With regard to accommodation, you can either do a hotel or a private cottage ($50 $200 per day) and even though you can snag a beer or two at the bottom of the slopes, you may find it difficult to find any decent eateries located here as most of them are located within the hotels. Its worth heading inside to check them out, however, as Georgians are well-known for their delicious cuisine.

Slovak Republic
Located on the northern slope of the Chopok Mountain, Jasna has proved to be the best ski resort in all of Eastern Europe. The typical length of most of the runs is 21500m but for those just starting out, there are a couple hills running no longer than 877m. While Strbske Pleso, at a peak of 1850m, is quite well-known as the coldest spot in the Tatra Mountains, they also have some of the best snow conditions here, are open well into mid-April and operate 17 different lifts from 8:30 to 15:30. Accommodation can be easily found and depending on the location, prices for a private cottage start at 20euros a day.

To check them out visit:

Anna Salminskaya

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Comments (1)
You are not authorized! Only registered and authorized users can add their comments!
ukraine-vacation-guide.com | 25.11.2012 14:36

New skiing season is supposed to be very funny in Ukraine. Carpatian and Crimean mountains will be covered with snow and skiers will get a great pleasure! This is a loisk of my favourite Ukrainian ski resorts http://ukraine-vacation-guide.com/publ/ukraine_ski/15 But there are even more good places for winter ski vacation in Ukraine! Welcome!

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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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