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¹7 (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 EuroMaidan’s three-month-long protests, made headlines around the globe. It was here, on 19 January the country’s 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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Ukraine History

Independent Ukraine’s Only Astronaut

When I first met up with Independent Ukraine’s first and only man to have ever experienced space, I was quite amazed. Once a major-general of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, he has also been decorated as a Hero of Ukraine for his space exploration expertise. And having just come in from a 10km cross-country run, which he says he does religiously every morning, he is full of energy that just boils over at every chance. Remembering his past adventures and revealing his hopes for the future, Leonid Kadenyuk is a great example to all 59 year olds out there.

Born and raised in a small village in the Chernivetska region, Leonid Kadenyuk entered one of the flight schools located there in 1967. Graduating as a military test pilot, he went on to fly more than 50 types of planes, and so he fully understands that it takes a lot of strength, effort and intelligence to be a professional astronaut. “You have to be well-educated in almost all spheres of science,” he says, “including physics, chemistry, biology, botany...”  

The Driving Force
In applying for the space programme in 1995, Kadenyuk was one of eight who were accepted out of 1000 Ukrainian pilots looking to fill the position. In the end, he was the best and recalling the medical examination says, “There was great risk involved. The examination itself was quite severe and those who were not up to par physically, not only lost the opportunity to go to space but were dismissed from flying ever again.”  
So it was decided. And on 19 November 1997, the space shuttle Colombia, with Leonid Kadenyuk and a team of 5 other astronauts, erupted into space. Spending 17 days in this new environment, the crew struggled with the zero-gravity sensation while conducting numerous scientific experiments. Kadenyuk, however, said it was amazing and went on to describe the incredible energy that is involved in getting this 200 tonne shuttle off the ground: “Once the shuttle takes off, it takes less than 10 minutes to go 300km and arrive in the Earth’s orbit. As you go, you can feel two different forces battling with each other, where not only are you being thrown into space by the strength and power of such massive engines, but you also feel like you are constantly being pulled back down to earth because of earth’s gravitational force – a very strange feeling indeed.” 

Innovations in Space
While many will never get to experience such a sensation, Kadenyuk acknowledges the importance of our space programmes here on earth and says, “Space shuttles are extremely technologically complicated devices. But they continue to stimulate the development of technology here on earth because we as scientists are able to solve various technical riddles in the building and improvement of them.” 
Such new innovations then go on to be pertinent in other spheres such as industry or science, where it has been estimated that over 50 thousand advances have been made since man’s first flight into space. Moreover, the earth’s exhaustion of natural resources is quickly coming to a head, and Kardenyuk says space could quite feasibly act as an alternative energy source: “There are large deposits of the Helium 3 isotope on the moon; approximately 10 million tonnes. And compared to just the one tonne we have on earth, this isotope could easily replace our requirements for oil.” 

Ukraine in Space
In 1991, almost one third of all Soviet scientific space funds (including factories, institutes and scientists) were inherited by Ukraine and as we also take part in almost 60 international space programmes, which include countries like Russia, Japan, the US and Brazil, Ukraine is doing quite well in the space race of the 21st century. Unfortunately, Kadenyuk says Ukraine will never have its own space port “because of where Ukraine sits geographically. These ports require a radius of at least 100km free from cities, towns or settlements and due to Ukraine’s lack of unpopulated territory, it’s just not possible.” 
So Ukraine uses other countries’ space ports and just fits the bill. But there’s a downside to this as well and that is the cost. “Russia, for example, rents Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome where the bill comes to $120 million every single year,” Kadenyuk relays astounding me a little. 
Nonetheless, regardless of cost, we continue to forge on with our space programmes, advancing technology side by side with society. It is all so closely linked, because as Leonid Kadenyuk envisions it, the future is in space.

Vadym Mishkoriz

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    Ukraine Truth
    Rights We Didn’t 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 don’t 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 – children’s 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. What’s 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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