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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

Top spots on the Black Sea for R&R

With the summer well underway, vacation planning forces many to take hard decisions: where to go, what to do, how much time to spend and so on. To make for smoother sailing (or caravanning or however you plan to travel), Whats On has compiled a list of the top 10 spots to visit on the Black Sea. Sound easy? It wasnt. Factoring in value for money, ease of access and proper infrastructure for tourism (often questionable in Ukraine), we actually had to do a bit of homework, but what we arrived at should make any visit down south a memorable treat.

Whats On has listed this city in its travel features countless times, but it simply must be mentioned. Why? Odessa is a real resort city, full of historic landmarks, leafy green avenues, excellent beaches, good restaurants galore and notorious for its Hedonistic nightlife. Daily rental flats are about equal in price to those in Kyiv, while hotel rooms tend to be more reasonable and welcoming. Odessas pantheon of historical landmarks includes the Potemkin Steps, the wonderful pedestrian alley Deribasovskaya Street and a host of churches, synagogues and other 19th century treasures. Then theres the whole coastline stuffed full with beaches. Of these we recommend Arcadia, Big Fountain and Golden Coast. Here many private beaches have their own bars and other useful services which, by night, play host to Odessas legendary night clubs, with the open-air club Ibiza being the place to go. 

Koktebel, on the southeast coast of Crimea near the magnificent Kara-Dag mountain chain, is a small village, peaceful and calm for much of the year - perfect for a quiet getaway. Come summer, however, it boils with tourists seeking everything we all are rest, relaxation and a bit of sun on the beach. 
Known for its jazz festival in the autumn, Koktebel has many other attractions. The beaches in Koktebel are, well, usually overcrowded, but for just 10hrv per day, enter the nearby Kara-Dag nature preserve, with all its stunning natural beauty, and enjoy clean beaches and crystal waters without all the tourists. Koktebel itself offers many good restaurants, even more bars, and night clubs all along the seafront. For a more touristy itinerary, check out the various local hiking or boating excursions, both types of which offer a great sense of the unique setting history of this region is guaranteed. 

Since Soviet times Yalta has been a first among equals among Black Sea resorts. A relatively young Crimean city at just 173 years old, Yalta has well-developed recreation and entertainment areas that underline its history as the getaway area of Russian tsars and aristocrats in the 19th century. 
The city itself boasts marvelous architecture and Soviet-era health spas galore. A mini gondola takes visitors from the town one of its highly respected (if pebbly) beach areas. As for other diversions, Yalta hosts numerous music and film festivals every summer, while those looking for a more nature-inspired trip will enjoy the nearby Nikitsky Botanical Gardens or a gondola ride to Ai-Petri, the iconic peak overlooking the city. For its breathtaking view of the city and Black Sea alone, Ai-Petri makes Yalta an easy choice during any visit to the south coast of Crimea. 

Centuries ago the town of Gurzuf used to be a Cossack fortress. Just 16 km from Yalta, the town is usually associated with the Artek summer childrens camp. In the second half of the 20th century Artek was the place in the Soviet UNI0N to send the tots for the summer. Thats perhaps thanks to its great local climate, which never reaches the hot or cold extremes of neighbouring locales. The Black Sea here is exceptionally tidy given the towns distance from regular ports of call. And being that its long been popular for the kids, were happy to say that the area fairly teems with spas, hotels and quaint little dachas for daily or weekly rental. 

Alushta, surrounded by huge mountains above and the sea below, has all the hallmarks of an ideal resort. With more than 78 health resorts located in the town, the wealth of choices also means prices for hotels and other choices of stay that go easy on the pocketbook. Nearby fields and orchards bring with them the tastes of the summer, so head here for lots of fresh juicy fruits and berries. Another distinct feature of Alushta stems from its local dessert wines. Sample to your hearts content. For RnR, Alushta offers not just the sea, but also an enormous waterslide and pool park that uses natural seawater. Best of all, the town is easily reached by car or bus from other big Crimean resorts, meaning you can start your vacation faster. 

The ancient Greek settlement of Theodosiya, now called Feodosiya, sits to the east of Yalta and presents a wonder of archeological sites inside and outside the city. Beaches for sunbathing, swimming and other water activities abound, as do luxury hotels and budget stays suitable for any budget. The city unites ancient beauty and modern infrastructure. Local mountains also make the spot popular with climbers, not just archeologists. 

Fox Bay
Similar to the Hedonistic environs associated with the Kazantip, festival, Fox Bay is an island of free living and youthful energy. Every year the crowds descend on Fox Bay to literally camp out all along the waterfront. Hotels? They aint got a one. Just how rustic is it? Return visitors joke that the main currency in the bay is Port wine, so stock up if going. Fortunately, Fox Bay is very close to Feodosiya and generally offers a true getaway for those longing to leave city life behind in favour of a few days in harmony with nature. The place is really wild: just 15 meters from the coast large fish amble about in the waters close to swimmers, the lack of fishing locally having made them unafraid of people. 

Khersones and Sevastopol
The port city of Sevastopol, with its deep port, sheltered bays and strategic position, is the stuff of legends. It endured long sieges during the Crimean War and World War 2, making it one of the hero cities of the Soviet UNI0N, and it has long been known to mariners. Its 30 bays led the ancient Greeks to settle here in 422 B.C. at a place called Khersones, a short walk from the city centre. Walls, mosaics, columns and other pieces from that time still stand on the coast looking out over the Black Sea. Local tourists often take photos here and boast to their friends that theyve been to Greece. Additionally, nearby Balaclava offers a great anchorage for luxury yachts given its stunning local scenery and advantageous position.

Similar to Koktebel, Chornomorske was a peaceful village until tourists discovered its natural treasures sea, sun and indescribably beautiful nature. Many small hotels, hostels and houses for short-term stays can be found here. The beaches are clean, wide and sandy, so what more do you want? But the most beautiful part of Chornomorske is its nature, including underwater caves to which you can dive and explore. Chornomorskes hills are also good for climbing and hiking if you can prise yourself from the beach. 

When the Genoans settled in Sudak, they found the local valleys and hillsides ideal for defending their local trade routes. Todays tourists find it a great place to attack the local hills its a Mecca of sorts for all kinds of climbers. The hills aside, people often come to Sudak just to see the massive 15th century fortress which the Genoans built, or they head to the beach: at 2 km long and divided into sections, the choice is between private and public, depending on where youre staying. An annual festival at the fortress features knights in armour recreating old battles, with fireworks setting the area ablaze with light at night. An alley of cypress trees stretches along the seashore, giving modest shade to the decent restaurants and cafes located there.

Michael Rease

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Comments (1)
You are not authorized! Only registered and authorized users can add their comments!
Natalia | 30.05.2014 06:47

You got to push it-this essaitnel info that is!

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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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