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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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Ukraine History

Travelling the Tunnel

In November of this year, the Kyiv metropolitan will celebrate its 50th anniversary. With such a celebration ay the forefront, Whats On stopped to take a deep look at Kyivs esteemed underground.
Marble walls, huge chandeliers and beautiful mosaic compositions: this is what awaits you in many of Kyivs metro stations. While some are certainly more grandiose than others, they are all quite well kept, and Kyiv is generally acknowledged as having one of the cleanest and most artistic subways in all of Europe.

Historical Tracks 
Kyivs first underground inklings started way back in 1884, when it had been decided that the mother of all Russian cities was to have the first ever metropolitan. The original project included plans for a tunnel to connect the lower part of the city starting at Poshtova Ploscha with Bessarabka and on to the Vokzal, or central railway station. Unfortunately, probably due to  engineering complications, the designs were never implemented, and the project got put on the backburner. 
In 1916, new plans were submitted by an American company to build something the likes of which Eastern Europe had never seen before. But for whatever reason, the Kyiv authorities denied the proposal, and it wouldnt be until 1938 that the city would see any movement going on underground. Kyiv would no longer own rights to the title of first metro, however, as Moscow had taken that accolade just three years earlier. 
Despite the fact that building was interrupted by WWII, The Party ordered that works resume in 1944 to bolster patriotism and show the rest of the world just how strong the Soviet UNI0N actually was. With thousands of people bearing nothing more than simple spades, work was intense and did not stop until tonnes of concrete had been laid and kilometres of tunnels appeared. It would take 15 years, but Kyivs first metro opened for business in November 1960, and its first five stations included Vokzalna, Universitet, Khreshchatyk, Arsenalna and Dnipro. 
In the middle of the 70s, a second line appeared, and just 13 years later, a third line would be added on to that. The stations on the original line were all intended either to be a glorification of Stalin or The Party: in Universitet, for example, a giant statue of the man himself was planned to stand guard over his people, and in the Politekhnichna station, a whole range of proletarian professions were meant to be displayed, But when the Soviets turned their back on Stalin and his murderous ways, these ambitious ideas turned into something much simpler. 

Take a Ride 
While some stations today, like Teatralna with its huge portrait of Lenin or Khreshchatyk decorated now and forever with Khrushchovs beloved corn, still display remnants of a time long past, the Kyiv metropolitan has flourished into a thing not only of convenience but expediency. Indeed a fast and efficient way to get about town, with the ever-increasing number of cars on the roads, it allows you to beat the gridlock that often occurs along the citys busiest streets. It is, however, busy no matter what time of day you travel, and at peak times the carriages are often over-crowded. As a law unto themselves, the people to watch out for on the metro are the babushkas. Usually heavily laden with bags, they get where theyre going with little regard for life or limb. But if you can tolerate the sardine-like feeling, its quick, reliable, and definitely worth the ride.
At one time not that long ago, the cost for one zhiton (token) used to be a very reasonable 50 kopecks. It has since gone up to 2hrv, which, if you think about it is still pretty decent. Or, if you plan to travel the tracks on a daily basis, buy a monthly pass for unlimited use for the incredibly low price of 95hrv.
Priding itself with 46 stations that cover a distance of nearly 60 kilometres, the Kyiv metro often carries more than one and a half million people every single day. Divided up into three lines red, green and blue the red line runs from north-west on the right bank to north-east on the left bank; the blue line runs pretty much north to south; and the green line runs from the north on the right bank to way out east on the left bank. With only the three lines, youll find that a lot of the city isnt covered, but as each of the three lines intersect at some point in the centre, accessing those that are is fairly easy. 

Making Records
One of the things that makes the Kyiv metro a thing unto itself has to be its diameter, where each tunnel spans nearly 5.5 metres. This is a whole metre more than that found in subways whizzing around Europe, allowing the city the opportunity to use bigger wagons which carry more passengers. Another reason to be proud is that it boasts two of the deepest stations anywhere in the world, and taking commuters down more than 100 metres, both Arsenalna and Zoloti Vorota are rides in and of themselves. Because its escalators do take a rather long time approximately five minutes to get from above ground to underground, or vice versa, if youre only going one or two stops it can be quicker to walk.
Working from approximately 05.00 00.00, 19 hours straight, at peak times they run almost every minute. This extends to about every ten minutes late in the evening or very early in the morning, but during the day, trains run about every 4 minutes on average. The few hours they lock their doors are to ensure the metro receives the attention it deserves, and at this time, the nearly 160,000 square metres of space gets a good scrub down. 
Coordination of all trains and escalators is handled in the control centre at the Ploshcha Lva Tolstoho station. There, huge monitors show exactly where each train is at any given second. To ensure the safety of passengers at every moment, all communication that goes on in the centre between staff and drivers is recorded. As an added bonus, clean water, the movement of air and electricity is all at the citys disposal underground, so in the case of an emergency situation passengers would be more than safe. 

Stations New and Old
Ever since the doors opened in 1960, the Kyiv metropolitan has been expanding nonstop. In the last ten years alone, new stations such as Dorohozhychi, Syrets, Boryspilska, Vyrlytsia and Chervoniy Khutir have been opened, and in 2008, Kyiv authorities promised to open another three Demeevska, Holosiivska and Vasylkivska. While it didnt happen then, the metros 50th anniversary this month is a pretty good reason to celebrate and to commemorate the occasion, these three stations will open and VIP passengers Victor Yanukovych and Mykola Azarov will ride through each of them on 6 November. The rest of us will have to wait until sometime in December to get such treatment. 
Unfortunately, the fates of stations Lvivska Brama and Telychka are not quite as a promising. Both are very nearly finished, and have been that way since as far back as the late 90s, but for some reason have seen very little movement and no once can say why. 
One of Kyivs most problematic regions is Troeshchyna, or what Kyiv residents call the sleeping district. With absolutely no connection to the rest of the city by train, plans for this area go as far back as the late 80s. Unfortunately, new lines needed to unite the large suburb with the other parts of the capital have been estimated to cost nearly 16 billion hryvnia, and as a result nothing has been done of late. The one station that has been under construction for ages, linking Lybidska to Teremky, has been estimated to be finished as early as next year. 
In addition to the treatment our beloved politicians will receive on 6 November, the Kyiv metropolitan has planned a number of exciting surprises for its passengers in celebration of its 50 years of service. One of the trains, for example, has been decorated with rare archival photographs showing the various steps the metro took in order to get it to where it is today. I myself was surprised to see women from the 60s in huge winter coats with spades and buckets working away. Another treat Kyiv passengers can look forward to is on the very first line the Svyatoshyn, or red line. Here, a history wagon runs from one of the city to the other, where windows have been fashioned into retro-style wooden frames and walls are draped in historic documents showing photographs from personal archives of Kyivs very first metro workers. 
Travelling the metro is always an interesting experience that will overload your senses with sights and smells. If youve not tried it before, give it a go. We think youll enjoy the experience!

Kateryna Kyselyova

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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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