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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 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.


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.


Kyiv Clubs

Remembering the Battle for Kyiv

Last weekend enthusiasts from Kyiv’s highly professional World War II reenactment society gathered to fight out the second Battle for Kyiv one more time. WWII reenactment societies have blossomed since the collapse of the Soviet UNI0N, with Russia also boasting thousands of participants at regular reenactments, with painstaking care taken over such details as the correct weaponry, footwear and even cigarettes!

The first snowfall of the season brought an added touch of authenticity to this year’s reenactment, covering the battlefield in a layer of wintry snow. Participants wrapped up against the cold weather in standard issue winter uniforms, and the legendary Red Army coats once more proved more durable than their Wehrmacht equivalents! Schnapps and vodka helped keep out the chill, while kasha was on offer for famished Third Reich stormtroopers and ravished Red Army snipers. This reenactment is one of the centrepieces of the year for WWII fans, and commemorates the liberation of Ukraine’s capital. Kyiv fell to the Nazis in September 1941 and was occupied for over two years. The Red Army finally liberated the Ukrainian city on 6 November 1943 as they swept across the occupied Soviet lands on their way to final victory in Berlin. Kyiv was the biggest prize to fall to the Nazis during Hitler’s self-proclaimed ‘war of annihilation’ in the USSR and the countryside around the city was the scene of savage fighting in both 1941 and 1943. WWII, or the Great Patriotic War as the conflict is commonly known among Ukrainians, continues to exert a fascination in this part of the world where the brunt of the fighting took place. Many enthusiasts prefer to play the role of the German invader, something that would have been unthinkable in the Soviet past, but members claim that aside from having fun dressing up and playing at war the main aim of these reenactment societies is to keep the memory of the conflict alive and pass on awareness of the suffering and sacrifices made from generation to generation. Ukraine, then part of the Soviet UNI0N, was caught at the very epicentre of the fighting in WWII and lost an estimated ten million people in the conflict.

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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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