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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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Editorial

From THE EDITOR (4)

I was lucky enough to be invited to the house of a new acquaintance at the weekend for Sunday brunch with him and his wife and a few other people (the ex-pat community here really is very nice). Hes only been in Ukraine nine months, and before that he was in Moscow. Of course, the conversation came up regarding how they were enjoying their time here in Kyiv. He and his wife both said they were liking it very much that the people are very friendly, the traffic light, restaurants very reasonably priced and service good. Now its an interesting thing that people who come here directly from the West can find many things difficult about the place. For example, while they will find people friendly in a social situation, they are more likely than not to complain about bad manners and rudeness on the street; theyre not likely to use the word light when talking about the traffic; and they're more likely to complain about overpriced eateries in the city and bad service.

But if you want to hear people rave about what a great city Kyiv is, how pleasant and helpful its inhabitants are, and how the traffic is really very light, and how the restaurant scene is wonderful with great service all you have to do is find someone whos lived in Moscow first. Now, while I comment on this in a light-hearted manner, it does raise light to a serious point: Ukraine is often considered the bridge between Europe and Russia. We know this politically, and that is what gives me, for one, a lot more optimism when it comes to Ukraines chances of EU membership, but it also seems the same is true culturally. And that also gives me a lot of hope for the future of this country and its people. Often, when I hear Russians talk of things like democracy and freedom of speech What good does it do you? and other things like social justice and wealth, it dismays me. But to compare that to the vast majority of Ukrainian people who understand democracy, while highly flawed, is the fairest option weve come up with so far (to paraphrase Churchill), and that many of them risked life and limb for it only a few years back, shows a huge difference in the mindsets of these two peoples who are so closely linked geographically, historically, and ethnically. People here value the right to express themselves in any way they see fit, and I find it difficult to believe they will tolerate the loss of it. Ukrainian people are creative and expressive, and they will allow no one to deny them this. Ukraine is the bridge between Europe and Russia, not just politically, but culturally, morally and psychologically. Its thoroughly western in many aspects, but still retains an eastern wildness to it. And that makes it a very interesting and thoroughly enjoyable place to live!

Neil Campbell
Chief Editor

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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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