|On the cover|
Tunnelling Towards Hope
|28 February - 6 March 2014|
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.
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.
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.
|What's On Archive ¹ 15 (2008)|
25 April - 1 May
Haunting Photos From Chornobyl
Ya Gallery hosts a special exhibition to mark the anniversary of the disaster
Take me out!
Whats on Promotion
On the Sofa with...
|From THE EDITOR (?15) - Editorial|
We've been hard on the Ukrainian government for the last few months because of their lack of action when it comes to the EURO 2012 finals. It seems, however, that Ukraine is not the only prit: recent reports from Poland suggest that they are just as far behind when it comes to getting ready for the event, and are equally responsible for putting the joint bid to host the finals in jeopardy. UEFA inspectors recently visited Poland to assess progress, and while they have refused to comment on their findings, leaks have appeared in the Polish press that suggest that they were not happy with what they saw. According to these reports, the inspectors noted a "speeding up" of overall implementation but were deeply concerned about the stadiums saying there was a "very high risk" that the new 55,000 seat venue for the opening game in Warsaw would not be ready. They also allegedly pointed to a "high risk" in the Baltic port of Gdansk. Comments were actually made that the situation in Ukraine is much better, with work on Kyiv's Olympic Stadium already underway, a new 55,000 seat stadium in Dnipropetrovsk due to open this summer, and a similar-sized stadium in Donetsk should be ready by the end of the year. However, infrastructure seems to remain the major concern with the two most distant venues, Gdansk and Donetsk, being a mammoth 1,900 kilometres apart. It is estimated that it would take a minimum of 23 hours to drive between these cities, not including what is likely to be a lengthy border crossing, and the shortest train journey between the two takes a rather ludicrous 43 hours. Poland again is being targeted for criticism when it comes to the roads. At present, of the 1,900 kilometres between Gdansk and Donetsk, only 23 are motorway. Polish authorities have declared they will build 1,100 kilometres of new motorway by 2012, but in the last year they have only managed to complete a miniscule 35. Sadly, it is looking more and more likely that the joint bid between Poland and Ukraine could be lost, and handed over to one of the numerous countries waiting in the wings. As we've said before, that would be an unforgivable tragedy, and while Poland may be equally as guilty, that is no excuse for the Ukrainian government's lack of action. So come on people, get it together, get it done, and give the country the chance it deserves to prove itself as a truly European nation!
Neil Campbell, Editor
|Mayoral Hijinks Continue - Whats Up?|
Who’s going to be Kyiv’s next mayor? Strange as it seems, it could well turn out to be incumbent Leonid Chernovetsky again. And how is ‘Cosmos’ Chernovetsky, the spaced−out billionaire who’s spent his time in office battling allegations of drug use and corruption, in a position to win another term, despite his lack of popularity beyond everybody but his core constituency of pensioners and evangelical Christians? It’s all due to internecine battling between what used to be known as the ‘Orange’ camp in Ukrainian politics, and particularly between President Yushchenko and Prime Minister Tymoshenko.
|Lviv Baits Russian Bear - Whats Up?|
That sound you hear from up north is the sounds of heads exploding in the Kremlin and of steam shooting out of nationalistic Russians’ ears as the news trickles in from Lviv: A street there that used to be named after the great Russian writer Ivan Turgenev is going to be renamed ‘Heroes of the UPA Street’. ‘UPA’ is the Ukrainian−language acronym for the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, the World War II−era guerilla army that fought both the Nazis and the Red Army until well into the 1950s, when the frustrated Soviet regime finally managed to repress the rebellion killing its military leader, Roman Shuchevych. To western Ukrainians, who were and are completely contemptuous of the Soviet UNI0N, the UPA were heroes, defenders of the Ukrainian nation and freedom−fighters against totalitarianism.
|Monumental Affair in Brody - Whats Up?|
Maybe this isn’t such a good idea. We have in mind the recent initia− tive by the governing council in Brody, a pleasant town in Lviv region, to put up a monument to the SS Galicia division, the Nazi fighting force that culled recruits from among western Ukrainians. The mere existence of this Ukrainian SS division, which numbers 14,000 men, remains politically poisonous, and to this day is capable of generating fist−fights among old men during Victory Day and other military celebrations on Kreschatyk. The history of Galicia, not to mention Eastern Europe as a whole, is tragic and complicated. It’s hard for comfortable Westerners like ourselves to put ourselves in a position to judge the Ukrainians who, threatened by Stalin on one side, decided to sign on with Hitler on the other. But from a sheerly political perspective, putting up a monument to those Ukrainians who fell in an SS formation will be terrible for the country. Not only will it exacerbate divisions between eastern Ukraine and western Ukraine, with their very different histories and cultures, but it will make this country look bad in the eyes of the West, which it doesn’t need to do right now. Interestingly, the proposed monument is meant to replace a monument that briefly stood on the site in 1991, but was immediately removed by the tottering Soviet regime.
|Romania and Moldova Now? - Whats Up?|
With friendly neighbours like these, Ukraine must be thinking, who needs enemies? First the trash−talking came from Vladimir Putin who (among other things), intimated at the recent NATO conference in Bucharest that Ukraine isn’t a real country, but apparently some sort of mongrel entity put together from stray pieces of Western Europe and Russia. Charming. Now comes Romanian President Traian Basescu, who announced last week that there are reasons to think that parts of Ukraine’s south should be ceded back to Moldova. Apparently the statement was uttered in the context of Romanian−Moldovan discussions about the border between those two countries, and it seems to have been a comment of a fairly benign, rhetorical order. No need to worry that a joint Moldovan−Romanian army is about to mass across the border from southwestern Ukraine and march into this country on a revanchist mission. However, in this part of the world, where borders have been shifting for hundreds of years, often leading to ethnic violence and wars, such talk is no joke, and Ukraine’s Interior Ministry is acting appropriately in calling in Romania’s ambassador to ask him just what his bosses back home are talking about, and whether they haven’t lost their minds. With Russia talking about maybe taking Crimea back if Ukraine persists in its NATO aspirations, there’s too much of this sort of talk in the air.
|Chornobyl Today The Life of a Dead Facility - Ukraine Today|
Driving recently to Chornobyl, where I’m from, my thoughts travelled back to 1986, and to what happened then in Ukraine and my own north-central region of it, known as Polisya. I remembered how my elderly relatives broke down history into two halves: the era before April 26, 1986 was ‘before the war,’ while the era that started that day was ‘after the war.’
|The Chornobyl Museum Remembering a Strange Time in a Strange Land - Kyiv Museums|
Haunting, eerie, and stuffed with artifacts and documents: It’s the Chornobyl Museum in Podil. What’s On visits.
I can’t quite get my mind around the Chornobyl Museum in Podil, moving as the place is. I’ve been there twice now, the second time recently, as the 22nd anniversary of the nuke disaster approached, and I still don’t know what to think about the institution located right off Kontraktova Ploscha.
|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|
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.