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On the cover
¹7 (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 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.

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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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What's On Archive ¹ 4 (2009)

¹4 (2009)/2009
13 February - 19 February
Jazz Giant
Dutch Jazzman Michiel Borstlap Comes to the Capital


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From the Editor (4) - Editorial
If news reports are to be believed, the Bessarabska Market, which has arguably been the heart of the Ukrainian capital since before the Bolshevik Revolution, could find its character radically altered soon enough. No, the City Administration isn’t going to turn it into a multi-level parking garage, as in my most pessimistic moments I’ve thought it might in recent years, as authorities seemed to do everything possible to turn this venerable city over to the imperatives of the automobile. But the government is going to evict all of the market’s vendors and sell the lofty space off to whomever offers the most money for the right to turn Bessarabska into a big ‘gastronom’. What does this mean? It could mean that Kyiv obtains a top-quality ‘food hall’ packed with delicacies and excellent produce: a sort of Eastern European version of London’s Fortnum & Mason or New York’s Balducci’s or Dean & DeLuca.


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Captured Ukrainian Sailors Sail Free - Whats Up?
Finally, some good news for the families of the Ukrainian sailors captured by Somali pirates way back in September. According to news reports, the buccaneers released the MV Faina and its crew of 20 after a plane dropped around $3.2 million in ransom on the ship. President Yushchenko released a report saying the release was the result “an operation involving special service agents.” The ship, of course, was laden with dozens of tanks and tons of weaponry supposedly bound for Kenya, but some observers thought it was destined for Sudan, leading to uncomfortable questions for Ukraine.


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Bessarabska to See Massive Change - Whats Up?
Another piece of Old Kyiv could vanish sooner rather than later, as the city’s most famous old market – and, for that matter, one of its most recognizable sites – is being auctioned off by the Kyiv City Administration. Reports are that on 17 February the Administration will start auctioning off the central Bessarabska Market, thus apparently putting an end to a vibrant commercial space that has been at the heart of the city for just about 100 years. The point seems to be to sell that entire handsome space inside off to the highest bidding ‘gastronom’ chain, which means that all those hollering Ukrainian, Caucasian and Central Asian vendors selling their wares could soon be replaced by the premises of a chain supermarket.


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Aeroflot Pilot Was Possibly Drunk - Whats Up?
An ex-pat in these parts hears all sorts of stories about the ineptitude of Russian airline Aeroflot, but this one’s actually true. When the pilot spoke on the intercom during a recent Moscow-New York flight, passengers could barely understand him. Said one, “The first thought that occurred to me was, ‘This guy is drunk.’ His speech was so slurred it was hard to tell what language he was speaking.” When passengers complained, the ever-courteous flight attendants told them to “stop making trouble.”


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UEFA Is Very Pleased, the IMF Is Not - Whats Up?
Ukraine’s under the microscope of both UEFA, European football’s governing body, and the International Monetary Fund, the institution which is supposed to be lending Kyiv huge gobs of money to avoid economic meltdown. First the good news, as UEFA seems content with Ukraine’s recent preparations for the big EURO-2012 football championship, which this country is going to host in conjunction with Poland. For a while there it seemed as if Ukraine was so far behind on preparations that the country would lose the rights to the big event (we thought so), but no. UEFA’s general secretary said last week that he was “amazed” by the progress Ukraine has made.The IMF isn’t as happy, its visiting representative saying that there are “serious problems” with the way Ukraine is instituting its anti-crisis measures.


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Ukraine’s Leaders Bicker Over Soviet-Era Camp - Whats Up?
As everyone in the world knows by now, Ukraine’s ‘orange’ leaders are skilled at maintaining a steady beat of low-level political bickering with which to amuse and chagrin the country. The latest mini flare-up was over Artek, the massive Soviet-built summer camp down on the beautiful south Crimean coast for kids of all nationalities, including Westerners. Back in the USSR’s heyday, 20,000 children gathered at Artek each year to don red pioneer scarves and ponder how best to effect world peace and comity among peoples. Communist leaders and prominent foreigners visited the camp, among them Khrushchev, Brezhnev, Castro and Nehru, but since the fall of the Soviet UNI0N, the camp has lost funding and fallen into disrepair.


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Eclectic Jazzman Michiel Borstlap - Cover Story
Michiel Borstlap is one of the most interesting phenomena in contemporary jazz music: he combines massive musical talent, a lively manner on stage and an outstanding gift for composition and improvisation with a deep interest in experimenting musically. A winner of the important Thelonius Monk Composers Award in 1996, Borstlap has performed around the world on the most prestigious of stages. This February, the esteemed jazzman comes to Kyiv.


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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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