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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 7 (2009)

¹7 (2009)/2009
6 March - 12 March
The Singing Pants
Ukraine’s Funniest, Funnest Girl-Group Talks


Editorial
Whats Up?
Ukrainian Culture
This Week
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Cover Story
Ukraine Today
Kyiv Kino
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From the Editor (7) - Editorial
Here’s one Ukrainian acquaintance of mine, taking his savings and heading to Thailand to live cheap on the beach; there’s another, a laid-off photographer, off to hang out in Goa, and take a lot of photos. Will they ever return? Another friend, sitting on piles of dollars made by selling off real estate when the market was hot, is looking into school in the States or the UK, while yet another might accept a Canadian relative’s standing offer of immigration sponsorship. What they have in common is that they’re members of that young educated ‘middle class’ that was going to inherit and reform the country. Call this evidence anecdotal, but it does seem now as if a significant proportion of this country’s ‘prospective’ youth, to adopt the local solecism, are looking toward the exits. Or to paraphrase Lenin, they might be voting with their feet about their country’s future. And in doing so, they’re leaving the country to everyone else, at least for the moment: to the politicians, to the aging USSR nostalgics.


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Gas Woes Could Be Coming, Yet Again - Whats Up?
A few weeks ago, even as the economy was shedding mass like a satellite falling from orbit, Ukrainians could say, “At least Russia won’t cut off the gas. At least we won’t go cold.” No more. Everyone’s worried Ukraine is in danger of defaulting on its loans, and that includes recently accrued short-term debts to Gazprom. According to the Russian gas monopoly, Ukraine owes $400 million for February alone, which allegedly led Andrey Kruglov, head of Gazprom’s finance department, to say at a recent meeting, “If $400 million is not paid on 7 March, then on 8 March once again we will have to cut off gas to Ukraine.” Ukraine’s national gas company Naftogaz has said the problem lies partly with domestic gas distributors who can’t pay their own debts.


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Runner-Up Beauty Queen Complains - Whats Up?
The first runner-up in the recent Miss Ukraine-Universe beauty contest is complaining because she wasn’t treated at the pageant in the manner to which runner-up Ukrainian beauty queens must be treated. Antonina Peperna, who happens to be the daughter of top Ukrainian actress Olga Sumska, whined afterwards, “How can it be that the first runner-up, who didn’t win the crown or the top ribbon, should leave the stage without a bouquet of flowers? I was practically empty-handed, with just a certificate and a little bottle of some sort of perfume.”


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Russians Strike Back on Famine - Whats Up?
Accusing countries of genocide makes them uncomfortable, so it’s no surprise that Russia is going to great lengths to prove its contention that Moscow was not responsible for the Ukrainian famine – the Holodomor – of the 1930s that killed millions of people in this country. Just last week Russia made public a huge cache of historical documents on DVD and on paper that are meant to prove that the famine was not, as many Ukrainian nationalists including President Yushchenko aver, a Russian attempt to destroy Ukrainians as a people. Said Vladimir Kozlov, head of Russia’s Federal Archive Agency, “Not a single document exists that even indirectly shows that the strategy and tactics chosen for Ukraine differed from those applied to other regions, not to mention tactics or strategies with the aim of genocide.”


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To Default or Not to Default - Whats Up?
Default seems to be the word on everyone’s lips these days, at least when they’re talking about Ukraine. To throw out some facts: News reports indicate that Ukraine has some $46 billion in external debt to service this year, $3.6 billion of which is sovereign. The real problem, say analysts, is covering the $4-5 billion worth of corporate debt. And since the International Monetary Fund recently delayed the next tranche of its emergency loan to Kyiv, the cost of insuring government bonds against default is the highest in the world: sixty percent of the bond’s value upfront and five percent more of its value every year.


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Ukrainian Conductor Herman Makarenko - Ukrainian Culture
Women’s Day, 8 March, is actually a relic of the Soviet era. While some Ukrainian women ignore the holiday and others are happy to receive flowers and chocolates on the occasion, the National Opera House has planned something sophisticated: a concert called the Declaration of Love, dedicated as much to the age-old celebration of the coming of spring as anything. Conductor Herman Makarenko sat down in his rehearsal room at the opera to talk about the problems and delights of working in classical music in Ukraine.


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Some Homegrown Mellow Electronics from Nimb, at Xlib - This Week
Nimb in concert, Xlib club (12 Frunze), 6 March at 20.00
Nimb, an interesting Ukrainian electronica group, released their second album just a few weeks ago. Called Night City Dreams Vol. 3, the release showcases the four person band’s ability to fuse elements of trip-hop, IDM, indie rock and ambient music into a spacey mellow vibe that’s all their own. The sound is very polished, which is probably why they’ve made fans all over Ukraine and Europe, where they plan to tour. For now, you can catch them down at Xlib.


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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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