|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 38|
20 October - 26 OctoberNorthern STARS. Aha in Concen
Just a Minute
On the Sofa with...
|From THE EDITOR - Editorial|
There can’t have been many more welcome visitors to Kyiv in the past few years than the hordes of kilted Scottish football fans that descended on the Ukrainian capital last week for their country’s big EURO 2008 qualifier. No doubt many What’s On readers had a laugh or three with these jovial chaps during what was a memorable few days. A quick scan of the internet, however, creates a rather different impression, with story after story in the British press detailing how Scottish fans were set upon by gangs of marauding skinheads, leaving many injured and some hospitalised in unprovoked attacks. This may not have been the abiding memory of their time in Kyiv for the overwhelming majority of visiting Scots, but even so, the damage is done. Now when you mention Ukraine many people in the UK and elsewhere will automatically think of skinheads. Unfortunately that is probably exactly what these morons wanted to achieve. This is not totally new, of course; there is a worryingly xenophobic undercurrent in the Slavic heartlands which has seen outbreaks of racial violence in neighbouring Russia in recent years, and while Ukraine is by comparison a bastion of religious and ethnic tolerance right wing extremism remains a threat. It is one of the many unsung achievements of independent Ukraine that this diverse land of Tatar and Slav, Greek and Jew, Orthodox and Catholic, Hutsul and Ruthenian has managed to avoid ethnic conflict or Balkanisation over the past fifteen years, but the struggle goes on and with European integration seemingly on hold Ukraine’s perceived isolation could help breed extremism. I’m sure most Kyivites will be appalled at such a prospect, and hopefully they will let their feelings be known next time a group of skinheads think they can attack a foreigner in the street.
|Push for Genocide Recognition - Whats Up?|
President Yuschenko has ordered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to actively encourage the international community to recognize the forced famine of 1932-1933 as a genocide of the Ukrainian people and one of the greatest tragedies in human history. He signed a decree last week designating 25 November, 2006, as an official ‘Day of Rememberance’ of the Victims of the Holodomor and Political Repression. A committee chaired by Deputy Head of the Secretariat Ivan Vasyunyk and Vice Prime Minister Dmytro Tabachnyk will organize the ceremonies. At precisely 16.00 on 25 November, victims will be honoured during a nationwide minute of silence. Work in all government agencies and businesses will pause, and the Ukrainian flag will be lowered to half-mast. Meanwhile America’s President George W. Bush signed a law 14 October that authorizes the construction on U.S. government land of a memorial to the estimated seven million who died in Soviet Ukraine due to the engineered famines created by dictator Joseph Stalin’s forced collectivization policies in the early 1930s. The law authorizes the Ukrainian government to build the memorial in Washington. The bill says the 1932-33 famine that killed millions was manmade, not the result of natural causes, and that Stalin and those around him committed “genocide” against Ukraine. For decades this mass murder went unreported as Soviet propaganda portrayed the famine as natural and denied that the state had deliberately ordered the requisition of all foodstuffs from entire regions, leaving whole villages to slowly starve to death amid unimaginable scenes of dehumanising suffering. (Kanal 5/Radio Liberty)
|Mayor’s New Lie Detector - Whats Up?|
Last week eccentric Kyiv Mayor Leonid Chernovetsky signed the decree which encourages all city administration personnel to undergo lie detector tests. Chernovetsky has been an outspoken critic of government corruption and has personally offered to undergo such tests to prove his credentials as an honest broker, but it remains unclear exactly how many Kyiv officials will now be lining up to take the test. (5tv.com.ua)
|Russian Patriarch Online - Whats Up?|
Ultra-conservative Moscow Patriarch Alexei II, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, has surprised many by coming out in favour of online preaching! “Today the internet is the most important form of mass media. It is important that the word of God is spread through the internet. Thanks to the internet now everyone can meet God.” He views contradict those of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which has been skeptical of internet usage in the past. (Newsru.com)
|A Tasty Wedding Dress - Whats Up?|
Uzhgorod master baker Valentyn Shtefano surprised his fiancee recently when he told her he was making her wedding dress out of flour, eggs, sugar and caramel! The dress, made of 1,500 cream puffs and weighing 20 pounds took the 28-year-old baker two months to make, and by the end of the wedding reception, bride Viktoriya said she didn’t want to take it off. Shtefano is a rising star in the field of baking as visual art, earning him a following in this picturesque Trans Carpathian city. “`At first glance, it’s really a surprise. I didn’t even believe it was a cake,’’ said Olha Nemyataya, who sampled some of Shtefano’s new deserts. ``Nowhere in Uzhhorod have I seen things like this.’’ The bride was equally impressed. “At first, it was even a little embarrassing,’’ Viktoriya Shtefano said of the dress she wore to the couple’s reception at Uzhhorod’s 1,200-year-old castle. ``Cameras, interviews, but after a couple of hours, I didn’t even want to take it off.’’ (Associated Press)
|Weaponry Found on Roof - Whats Up?|
A cache of WWII weaponry has been uncovered in near perfect condition by construction workers on a Lviv rooftop during renovation works. The cache included German hand grenades and a large supply of bullets. It is not clear which side the cache belonged to, and it is thought it may well be part of the arms hidden by UPA operatives during the anti-Soviet insurgency that ran on until the 1950s. Ukraine is still full of weaponry and unexploded bombs dating back to WWII as the country was the primary theatre of fighting during mankind’s most destructive conflict. (wire sources)
|Norway’s 1980s Pop Pin-Ups - Headliner|
Morten Harket (vocals) Magne Furuholmen (keyboard) and Paul Waaktaar-Savoy (guitar) are the three men who make up a-ha. The fresh faced Norwegians formed the band in 1982 and, having moved to London not long after, were already household names on both sides of the Atlantic by 1985 thanks to the song they will forever be associated with, ‘Take on Me.’ First released in 1984 ‘Take on Me’ sold a mere 300 copies before it was given a rework by producer Alan Tarney, after which it sold 1.5 million copies world wide.
|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.