|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 40|
3 November - 9 November
Tres Belle. French Beauty Wins Miss Europe in Kyiv.
Just a Minute
Head to Head
|From THE EDITOR - Editorial|
It’s amazing the difference a few years can make. Last weekend’s Miss Europe 2006 beauty contest was slick, highly professional and star-studded, no doubt acting as another little boost to Ukraine’s international reputation. Back in 1997 when they attempted something on this scale in Ukraine for the first time, however, it ended in high farce and a mass walk-out amid allegations of late night abductions and atrocious facilities (see page 6 for details). At the time such suggestions of chaos and lawlessness were par for the course in a part of the world popularly known as ‘The Wild East’, but thankfully all that seems a long, long way off right now. In those days you used to see people carrying guns routinely and groups of hulking bodyguards were standard practice in Kyiv’s clubs and restaurants. It was not unheard of for bombs to go off in hotel foyers and under cars, while outspoken journalists were prone to disappear. Luckily that sort of thing seems to have gone distinctly out of fashion over the past few years. Recently I was having lunch in a trendy spot when a man walked in with a revolver holstered in his hip. I’m not exaggerating when I say that a number of fellow diners actually sniggered at him. Sure enough, the tough guy sat down and bashfully hid his weaponry away in the manner of a clumsy oaf who’s been scolded by his girlfriend for forgetting to turn his mobile phone off at the ballet. No doubt he was a provincial chap not long arrived in the capital. So although European integration seems as far off as ever it is nevertheless well worth noting that not everything in Kyiv stays the same.
|Yulia Still Ukraine’s First Lady - Whats Up?|
Opposition political firebrand and Orange icon Yulia Timoshenko remains the most influential woman in Ukraine according to a poll published in Ukrainian news digest ‘Focus’. The beautiful and outspoken leader of the parliamentary opposition to Viktor Yanukovich’s government was herself in line for the PM spot earlier this year until the collapse of the Orange Coalition amid infighting and accusations of treachery, but nevertheless takes top spot in this survey of the country’s most important female public figures and remains widely fancied for the 2009 presidency. The top one hundred rating features a mixture of politicians, media figures, celebrities and representatives of the arts, with a distinct lack of business figures testifying to continued male domination of this sector. The top ten reads: 1. Yulia Timoshenko, 2. Raisa Bogatyryeva (Party of the Regions MP), 3. Valentina Semenyuk (Head of State Property Fund), 4. Vera Ulianchenko (Head of Kyiv Oblast Admin.), 5. Yulia Mostovaya (Dep. Editor, Zerkalo Nedely newspaper) 6. Nina Karpacheva (Party of the Regions MP), 7. Anna German (Party of Regions MP), 8. Ekaterina Yuschenko (First Lady), 9. Sofia Rotaru (Soviet-era singer), 10. Tetyana Kornyakova (Dep. Prosecutor General).
|Romanians Angry at UK’s Anti-Immigrant Posturing - Whats Up?|
Soon-to-be EU members Romania have responded to British press reports calling for action to block hordes of workers entering the UK when the country joins the EU next year by issuing a defiant ‘we don’t care’ message, stating that they would much rather head for sunnier climes anyway. Over 50% of the estimated 2.5 million people to have left Romania in the past decade have gone ot Italy and Spain, countries much closer culturally to Romania, which sees itself as a mix of Balkan and Latino. Following an flood of Polish workers to the UK since the country gained EU membership in 2004 Westminster has been quick to dampen fears of a new wave, and have limited numbers to just 20,000 a year, leading to anger at this perceived insult in Romania. (wire reports)
|Medics Urge Flu Jabs - Whats Up?|
Doctors are calling on Ukrainians to get themselves immunized as soon as possible against flu and predicting an outbreak of epidemic proportions sometime in the coming two months. This year two new strains of flu are expected to join last year’s ‘Caledonia’ strain, and outbreaks in Simferopol and Lviv are already said to be approaching critical levels. On average twenty five percent of the Ukrainian population falls victim to flu every year. (Kanal 5)
|Dynamo Threaten Action - Whats Up?|
Dynamo Kyiv president Ihor Surkis has promised a clearout folllowing an appalling start to their UEFA Champions League campaign. Three heavy defeats have left the once might Dynamo a laughing stock, and Surkis has said he will no longer tolerate ‘people who get large sums of money, sit on the bench and do nothing,’ although those on the pitch who do nothing are also presumably under threat. The club president was pulling no punches and named names, explaining “I told (Romanian Florin) Cernat to take himself in hand. The same applies to (Bulgarian Georgy) Peyev, (Serbian Igor) Petekovich and (Romanian Cristian) Eremia,” he commented, adding “it’s better to open the way for younger players.” Other Dynamo stars to be warned are said to include Brazilian Rodrigo and Latvian Maris Verpakovskis. “If nothing changes in the next three Champions League games measures will have to be taken. The team’s performance is unsatisfactory for me and Demyanenko (Dynamo’s current trainer). But there is stil enough time to improve things. I can say I trust Demyanenko more than I ever did anyone else,” he added inexplicably. The current trainer is a Dynamo old hand but while he has been a member of the backroom staff for some time and has steered the club to a narrow lead at the top of the Ukrainian league his side’s abysmal start in Europe, where they traditionally rank highly in the Champions League, has led supporters to question whether Demyanenko is big enough for the job. With Shakhtar also off to a poor start this year the domestic game would appear to be in a rut. National coach Oleg Blokhin chipped in by arguing, “we have come to a sad but logical conclusion here; utter collapse in the international arena. Until we get at least financially stable clubs to engage in a true fight for the championship, as is the case in Russia, I’m afraid we will continue to see maybe 1,000 spectators attending games and I will continue to tear my hair out.” (fifa.com)
|Allegations of Bull Banditry Spoil 1990s Beauty Pageant - Curious Kyiv|
Last weekend’s Miss Europe beauty contest was another example of Ukraine’s ability to put on a world-class show but back in 1997 when the country was the first former Soviet Republic to attempt such a major spectacular things did not go quite according to plan, with ten of the contestants of Miss Europe 1997 contest fleeing Kyiv before the grand final amid tales of threatening bandit-style behaviour, inedible food, and late night abductions.
|Afterparty with International DJing Icon - Celebrity Guest|
Global superstar Boy George is one of the most famous faces in music of the last two decades. The former frontman of Culture Club turned DJ came to the Ukrainian capital to play a set at Arena 28 October, and during this whirlwind tour took time out to give an exclusive interview to What’s On journalist Nataliya Marianchyk.
|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.