|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 43|
24 November - 30 November
BRITS on FILM Festival of NEW British Films 23-30 November Ukraina Cinema
Ask a Kyivite
Going Out Chef’s Corner
Just a Minute
On the Sofa with...
|From THE EDITOR - Editorial|
The Ukrainian parliament bravely voted last week to postpone the vote on whether to recognise the terror famine of the 1930s as an act of genocide against the Ukrainian people. Yet again the country’s legislators approached a subject that lies at the very heart of Ukraine’s struggle with its troubled past, peered over the rim into the gaping abyss, and promptly ran away. It is easy enough to understand why; attitudes to the famine, like those relating to WWII, ties with Russia and the Soviet past in general are symptomatic of the utter lack of consensus as to what being Ukrainian should be all about. At one end of the spectrum you have nationalists who believe the famine was designed to destroy Ukraine as a nation, and at the other you have hard-line communists who refuse to admit that it was anything other than a ghastly natural disaster. The reality, namely that as the Soviet UNI0N’s agricultural stronghold Ukraine was doomed to suffer the brunt of the savagery as Stalin set about collectivising agriculture and breaking the resistance of the peasantry, gets lost amid a screaming match of accusation and denial. It is a great credit to the country that Ukraine is now finally honouring the millions of victims in something like a fitting manner, but it is tragic in its own way that rather than offering some form of closure the subject of the famine continues to divide contemporary Ukrainian society. Ultimately I’d have to question whether the slow, brutal murder of so many millions really needs to be bestowed with the increasingly politicised epithet of ‘genocide’ to render it the place in the world’s collective consciousness that the famine so clearly warrants. Calling it genocide simply gives an ethnic slant to this manmade monstrosity that is both historically dubious and socially divisive. It is perhaps a sign of the times that there should be a push for such keywords, but the human tragedy of the 1930s needs to be honoured, not exploited.
|Ukrainian Girl Shines at Miss Earth - Picture Perfect|
Karina Kharchinska, a 23 year old Ukrainian model, was one of five chosen finalists at the ‘Miss Earth 2006’ beauty contest that took place on 14 November on Borakay Island in the Philippines. The Grand Final will be held on 26 November. ‘Miss Earth’ is an annual international beauty contest founded in 2001 by Carousel Productions of the Philippines. Girls promote the idea of looking after the environment through various catwalk shows. The stunning Ukrainian will take to the stage in the final sporting a dress designed by local fashion godess Diana Dorozhkina. Good luck, Karina!
|Did You discuss the Holodomor with Your Family? - Ask a Kyivite|
This week sees the memorial day for the millions who died during the Holodomor, the manmade famine of the 1930s which many see as genocide against the Ukrainian nation. As 25 November approaches, What’s On asked Kyivites whether they ever discussed the tragedy with their nearest and dearest.
|Did Sheva’s Wife Lead Him to London? - Whats Up?|
The goals have dried up for Ukrainian footballing star Andriy Shevchenko since his summertime sixty million dollar move from AC Milan to London’s Chelski, and rumours have begun circulating that the striker is already angling for a return to the Italian giants, where he was widely worshipped as a footballing deity and enjoyed six seasons of unmitigated success. According to Ukrainian press reports the whole move to England can now be blamed on Sheva’s wife the sometime model Kristen Pazik. “I was happy to stay in Milan but I decided to go to London for the sake of my family,” the footballer is quoted as saying. However, while it had previously been assumed that Sheva was keen to raise his family in an English-speaking environment speculation has now emerged that in fact the motivation behind the move may have come from Andriy’s wife’s own glamorous ambitions. Reports claim that Chelski owner Roman Abramovivch’s now-estranged wife Irina actually befriended Sheva’s wife Kristen in Milan and was able to encourage the move to the UK by promising the ambitious American beauty that she would be able to set her up with a top modelling agency in London and even open the door to a career in film, which is said to be Kristen’s long-term ambition. None of this will come as a surprise to Milan fans, who have long since dubbed Kristen the ‘Yoko Ono’ of football for what they regard as her role in pulling Sheva away from his beloved Milan. The struggling model first came to prominence in Milan as the girlfriend of Piersilvio Berlusconi (one of Silvio Berlusconi’s sons), but in 2000 following the publication of nude photos of the American blonde in a men’s magazine Silvio Berlusconi publicly chastised her, thus ending her relationship with the Berlusconi clan. The erotic model, who boasts breast and lip implants, returned to the limelight in Milan through her romance and marriage to Shevchenko, who enjoys close relations with the Berlusconi family, but nevertheless it is thought that her earlier treatment by the owners of AC Milan encouraged her to push Andriy for a move. (Komsermolskaya Pravda/staff writers)
|EU Probes Kopek Deficit - Whats Up?|
The EU have announced an investigation into Ukraine’s alleged kopek deficit after visiting officials reported being repeatedly asked by shop clerks to provide the exact change when making sundry purchases during a brief stay in Kyiv last month. Local officials played down the news, saying that talk of deficits was misplaced, claiming that most shops and small businesses are in fact well-stocked with kopeks but for reasons of convenience and lethargy prefer to ask the customer to do the admittedly limited work of selecting the right amount of money.
|Russian Poison - Whats Up?|
Russia was once again at the centre of an espionage scandal last weekend over allegations that a former Russian security agent who had defected to the West was in a critical condition following what appeared to be a poisoning attempt on his life. Alexander Litvinenko, a former FSB officer who has since become a high-profile critic of Putin’s presidency was investigating the murder of outspoken Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya at the time of the alleged poisoning, which has left him close to death. A Foreign Office insider was quoted in The Times saying ‘We are not talking about a routine espionage dispute. This time we are dealing with the possible attempted murder of a foreign national in a foreign country using methods we know the Russians are widely capable of.’ This is the latest in a long line of poisonings that have thrust the Russians into the limelight for all the wrong reasons. During the Cold War poisonings were one of the favoured means of dispatching awkward individuals, and the practice has allegedly been carried over from Soviet times by the current Russian elite. The Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov was famously poisoned in 1978 when an agent using a spring-loaded umbrella injected Markov’s leg with a pellet that contained ricin. He died three days later. In 1995 Ivan Kiveldi, chairman of the Russian Business Roundtable of bankers and businessmen, was murdered by poison after ingesting ‘heavy mineral salts’, while in 2002 a Saudi-born warlord in Chechnya died after receiving an apparently poisoned letter. Friends and family of Russian Duma deputy Turi Shchekochikhin, who was also deputy editor of Novaya Gazeta in Moscow, believe his 2003 death was also a state-sanctioned dioxin poisoning. At the time of his death he was investigating the involvement of Russian security agencies in a series of apartment bombings in 1999 in Moscow which were used as a pretext for Putin’s second Chechen war. Most famously of all, Ukraine’s then opposition leader Viktor Yuschenko was taken seriously ill with what was later diagnosed as dioxin poisoning in the run-up to the 2004 presidential elections in Ukraine.
|Africa’s Unbowed Community Figurehead - My Kyiv|
As head of the Nigerian Community in Kyiv, a branch of the nationwide Nigerian Community in Ukraine, it is the role of Dr. Clement Ojum to help his fellow countrymen in anyway he can, particularly in the field of learning and commerce. An apparent racially motivated murder has caused alarm throughout Ukraine, and amongst its African residents in particular, but while the doctor is concerned he urges calm, insisting that Ukraine is a wonderful place and the locals warm and friendly. The actions of a few deadbeat toughs, he insists, should never cloud this.
|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.