|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 45|
8 December - 14 December
Germany’s Divine DJ
Party Time with the acclaimed Timo Maas
Going Out Chef’s Corner
Just a Minute
On the Sofa with...
|From THE EDITOR - Editorial|
The great London spy poisoning scandal rumbled on all last week, drawing the attention of the Western media and sparking a major debate about what is really going on in Putin’s Russia. The irony here is that after years of dubious behaviour peppered with quotes bemoaning the collapse of the Soviet empire, Putin should come in for his biggest media cross-examination for something as laughably innocuous as the alleged murder of an unknown and apparently unimportant KGB defector. That’s the West for you, I suppose. Openly show your support for the theft of a presidential election and they will display mild interest. Pass disgusting laws banning foreigners from working in certain sectors of the Russian economy and the outcry is negligible. Cut heating supplies to a neighbour in midwinter when the temperature is minus ten and you’ll only get a response in so far as European countries further down the line are effected. Send the police out on the hunt for ethnic Georgian schoolchildren and there is no reaction. Push through legislation making it all but impossible for most human rights groups to operate in Russia and it barely warrants a paragraph. Allow skinheads free reign throughout the land and you might get the odd letter to the editor. But suspicion of involvement in the poisoning of a self-appointed opposition figure right on the West’s doorstep? Hold the front page! Now all of a sudden the internet forums are alive with debate about Putin, the FSB, Russia, the return of the Cold War, America’s plans for world hegemony and so forth. It has been something of a deluge, and highly entertaining to watch from a Ukrainian vantage point. The impression so far is that the West seems to be living in utter delusion as to what Russia is all about. Let’s hope that the end result will be a better understanding of the forces at work in the former USSR, and the challenges facing pro-democracy movements in this part of the world. It may not be as glamorous as international espionage, but it effects the lives of rather more people. Cheers, Peter Dickinson, Editor
|Belles Prepare for the Big Viennese Ball - Picture Perfect|
Kyiv’s high society set have quickly taken to the idea of an annual Viennese Ball, with its glamorous Opera House location and echoes of Tsarist splendour. The only problem is that many VIPs don’t know how to waltz! This minor deficiency was remedied last week prior to the ball with celebrity dance classes attended by many of Kyiv’s top stars. See pages 28-29 for all the action from the ball.
|NeAngely Prove They are No Angels - Whats Up?|
Saucy bad girl duo NeAngely lived up to their name recently, when they took a baseball bat to stylish downtown entertainment complex Arena. The wanton act of vandalism features in the girls’ latest music video ‘Boy’, a solid Ukrpop party piece currently receiving heavy airplay across the nation’s music channels. The video follows the ladies strutting around Arena and flirting with the club’s well-heeled patrons before sultry Slava of NeAngely puts her bat through $17,000 worth of game machine. “The band’s name NeAngely says it all” effused a breathless Yuriy Nikitin, the director of the popster’s latest video. “One should not expect angelic behaviour from girls, one should be ready for everything” he added. So gentlemen, you have been warned.
|Criminals Kidnap Drunk Citizens; Sell Their Apartments - Whats Up?|
Four Lviv citizens who were kidnapped in the first half of this year have been forced to move into a local police station after their captors sold their apartments to multiple buyers. The formerly wealthy victims were held in cramped conditions in a single room by the criminal gang, which targeted the hapless property owners for their luxurious apartments located in prestigious parts of Lviv’s historic centre and also their partiality for strong alcohol, making them easy prey for the subtle scammers. Vasyl Leytsky of the region’s organized crime fighting force said that it is up to the courts to decide which of the many buyers now have possession of the apartments, adding that the former owners, who are now living side-by-side with drunks and hardened criminals in police custody, should consider themselves “lucky to be alive.”
|Alien Alert as Another UFO Crashes in Outer Siberia - Whats Up?|
An unidentified flying object crashed to earth in the Krasnoyarsk region, Siberia, Russia, last week, causing a large forest fire. Puzzled peasants reported the crash to local authorities while air traffic control officials have stated that no aircraft were scheduled to be flying in the far-flung region during the time of the crash, further fuelling speculation that little green men have once more opted to visit a remote sparsely populated region in search of intelligent life. A group formed of police investigators, representatives of the Transport Prosecutors Service and representatives of the aircraft safety watchdog Rosavianadzor has headed to the site of the crash while the Local Emergencies Directorate has sent a helicopter to the site. 2006 has been a bumper year for UFO watchers in the former communist block, with social misfits in Southern Ukraine in particular supposedly sighting bright unidentified lights. In one memorable case villages in Romania ran for the hills in terror after seeing a series of strange rapidly moving lights in the sky, only to find that the phenomena were in fact spotlights coming from a nearby disco.
|UkrDemocracy Update - Whats Up?|
Election officials have declared November’s mayoral vote in Kirovograd invalid following a bureaucratic bungle of truly post-Soviet proportions. A day before the election a court had ordered the name of one of the candidates, Mr. Nikulin, to be crossed off all ballots. However do-gooders from the NGO Committee of Voters of Ukraine found Nikulin’s name at thirteen polling stations around town, leaving the city’s electoral commission, whose responsibility it was to inform polling stations of the changes, with little choice but to announce the vote as void.
|Belarus Threesome - Whats Up?|
Belarus pop idols Mary Poppins just got bigger! The terrible twin redheads, who are wildly popular among Japanese fans of the suspiciously-named Gothic Lolita movement, have added to the kinky factor by bringing their little sister Lucia into the family business. The third sister is also a flame-haired beauty, making this about as orange as Belarus is ever going to get.
|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.