|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 1|
19 January - 25 January
Happy New Year!
Wishing All Readers a Healthy and Wealthy ‘Year of the Pig’!
Whats on Promotion
Just a Minute
|Calendar - Calendar|
Christmas Evenings Mycola Gorbych and Chamber Choir `Kyiv` National Philharmonic Friday 19 January at 19.00 Information tel. 278-16-97
Subscription #6 - `Violin Music` A.Stankov (Bulgaria) V.Borysov(Ukraine) Symphonic Orchestra Thursday 25 January at 19.00 National Philharmonic Information tel. 278-16-97
|From THE EDITOR - Editorial|
It has taken less than two years for Viktor Yushchenko to go from being rated as one of the most influential politicians in the world to finding himself apparently reduced to the status of marginal figure in his own country, which must be some sort of record. Last week’s nail in the coffin from erstwhile ally Yulia came just as the president was hoping to build bridges with an openly hostile parliament, and leaves him down if not actually out for the count in the power struggle for control of the country with PM Yanukovich (see page 6 for details). Yushchenko may now wish to busy himself with applications to the Constitutional Courts, which will no doubt demonstrate his decisive leadership qualities to the wider population, but for the rest of us the real issue is what it will all mean for Ukraine in 2007. One fairly safe bet is the public rejection of any NATO membership overtures, with or without an actual referendum. With Yanukovich now effectively enjoying free reign as the all-powerful Premier, the big question will be the degree to which he resorts to the tricks that gained his government such notoriety prior to the revolution. Ukraine’s fledgling free press will play a crucial role in stalling this process, as will the political opposition of the Yulia Bloc, but the extent to which the media and the opposition can effectively prevent a breakdown in the country’s democratic processes will also be dependent on the continued interest of the jaded general public in the political process. The danger of a return to the political apathy of the Kuchma years is all too clear, and poses perhaps the biggest threat to Ukraine’s continued development in 2007. It may well be the ‘Year of the Pig’, but it would be tragic if popular disenchantment at all those broken promises were to allow the greedy elite to make total piggies of themselves.
Happy New Year!
|Spiritual Side of Kyiv Building Boom - Picture Perfect|
The spiralling real estate market in Kyiv has been the subject of numerous international news articles over the New Year holiday period, as prices continue to rocket and building sites shoot up all over the boom town Ukrainian capital. However, as this major construction work over at the St. Pokrovskiy monastery (15, Bekhterevsky Prov.) demonstrates, it is not all about high rise residential buildings and grade A office space!
Photo: Roman Orel
|New-Look Yulia Turns Kingmaker - Whats Up?|
Iconic political leader Yulia Tymoshenko turned on her former Orange ally President Viktor Yushchenko last week by joining forces with the Yanukovich-led government to pass a number of bills through parliament effectively reducing the presidential influence on the workings of the Cabinet of Ministers and securing Yulia’s position as the official leader of the opposition. The move defeated a presidential veto on previous attempts to pass this bill and looks to have decisively resolved the long-running power struggle between Yushchenko and orange villain Yanukovich in the latter’s favour, making the Donbass strongman the most powerful Prime Minister in Ukraine’s brief history and significantly reducing the president’s role in the day to day running of the country. Also among the bills passed was one banning elected representatives from switching parties at every level from parliament itself down to city councils, something which has been a serious threat to Yulia’s Bloc up until now, with members often offered financial incentives to move over to the governing Party of the Regions-led coalition, thus further securing Yulia’s position as the leader of the country’s official parliamentary opposition. The gorgeous politician dropped her bombshell on Yushchenko while sporting a stunning new hairstyle that was a radical departure from her well-known peasant plaits, with many parliamentarians immediately attaching enormous significance to the change in image upon her arrival in the building for the day’s debates. The new look proved to be a metaphor for her politcal switch as Yulia put the boot into Yushchenko’s increasingly troubled presidency. Her erstwhile ally is now expected to send this new batch of laws to the constitutional court for consideration in protest, but it will take at least three months before they reach any decision, during which time the bills will be in effect. Political observers have viewed Yulia’s decision to back Yanukovich as a pragmatic move to cement her position as the official leader of the opposition with an eye on the 2009 presidential elections, which may now come sooner than expected. Ukraine’s parliament will return to session in mid-February. (Anatoli Artemenko)
|A Healthy Marriage? - Whats Up?|
Anyone wishing to marry in Ukraine will from now on be obliged to provide their future spouse with a general medical certificate to disclose any health concerns or risk a quick divorce. Official government agencies will conduct these new health checks in strict confidentiality. The new legislation has been added to the existing laws governing marriage and families in Ukraine, and is expected to net doctors millions of hyrvnias in bribes. (Anatoli Artemenko)
|Toronto Taras Stolen - Whats Up?|
A bronze statue of Ukrainian bard Taras Shevchenko was stolen in late December from its plinthe in Toronto, Canada in what police believe to have been a scrap metal heist of epic proportions. The three metre high statue disappeared overnight, with officials later recovering the head from a metal recycling business west of Toronto. The missing body is thought to be worth something in the region of USD17,000, and has yet to be located, leaving Canada’s one million strong Ukrainian diaspora in a state of mourning. “It’s been devastating to the great majority of Ukrainian Canadians,” commented Andrew Gregorovich of the Toronto Taras Shevchenko museum. The statue was presented to Canada by the Soviet UNI0N in 1951 to honour 60 years of Ukrainian settlement in the former British colony.
|Sheva to Come Home? - Whats Up?|
The race to capture out of form footballing superstar Andriy Shevchenko is heating up, and while Real Madrid are reported to be preparing an audacious swap deal involving Burger King Ronaldo, local footballing Tsarevitch and legendary fur coat fancier Igor Surkis has come out and told English tabloid The Sun that he plans to launch a raid of his own on the London giants. “Going to Chelsea was the biggest mistake in Andriy’s career. Milan president Silvio Berlusconi will never take him back, but I hope I’ll be able to offer Sheva a deal that will allow him to return to Dynamo,” Surkis the Younger expained. Quite how he intends to persuade Shevchenko’s American wife that life in sunny Kyiv will be better for her acting ambitions and their children’s education than remaining in little-known London remains to be seen.
|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.