|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 13|
13 April - 19 April
Meet Mr. Ukraine!
Patriotic Sevastopol Lad Representing His Country in the World of Male Beauty Contests
Just a Minute
On the Sofa with...
|From THE EDITOR - Editorial|
The political circus looks set to rumble on this week with the Constitutional Court apparently doing its best to avoid making any decisions in the hope that if they stall long enough someone will remove the burden of responsibility from them. For the citizens of Kyiv that will mean yet more poorly stage-managed demonstrations and disinterested deadlock around the capital, with rare highlights including last week’s performance of ‘Back in the USSR’ on Maidan, which for my money was the satirical high water mark of the current comedy, albeit entirely accidental. The immediate impression is of a country lurching from one crisis to another, but if you take a few steps back it starts to look far more like the simple teething troubles of a nation that in democratic terms is still a toddler. Taking the largest country in Europe and turning it into a functioning parliamentary democracy is no easy task, and so I wouldn’t be too concerned over the current crisis. More alarming than the clash of the two Viktors has been the readiness with which some media outlets have started scare-mongering about the threat of bloodshed, civil war and the splitting of Ukraine. These tactics were first used during the Orange Revolution in a bid to frighten people away from supporting the push for democracy, and they have been voiced again throughout the past week. You can expect such bullying tactics from Ukrainian politicians, but coming from journalists it is nothing short of disgraceful. One popular Ukrainian newspaper even ran a big front page exclusive last week predicting ten days of bloodshed based entirely on the predictions of an astrologer, which for my money is one of the most irresponsible pieces of journalism in modern European history. I’d like to think that Ukrainian readers would be appalled by this kind of thing, but in truth most of them simply don’t pay any attention, which is perhaps the next best thing.
|Kyiv Mayor Imposes Downtown Alcohol Ban - Whats Up?|
Kyiv Mayor Leonid Chernovetsky imposed a ban on the sale of all alcohol in the downtown area during political rallies 4 April following a sharp rise in drunkenness in and around demonstrations, posing a serious health and safety headache for Kyiv police. The pro-governmental rallies have featured large numbers of protesters bussed into Kyiv from the impoverished south and east of the country, with heavy drinking characterising the demonstrations and detracting from attempts to recreate the positive image of the 2004 Orange Revolution protests. The Orange winter protests passed off without any serious incidents and were noted for a lack of alcohol-related disorder despite the minus ten temperatures, and no restrictions were imposed on downtown shops regarding the sale of alcohol throughout the month long protests.
|Hungary/Croatia Installed Favourites - Whats Up?|
The political unrest in Ukraine coupled with brutal treatment of Manchester United fans by Italian police during last week’s Champions League tie in Rome appears to have left the door open for the joint Hungary/Croatia bid to host the Euro 2012 football championships. Ukraine is also in contention to host the games via their joint bid with neighbouring Poland, but with thousands on the streets and the country’s political forces in apparent deadlock it is thought that UEFA may be getting cold feet. A fifteen man committee is set to meet this week on 18 April in Cardiff to decide between the three bids following final presentations from the three bidding nations. Italy’s claim to the tournament was severely dented when heavy-handed police were caught on camera repeatedly beating stricken Manchester United fans following clashes with their Roma counterparts in the Italian capital. The Italian game has also been rocked by repeated hooligan outrages in recent months and is yet to recover from the bribery scandal that rocked their top flight in 2006
|Assault Weaponry on Sale! - Whats Up?|
With the country in the grip of yet another political crisis the need for calm is higher than ever, but while the vast majority of Kyivites reacted to last week’s constitutional conundrum and the accompanying staged protests with splendid inactivity, some individuals were found wanting like the gentleman who decided that now was the time to start selling decommissioned automatic rifles, pistols and various other weapons from a newly-opened antiques store in the underpass close to Tolstoy metro station. When confronted by What’s On reporters the eager entrepreneur was unfazed and seemed confused as to why this might be considered somewhat inappropriate behaviour at a time of heightened tension and national uncertainty.
|Mister Ukraine conquering the World! - Cover Story|
Everyone knows and loves the Miss World competition and will be wishing Miss Ukraine good fortune when the finals take place during the summer, but its sister, or should we say brother, competition Mr. World does not attract so much attention with many people not even knowing of its existence. But there is such a thing, the finals of which took place recently in the beautiful tropical city of Sanya in China where the Miss World finals have been held for the last three years, and 25 year old dancer and model from Sevastopol Zhenya Dudin was there representing Ukraine. 56 countries took part in the Mr. World final, all of whom had great looks and well-toned bodies, but that was not all that was required to come out on top as the competition goes much further by testing the character and determination of the participants to the limits.
|Honouring Ukraine’s Most Distinctive Sculptor - Kyiv Culture|
This week marks the 300th Anniversary of the birth of the Ukrainian sculptor known as master Pinzel, and in honour of the great man a law has been passed declaring 2007 ‘The year of Pinzel’. There has been a great fuss recently about this figure with a number of high-ranking people visiting the museum of the architect where Western Ukrainian governors gathered earlier in the year for purely political reasons, but this time returned, united in honouring the cultural contribution of the man.
|My Kyiv - My Kyiv|
Igor Iluk, director of the Carribean club, has been has been part and parcel of the Kyiv club life for 15 years. He started out studying at the University of Civil Aviation and since then has worked as a waiter, barman, administrator and of course club director. This week he got together with What’s On journalist Cosmos Okigbo Ojukwu to chat about his love for Kyiv, his business, his rejection of racism and his view that all races are equal and should work together as one family.
|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.