|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 15|
27 April - 3 May
Uzhgorod beauty takes top 2007 title
Just a Minute
On the Sofa with...
|From THE EDITOR - Editorial|
When the coaches started rolling into town at the end of March it was easy enough to shrug the whole circus off as a cynical operation that would duly run its course. I even felt slightly sorry for those forced to spend nights on rickety old coaches and stand around aimlessly all day. They were so obviously being manipulated that it seemed harsh to condemn them and downright boorish to draw attention to their often disheveled appearance and unsophisticated manners. But then the reports slowly began coming in of infectious outbreaks, mass drunkenness, appalling sanitary conditions and rising numbers of physical attacks and thefts, encouraging rumours to spread that everyone from the homeless population of Crimea to the inmates of the Donbass prison system had been unleashed on an unsuspecting capital. This sort of thing never happened in 2004 when ten times as many people managed to participate in massive civil disobedience while maintaining an atmosphere of peaceful euphoria and community togetherness, and if the Orange Revolution can be said to have been a wonderful PR exercise for all that is good in today’s Ukrainian society, then Maidan circa 2007 could be viewed as the exact opposite. It has certainly served to highlight the huge gulf that exists between the cosmopolitan capital and the ‘mud and vodka’ lifestyle that continues to dominate in the provinces. The harsh reality is that Kyiv remains an island of plenty adrift in a sea of post-Soviet poverty, political paranoia and low, low expectations, which offers a sobering perspective on Ukraine’s prospects for genuine European integration. On a more positive note it is also worth remembering that while the crime rate may have gone up, the much-hyped ‘blood on the streets’ scenario has so far failed to materialise, largely due to the calm handling of Kyiv’s various police and state security apparatuses. Such bodies have long been seen as a cornerstone of the corrupt post-Soviet system, but in fairness their conduct has been exemplary over the past few weeks in what have been enormously trying circumstances, and they deserve the nation’s thanks and the respect of the international community.
|Surkis Brings Euro 2012 to Ukraine! - Picture Perfect|
Political tensions were briefly forgotten last week when news broke that Ukraine had been chosen to Co-host the 2012 European football championships with neighbours Poland. The success of the joint bid was partly down to a team effort from Ukraine’s most high-profile sportsmen and politicians, with a little help from Ukrainian football federation chief (and UEFA executive board member!) Hrihory Surkis. See ‘Kyiv Today’ overleaf for more on Ukraine’s biggest international success to date! Photo: UNIAN
|Ukraine Prepares for Ultimate Five Year Plan - Kyiv Today|
Winning the right to co-host the Euro 2012 European football championships may well come to be seen as akin winning the lottery for Ukraine, such is the sense of hope and expectation surrounding the country’s successful bid. Opposing sets of political demonstrators left their barricades to hug and kiss when news broke of the victory, and the award of the tournament means that Ukraine finally has an infrastructure reform and development timetable to work by, and with five years to go until the big kick-off the country is facing the biggest renovation project in its history. Just how did Ukraine manage to score such a sensational success, and what could it ultimately mean for the country’s future development?
|Verka Gears Up for Eurovision with Nude Models! - Whats Up?|
Controversial icon Verka Syerduchka has finished filming the video to accompany his/her Eurovision 2007 entry ‘Dancing Lasha Tumbai’, which will be screened on 29 April. Much of the video is far too explicit to be featured in a family publication like What’s On and features over one hundred totally naked Ukrainian boys and girls, chosen by Verka personally in order to demonstrate to the whole continent and wider world that as well as thousands of miserable-looking people with political flags and banners the country is also home to the world’s most beautiful people! Verka’s song has proved hugely controversial, with Ukrainian nationalists complaining that the surzhyk-speaking drag act humiliates all Ukrainians and Russians objecting to a line that sounds suspiciously like ‘Russia Goodbye!’, although Verka has rather unconvincingly claimed that the line is actually Mongolian! Eurovision awaits! Watch this space for more...
|Russian Planes Most Dangerous - Whats Up?|
Russia remains the most dangerous place to fly, according to figures released by the International Air Transport Association last week. Russia has an accident rate some thirteen times that of the overall international average, or twice the rate of African airlines as a whole. 2006 was the safest year on record, with a significant drop in air traffic accidents, from 111 to just 77.
|New Armenian Chapel Vandalised - Whats Up?|
An Armenian chapel was vandalised in Kyiv last weekend with swastikas and red paint daubed on the walls. The place of worship was attacked just hours after it had been officially opened with representatives of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Ukraine immediately claiming that they knew who was behind the incident. The chapel, located in Kyiv’s Podilski district, was the centre of controversy with a number of local residents opposing its construction in a regional court.
|Ukrainian Uniates Go East - Whats Up?|
The battle for Ukrainian souls will heat up in the coming months following an announcement from Cardinal Lubomir Husar, leader of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic church, that he intends to establish new dioceses in the traditional Russian Orthodox heartlands of East Ukraine. The Russian Orthodox church has long complained of other churches preaching in what they regard as their sovereign territory, and since the collapse of the Soviet UNI0N have been aghast at the number of protestant denominations to have started evangelical work in the former Orthodox territories of the former Russian Empire. In Soviet times the Russian Orthodox church was discouraged but broadly tolerated, whereas the Ukrainian Greek Catholic church, based largely in Western Ukraine and historically linked to the area’s Polish heritage, was outlawed, making it the world’s largest underground church for close to fifty years, with many priests sentenced to the Gulag for their religious beliefs. “We are discovering more people than we thought (in Eastern Ukraine). Even in Kyiv there are more Greek Catholics than we hoped to find. As people have become estranged from their traditions, they have to be found and awakened,” the Cardinal commented.
|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.