|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 17|
11 May - 17 May
Verka sets out to Conquer the Continent in Helsinki
Going Out Chef’s Corner
Just a Minute
On the Sofa with...
|From THE EDITOR - Editorial|
The crisis appears to be over. It was, readers will agree, Ukraine’s greatest ever political crisis since the last one, and presumably until the next one. Despite attempts by pro-government forces to paint a picture of a country on the brink of civil war and disintegration, Ukrainians have muddled through yet another political debacle as only they can and come out of it looking stronger than ever. Any other country exposed to the kind of political strategies employed by Ukraine’s ruling elite over the past month would surely have witnessed economic collapse, violent clashes, nationwide strikes and a mass exodus of foreign investment. Ukraine, on the other hand, has seen life go on pretty much as normal, while the trickle of international capital has grown to a steady stream and, in the middle of the whole circus, the country actually won the right to host Euro 2012! If that’s a crisis, just imagine what Ukraine could achieve if it actually had responsible political parties committed to the greater good. There is a lesson in all this for the many international media outlets which chose to buy into the ‘nation on a knife edge’ scenarios put forward by an increasingly hysterical parliament throughout the past month, and in doing so created the impression to the outside world of Ukraine as a highly disfunctional and dangerous place. The real story here is of a country moving slowly but surely towards democratic norms while refusing to be sidetracked by the propaganda and provocations thrown in its path, and it would be nice to see a few stories giving the Ukrainian people the credit they deserve for having shown so much resilience and common sense in refusing to take the bait. This sort of thing may not make for eye-catching headlines, but great nations are built on such sound foundations.
|Make Love Not War! - Picture Perfect|
War gamers embrace in Zaporyzhya last week after having participated in a reenactment of a WWII battle as part of celebrations to mark the 62nd anniversary of the Allied victory over Nazi Germany.
|Ukrainians Remember the Untold Victims of Communist Terror - Whats Up?|
First Lady of Ukraine Kateryna Yushchenko took part in the annual Day of Remembrance ceremony last weekend in memorial of the people buried in mass graves near to Bykivnia village on the outskirts of Kyiv last week. The number buried there is estimated more than 120,000. During the Stalin era this was one of the sites where the NKVD (a KGB predecessor) buried thousands of executed enemies of the Soviet state. The first victims were brought here in the late 1920s, but according to official records construction of special facilities for disposing of corpses in mass graves began in 1936. At the height of the Stalinist terror in 1937 it is thought that almost one hundred thousand Ukrainians were buried here. Throughout the Soviet period local villagers were aware of the mass graves but Communist propaganda laid the blame for the atrocities on the invading Nazi forces of WWII.
|Mayor Choses Kyiv Days Stars - Whats Up?|
Controversial Kyiv Mayor Leonid Chernovetsky has taken the unusual step of personally intervening to determine which pop stars will perform on the coming Kyiv Days holiday, allegedly as part of his campaign to win reelection in a probable vote expected in late 2007. Chernovetsky has determined that sexy Alyona Vinitskaya, Soviet bard Alyona Grebenyuk and teen favourites TNMK will be the three stars to grace the Ukrainian capital’s main stage during the traditional late May celebrations. The stars are expected to later support Chernovetsky’s reelection campaign.
|Judge Dismissed for Corruption - Whats Up?|
President Viktor Yushchenko underlined his new-found resolve last week when he dismissed two Constitutional Court judges in as many days. The second judge to face the chop, Susanna Stanik, is currently under investigation by the SBU for allegedly receiving property worth 12 million dollars from undisclosed companies and individuals which they believe may have influenced her decision regarding the legitimacy of the President’s decree to dismiss parliament. Stanik’s dismissal came a day after that of the Deputy Chairman of the Constitutional Court Valeriy Pshenychniy both of whom had been appointed by President Kuchma and without whose presence it would be virtually impossible for the Constitutional Court to reach a ruling. While the coalition called foul, MP Mykola Onischuk declared the dismissals to be legitimate. “Judges may be dismissed within the quotas of the formation of the Constitutional Court and in accordance with article 126 of the constitution,” he said.
|Wages Up as Election Approaches - Whats Up?|
Public sector wages are set to increase by about 20% as of 1 June after The Cabinet of Ministers increased budget spending by 5 billion hrv to boost wages and pensions last week in what many may consider to be a highly cynical move geared towards garnering support ahead of the forthcoming parliamentary elections. As part of the overall increase, the government awarded state sector wages a further 4.2 billion hrv which, if passed, will result in a massive increase for all those working in sectors such as healthcare and education. Prior to the 2004 presidential elections the Yanukovich government raised pensions across the country in a bid to court the older electorate, but this cynical ploy was not enough to prevent the election of Viktor Yushchenko in a popular vote following the Orange Revolution.
|Donetsk Reburies WWII Soldiers - Whats Up?|
The remains of over one hundred Red Army soldiers who fell in WWII but never had a final resting place were officially interred last week in a moving ceremony in Chervony Lyman town, Donetsk Oblast. the bodies were found during routine construction works and were identified and placed in coffins before being blessed by Russian Orthodox Priests in ceremonies attended by surviving relatives. Ukraine’s losses in WWII are thought to number close to ten million soldiers and civilians, and the remains of many thousands have never been recovered. Human remains as well as materiel from the conflict are regularly uncovered during agricultural or construction work all over the country, with unexploded bombs posing a serious risk to public safety.
|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.