|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 25|
6 July - 12 JulyFeel the Freedom!
Liberty lovers of all ages welcome at the annual American Independence Day Picnic Party! (See page 22 for detalis)
Just a Minute
On the Sofa with...
|From THE EDITOR - Editorial|
As a Brit l`ve always had mixed feelings about American Independence Day. We were, after all, the losers, and it is one of the few wars where Britain is consistently and convincingly portrayed as the oppressor. Having said that, though, it is still a day that symbolises the laudable ideals of self-determination, personal freedoms, non-payment of taxes and the American dream, so I cannot but help enjoy the occasion. However, as this year's celebration rolls round it is hard to escape the fact that international attitudes towards America have taken a serious turn for the worse, with well-worn phrases like 'Truth, Justice and the American Way' now more likely to be uttered with a sarcastic sneer than any sincerity. This is particularly bad news for Ukraine as America's disas-terous Middle Eastern adventures have effectively managed to undermine the moral foundations of democracy-building in the former Soviet UNI0N as well, pulling the rug from under the feet of many Ukrainian activists who have worked for years to lay the foundations of a civil society and the rule of law. Not only has funding to local NGO initiatives been cut or diverted east but the whole ethos of democracy-building has been undermined throughout the West and replaced by a far more cautious 'wait and see' approach that has little chance of competing with the deeply entrenched propaganda positions fostered by the old Soviet regime. Whatever you may personally think about the foreign policy of the Bush administration this retreat from assertive democracy-building in Ukraine is a tragic side effect that threatens to usher in defeat or stalemate when final victory appeared to be within touching distance. It will be fascinating to see what support the West offers to Ukrainian democracy once the parliamentary election campaign gets underway this August, but there is no denying that the wind of change, so strong in 2004, is now showing signs of changing direction again, and there is little chance in the current climate of Europe or America stepping in to help alter its course.
|Daytrippin’ in the Donbass Republic! - Picture Perfect|
These two fun−loving young ladies are caught on camera in a classical ‘prazdnyk’ pose during Constitution Day celebrations in central Donetsk which separatist groups hjacked to call for more autonomy for the region and denounce plans for NATO membership. The two Donbass day−trip− pers are captured on film on the centrally located Lenin Square preparing for a souvenir photo next to the remnants of a demonstration organised by members of the so−called ‘Donetsk Republic’, an NGO grouping of Donetsk activists which supports the creation of a separate republic in South East Ukraine. Their flag (see right) is extremely similar to that of Russia, except the top bar of their horizontal tricolor is black instead of white.
|Putin’s Ambassador Predicts: All Eastern Europe Will Speak the Russian Language Again! - Whats Up?|
Chernomydrin's latest comments follow on from the launch of a new campaign to promote Russian as the emerging international business language of choice after what have been two decades of near constant retreat on all fronts
|Coming Soon: Yanglish! - Whats Up?|
PM Yanukovich Promises to Speak English
In a totally unexpected and unrelated linguistic development the well-known Ukrainian language expert and serving Prime Minister of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovich stated last week that he would soon be proficient enough to speak English publicly, prompting quote-starved hacks to rush out and invest in a new set of notebooks in anticipation of some truly superb examples of what is already being tentatively dubbed as 'Yanglish'. The Prime Minister and Orange villain is no stranger to hilarious linguistic gaffes, something which he has made into a personal speciality over the past few years. Publication of Ukrainian language documents that have reportedly been hand written by Yanukovich revealed numerous infamous spelling mistakes; most famously he was unable to write his position of 'Prime Minister' correctly, nor was he able to print his wife's name in Ukrainian, and his spelling of 'Proffessor' when claiming educational qualifications from non-existent universities in 2004 went on to achieve satirical immortality during the Orange Revolution. As well as providing pro-democracy activists with plenty of laughs Yanukovich's Ukrainian language errors have led to widespread ridicule throughout the Ukrainian media, but the Donbass overlord is clearly not afraid to confront his inadequacies and promised journalists that he is making good progress with both English and Ukrainian studies and would soon be holding forth with the confidence of a true polyglot.
|Birthday Reopens Old Wounds of - Whats Up?|
To many Ukrainians Shukhevych is a proud patriotic hero, but to his detractors he remains a fascist collaborator guilty of commiting atrocities against his own people
|Ironic Constitution Day - Whats Up?|
Political activists marked Ukraine’s annual Constitution Day celebrations on 28 June with a number of satires that poked fun at the much criticised document. The parliament building was the scene of one such satirical ‘cleaning of the constitution’ (pictured) as activists sought to poke fun at the parliament’s decision to ignore a presidential decree disbanding it and continue sitting while claiming to be upholding said constitution. Public confidence in Ukraine’s political parties is currently at what are thought to be an all-time low, making this year’s Constitution Day one holiday we could have done without!
|French Band Red Cardell - Headliner|
Red Cardell` are one of the best known bands in Brittany, France. The line up features Jean Pierre Riou, Jean Michel Moal and Manu Masko, and the trio came to Ukraine for the first time to participate at the international ethno festival `Kraina Mriy` 2005. While here they were amazed by the wealth of culture the country has to offer and the stunning opportunity it presented for the development of world music. They literally fell in love with Ukraine and have since released their 9th album along with the Ukrainian ethnic band `Hurtopravci` they return to the country whenever possible. In a recent visit What’s On journalist Yulia Samus caught up with the band’s guitarist Jean Pierre Riou for a chat. The good news is that you can see Red Cardell this week in Kyiv!
|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.