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On the cover
¹7 (2014)
Tunnelling Towards Hope


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28 February - 6 March 2014

Ukraine History

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.

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Ukraine Today
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.

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Ukrainian Culture

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.

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What's On Archive ¹ 26

¹26/2007
13 July - 19 July

UkrPop Princesses
Ukraine’s most provocative duo ‘69’ talk girl groups and the national obsession with pop erotica



Editorial
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From THE EDITOR - Editorial

I’d like to advise all readers to enjoy the peace and quiet of the next few weeks while they can, because Kyiv’s annual summer slumber will not be half as tranquil as usual once the election campaign kicks off in earnest. Already we’re seeing TV adverts and street side posters even though officially it is still too early to start campaigning, and no doubt by the end of the month we will be inundated with flag-waving rent-a-mobs all over the place making a nuisance of themselves. This is the price of democracy, I suppose. My problem is not so much with the elections themselves, which are ultimately a sign that the country is moving in the right direction, but with the utter lack of originality in the campaigns themselves. It is still too early to say for sure, but all the usual suspects seem to sticking to their 2006 guns in an attempt to convince the country that we are stuck in some sort of political groundhog day. Yanukovich is running on a stability ticket. Again. Yulia smiles innocently and promises a better Ukraine, just like last time. The Communists are still outraged by the utter lack of order and discipline in society. Nobody, it seems, has anything much new to say. No wonder Kyivites are bored by the political classes. There is some cause for optimism, however, when one considers what is not being said. Back in 2004 Yanukovich ran for president by offering Ukrainians the chance to claim dual Russian nationality. In 2006 he crusaded for the Russian language to be given official status. This time round he has not yet ventured anything that could be construed as so directly pro-Russian, which would suggest an improving political climate and a shift in focus to purely Ukrainian issues. In a country so unused to self-rule such trends are to be applauded and suggest that even if many of the same old slogans are being employed, Ukrainian democracy is slowly but surely maturing.

 Cheers,
Peter Dickinson,
Editor


President Goes Pagan for Midsummer Holiday - Picture Perfect

President Yushchenko was in party mood last weekend for the big Ivana Kupala holiday, joining in celebrations at Kyiv’s Pyrohovo open air museum and taking part in the traditional fire-jumping rite, a ritual believed to date back to pre-Christian times.


New Twist in Yushchenko Poisoning Case - Whats Up?

President Yushchenko stated in a television interview last week that the investigation into his 2004 poisoning had uncovered yet more details of how the poison was obtained and administered and called on law enforcement agencies to bring those responsible to justice. In another development in the ongoing drama it was announced 6 July that the Russian Federation has so far refused to cooperate in the investigation by providing Ukrainian authorities with samples of dioxin from their specialised laboratories, while the only other producers in the world, America and the UK, have already provided samples, raising suspicions that the lack of progress in the case may be tied to politically embarrassing Russian involvement. Speaking during an interview on Inter channel broadcast 8 July Yushchenko stated, “the investigation has uncovered details such as how the dosage been prepared, how it was served, and when. There are a couple of scoundrels responsible who must now be caught and prosecuted by law. They will be caught.



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Mayor Launches Bizarre ‘Cult of Personality’ Posters - Whats Up?

In a move reminiscent of tin-pot dictators and banana republic despots Kyiv Mayor Leonid Chernovetsky has plastered the capital city with portraits of himself bearing the legend ‘Chernovetsky is Mayor of all Kyivites.’ This attempt to improve Chernovetsky’s tarnished image comes as pro-democracy opposition leaders Yulia Tymoshenko and Yuriy Lutsenko confirm their intention to call for new mayoral elections later this year following the 30 September parliamentary elections amid accusations of massive corruption within the Chernovetsky administration. In the 2006 elections Leonid Chernovetsky garnered 32% of the vote to win the Kyiv top job against all expectations, shocking pollsters who had written the eccentric and eminently quotable figure off. Hot favourite Vitali Klitschko came second in the poll with nearly 24 %, while two-term mayor Oleksandr Omelchenko placed third with 21%. Chernovetsky is a flamboyant figure who started his career as an investigator in the Kyiv Prosecutor’s office but went into private business during the perestroika era. In this role Chernovetsky became one of the earliest big money businessmen in Kyiv as the founder of Pravex Group.



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Klitschko still a knockout even with a broken hand! - Whats Up?

Volodymyr Klitschko retained his IBF and IBO heavyweight belts Saturday 7 July with a technical knockout over Lamon Brewster, after Brewster failed to answer the bell for the sev− enth round. Incredibly, Klitschko won the bout after break− ing a bone in his right hand in the second round, battling on for another four rounds with the injury before Brewster succumbed to his onslaught. For those four rounds Klitschko peppered Brewster with a series of unrelenting left jabs to the head, following up with the right. Unable to get inside Klitschko’s solid reach advantage, and creating few counter opportunites, Brewster became an easy target for the injured Ukrainian champ, and at the end of the sixth round trainer Buddy McGirt felt his man had had enough and threw in the towel. This was an important win for the younger of Ukraine’s boxing brothers as three years ago Brewster overcame a fourth−round knock down to stop Klitschko in the fifth. It was Klitschko’s last loss, having won seven bouts since includ− ing collecting the IBF and IBO belts, and one he desperately wanted to avenge.



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Ukraine’s Most Provocative Pop Princesses - Cover Story

Blonde bombshells Violetta and Diana of the subtly named pop group ‘69’ are the most brazen double act on a Ukrainian music scene that is literally littered with scantily clad young ladies. They have hit the headlines for everything from their sexually suggestive videos to rumours of intimacy with President Yushchenko’s wayward son Andriy, the infamous Prince of Orange. What’s On’s Nataliya Marianchyk caught up with the twosome for a girlie chat.



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President Upbeat but Stadium Building Site Wrangle Rumbles On - Euro 2012 Update

President Victor Yushchenko is confident Ukraine and Poland will ‘brilliantly’ organise the Euro 2012 soccer championship finals as co-hosts in five years time. Yushchenko was in an upbeat mood as he told reporters in Donetsk last Friday he had ‘no doubts’ both countries would prepare their six host cities for the matches and said only ‘weak people and weak politicians’ were pessimistic and sceptical about Ukraine’s ability to stage such a global sporting event. The president said Ukraine and Poland had already set up committees to organise the championship. Yushchenko travelled to Ivano-Frankivsk to meet with Poland’s President Lech Kaczynski last Monday and iron out plans to establish an overall Euro 2012 coordinating council. “I am convinced we will do much of the work faster than planned, ahead of schedule,” he said, adding that Ukraine’s current problems were, ‘absolutely natural.’ Meanwhile the head of the building site project close to the Olympic Stadium that has been at the centre of a long-running controversy Mr. Ovchinnikov said last week that contrary to reports his company had not received any proposition about compensation as part of a deal to remove the huge building works and ease access to the stadium.



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Ukraine Truth
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

Pulling Strings
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.

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