|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 39 (2007)|
26 October - 1 November
Tina Karol On Tour
The little lady with the big voice tours Ukraine
Take me out!
|From THE EDITOR (39) - Editorial|
When you're new to Ukraine and attending a social event such as a birthday party or wedding for the first time, you are likely to commit many serious social faux pas that could have everyone scowling at you like you were a serial killer unless a Ukrainian friend has you firmly under control and is ready to guide you through the maze of traditions and superstitions that are part and parcel of such events. While a whole lot of fun and something that must be experienced, such gatherings are meticulously governed by an unspoken set of rules that need to be strictly adhered to unless you want to feel like a complete imbecile. For example, while attending my first birthday party some time ago I hadn't caught on to the relation between toasts and drinking, and deciding I could do with another shot of vodka, I reached out my hand to the bottle to pour myself a drink only to receive a swift kick under the table and horrified looks from everyone present. Of course I now know that birthdays and weddings are mostly taken up by never-ending toasts, after each of which it is time to neck some alcohol, and this is the right and only time to do so. It was also during this first event that I found out that it is unlucky to change the hand of the pourer, so the first person to pour must continue to do so. And this wasn't the first time I got it wrong. During my very first week in Kyiv I was shopping in the supermarket when a tune I liked came on the sound system. Innocently I started to whistle along, only to receive another kick and be told that to whistle indoors brings financial destitution upon oneself. Ukraine is a minefield of such superstitions and traditions and we all must tread carefully in order not to lose a limb, socially speaking. This week Deputy Editor Andrey Slivka takes a look at all the things you need to know if you want to avoid committing social suicide and bringing a life time of bad luck down on your head (see page 8). Also this week, we are very pleased to announce that Canadian rock god Bryan Adams is returning to Kyiv to perform at Sports Palace in November. Following on from British indie rockers Muse, and Big Beat giants the Chemical Brothers, it looks as though, at along last, the great city of Kyiv is getting itself on the list of venues to play by major world music stars. There are also rumours that teen favourite Enrique Iglasias is coming to town, but as his people don't seem to know much about it at this stage we're not officially announcing it yet. But if you are a fan of the man, watch this space!
Neil Campbell, Editor
|Vitaliy Klitschko to be Kyiv’s Champ Again? - Whats Up?|
Ex−WBC champion and world−famous boxer Vitaliy Klitschko has thrown his hat into the ring for the next Kyiv mayoral election. “I will take part in the next election,” the heavyweight icon said last week, according to his press service. “Everything that’s happened, everything that’s taken place in the Kyiv City Council and in Kyiv strengthens my opinion that I should run for this post.” The Council faction that he’ll lead, he said, will do “everything so that Kyiv remains a comfortable city, a green city for those who live in it, so that it stays a historic city and doesn’t lose its character.” The gigantic pugilist has long been a critic of runaway development in a capital that’s swiftly transformed from a sleepy provincial capital beloved of pedestrians into a roaring capitalist boomtown – or a “stone jungle”, as Klitschko was known to call it from the stump during his ill−fated run for parliament back in the winter of 2006. He’s also been a frequent critic of the controversial tenure of scandal−plagued current Kyiv Mayor Leonid Chernovetsky, the eccentric born−again Christian who’s lurched from one tricky situation to another during his time in office, and who became de− spised among Kyiv’s fixed−income pensioners for drastically raising the city’s communal fees.
|Sarkozy Cosying up to Yulia? - Whats Up?|
President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, who's currently divorcing his ex-model wife amidst tittering in the French media that he'll now be "playing the field," has sent BYUT leader Yulia Tymoshenko a letter that should only get tongues wagging even faster. The French leader, who's not without a certain Gallic flair and who's already been spotted lunching with former Bond girl Carole Bouquet, wrote to Europe's most glamourous female politician of France's desire to strengthen its cooperation with Ukraine, toward boosting the post-Soviet country's stability and prosperity. He also assured Tymoshenko that Ukraine would benefit from France's upcoming EU chairmanship. And, on a more personal level, he wrote, "I am glad in advance for the chance to discuss with you various questions which have great significance for Ukraine, France and the EU.
|Draft Laws Accompany Orange Deal - Whats Up?|
It's finally happened: Our Ukraine-People's Self Defence and the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc have signed a coalition agreement last week. The 105-page document specifies 12 draft laws that the coalition will try to push through parliament. They include a law on cancelling deputy immunity and deputy benefits; a law that will strengthen the president's hand vis-a-vis the Cabinet Ministry; a document package concerning early elections for the Kyiv mayoralty and controversial current Mayor Leonid Chernovetsky himself; a draft law on the local state administrations and on local self-government; draft laws on the central executive government organs and on Ukraine's internal armed forces; a law on government purchases; a law concerning the opposition, aimed at Viktor Yanukovych and his Party of Regions compatriots; and a law defining the status of the GUAM trade organization. Ukrainians should hope that the orange bloc is ready to exercise some leadership after suffering in the wilderness during the last two years, and after an effectively eight-month-long political campaign. Oles Doniy of the Political Values Research Centre thinks a coalition of exclusively democratic forces will indeed form. The "orange forces", he says, can't afford to bloc with the Party of Regions at this point, because in doing so they'd be breaking multiple promises they made during the campaign. But Doniy warned that the signing of the coalition agreement does not guarantee that Tymoshenko will be easily voted into the premiereship. "There are enough disinterested people in different camps" to be swayed one way or another when it comes to her vote, he says. "She'll have to work hard to attract additional votes to secure provide her victory," the political scientist adds.
|More Race Attacks in Kyiv - Whats Up?|
Sunday 14 September three Chinese girls were hospitalised and a 31-year-old Bangladeshi man was beaten to death with bottles in two separate incidents in Kyiv. The Bangladeshi man, a resident of Kyiv for over ten years, was attacked by a gang of youths who had followed him from the cafe in Troeschyna where he had been relaxing. According to eyewitnesse, there had been no interaction between the man and the gang beforehand. The youths, wielding broken bottles, mutilated him so severely that a friend found it difficult to identify him. The police arrested four boys aged 15 to 17 for causing "grave bodily harm incompatible with life". On the same night three Chinese students were hospitalised after being attacked by a gang wielding knives. Both incidents occurred on the day of the UPA marches, an anti-Soviet group formed during World War II, which seems to be attracting support from some extreme rightwing organisations.
|Counter-Trafficking Awards - Whats Up?|
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in Ukraine along with the Foreign Ministry held the Third Annual Counter-Trafficking Awards Ceremony on 18 October, honouring courageous groups and people for their efforts in stopping human trafficking, compulsory labour, and forced prostitution or begging. Ukrainian citizen Zoya Antonivna was awarded for making a personal contribution to countering human trafficking when she helped an elderly woman who had been forced to beg by people who enslaved her for 16 years. An outraged Antonivna went first to her district militia and finally to IOM for help. The 'Faith, Hope, Love' organisation in Odessa, along with Ukraine's State Border Guard Service, were honoured for identifying trafficking victims who arrive in Ukraine through the Odessa seaport and international airport.
|Superstitious Kyiv - Kyiv Culture|
It's Halloween this week, a time of witchery, superstition and the black arts. If you've spent more than a little time in Ukraine, you'll know that Ukrainians, while not too big yet on this particular holiday, are a superstitious lot with a strange list of dos and donts when it comes to staying on the good side of luck, many of which are completely unfamiliar to those from the West.
|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.