|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 1 (2008)|
18 January - 24 JanuarySkate into 2008!
A fun winter sport you can do right in the heart of the city
Take me out!
On the Sofa with...
|From THE EDITOR (1) - Editorial|
Welcome to the first issue of What's On in 2008, and a Happy New Year to you all! The holidays are over - apart from the last act of throwing yourself in the icy Dni-pro on 19 January (see page 18) - and it's time to return to reality and get on with every day life. And I am going to start the year off with a bit of a rant because one things about that every day life here in Kyiv is that it is getting more and more expensive by the day. During the holidays I visited one of my favourite local watering holes only to find out they'd raised the price of food by 50% overnight, and upped the price of beer by 20%, which, following an earlier rise, meant that the liquid sustenance they have on offer had also risen by 50% over the past 6 months. And they are not the only ones - across the city bars and restaurants are whacking up their prices at a ridiculous rate making it more and more difficult to find value for money anywhere in the city. Not only is eating and drinking out becoming more expensive, but prices at the local supermarkets are also going up unbelievably quickly. For example, a few months ago, ten eggs cost less than 8hrv in my local supermarket, and now they cost 12 - that's 50% again. It is rather amusing to note that many visitors from neighbouring countries such as Poland, the Baltic States, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic comment with more than a little disbelief that prices for basic foodstuffs are far more expensive here than they are in their homelands. In fact it is getting to the stage where Kyiv prices, especially when it comes to eating out, are comparable now, and in many occasions more than, what you would pay in the UK and the US. Inflation in Ukraine for 2007, it has to be said, was 17%, a big burden in itself, but many local businesses are raising prices at a far greater rate than this already massive number in what can be no more than blatant profiteering. And people are paying! President Yushchenko has declared that Ukraine will enter the WTO in February of this year, and let's hope so as this will go some large way to curbing this problem by reducing import duties and hopefully encouraging international competition. In the meantime, complain like crazy over every ludicrous price hike you come across, or boycott the place altogether, and have, if possible, a very solvent 2008!
Neil Campbell, Editor
|Take to the Slopes in the Heart of Kyiv - Picture Perfect|
It may have got warmer over the weekend and the city streets are lying thankfully free of snow, but the Protasiv Yar slopes in Kyiv have enough snow for the snowboarding and skiiing enthusiasts to get out there and hone your skills. Last Saturday there were plenty of people out practising some big air stunts and having some real winter fun.
|Man Dies in Yulia’s Money Give-Back - Whats Up?|
It never pays to underestimate Prime Min− ister Yulia Tymoshenko’s skill in raising a ruckus. But the woman who’s been called Europe’s best rabble−rousing politician might have achieved a new level of effec− tiveness this weekend, when a man actually dropped dead of a heart attack as the result of one of her initiatives.
|Beauty Queen Marries 72-Year-Old - Whats Up?|
It’s a touching story of true love, or something like that, as 26−year−old Ukrainian beauty queen Aleksandra Nikolaenko got married on 6 January to American billionaire Phil Ruffin, 72. The June− December pair got hitched at the Donald Trump−owned Mar−a−Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida in a black−tie ceremony that, news reports had it, observed both Ukrainian and American wedding traditions. The blushing bride wore a Michael Kors dress. The Kansas native Ruffin, a college drop−out, is rich enough to have made the Forbes list of Ameri− ca’s wealthiest people in the past. He got his start in convenience stores in 1959 and then branched out into stripmalls, hotels, dog tracks, handtrucks, and casinos, according to Forbes. We assume he’s clever enough to have gone into this marriage with his eyes open, and with the help of some good lawyers. Nikolaenko has been Miss Odesa, Miss Southern Ukraine, Miss Ukraine, Miss American Dream, and Miss Tourism International. She has also been a Miss World finalist and competed in the Miss Universe competition.
|Black Athlete Beaten on Kreshchatyk - Whats Up?|
Here we go again, as Kyiv on 11 January witnessed yet another racial beating. This time the victim was BC Kyiv pro basketball player Marcus Faison, a black American. The skinhead attack happened right on Kreshchatyk. Faison reportedly managed to extricate himself from the attack and run over to a police car, but the policemen ignored him and drove away, at which point the skinheads beat on Faison some more. Luckily Faison wasn’t seriously hurt, but he did cut his hand, necessitating stitches. He won’t be able to play for BC Kyiv for a while. In a separate incident, Charles Asante Yeboa of the African Centre was seriously assaulted as he left a meeting in the centre of Kyiv on Thursday 10 January. The unfortunate man was hospitalised after being stabbed several times in the head and body, and the culprits made off with his bag, documents and other valuables. The last two years have seen a dramatic rise in racially−motivated attacks in general in Kyiv, at least one of them fatal. Asians, Indians, and Africans have been singled out as victims. We trust that the Ukrainian authorities and Kyiv citizens will decry these outrages in the strongest terms!
|Who’s Preparing for 2012? - Whats Up?|
Uh−oh. Ukraine’s not doing much to prepare for the Euro 2012 soccer championship, in the opinion of both President Yushchenko and Prime Minister Tymoshenko. Appearing in Mu− kachevo in the nation’s far west, Yushchenko lambasted the Kyiv city government for the ap− parent absence of any real effort toward get− ting the capital shipshape for the big event. Preparations were supposed to include the building of a new stadium and the quick con− struction of new hotels to accommodate the pan−European hordes that will materialise for the tournament. In what might be considered a typically Yushchenko−like move, however, the president took back his words soon after he said them, expressing his confidence that everything was going basically okay, and that he just wanted to send a “signal.”
|National Team Has New Coach - Whats Up?|
Ukraine’s national soccer team has a new coach in the wake of Oleh Blokhin’s resignation late last year, as former Dynamo Kyiv coach and star Alexei Mikhailichenko has been named to the post. “I perfectly understand the responsibility and honour involved in being appointed the head coach of the national team,” said Mikhailichenko, 44. “I understand the big goals the team has,” he added. “We now have only one goal, to get to the finals of the 2010 World Cup.” Ukraine made a strong go of it in the 2006 World Cup, electrifying local fans by making it to the quarterfinals before being eliminated by the power− ful Italian side in a game in which Ukrainian star Andrey Shevchenko turned out to be a non−factor. Mikhailichenko coached Dynamo from 2002−4 and back in the 1980s was a renowned player for that team, being named the USSR’s best player in 1988.
|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.