|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 2 (2008)|
25 January - 31 January
Trim Down After the Holidays
Ate and drank too much over Christmas and New Year? See the What’s On guide to getting back in shape
Take me out!
On the Sofa with...
|From THE EDITOR (2) - Editorial|
If you're anything like me, you may have found yourself eating and drinking a little more than you normally would over the holiday season and your waistline and general health are suffering for it a bit now. Personally, I have had to loosen my belt a notch, and find myself out of breath after walking up a few flights of stairs. Of course, I promised my self that this year I would stick to my resolutions and quit smoking, eat more healthily and cut down on my alcohol intake, all of which I've broken already. There is no doubt the wealth of wonderfully fatty food on offer in this great city, and the licensing laws and lack of smoking restrictions, may make for having a great time, but at a cost! So now it's time to detox, get some exercise and hopefully shed a kilo or two, and that's the theme of this week's magazine. This week we have hired the services of two roving reporters who are going to explore this wonderful country over the coming months, and to kick us off they have recently returned from Truskyavets in western Ukraine. This old Soviet spa town with its cure-all mineral waters is undergoing something of a rebirth and rapidly becoming a health resort fit for the 21st century with massive modern spa centres and all forms of massage and alternative therapies. Kitten and the Bear tell us all about their attempts to kick the year off in a healthy manner (see page 6). If, however, you wish to get in shape a bit closer to home then we have the lowdown on a whole host of spas, health centres and gyms right here in the heart of the city where you can cleanse your bodies of all those toxins and make yourself a little fitter and trimmer (see page 24). The spa culture is really taking off here in Kyiv with new centres opening on a regular basis, each with their own individual brand of treatment. And there are plenty of gyms here as well, from the hi-tech to the sweaty free-weights rooms, so now there is absolutely no excuse for you not to fulfil those New Year resolutions! But of course there is no need to be fanatical about it, and there's always plenty of other stuff to do, all of which you'll find within the pages of What's On!
Neil Campbell, Editor
|Top Pols in Slappy Spat - Whats Up?|
This sure has been amusing - the violent little contretemps that . unfolded late last week between Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko and Kyiv Mayor Leonid Chernovetsky. Anybody familiar with Ukrainian public life over the years will know that it can be a lot like a Mafia melodrama at times, but now it's descended into tabloid farce, with two important officials slapping at each other like a couple hiphop hoodlums in a sleazy nightclub. The trouble broke on 18 January when Chernovetsky announced that the Interior Minister had attacked him during a meeting of the National Security and Defense Council.
|Rada Immunity Could End Very Soon - Whats Up?|
One of the most objectionable elements of Ukraine’s public life – total legal immunity for Rada members – might be headed for the ash−heap of his− tory if a newly proposed bill becomes law this spring. National UNI0N−Our Ukraine fraction head Vyacheslav Kirilenko and Tymoshenko Bloc head Ivan Kirilenko announced the project early this week. It will attempt to redact the notorious Statute 80 of the Ukrainian Constitution, which has gone a long way toward making membership in this country’s parliament a get−out−of−jail−free card, and filled the legislative chamber with, well, criminals. “Absolute immunity in Ukraine has made it impossible to bring national deputies to criminal responsibility and led to their indemnity and to the flowering of political corruption.” The new bill wants “to bring the institution of immunity in Ukraine into accordance with international legal standards and eliminate contradictions in the Constitution and the legisla− tion of Ukraine, and secure equality before the law for citizens of Ukraine.” Sounds about right from our perspective.
|NATO Issue Raises Hackles Again - Whats Up?|
Confusion and political infighting have flared up again in the context of Ukraine’s endlessly−contested NATO membership bid, with representa− tive’s of the ruling coalition indicating that Ukraine expects to move closer to the defense bloc in April and the opposition Party of Regions blasting them for doing so. The latest bickering started last week when President Yushchenko, Prime Minister Tymoshenko, and Rada Speaker Arseniy Yat− senyuk sent a letter to NATO’s secretary general confirming that Ukraine intends to join the NATO Membership Action Plan during a summit meet− ing that will take place in Bucharest in April. No sooner had the letter been dispatched than Regions slammed it, insisting that the controversial NATO issue be put to referendum. “The Orange authorities [will have to] reckon with the will of the people,” the statement thundered. On 18 January, mean− while, Regions blockaded the Rada podium in an attempt to get Yatsenyuk to revoke his signature.
|Alps Adventure for Ukrainians - Whats Up?|
In one of the stranger little Ukraine−related stories of the past week, six Ukrainians who were seeking asylum in Europe got lost in the snowy Alps on the Swiss−Italian border, and had to be rescued by a Swiss mountain patrol crew. German Wave reported that the six unfortunates, four of them children, were dressed in non−winter clothing and were stranded at 1,200 metres when they were rescued. One of the children involved was hospital− ised in Zurich due to what was described as significant frostbite. It seems the Ukrainians were trying to gain political asylum in Switzerland, which brings up questions. Why go to Switzerland to gain political asylum if you’re already in Italy? Had they tried to gain it in Italy and were denied? These facts will trickle out, but in the meantime Ukrainians headed for any wintry mountains are advised to bring a thermos of tea, and to bundle up!
|New Parking Regime in the Works - Whats Up?|
Is Kyiv starting to get sensible about parking and traffic in its central core? That seems to be the case, as last week Kyivtransparkservice, the not− very−euphoniously−named city agency that deals with such issues an− nounced that, starting in February, things are going to change. Drivers will soon start having to pay to park downtown, and the closer they get to the city centre, the more they’ll have to shell out. According to the agency, hourly parking will cost 3, 5, and 7 hrv. depending on the area of the city; daily parking will cost 9, 15, and 21 hrv; and monthly parking will run 126, 210, and 294 hrv. This will certainly be a revenue booster for the local gov− ernment, which is probably the point of it. But for the increasing number of people worried about Kyiv’s basically intolerable, and always worsening, traffic situation, this gesture might serve as an indication that a rational traf− fic−management approach might develop in Kyiv. If the local authorities have made the leap to making people pay for parking, the sort of “right” that was guaranteed free during the Soviet days, then it’s conceivable that they might someday do what progressive Western cities have started to do: make people pay not only for parking downtown, but for driving there in the first place.
|Kitten and the Bear do Truskyavets - Ukraine Travel|
After all the debauchery of the holiday season, both myself and Katyonok (or Kitten as I prefer to call her) were finding it difficult to fasten that top button on our trousers, so, as part of our ongoing mission of Ukrainian discovery, we decided to head to Truskyavets for a long weekend as we’d heard it is rapidly becoming the place to detox and get in shape.
|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.