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7 (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 EuroMaidans three-month-long protests, made headlines around the globe. It was here, on 19 January the countrys 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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Kyiv Celebrities

The Sex Bombs In Pop Group Nikita

In a Slavic pop scene that tosses out a new sexed-up girl band every couple of months, the most recent queens of the genre are the two young ladies who comprise the duet Nikita, the latest project from mega-producer and impressario Yuriy Nikitin. Dashas and Yulias lithe, semi-nude bodies are plastered on posters all over Kyiv, Dasha herself is completely nude in all sorts of publications, and their revealing videos are in heavy rotation. What gives?

The Nikita project, it turns out, was not a completely easy one to conceive for Yuriy Nikitin. At first he wanted a three-person group, but after seeing Dasha and Yulia, he settled for two. He wasnt planning to call them Nikita, either - he was gunning for Sirens or Divas - but the girls convinced him. It helps the act that the girls have their charms. Dasha is a former Playboy Playmate of the year and a former contestant on the hit TV show Star Factory, but it was her notoriously nude weather forecast on TV that brought her to the attention of Nikitin. Yulia Kavtaradze, who happens the mother of a little girl named Marharita, was one of the singers in the pop group A.R.M.I.Y.A. After her pregnancy, she says, she decided to eschew her old band and try something new. Ive changed a lot, she says. After giving birth to my daughter, I became older and more liberal. Yuriy Nikitin noticed that too and invited me on board.
At this point, Nikita has more than one video out there, and the aim of each is to seduce new fans. Their style, in their own words, is pop-electro-sexy style, a formulation thats hard to argue with. The girls say that the songs and lyrics, which were written specially for them by Roman Babenko, reflect their actual characters. I wouldnt say that our fans love us only for our appearance. Our appeal is more like a cocktail of our sexuality and our up-to-date music, says Yulia. That may be, but Dashas nudity can be seen as a pretty brilliant PR move and has obvious and immediate appeal. As their background suggests, the girls separate themselves from the pack by their extreme emphasis on sexuality, which is no mean feat on a very underdressed Slavic girl-pop scene. Dashas visits to the Playboy Mansion are certainly no secret, since pictures of her lounging around Hugh Hefners pool naked are all over the Internet, and her spell as a weatherwoman came to an end after the show was called too vulgar by the government (she was caressing her body while she predicted the weather). Her underwear was the talk of the town the next day. Now the producers want to change the show a little bit. I cant stroke my butt anymore, but I can stroke the map of Ukraine, Dasha jokes.

Hanging Out With Hef
Whats more, just before she left for the Playboy Mansion, the pop singer held a press conference at which she took off her top. The pictures, naturally, made it to the Internet, where they are available to any set of interested eyes. Shortly thereafter, so were her pictures from her official Playboy shoot. All this heated up interest in our band, confesses Yulia. Everyone was wondering whether Dasha slept with Playboys owner, the legendary Hugh Hefner. Dasha, for her part, denies having had any sexual contact with Hefner. She does talk, however, about her long days wandering naked around the mansion, which she cites as the reason why she could hardly think about sex at all.
Unfortunately, the Ukrainian sex diva didnt fulfill her promise to bring Hugh back home and show him her motherland. Another of Dashas wishes - to live with Hefner, if he offered - didnt come true either. But she still has something to be proud of: All the girls in the mansion were jealous, because Hugh spent almost all his time with me, says Dasha. Maybe shell have better luck this December, when she flies to the States to comfort the aging Hef, who recently split with his beloved Holly Madison. 
While Dasha was away, Yulia had an opportunity to relax. She used her vacation time to visit her family in Georgiashe hadnt seen her father in 10 years. Such is the life of a pop star. While apart, the girls apparently missed each other so much, that Dasha gave a hot kiss to Yulia at the press conference dedicated to her return. Dasha also brought back a unique piece of jewelry a Playboy bunny made especially for Yulia. With their travels behind them, Nikita is working on their first album at Master and Servant studio and planning to shoot a new video with a very popular man, whose identity they refused to divulge. In the future, Yulia and Dasha promise to make even franker videos: No one can say that well be naked. But well be wearing some very suggestive outfits. In the interim, we somehow doubt Ukraines tabloids will experience any shortage of scandalous photos.

Vadim Mishkoriz

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Comments (3)
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Yes Comment | 20.02.2012 14:17

I thought that "T.A.T.U." were interesting though "Nikita" surpasses them in Look and concept Bladerunner post apocalyptic techno pop.......Both are beautiful and an evil fantasy ;-)

Roman L. Comer | 17.06.2011 05:49

You are ugly! You look dead with all that black crap on your face in that video! What are you, a gothic russian lesbian? UGLY! VERY UGLY! Get a nose job, and quit the heroine addiction please. Your music sucks, and your skinny ethiopian body doesn't make up for it! Oh, I forgot you are not competing with real muscicians, just toys like barbie dolls named Britney Spears, or Lady Gaga, and they all suck almost as much as you! Go back to Siberia, where you belong!

best fans from poland..... | 11.12.2009 00:31

I LOVE YOU. You are amazing:) BRAVO .....SOBIESKI RULEZZzzzzz!!!


 
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    Ukraine Truth
    Rights We Didnt 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 dont 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 childrens 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. Whats 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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