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On the cover
7 (2014)
Tunnelling Towards Hope

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.


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.


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.


Active Kyiv

Ukraines Back Country

Kyiv is a great nightlife city. Its got everything you could ever want in terms of theatres, clubs and wee-morning-hour haunts. Once you get out of Kyiv, however, the scenery changes and out pop a great number of places to hangout while being outdoorsy. With such a rich countryside, there is no stopping the wide open spaces youll uncover, making Ukraine in general a great al fresco place to live as well. While routes for hiking and spots for camping have yet to really catch on, weve gone in a few different directions looking for various locations to escape the concrete jungle.

The back country life is one that hasnt quite caught on just yet here in Ukraine; at least not in the marketing sense. And so while there is unprecedented beauty to be found around numerous spots in the country, they do take a little extra time to find. Nevertheless, its worth your time to go out exploring because you never know what you might find.  

Heading North-West
If you want to enjoy the beauty that is Ukrainian nature then this is the direction for you. Following this route, youll witness some of the most beautiful landscapes Kyivs surrounding areas have to offer; uncovering lots of nice spots to pitch a tent and just camp out in the process. 
Start your trek just outside of Kyiv in Prolisok, where a retreat complex offers spacious camping areas in and around a forested area. Featuring outdoor showers, bathrooms and electricity, the cost to overnight it is 55hrv/person which includes all of these amenities as well as a place to park. This is a great spot for a little family time: Take a stroll through the forest and enjoy the fresh air and scenic views, leaving all of your problems in the city.
After spending some time in Prolisok, head north-east, along Kyivs city line in the direction of Pushcha Vodytsa. If youve not been here before, be prepared for a wonderfully cosy little town wrapped in woodland. From Obolon or Nyvky metro stations, it will take you anywhere from 30 50 minutes on local transport and with buses and marshrutkas constantly coming in and going out, youll never be at a loss for transportation. Not only chock-a-block full of meadows, lakes and forest, there are a number of retreats located here as well. Camping is, however, a pretty big pastime for those coming out here, so dont be surprised to see any number of tents set up. It gets especially cramped in the summer as lake water is clean and fairly shallow making this a great spot to swim with little ones. 
Having spent some time in Pushcha, youll want to head a little more north-west now, where Gorenka is a fabulous spot for those looking for a little more action. Campers will find a large range of services for a comfortable stay. And sites here cant be beat, as tents can be pitched in sheltered areas or right on the beach. During the day, take a boat ride or do some fishing with friends. Or for those looking for a little relaxation, rent one of their sun-loungers and hang out by the water which is marvellously clean by the way. Over the course of the summer, youll find variations in the level of activity, but all in all, the trip is worth it, especially since the ride out takes only an hour. 
Getting to one of the most beautiful parts in the Kyiv region, the Kyiv Sea is a very popular place for picnics, and conceals a number of different sites to tent out for a couple of days. Artificially created in 1960, this reservoir is a popular place for those with a little extra cash in their pockets, where private motor homes and boats are plentiful. Fishing here is also good and for those who are looking at coming out for the day to do just that, take a bus or marshrutka from Taras Shevchenko Square, which will take you a little over a half an hour. 
Once youve enjoyed a beautiful sunset on the aptly named Kyiv Sea, take your boat/yacht/dingy on over to the Desna River where true beauty reveals itself. Stopping somewhere between Vyshhorod and Chernihiv, this area is bursting with vivid landscapes and has an atmosphere of comfort. Finding that youve had enough packing and unpacking of your tent, check out any number of retreats theyve got located along the river, or easily rent a dacha with all of the amenities. Cleaner than the Dnipro and out of the loud city to boot, enjoy a few days vacation where swimming and many other water sports abound.

Heading South-East
For those who enjoy Ukraines historical heritage, this is the direction for you. Where not only will you find naturally beautiful parks and playgrounds, but ancient towns, marvellous castles and many other historical places of note. This is a trek for the experienced hiker, however, so those a little less skilled beware!
Beginning our travels on the south-west end of Kyiv, Mamaeva Slobodka is what you will find. Here, history of the Cossacks come to life as their XVI century village has been done up in style. The complex here includes traditional Ukrainian houses and churches of the era, where staff walk around in traditional Ukrainian costuming, riding horses, sword fighting and preparing national Ukrainian cuisine. Great for family gatherings and learning more about history, the Cossack way of life is revitalised here where everyday is a holiday!
Continuing our journeys through times long ago, we head south to Pirohovo Village. Similar in place and time to Mamaeva Slobodka, Pirohovo is situated on a much bigger territory (150ha), allowing visitors to spend the whole day absorbed in culture without getting bored. After which, there are many spots around this day-time park/museum to set up camp and spend the night. Want a little catering to your needs? Try one of the several mini-hotels also within the vicinity. 
Having spent some time in this last little neighbourhood of Kyiv, head east from the Pirohovo turnoff past Brovary and Pruluky, where eventually, youll find yourself in Sokolyniy Khutir. A small city and outdoor historical museum in one, here you can treat yourself and lodge in a real Ukrainian village house decorated in XVI century style. Forget about TV and the rest of our modern conveniences and just enjoy the fresh air only nature affords. Take some time to go horseback-riding, try your hand at archery or take a shot with a Cossack rifle. Or take in some of the entertainment, as there are always performances from life 500 years ago. 
One of the last points on your trek outside of Kyiv has to be Sophiivskiy Park in Uman: A bright green spot on any Ukrainian map. And with more than 2000 types of trees and bushes, Sophiivskiy Park (172ha) is considered one of the greatest landmarks of Ukraine and is a definite for any outdoor lover. While this, we will admit, is a massive walk for even the most seasoned trekker, unlike life, both the journey as well as the destination are worth the time. Finding, however, that your feet are simply done in, you can cheat just a little and take the train from Sokolyniy Khutir heading south-west.

Vadym Mishkoriz

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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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