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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.


Cover Story

Ten Years of Ukraines Music Chart

Ten years ago there was no music chart in Ukraine, and no way for the industry or the public to know who were the most favoured artists. Then the very young DJ Pasha and his colleagues at Gala radio changed all that by coming up with the idea of creating a top twenty. Last week the man himself celebrated the charts tenth birthday with a rocking performance from leading Ukrainian rockers Okean Elzy, and we caught up with him before the show to hear how it all came about and what it means for the Ukrainian music industry.

Pavel Shilko, aka DJ Pasha, was an eighteen-year-old student studying Spanish translation at Shevchenko University when he started working at the brand new FM radio station, Gala Radio in 1995. His talents as a DJ and his ear for good music meant that he soon stood out, and Gala Radio owner, Joseph Lemire, was soon involving him in many important decisions, and by 1997 Pasha was working as the Programme Director for the station. One very important decision the two of them made together was to create a Ukrainian Top 20 music chart, and ten years ago last week, it was launched. Both Joseph and myself thought it was ideal and necessary to do a Ukrainian Top 20, and so we began working on a mechanism to rank the music. The method they came up with was to score artists using 15 music charts from around the world, Ukrainian sales, airplay and more recently online and SMS voting. Ukrainian music is given more points, because it would be impossible for local artists to compete with global stars such as Beyonce, Pasha explains.

 The chart has helped the careers of many talented Ukrainians, such as Tina Karol, Verka Serduchka, Ani Lorak and of course, Okean Elzy. Its been very interesting to watch the Ukrainian music industry develop. Gala radio, especially Pashas Top 20, has been instrumental in raising the publics awareness of Ukrainian acts, and bringing them to the fore, he says. One act Pasha has worked very closely with is Verka Serduchka, and he is very happy with the success she has achieved with her fun brand of music, especially her achievement at Eurovision 2007. Verka is not quite right for the Top 20, but we used to do a morning show together

 Okean Elzy have racked up a mammoth 13 number ones, which is more than the likes of Robbie Williams and Madonna

 and it was the most popular show in radio for a while. Pasha and Verka still work very closely together, and Pasha even helped with writing the lyrics for the massive Eurovision hit, Dancing, and when it comes to those highly controversial lyrics, Pasha sets the record straight. The words in the chorus are definitely not Russia Goodbye as many members of the press claimed. Verka came up with the line herself saying Lasha Tumbai was a phrase shed heard and wanted to use. We asked what it meant and she said it was Mongolian. We didnt care, because the words are pretty much nonsense anyway.

 After Verka, the act Pasha is most proud to have worked with is Okean Elzy. The story of Okean Elzy is a very interesting one. I remember introducing them on stage in 1997 when no one had really heard of them. My announcement was met with silence from the audience, so I feel some pride they are now Ukraines top music act, says Pasha. And rightly so as Okean Elzy have racked up a mammoth 13 number ones, which, according to Pasha is more than the likes of Robbie Williams and Madonna. In fact the main event at the Top 20s 10th birthday party was a live set from Okean Elzy who performed all their number ones in chronological order. When asked if such a talented group of guys have ever considered translating their songs into English in order to widen their appeal, Pasha remains pragmatic. It has been discussed, but Slaviks lyrics are so special, and they use the Ukrainian language in such a beautiful way, it is impossible to translate them and retain the feeling. There is no doubt that Pashas Top 20 has been instrumental in the development of good Ukrainian music including Okean Elzy and many, many more. This is the longest running FM show in Ukraine, and we are very proud of that, Pasha says. Long may it continue!

 Neil Campbell

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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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