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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.


Whats Up?

Lazarenko to Stay in Jail

And thats good news for anyone who thinks the countrys politicians, who have systematically raped the country, should all be in jail. A U.S. appeals court last week upheld eight of the 14 charges of money laundering and conspiracy on which Lazarenko was convicted in May 2004, and that means he should stay in jail for a good few years yet.
Former prime minister, Pavlo Lazarenko, was head of the Ukrainian government from May 1996 to June 1997 and during this period prosecutors said hed siphoned off at least $200 million from the countrys coffers through elaborate schemes of extortion, cronyism and kickbacks.

Facing charges at home, Lazarenko fled Ukraine in 1999 but was nabbed by U.S. authorities as soon as he stepped off the plane in New York because of an outdated visa and an invalid diplomatic passport. He was prosecuted in America because much of his ill-gotten gains were funnelled through U.S. banks. He was initially charged with 53 counts regarding schemes involving monopoly natural gas sales, inflated government purchase of foreign property and unauthorised transfers to his personal bank accounts in Switzerland, Hungary, Panama and Antigua.
In May 2004 he was found guilty of 14 of the counts, and the rest were dismissed by the judge mainly because the transactions could not be directly linked to criminal activity. He was sentenced to nine years in prison.
In San Francisco on Friday a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals overturned the conviction on six counts, but upheld the remaining eight. Lazarenko was then sent back to the trial court to recalculate his sentence, but this should mean that hes going to stay where he is for a few years yet.
Even when finally released from prison in the U.S., it might not be the end of incarceration for Lazarenko because he was also tried in absentia in Switzerland in 2000, and convicted of money laundering. The Swiss government seized $6.6 million from his account there and sentenced him to 18 months, which was suspended because by that time he was already in jail in the States. Authorities in Antigua also want to speak to him regarding suspicious activity there, and the Ukrainian authorities have sought his extradition to face charges of complicity in the killings of several political opponents in the 1990s.
All this means that Lazarenko is a long way from being a free man. This, as the joke goes about lawyers at the bottom of the ocean, is a good start, but only scratches the surface, and leaves many questions needing asked, such as: What happened to the money foreign authorities seized from his accounts? Was it returned to Ukraine? And most importantly: Whos next?
Lazarenko is only one of many who have drained Ukraine dry. In fact, it would be questionable whether anyone in power here hasnt done much the same thing. Lets hope he is the first of many, and a whole lot more will end up in jail in the years to come.

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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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