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Ласкаво просимо до готелю «Україна»

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Welcome to the Hotel «Ukraine»

Hotel “Ukraine” is located in the centre of Kyiv (Independence Square). 374 modern rooms with airconditioner; Restaurant with Ukrainian and European cuisine; Bar; Conference Hall; Sauna; Business Centre; Beauty Centre; Parking; Luggage Room. 4, Instytutska Str., Kyiv, 01001, Ukraine Email: reservation@ukrainehotel.kiev.ua www.ukrainehotel.kiev.ua Tel.: +38 044 279 0347, 278 66 75. Fax: +38 044 279 1353 Сертифiкат вiдповiдностi № UA9.003.0119806 вiд 27.08.2006, виданий органом з сертифiкацiї Укрметртестстандарт


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Cover: traditional decorative towels from the collection of the National Center of Folk Culture Ivan Honchar Museum. Photo by Ivanna Adamchuk.

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’2013

1419 Zlata Ognevich, a Ukrainian rising pop star, interviewed

Welcome to Ukraine Magazine

www.wumag.kiev.ua Published since 1994

2229 An Ode to Odesa — an impressionistic

Oleksandr HOROBETS

personal view of the Black Sea city port

Iryna HOROBETS

3035 Olga Bohomolets — a medical doctor and a person of many talents

3642 Scythians — an ancient nomadic

Borys TARASENKO Yevhen KRUTOVERTSEV

people of developed culture

4447 Ukraine International Airlines celebrates its 20th anniversary

4853 A walk along one of the central streets of Kyiv, Shevchenko Boulevard

5456 A look at Kyiv's courtyards 5863 The story of the Ukrainian crew that circumnavigated the globe

6467 Yury Lysyansky — the first Ukrainian who circumnavigated the earth

6874 IvanoFrankivsk, a city and "the Gateway to the Carpathians"

7680 Carpathian spas offer various kinds

Alex PAN Maryna GUDZEVATA Tetyana SEMICHAYEVSKA Iryna SOKOLETS Yuliya MALA Serhiy HOROBETS Borys TARASENKO Ivanna ADAMCHUK Oleksandr HOROBETS Serhiy HOROBETS Mykola IVASHCHENKO Oleksandr KADNIKOV Yevhen KRUTOVERTSEV Olena KURSHYN Romko MALKO

Editor in Chief Managing and Executive Editor Art Director Computer Work Director English Style Editor & Translator Senior Editor Proof Reading

often described as "an ironic conceptualist"

8892 A monastery that was tuned into a soviet farm and then back to monastery

9499

Vylkove — a village crisscrossed with canals where Old Believers live

100101 Enable Talk — an invention that transforms sign language into speech

102105 News and events worthy of note 106111 Mitus Design offers stylish jewelry 112116 Marko Vovchok, a nineteenthcentury writer who was often referred as "femme fatale"

118120 The Spell, a story of mystery and suspense by Marko Vovchok

122129 Embroidery, a decorative art steeped in tradition and symbolism

130135 Bohdan Strutynsky, the Kyiv Operetta Theater director, interviewed

136141 Yury Kulchytsky, a Ukrainian, is credited with launching coffee drinking in Europe in the 18th century

The Ukrainian pop singer Zlata Ognevich will perform at the Eurovision Song Contest 2013. Marysya

Advertising Department Artists Photographers

of mineral water and gorgeous views

8287 Oleksandr Kadnikov, an art photographer

Rising Pop Star

Publisher’s and editorial office address: 15 Klovsky Uzviz, Kyiv, 01021, Ukraine Tel./fax: 380 (44) 2545190/91/93; 2885457; 2889625 Email: welcome@intour.com.ua Representatives in: Crimea Tel.: 380 (654) 326973. Fax: 380 (654) 326993 Canada: Ukrainian Resource and Development Centre Tel./fax: (403) 4974377

Gorobets, who interviewed the singer, is confident that the singer’s “golden voice” and her passionate performance will bring her victory at the contest.

Colour separation and printing: RemaPrint 2 Chornovola Str., off. 1, Kyiv, 01135, Ukraine Tel.: + 380 (44) 5017459, 4906399 Published twice a year Circulation 20,000 copies Price is not fixed © Welcome to Ukraine Magazine is registered at the Ministry of Ukraine for Mass Media and Information, KB 2352, of Jan. 17, 1997 The advertisers shall be held responsible for information advertised All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any form without prior written permission from the publisher

Founded and published by the Editorial Board of Mizhnarodny Turyzm Magazine Ltd. Published in Ukraine Subscription Index 40651

1419


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contents Singing Doctor

Scythian Gold

Vienna Coffee

Scythians

Old Believers and Canals

Olga Bohomolets

were a

Vylkove is

a Ukrainian,

It was

is a doctor

nomadic

a tiny town

Yury

of medicine

people who

in southern

Kulchytsky,

of great

lived in what

Ukraine.

a warrior

prestige

is now

It is often

and gourmet,

and renown,

Ukraine

compared

whose recipe

who is also

in the first

to Venice,

of making

a popular

millennium BCE.

but the only

coffee has

balladeer;

They have

thing that

become

she is also

left behind

justifies this

known as

a talented

amazing gold

farfetched

“Vienna

composer

artifacts and

comparison is

coffee.�

and an art

large barrows,

the presence

He also

collector who

Scythian

of many

contributed

has hundreds

burial sites,

canals.

a lot to

of rare icons

and idols in

Most of the

preventing

in her

the Ukrainian

population in

the Turks

collection.

steppes.

Vylkove is

from

Ms Bohomolets

Archeological

made up

overrunning

is a passionate

digging keeps

of people

Europe in the

revivalist of

revealing

who call

seventeenth century.

the national

new Scythian

themselves

heritage too.

secrets.

Old Believers.

3035

3642

9499

136140


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UKRAINE THE BEAUTIFUL

The spring in the southern coast of the Crimea is a riot of delicate blossoms ranging from pure white to delicate pinks and to bright yellows. Add to it the salubrious air and spectacular views — and you've got the closest approxi mation to the Garden of Eden you can get. Photo by Oleksandr KADNIKOV

8


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The city of Sevastopol in the Crimea is known mostly for the sieges it had sustained. But the past military glory and the current navy base are only a part of the city attractions. There are many places in Sevastopol which invite a quite contemplation  and admiration. Photo by Oleksandr KADNIKOV

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These curious rocks, located in the valley of the river ChurukSu near Bakhchisarai in the Crimea, rise to a height of twenty meters or more — and it is the wind and rain that were the artists that had created their bizarre shapes. Photo by Oleksandr KADNIKOV

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PERSONALITY — A CLOSEUP

Golden


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THE UKRAINIAN POP SINGER ZLATA OGNEVICH HAS WON THE RIGHT TO PERFORM AT THE EUROVISION SONG CONTEST 2013. I HOPE, SAYS MARYSYA GOROBETS WHO INTERVIEWED THE SINGER FOR WU MAGAZINE, THAT HER MUSICALITY AND VERVE WILL BRING HER VICTORY AT THE CONTEST, THUS CONTRIBUTING TO MAKING UKRAINE AND HER NATIVE CRIMEA A BIT BETTER KNOWN IN THE WORLD.

COURTESY

OF

ZLATA OGNEVICH

Voice plus Passion 15


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met Zlata Ognevich shortly af ter she had won the Ukrainian competition to represent Ukrai ne at the Eurovision Song Con test to be held in Malmo, Sweden, in May 2013. She was open and relaxed, and well disposed to the interviewer. She talked about her fami ly, her native Crimea, and, of course her musical tastes. I felt that if not for her being pressed for time, we could have talked for much longer. Is Zlata Ognevich your stage name? Yes, it is. Why did you choose to make it sound with a Balkan ring? It was a collective search of my team and me. There is indeed a bit of the Balkans in my blood — hence Zlata (this Slavic word has as sociations with “gold”), and “Ognevych” should suggests my fiery nature (the Slavic root “ogn” suggests “fire” – ed.). Could you say a few words about your parents, your ethnic background? My mother hails from Eastern Russia — she came to live in Kryvyi Rih, in Ukraine, with her mother, so that is my grandmoth er who was originally from Western Ukra ine. On my father’s side among my ances tors were Italians and Serbs. Quite a fiery mixture. My grandfather on my father’s side is from the south of Ukraine — his grand father was an Italian. It’d be fun to get in touch with my relatives abroad. Is your gift of singing, you think, con nected with your Italian ancestry? On the other hand, Ukrainians are people who love singing as well. I know that my paternal grandmother had a nice coloratura soprano and she was even invited to come to Kyiv to study at the mus ic conservatory and sing in a famous cho ir— but she refused saying that she wanted to devote herself to her family. I think it was her gift of singing that I inherited. I heard it’s said that those who are of a mixed ethnicity are usually talented. If it’s true, then my gift may have come to me from Italians, Ukra inians and Serbs.

Your parents live in the Crimea, don’t they? How often do you visit them? Yes, they live in the Crimea, and the last time I went to see them was in the summer of 2012. I went with a friend of mine — we had a nice time in the Crimea. Such a respi te from the urban pressures of Kyiv! Which traits, you think, have you inhe rited from your parents? It’s hard for me to judge… My father is strict but supportive. He likes order in everything, and my mother is a creatively gifted and ro mantic person. How long had you lived in the Crimea before you moved to other places? I spent fifteen years of my life in the Cri mea. I grew up there, I discovered my music talent there. When you live among the moun tains, when you look at the sea, when you watch storms, you feel and admire the power and might of the nature. There are several places in the Crimea that I love. I know many Crimean legends. I even took some of our guests on guided tours. At a place called Mellas, there is a very curiously shaped mountain — Mount Dragon which does look like a winged dragon. Not far from Simferopol, in the mountains, there are caves. My favorite cave is called Emine Bayir Khosar which in the Tartar language means “Girl’s Headscarf”. There is an underground river that flows through the cave. Being there makes your fantasy fly. Mount Sokil, not far from the town of Novy Svit, is on the top of my favorite places’ list. I like to climb to the very top of the mountain and stay there for some time lo oking at the world below me, enjoying the vi ews that open up from there — distant sea, meandering roads. To go there is best at the end of summer when the herbs are particularly fragrant. And after a rain, the climb through the sea of grass is something magical… You’d make a good tourist agent pro moting the beauties of the Crimea! Oh, I remembered — you’ve been chosen to be “the face of Crimea”! What does such a title entail? To promote the Crimea! To talk about it to the mass media, to take part in photo sessions 


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At the shooting of the video Angels.

I’m working hard to win and geared to do my best on the Eurovision stage. But there are a lot of unexpected things that happen at song contests. We shall do our absolute best — and will keep our fingers crossed. devoted to the Crimea with its gorgeous landscapes as the background. The Crimea attracts not only by its south ern coats beaches — here are mountains to explore! Hikes, living in tents, bicycling! There is a great tourist potential in the Cri mea. But of course services must be impro ved. The current minister of tourism in the Crimea Oleksandr Liev is doing a lot to de velop the tourist business. I help with wha tever I can. Which dishes of the Crimean or Ukra inian cuisine would you advise foreigners to try? Oh, there are too many dishes to choose from! From among the Crimean dishes I would probably suggest lagman — a sort of soup with noodles and minced meat and po tatoes. And from the Ukrainian dishes — varenyky (stuffed dumplings) stuffed with sour cherries and served with thick sour cream! In which languages do you sing your songs? Italian, Spanish, Ukrainian, Russian, Ge orgian and French. There is one thing which I sing in Thai. Incidentally, Thailand is a coun try where I go quite often.

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Do you like it there? I sure do! I’ve been to many places abro ad but I like Thailand best. I love their cu isine — dishes are very hot, they put fire into your blood. The sea is always warm and clean, seafood is delicious, and the people are alwa ys smiling. Is there a place where you’ve not been yet but would like to go to? Oh, there are quite a few of such places. I’ve seen a documentary called Baraka that takes you to many parts of the world — and India is one of the places I’d love to go to. Do you believe in reincarnation? If so — what do you think you were in your pre vious lives? Reincarnation? Well, probably I was, in one of my reincarnations, connected with art. I often dream of art galleries. Or I could have been a designer or an architect. I like fancy buildings and fancy interiors too… I sort of believe that your soul chooses, before birth, the parents who will bring the soul into this world. But in this life you are a singer! Was it the first time that you took part in the com petition for being chosen to represent your country at the Eurovision song contest?

No, it was the third time. The two previo us times were not without some problems and I had my doubts whether I should take part in such a competition again. I was not sure we’d be able to get everything right but my fears proved to be groundless. We had enough time to prepare well for the compe tition which was held at the Pershy Kanal TV station. Even though we were not sure we would get a massive support of the viewers but we did! We were ahead of other compe titors by quite a wide margin. There are certain requirements one must meet to take part in Eurovision contests — have you done everything that is needed in this respect? Yes, we have. Among other things we did, we invited people to come up with ideas about videos and anything else, and we had loads of suggestions. What is your Eurovision song about? It’s called “Gravity”. This song has an in teresting musical and poetic message which suggests that in the presentday world girls carry a heavy burden and balance between femininity and being strong. I sing about us being like butterflies that flutter above the blade of a sword and are attracted by the light. What I sing about is close to my heart. Do you think that it’s what really is happening in your life? Do you accept it? There are things in life that I do not like but then I understand that not everything in life happens the way we want it to happen — but I accept that. Not every one of those who


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A still from the video Kukushka.

you are to work with is to your liking but I try to look for positive things in order not hurt people’s feelings. I understand that you work hard. There are days when I have to work a lot almost without sleep — filming, interviews and again filming. Sometimes I feel like I am a robot rather than a human being. Are you planning any promo tours to make your Eurasian song better known? Yes, I am planning to tour some Europe an countries and postsoviet countries as well. I’ll have the song played by radio stations. In March, the song will be officially released as a studio recording. It will have an unusual introduction and it will have other things in it that will make it easily recognizable. Your producer Mykhailo Nekrasov was the one who helped Ruslana (the Uk rainian pop singer who won the Eurovision song contest in 2004 – ed.). Does it give you an extra bit of hope that you’ll be as successful? We are working hard to win. I’m geared to do my best on the Eurovision stage. But there are a lot of unexpected things that happen at Eurovision song contests. But we shall do our absolute best — and will keep our fingers crossed. Mykhailo Nekrasov is a talented producer. He knows how to create an atmosphere of friendly relations among the people involved. Some producers look upon the singers as pieces of material to be used and then to be thrown away. But Nekrasov is different — he makes me want to sing, and when I sing I know who I am singing for. He is a good composer too — and he is prepared to work night and day to get exactly what I need. We both are perfectionists and that somet imes creates problems. We have disagree ments but we always find compromises. I’m grateful to him for showing me the way. So metimes I put too much emphasis on the vo cals and he reminds me that I want to be a musician among vocalists — and that’s what I’m trying to achieve. Could you elaborate on that? There are many of those who are fine voca lists but the number of true musicians among them is much smaller. I think that Sting and Adele are such musicians among the vocalists. What do you think of the latest trends in pop music? The internet does a lot to pro mote them — what do you think of Lana Del Ray, for example? I think that Adele is the singer of yester day, of today and of tomorrow. Lana Del Ray is cool but she seems to be hardly more than a passing rage. Both Sting and Adele are above the fashion of today and that is why I find them so attractive.

Do you follow the high fashion trends in clothes? I do not follow the high fashion trends ve ry closely and may not know the name of the designer of the latest haute couture show. But I like Balmain a lot, and I worked with such Ukrainian fashion designers as Olesya Telizhenko Viktoriya Nekrasova. I like Lilya Poustovit’s designs and I would like to work with her. And who is designing your dress for the Eurovision song contest shows? Anzhela Lysytsya has been working on it but there’s still no final design. I think it will be a dress which will not be too traditional or too fe minine. It should be not glamorous but tren dy, youthful, it should reflect my mood.

Which advantages over other partici pants do you think you may have? I do not want to talk about it now — I don’t want to listen to potential competitors sing, I do not want to compare, but I do hope that the singer Zlata Ognevich will be noticed and appreciated at the Eurovision song contest shows as a singer who upholds the high stan dards of world music. You will represent Ukraine — what, in your opinion, should attract foreign tourists to our country? I think it’s the sincerity and naturalness. People of Ukraine are hospitable, friendly, our food is natural and delicious and the country itself is big and beautiful. I know we’ll win! 

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Certificate # UA9.033.0002707 issued on 11.02.2007 by the State Committee on Technical Issues and Consumer Policy of Ukraine

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DISCOVERING

An Ode to


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The Building with Atlantes.

THERE IS A SAYING IN ODESA: “WHATEVER THERE EXISTS IN UKRAINE, YOU CAN COME ACROSS IT IN ODESA, BUT THERE IS A LOT OF WHAT YOU CAN FIND ONLY IN ODESA AND NOT ANYWHERE ELSE.”

The monument to The Wife of a Sailor in the Odesa Sea Terminal.

MARYNA GUDZEVATA, WELCOME TO UKRAINE SENIOR EDITOR, WENT TO ODESA TO CHECK OUT HOW TRUE OR FALSE THIS SAYING IS.

Odesa

Photo by M. Ivashchenko.

IVANNA ADAMCHUK


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The Monument to The Duke – ArmandEmmanuel de Vignerot du Plessis, Duc de Richelieu.

The autumnal afternoon in the Misky Sad Park.

Photo by R. Malko.

A sculpture from The Garden of Sculptures of the Odesa Literature Museum.

T

he locals say that “the best way to see Odesa is by your feet” — that is by walking its streets. I tried it myself, and it worked fine. I am su re it would work even when the weather is not so fine — wet or cold: there are a lot of places in Odesa where you can get warm — in any of the nu merous museums or restaurants. But the best time in Odesa that sits on the seashore, is summer, of course. It is in the summer tourist season that most of the tourists and holiday makers come to Odesa.


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e– du eu.

Photo by O. Kurshyn.

The Grand Opera House of Odesa.

They lounge on the beaches, stroll the boule vards, experience the unique atmosphere of Ode sa, sample the night life and some (the most ro mantic) enjoy watching the colorful sunsets and gentle sunrises. Very few people can remain impervious to Ode sa’s charms. Bits of history Before I came to Odesa, I had been of the opinion that Odesa as a city sprang on a deserted stretch of the Black Sea coast in 1794 — it was the Russian Empress Catherine II who gave the order to get a city built there.

But what I learnt at the local archeological muse um radically changed my views of Odesa’s history — for thousands of years the area had been inhabited by the roaming tribes of the Cimmerians, Scythians and Samarians. Long before the ancient Greeks be gan to build their colonies along the northern coast of the Black Sea. In later times, the area came successively under the domination of several powers. In the mid18th century, the Ottomans built a fortress at Khadjibey, the place now occupied by Odesa, but the Russian Empire conquered the large swathes of land along the Black Sea coasts and thus Khadjibey came in Russian possession. 

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But it would take too much of the magazine space to go too deep into history, and we’ll begin our short overview with the times and people who have contributed to making Odesa what it is now. Once upon a time, there lived a Spanish adven turer, Don Jose de Ribas, who came to the Russian imperial court closer to the end of the eighteen cen tury. He made an impressive military career. After being appointed the governor of Odesa, he, at an audience with the Empress Catherine II, described advantages of having a big port at that very section of the Black Sea coast. The site had strategic advan tages, he said. The Belgian architect Franz de Vollan was com missioned to provide the layout of the city. He did incorporating of some of the ancient Roman ideas for laying out the city. Don Jose de Ribas became Osyp Deribas to suit the local speech, and de facto the first “mayor” of Odesa. The second “mayor” (officially — governor) was also a foreigner, but this time it was a Frenchman. ArmandEmmanuel de Vignerot du Plessis, Duc de Richelieu governed the city for eleven years — in fact, it was under his governorship Odesa beca me a bustling port city.

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The Duke had fled France after the French Re volution to Russia where he joined the army and befriended the Russian Emperor Alexander I who, in 1803, appointed him Governor of Odesa. (later, he became GovernorGeneral of a large swathe of southern territories recently conquered from the Ot toman Empire which included the Crimea too). The Duke, for what he was doing in Odesa, was much appreciated by the locals. He kept proposing comprehensive reforms to the Imperial government and some of his ideas were actually accepted. He managed to talk the Emperor Alexander I in to giving Odesa the status of a free port and into allowing Odesa to have a university. Richelieu is credited with bringing the white aca cia to Odesa and making it ubiquitous in this city. He was known to love gardening and it was he who had a big park laid out in Odesa, the first of its kind in town. He was reported as walking down the stre ets and distributing seedlings. He was known to be taking care of the neglected trees or bushes or flow ers and watering them, making sure those who could do it and did not, would feel ashamed. Richelieu’s city policies included inviting fo reigners to run important businesses and crafts.


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Padlocks fixed to the monument The Heart in Love symbolize the firmness of love unions. Photo by O. Kurshyn.

From a provincial soviet town Odesa is developing into a place of a more international appeal, yet with out loosing its very special Odesa atmosphere. Among those who came in particularly large numbers were Greeks, Germans and Jews. The Jews were promised the right for free observance of their religion. Among the newcomers were quite a few of adventurers and runaway surfs. If the newcomer proved he was good at anything, he was allowed to settle down in Odesa. The owners of the runaway surfs, who wanted to get their sla ves back, were told that Odesa was a free town and all its citizens were thus free, not slaves. The grateful people of Odesa erected a bronze monument to Richelieu which was unveiled in 1828 to a design by Ivan Mar tos. Richelieu’s contributions to the city are mentioned by Mark Twain in his trave logue Innocents Abroad: “I mention this statue and this stairway because they have their story. Richelieu founded Odesa — watched over it with paternal care, labo red with a fertile brain and a wise under standing for its best interests, spent his fortune freely to the same end, endowed it with a sound prosperity, and one which

will yet make it one of the great cities of the Old World.” After the Duke returned to France, he pur sued his political career and became prime minister. He was known to keep inquiring about the state of things in Odesa, saying that knowing that Odesa was doing well would make him very happy. Another Frenchman The next important figure as Odesa’s go vernor was again a Frenchman, Count Lou is Alexander Andrault de Langeron who won the status of porto franco for Odesa in 1817. He provided Odesa with the running water supply, created a budget committee and set up the first city council. Then, in 1823 it was the Russian Count Mikhail Vorontsov who was appointed go vernor of Odesa. But there was still some con nection with foreign lands — he had spent his young years in London. Count Vorontsov brought with him a tru ly aristocratic entourage, never seen before in Odesa. He and his Polish wife made sure

that they were being paid aristocratic visits from Russia and Poland. The city was given a neat and aristocratic appearance. In ad dition to being the most important Black Sea port, it had grown to be the third largest city in the Russian Empire, after St Peter sburg and Moscow. One of the governors of Odesa in the ni neteenth century was a Greek, Gregory Ma razli. He was of a local Greek stock, and he knew what the city needed well. It was he who introduced to the streets of Odesa trams pulled by horses, a new park, a children daycare center, first of its kind, a bacteriological center and a chemical lab to check the quality of food products, plus dozens of schools, hospitals, libraries and museums. The theater this governor built was one of the best in the Russian Empire. And it was his own money that he donated toward the construction and maintenance of many of these facilities. Streets of Odesa The names of many streets in Odesa reveal 

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The Potyomkin Stairway in Odesa. Photo on a postcard of the end of 19th century.

which ethnic communities used to live there — Greek Street, Bulgarian Street, Jewish Street, Estonian Street, Polish Uzviz (street), French Boulevard, Italian Boulevard, Arnauts Street (Turks called Albanians “Ar nauts). Similarly, some sections of town such as Moldavanka (the place of Moldavians) also suggest the locations of ethnic communities. Nowadays, there are no parts of town where certain ethic communities would con centrate — they are evenly dispersed all over town. It is this mix of cultures and ethnicities that creates the very special aura that Ode sa is famous for. Even I, who had never visited Odesa be fore, knew of the existence of such places as Derybasovska vulytsya (street), Prymor sky bulvar (Seaside Boulevard), Potyom kinski skhody (Potyomkin Staircase), Oper ny teatr (Opera theater) famous for their connection with historical or cultural events. When I stared at the Monument of Richelieu, it felt as though I was gazing at someone who was of my personal acquaintance. There was one thing though that came as a sort of surprise — the city was not domi

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Duke de Richelieu, city's governor, was known to be taking care of the neglected trees or bushes or flowers and watering them, making sure those who could do it and did not, would feel ashamed. nated by the presence of the sea the way such seaside towns usually are. There are no long seaside promenades good for strolling and gazing into the wa tery distance. There are no good beaches close to the downtown part of Odesa — the locals say that it is better to go to such places as Arkadia, Luzanivka and Lanzhe ron, located on the shores further away from the city center, and known for their beaches. I found out that Derybasivska was free from automobile traffic and full of cool and fashionable cafes, each of which tries to at tract customers with unusual design, or in house made cookies, or humorthemed de corations. Misky Sad (City Park) is the place that locals and visitors go to enjoy leisurely strolls, or food and drink at any of the nume rous restaurants and bars, some of which

are cozily located in the picturesque corners of the park. The park does make you feel like you’re away from the city bustle. But I found that the best place for me to take walks in was Prymorsky bulvar (Seaside Boulevard), particularly at the eventide. It is not only the closeness to the sea that is en joyable — the architectural styles of the buil dings lining the boulevard are also an attrac tive feature of that place. At the end of the stroll, you come to the famous Odesa staircase that features in many films, and you are also awarded with a great view of the busy Odesa sea port. In fact, the impressive staircase got its name, Potyomkinski skhody, from a 1920s silent film, about the 1905 mutiny on the Battleship Potyomkin. The film was directed by Sergey Eisenstein (18981948), a Soviet


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In the restaurant Clarabara in the Misky Sad Park.

motionpicture director and theorist who experi mented with the intellectual and expressive pos sibilities of editing to create a revolutionary new form of cinema. The expressiveness of the film and unusual montage made the film a noticeable event in the history of cinematography. If you descend all the way down to the port, you can get back by The Funicular (cable railroad) to make the ascent not too tiring. From a provincial soviet town Odesa is deve loping into a place of a more international appe al, yet without losing its very special Odesa at mosphere. Opera House The local theater burned down in 1873 and two Viennese architects, Fellner and Gelmer, were com missioned to provide the design. They did not come to Odesa though to get the details right and local architects adjusted the design to the place where the Opera House was to be erected. The theater in grand European style was finished in 1887. It is regarded by many as one of the world’s finest theaters. Its luxurious hall follows rococo style. It is said that thanks to its unique acoustics even a whisper from the stage can be heard in any part

of the hall. The theater was provided with steam heating, an innovation at that time. The architect Fellner, who did come to the un veiling, was ecstatic in his praise. The construction had cost a lot of money and some of the money was donated by people of Odesa. Much later, the foundation began to develop cracks because of the shifting ground underneath and repair and restoration were urgently needed to save the theater from collapse. The most recent renovation of the theater was completed in 2007. The Museum of the Opera House presents the sto ry of the theatre and technical details of the way the foundation was fortified. Unfortunately, I did not get to see a single per formance — I hope I will during my next visit to Odesa. By the end of my visit, I had collected enough proof of the saying that there are a lot of things in Odesa that cannot be found anywhere else. 

WU magazine thanks the Board of Culture of Odesa City Council and the Journalist Association Turystychny presklub Ukrayiny for invitation to come and for organizing the sojourn.

I stayed at the Hotel Oleksandrivsky and highly recommend it. (www.alexandrovskiy.com.ua). The Restaurant Klarabara (www.klarabara.com) in Misky Sad offers excellent seafood dishes and Georgian salads, and the Restaurant Vechirny Baku (www.vecherniybaku.com ) offers delicious Azerbaijani meat dishes. You can learn more about restaurants, hotels and sightseeing tours at www.odessatourism.in.ua

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OLGA BOHOMOLETS

Radomysl Castle — a former papermaking factory which was restored and turned into a culture center by Olga Bohomolets.

IS A DOCTOR OF MEDICINE OF GREAT PRESTIGE AND RENOWN, WHO IS ALSO A POPULAR BALADEER, WHO IS ALSO A TALENTED COMPOSER, WHO IS ALSO A KNOWLEDGABLE ART COLLECTOR, WHO IS ALSO A PASSIONATE REVIVALIST OF THE NATIONAL HERITAGE, WHO IS ALSO A SUCCESSFUL PARENT, WHO IS ALSO…. YEVHEN BUDKO, MIZHNARODNY TURYZM SENIOR EDITOR, TALKED TO MS OLGA BOHOMOLETS. COURTESY OF

OLGA BOHOMOLETS

Facets of Her Soul

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alking to such a multitalented person as Ms Olga Bohomolets, I could not help being impressed by her amazingly striking, multifaceted personality which manifests itself in many ways. In fact, her formidable personality is of the kind that can easi ly awe or intimidate. Some of the facets of her personality open up in her songs. Even her voice, deep and powerful, reflects her personality in a subtle way. She can be sparklingly cheerful and thoughtfully pensive. Among her ancestors and blood relations were public figures, sci entists, politicians, religious and culture figures, revolutionaries and prominent physicians. She graduated from the Medical University in Kyiv which is na med after her greatgrandfather, and now she is a professor at the National Bohomolets University, and her father was a professor of the Bohomolets Institute of Physiology.

In her collection, the core of which is made up of ancient Ukrai nian icons, you can also see many portraits of her ancestors. It seemed logical to begin my interview with a question about her ancestry. Professor Bohomolets, whom among your ancestors, you regard to be of a particular prominence? I have no doubt that the most distinguished person in the line of my ancestors was my grandfather, Oleksandr Bohomolets, an aca demician, whose contributions to the development of the medical science were groundbreaking. His discoveries were many, and those in the sphere of blood transfusion and blood preservation had hel ped save lives of hundreds of thousands of the wounded in the Se cond World War. He lived a hard but full life. I feel particularly close to him in spirit. However, there are quite a few others who deserve a mention and are worthy of admiration. Incidentally, among them were a general 

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Sofiya Bohomolets (1856–1892), the mother of Academician Oleksandr Bohomolets. She was a Ukrainian nationalist of a revolutionary kind, who gave birth to her son in prison and later died in a hardlabor penal colony.

Vadym Bohomolets (1878–1936), a cousin of Academician Oleksandr Bohomolets — an active military figure of the Ukrainian People’s Republic (UPR); he was for some time a UPR representative in Rumania.

Singing is something that my heart longs for, and medicine is my professional calling. Through medicine I heal the bodies, and through my songs I try to heal the souls. of the Russian Imperial Army and a general of the Ukrainian Peo ple’s Army — two political poles apart. The earliest known mention of Bohomolets dates to the four teenth century. The Polish king gave awards to some members of the Bohomolets family, evidently for their bravery, elevated them to the nobility and granted them the right to display their coat of arms. One of the Bohomolets clan is known to have taken part in the Battle of Grunewald at which the combined forces of Poland, Lithuania and other Slavic lands decisively defeated the knights of the Teutonic Order in 1410 thus stemming the Order’s aggres sive push further east. I think it’s always been the mark of the Bohomolets family to defend and protect people and seek truth for centuries. In the soviet times it was often vitally important to have the “right” sort of ancestry — workers or peasants — in order to move up the social ladder, and the nobles among one’s ancestry were a very wrong sort of ancestors. Did your grandfather or father have any problems with that under the Soviets? No, not really. If the soviet power frowned upon their ancestry, they did not persecute or prosecute them. Probably, it was the great authority in the field of medicine that my grandfather enjoyed, that protected him. Besides, his mother was known to have died in figh ting against the Russian czarism and it also could have been a re deeming factor. She gave birth to her son, my grandfather Oleksandr, when she was doing a term in a czarist prison. Was your choice of medicine as an occupation motivated by your desire to continue the medical traditions of the family? I definitely knew I wanted to be a doctor when I was still a child. As I grew up I could not imagine doing anything else in life. Of course, I was exposed to all that medical talk in the family and that

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Oleksandr Bohomolets (1850–1935) — the first in the line of Bohomolets medical dynasty; his wife was Sofiya Bohomolets.

must have affected me. The family traditions of providing care and love of people must have played a role too. My eldest daughter is also a medic — and thus she is the sixth generation of physicians in our family. There was a time when you were better known as a singer ra ther than a doctor of medicine. But these days you do not seem to be as active as a singer as you used to be. Singing for me is something that my heart longs for, and medi cine is my professional calling. Through medicine I heal the bodies, and through my songs I try to heal the souls. I want to see the world around me full of joy and harmony, and seeing happy smiles on peop le’s faces makes me happy too.

Olga Bohomolets has published over 70 scholarly papers and has been awarded 9 patents for her inventions.


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I want to feel fulfilled as a woman, as a mother, as a doctor and as a member of the society I live in, and I think that such fulfillment is quite attainable. How many children do you have? Four. The two elder ones have already found their way in life, the younger ones are still in the process of finding their own feet in life. I know that all my children are living a rewarding life. Their ideals do not include earning as much money as possible, clim bing as high as possible on the social ladder or attaining fame or great power. They all are very nice, decent people, they know how to achieve aims they put before themsel ves, they are looking for ways of fulfilling themselves fully as God ordained they should. My children are all very different in character but they are strongwilled and talen ted. Well, anyway this is what I think they are (smiles). Did your children inherit your talents for music or medicine? My eldest son Andriy and my middle daughter Anna compose music and write their songs and sing them wonderfully. My elder daughter Kateryna and the youngest So fiya want to become physicians. I hope that my own experience as a doctor may come in handy for them. Did the medical fame of your greatgrandfather, your grandfather and of your father help you achieve your goals in medicine? I’d rather say that fame was more of a hindrance than help. When I was a medical student and later when I started to work, I felt the great pressure of that fame on me — I had to be proving myself all the time, I had to demonstrate I was worthy of my recent and distant ancestors. But they did help me in the sense of providing inspiration and challenge. The discoveries and work of Oleksandr Bohomolets had saved millions of lives, and he serves as a great role model for me. You have opted for dermatology as the field of your medical work — any parti cular reason why? At the Medical University I majored in a different medical field but when I happe ned to attend a world congress of dermatologists held in the USA in 1991, the things I heard and saw made such a great impression on me that I decided I had to go into dermatology. I clearly saw a great gap, not in favor of Ukrainian medicine, between the western achievements in this field and Ukraine’s lagging behind. I realized I could suc cessfully treat those cases which had been considered untreatable in Ukraine. Lasers produced a revolution in many fields of medicine, and their application in dermatology was crucial for treating many problems. I founded a clinic of laser medicine, the first ever such clinic in Ukraine. It took a long time, efforts and resources to do that. Now I run the Institute of Dermatology and Cosmetology of Doctor Olga Bohomolets, but it all began with the purchase of just one piece of laser equipment. I’ve given my Institute my name — to emphasize my personal involvement and my per sonal responsibility. I’ve been encouraged to open other such clinics all over the country but I knew I could not find enough highly qualified doctors to staff more than one clinic. Skin tumors, unfortunately, are among medical problems that affect a great many people, and melanomas are particularly dangerous. A birthmark can give a start to a malignant tumor. If it is not detected at an early stage of its development, then ninety five percent of people with melanoma die. I faced the challenge of bringing down the number of deaths caused by melanoma in Ukraine and we’ve achieved considerable suc cess in this direction. The main thing is to diagnose melanoma at an early stage. At pre sent, my Institute is working out a system of diagnosing melanoma at a high professio nal level without making patients come to our Institute. If successful, it will save lives of hundreds of thousands of people. You seem to be a person who is not indifferent to the processes that are taking place in the public life of Ukraine, in Ukrainian society. What is your opinion about the state of things in the poetical and social life of Ukraine? Is our society basically healthy or is it sick? It is badly sick but not terminally ill. It can be brought back to a healthy state. To do that the mechanisms of purposeful “selfcleansing” should be activated. The social immune system should then kick in, and the role of the main “doctor’ in this process should be assumed by the “civil society.” You can’t reform a social system without gai ning the support of the majority of people of this society. A major overhaul in the system of health protection and medical care is also bad ly needed in Ukraine, is it not? Absolutely. We have already developed a number of very practical propositions as to the overhauling the whole system of health care in Ukraine. The moment the govern ment decides it’s high time the health of the nation was made a high priority, we can pro vide the government with a working model of changes to be introduced. 

Academician Oleksandr Bohomolets in his young and mature years; and represented on postage stamp released to mark his 90th birthday.

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Olga Bohomolets, in her capacity of a singer in a concert; her voice is often described as "velvety"; she is sometimes referred to as "the princess of Ukrainian song."

A swamp and a dump and ruins of a water mill were turned into a castle. Now Rado mysl Castle is a home for 5,000item collec tion of Ukrainian household icons. I can’t help wondering how you manage to combine the tough attitudes of a manager, professional decisions of a doctor, scien tific and medical curiosity with the lyrical part of your nature which is revealed in your songs and in your love of art. I don’t know. It’s all just there, in me. But I never wanted or as pired to be a professional musician — I always wanted to be a doc tor. My songs came to me all by themselves. As far as I remember, I wrote my first song in 1983, after I had read a poem by Lina Kos tenko, one of the best Ukrainian poets. The poem was called “An Autumnal Day.” It triggered something in me that produced a me lody. It did not take me long to realize I did have a gift of songwri ting and I decided I simply had to let people hear my songs. My songs are generated by my emotions, by that side of my nature, which, as you’ve put, is lyrical. I write music mostly at night when the quiet descends upon the earth and upon my house. And since that first song, songwriting has always been with you? Yes, it has. After my first experience of songwriting which was very uplifting, I decided that I did want to go public but would ne verever charge money for my performances. This principle of mine has never wavered in these past twenty years. I’ve never demanded money for any of my public performances. Your songs can be described as “romansy,” that is, lyrical bal lads —are they particularly close to your heart? I believe that melodies, that are created within the depths of my being, are inspired by God who lets me hear the music of love —

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and then I let others hear these songs. These days songs of harmo ny and love are what our society which lacks in kindness, trust and understanding, badly needs to hear. Though there may be gaps in my creative output which are cau sed by my work and all sorts of projects to be attended to, my song writing never goes away, and I know I will play and sing for those who appreciate my songs some day. And I hope it will be sooner than later — my heart is full of music! I know that you devote a lot of your time and resources to cha rity, to support of children who are in urgent need of medical help, and to other social things. I also know that one of your major pro jects was the creation of the Radomysl Castle, a cultural comp lex, not far from Kyiv. In fact, I was present at the opening (see WU issue 2’ 2011), and saw those wonderful icons which were exhibited there — when did you start collecting them? It began quite some time ago, and quite by chance too. Once, at a flea market, I saw an icon, lying on the ground, in mud, among pieces of junk. The vendor wanted one hryvnya (about 80 US cents) for that icon. I bought it — I could discern the face of the Savior through the dirt that covered the icon and I just could not let it stay there, in the mud… Somehow, that purchase aroused my interest in what may be called “household icons” — that is icons that were painted to be kept at homes rather than in churches. The more I learned about such icons, the more fascinated I became. A whole new world was opening up for me. Such icons were painted both by professional icon painters and amateurs. They reflected the grassroot ways of seeing the spiritual world, they did not follow the dogmatic or ca nonic principles of icon painting. There are about 5,000 items ex hibited there, in Radomysl Castle. We called the exhibition The Soul of Ukraine. I don’t think there is any other such collection in the world anywhere. Could you please say a few words about that amazing art center of yours, Radomysl Castle.


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It would take too long to go into all the details but briefly — a swamp and a dump and ruins of a water mill were turned into a castle. The resur rection lasted for five years. During the reconstruction, if you may call it that, the ruins of older structures were unearthed — originally it was a pa per mill turned fortress. The resurrected “castle” stands on solid rock that is about a mile deep, and thus did not need any foundation. You can see outcroppings of that rock around Radomysl Castle. The center has been provided with a small con cert hall that has excellent acoustic properties. Incidentally, there is a na tural spring of water in it, which makes it the only concert hall of its kind. The swamps were turned into a wonderful park with all sorts of plants, rare ones too, growing there. And with all sorts of animals living there too — beavers, muskrats, otters, storks… Do you think it can become a selfsustaining tourist center? I hope it will. The center has a conference hall, a hall that can be used for all sorts of ceremonies, like marriage registration, rooms for guests. You’ve got to pay a fee for a visit and these fees, hopefully, will be paying for main tenance. The state does not give us support in any way. In the year that has passed since the opening day, we’ve had more than ten thousand visitors, among whom were tourists from the US, Canada and Australia. A documentary about our center and its collection of icons was shown by one of the TV stations in Japan. Tourism and documentaries should improve the image of Ukraine as a country with a rich and ancient culture. There is a national flag flying above Radomysl Castle — and there is also a coat of arms on the wall. What’s the symbolism of it? The head of a bull pierced with a sword means: Kill the animal in your self. It symbolizes the victory of the spirit over the matter. Its closeness to the flag indicates that the destinies of the Bohomolets clan have always been and will be linked with Ukraine. I could go to any country in the world, in cluding the most developed ones too, and I would earn a lot of money as a top specialist in the field of medicine. But I will always stay in Ukraine and I hope my children and their children will always live in Ukraine too. And if you happen to come to Kyiv on a visit — welcome to Radomysl Castle. It does deserve a visit. 

Icons displayed in the halls of Radomysl Castle.

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DISCOVERING

Nomads in the

Steppe

SCYTHIANS WERE A NOMADIC PEOPLE WHO OCCUPIED VAST TERRITORIES IN WHAT IS NOW SOUTHERN UKRAINE IN THE EIGHTH OR SEVENTH CENTURIES BCE. THE SCYTHIANS HAD LEFT BEHIND AMAZING GOLD ARTIFACTS AND LARGE MOUNDS IN THE UKRAINIAN STEPPE — THOSE BARROWS WERE SCYTHIAN BURIAL SITES. THIS ARTICLE IS BASED ON AN ESSAY BY NATALYA MYKHAILOVA, AN ARCHEOLOGIST.

Some historians believe that similar wagons were used both by the Scythians twenty five hundred years ago and Ukrainian peasants in much later times.

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here are thousands of mounds in the Ukrainian steppes which are thought to be the burial sites of nomads who used to roam ac ross the territory of the present day Ukraine hundreds of years ago. About three thousand of these kurhany have been probed into by archeo logists and they proved to be the burial sites. But

only a handful of them rendered rich archeologi cal finds, the rest have been robbed in ancient and more recent times. In 1996–1998, one of such kurhans was explored by an expedition of Ukrainian and Polish archeologists. This burial mound, the Velyky Ryzhanivsky Kurhan (burial mound), is located 75 miles south of Kyiv, not far from the village of Ryzhanivka in the Land of Chernihivshchyna. These archeologists had exca vated dozens of such barrows before and made impressive discoveries, and thus they seemed to be prepared to any pleasant or unpleasant surpris es, but what they unearthed in that kurhan dazed even them. The kurgan has revealed one of the very few unlooted tombs of a Scythian chieftain. The archeologists discovered a burial chamber in the depths of the barrow which apparently con tained the remains of a Scythian chieftain. The chamber was divided into two parts by a clay par tition, in one of which there stood a sort of a woo den dais. He was clad in what must have been a sort of a white caftan and red trousers. Around his neck he had a silver ornament with images of lions 


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The armor the rider wears is made of metal plates of unique design (reconstruction drawing by M. Horelyk). Such armor is believed to have been of the most sophisticated kind at that time. The bow, shown in the picture, is of a kind that could shoot arrows long distances.


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These small figures which can be seen on the gold breast decoration, known as “pectoral,” make it possible to form an idea of how the ancient Scythians looked and what kind of garments they wore.

The Scythians developed a class of wealthy aris tocrats, Royal Scyths, who established themsel ves as rulers of the territories that are now Ukraine and who left elaborate graves filled with richly worked articles of gold. Scythian artifacts and applied and decorative art can be seen at: National Museum of History of Ukraine (2, Volodymyrska Str., Kyiv; www.nmiu.com.ua); Archeological Museum of the Institute of Archeology of the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (15, Bohdan Khmelnytsky Str., Kyiv); Museum of Historical Treasures (in the territory of the Pechersk Lavra Monastery, 21 Mazepa Str., Kyiv; www.kplavra.kiev.ua), and in some other museums of Ukraine, in Dnipropetrovsk and Zaporizhzhya in particular.

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on it. The deceased warrior had a bow, three qui vers full of arrows, a sword with the richly deco rated hilt, placed by his side. Also, there was an object, apparently a censer, to burn incense. At the feet of the chieftain’s remains sat a piece of headdress, strangely enough of the kind that rich Scythian women, rather than men, must have worn on special occasions. The headdress had 140 little gold plaques sewn onto it, but there was no female to whom this piece of headgear could have belonged. The secret of why it had been placed near the chieftain’s corpse has remained unsolved. Further digging produced another discovery — a cache that contained silver vessels, probably for some ritual purposes, decorated with the images of griffin. There were signs of food having been placed there too, and amphorae with wine. Near the entrance to the burial chamber horse and human bones were discovered — evidently, the decapitated horse and a human were sacrificed and placed at the chieftain’s burial chamber. The chieftain was to be accompanied in the otherworld by his horse and slaves. Later archeological excavations revealed ano ther grave in the kurhan which contained the re mains of a Scythian woman whose headdress re

sembled the one found in the chieftain’s burial chamber. So far no plausible theories to explain the presence of a female headdress in the chief tain’s grave and the presence of another grave with the remains of a woman have been put forward. Some history Much of what is known of the history of the Scythians comes from the account of them by the ancient Greek historian Herodotus, who is known to have visited the country, now Ukraine, where they lived. In modern times our knowledge about the Scythians has been expanded chiefly by the work of archeologists and anthropologists. The Scythians were feared and admired for their prowess in war and, in particular, for their horse manship. They are believed to have been among the earliest people to master the art of riding. The Scythians were remarkable not only for their fighting ability but also for the civilization they produced. They developed a class of wealthy aristocrats who left elaborate graves filled with richly worked articles of gold and other precious materials. This class of chieftains, known as the Royal Scyths, established themselves as rulers of the territories that are now Ukraine. It is there that the richest and most numerous relics of Scythian civilization have been found. From what is known about the Scythians from such sources as Herodotus or Strabo, and from ar cheological excavations, we can say that there were at least two large Scythian tribal confedera tions — one in Western Scythia and the other one in Eastern Scythia. In a broader sense, the name “Scythian” was also used to refer to various peoples regarded as 


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This gold decoration of the 4th century BCE, which was found by the prominent archeologist Borys Mozolevsky in the Tovsta Mohyla burial mound in 1971, is a perfect sample of Scythian decorative art.


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This figurine is believed to represent the Scythian god Tapay; in all likelihood, it was fixed to the top of a ceremonial button.

similar to the Scythians, or who lived anywhere in the area known as Scythia. The term Scythian was used to refer to a variety of ethnic groups who moved in the vast lands from the Black Sea to southern Sibe ria and central Asia. The greatest test the Scythians were ever put to occurred in 512 BC, when King Darius the Great of Persia, crossing the Danube, led his huge army into their lands. Herodotus relates that the no mad Scythians let the Persian army to march through their country without offering a major engagement, but harassing the Persian with lightning attacks on the swift horse. Their arrows, shot from a considerable distance, killed and wounded many Persians. Ex hausted and never able to catch up with their illusive enemies, the Persians beat an ignominious retreat. It was during the fifth to third centuries BCE that the Scythians evidently prospered. The ancient Greek geographer Strabo (circa 63 BCE – 24 CE) reports that King Ateas united under his power several Scythian tribes and began a westward expansion. It brought him in conflict with the King Philip II of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great, who reigned in 359 to 336 BCE. Phillip took a vigorous military action against the Scythians, defeating them. Ateas died in battle, and his empire disintegrated. Philip’s son, Alexander the Great, also came into conflict with the Scythians and at the Battle of Jaxartes in 329 BCE in Sogdiana defeated the Scythian army that sought to take revenge for the death of Ateas. By the time of Strabo’s account in the first decades of the first millennium CE, the Crimean Scythians had created a new kingdom extending from the lower Dnipro to the Crimea. The kings Skilurus and Palakus waged wars with Mithridates the Great, who reigned in 120–63 BCE. Their capital city, Scythian Neapolis, must have stood on the outskirts of modern Simferopol. The invading Goths des troyed the city in the mid3rd century AD. After the next wave of the nomads from the depth of Asia, the Huns, that rolled through the formerly Scythian lands, they disappeared from history.

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Scythian idols of this kind used to dot the steppes of Ukraine. It is not known what or who they symbolized.


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The remains of a wooden coffin which was found in a Scythian barrow in the Land of Dnipropetrovshchyna. The coffin was painted with figures of warriors. (Photo by O. Fialko from the book Amazonen. Geheimnisvolle kriegerinnen, Munich, 2010).

Lions and mythical griffons on a ritual object discovered in the Bratolyubivsky burial mound in the Land of Khersonshchyna.

The Scythians were feared and admired for their prowess and valor in war and, in particular, for their horsemanship. They are believed to have been among the earliest people to master the art of riding. The Scythians left behind burial mounds some of which contained weapons, horse harness, Scythianstyle art, gold, silk, and animal sacrifices. In some places, it is suspected that the Scythians practiced human sacrifices. Dress, art and habits Greek craftsmen from the Greek colonies, mostly located along the southern shores of the Crimea, made spectacular Scythianstyle gold ornaments, applying Greek realism to depict images of lions, deer, winged horses, griffin, eagles and other mythical creatures. Some of these gold ornaments are of an amazingly sophisticated craftsmanship and of stunning beauty. So the Scythians, in spite of their lacking such forms of civilized life as script or schools, were not devoid of developed esthetic tastes. ďƒ§

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The reconstruction of a headdress of a noble Scythian woman. The gold decorations of the headdress were found in a Scythian barrow, Tetyanyna Mohyla, in the Land of Dnipropetrovshchyna.

Ancient Greeks could have been prompted to invent their stories about Amazons, warrior women, by the habits and behavior of Scythian women. This burial contains the remains of a Scythian woman and pieces of Greek ceramics, decorations, weapons and other artifacts. (Photo from the book Amazonen. Geheimnisvolle kriegerinnen, Munich, 2010).

Scythians definitely had a taste for elaborate personal jewelry, weaponornaments and horsetrappings. Graves of armed females have been found in southern Ukraine and it is probable that Scythian culture may have given rise to the Greek stories about Amazons. Scythians lived in tribes, forming voluntary associations. They regulated pastures and organized a common defense against ene mies. They lived basically nomadic life, moving from place to place, but in later times some of the Scythians are known to have settled down and even built cities and fortifications. According to Herodotus, the Scythian costume usually consi sted of padded and quilted leather trousers tucked into boots, and open tunics. They rode with no stirrups or saddles, using only saddle cloths. Herodotus mentions that Scythians used cannabis, both to make their clothing and to cleanse themselves in its smoke, and archaeology has confirmed the use of cannabis in funeral rituals. Scythian women dressed in much the same fashion as men, but women wore headdresses which were different from men’s head gear. Some of the women’s headdresses were conical in shape, others were like flattened cylinders, adorned with metal, someti mes golden plaques. Both men and warrior women wore tunics which were often embroidered and adorned with felt applique work, or metal or golden plaques. There is evidence that at least some of the Scythians worship ped gods, but it seems that shamanism was their main religion. 

Welcome to Ukraine Magazine expresses thanks to the Museum of Historic Treasures of Ukraine for the materials it provided. WU also thanks Mr Serhiy Skory, PhD, head of the Early Iron Archeology Department of the Institue of Archeology of the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, to Professor Jan Chochorowski, Director of the Institute of Archeology of Jagiellonian University, and to Olena Fialko, PhD, for help in preparation of the article.


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POINT

UKRAINE INTERNATIONAL AIRLINES (UIA), ONE OF THE TWO MAIN AIRLINE COMPANIES OF UKRAINE, WAS FOUNDED TWENTY YEARS AGO, SOON AFTER UKRAINE’S INDEPENDENCE. YEVHEN BUDKO, MIZHNARODNY TURYZM SENIOR EDITOR, HAS RECENTLY INTERVIEWED YURY MIROSHNYKOV, UIA PRESIDENT. COURTESY OF

UIA

Twenty Yea

In

his young years, Yury Miroshnykov built and launched little model planes. Now his UIA stable has 20 Boeing airliners. UIA and its president are planning to introduce sweeping changes which are designed to impact the development of civil aviation of Ukraine. Mr Miroshnykov, did you celebrate the twentieth anniversa ry of your company? Of course, we did! Compared to all sorts of celebrations we had in the past, when we rented the National Opera or the Ukrayina Palats concert hall, this time it was less pompous but more of a friends’ gettogether kind. We had a good party — we enjoyed a concert and cocktail party, we talked and reminisced. We gathered about two thousand people, about two thirds of whom were UIA employees and the rest were our partners and other guests. We invited people from the Boeing company, from CFM, a wellknown producer of airplane engines. UIA representatives and agents abroad were also

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rs in Flight there. We did have a good time. And the next day we plunged into work — there is always a lot of work to do, you know. What does the working day of the UIA president look like? There is a lot of organizational work to do for the president of such a company. Unfortunately, it is mostly with papers that I have to deal rather than directly with people. But all sorts of meetings also take a lot of time. A lot of planning is to be done too. One of our top priorities is to provide safety and security of flights. Our efforts are preemptive — we take appropriate measures not after something happens, but we take measures to prevent any accidents. And we do it every day, at all the levels of the company. We take care of all the things that are connected with the safety of flights: flight plan ning with minutest details taken into consideration: financing, per sonnel, commercial activities, working hours — you name it. Some people may think that the main thing for flight attendants and air hostesses is to learn to smile nicely. Not really— their main job is to contribute to the safety of flights. What does it take to become president of an airline?

Specialized education — though I do not think there are univer sities in which you can major in airlines presidents. I graduated from the Institute of Civil Aviation Engineering in Kyiv — now it is cal led the National Aviation University. You have to have experience of working in various sectors and departments of civil aviation before you get promoted to presi dent. And I did have such experience. My first job at Boryspil Air port (central airport of Kyiv) was connected with the maintenance of the electric network of the control tower. I progressed from one stage to another — and I was always eager to learn whatever was necessary for doing my job well. I also gained an experience of as suming responsibilities. How long have you been working for UIA? Nineteen years altogether. And for the past eight years I’ve been UIA president. So you must remember the early years of UIA. I sure do. It was the romantic time — Ukraine began to deve lop as an independent state, and there was so much to be done. 

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The creation of UIA early in Ukraine’s in dependence proved to be the right thing to do. We started developing civil avia tion in accordance with the world stan dards, and in this we were ahead of ma ny other postsoviet countries.

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Ukraine had had its aviation industry long before it went inde pendent, but as a part of the Soviet Union, all the major things and plans of development were decided in Moscow. When after 1991, the year of independence, Ukraine appeared on the world aviation market, it had no experience in commercial ac tivities and international relations, even though we had many years of solid experience in building planes and airplane maintenance. So, a lot of things had to be developed from scratch. It was hellishly difficult to do — but highly exciting and interesting. The creation of UIA early in Ukraine’s independence proved the right thing to do. It made it possible for us to start developing civil aviation in accordance with the world standards, and in this we were ahead of some other postsoviet countries. At the early stages of the UIA development, I worked in a state aviation department and I took part in developing a system of in ternational agreements between various states that dealt with civil aviation. I did not work in UIA from the very first days of its exi stence but I was among those who promoted its creation and deve lopment. I’m proud that things did get off to a good start. UIA ma naged to get itself established at the European aviation market— a very competitive market, with the highest possible standards. Now UIA is going through a new stage of its development. From focusing on destinations in Western Europe, we are moving on to a transit phase in our development, with Kyiv being the hub in con necting the West and the East. Coordination of efforts is a major difficulty. Boryspil Airport should remain our central airport and the basic aviation and finan cial structures will remain as important but the status of a hub will provide new jobs and new revenues from transit passengers. Our services will be improved and it will attract more tourists. Boryspil Airport will not be able to do without such a company as ours because foreign aviation carriers, particularly lowcost car riers, are not interested in developing Boryspil as a transit hub. The aviation market of Ukraine has grown by ten percent in 2012 — but UIA has grown by twenty five percent. UIA services attract


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passengers from third countries and we carry them across Ukraine and further on. What’s UIA status now? We are a key player at the air traffic market of Ukraine. We fly to foreign destinations from Kyiv and to destinations in Ukraine such as Dnipropet rovsk, Donetsk, Lviv, IvanoFrankivsk, Kharkiv and Simferopol. UIA flight routes extend practically all over Europe. We fly to many destinations in the postsoviet countries. Through partners, we can take passengers to the USA in the West and to Thai land in the East. In the first ten months of 2012 we flew two and a half million passengers to va rious destinations, with transit passengers on our regular flights constituting almost forty percent. UIA has eleven partners in air traffic and we have signed interline agreements with about a hund red and fifty air carriers. How many passengers has UIA provided ser vices for in its twenty years of existence? Over sixteen million passengers, with almost three million in 2012 alone. It shows that passen gers trust UIA. At the start of its work, UIA had only two planes but even then UIA could fly up to 115,000 passengers a year. What is your attitude to lowcost flying? It’s a competitive model of work for classical net work companies. One can make money using this mo del but… The top manager of one of the lowcost air companies was reported to have said, “We hate our passengers but they do not pay us for loving them.” And we love our passengers — and not because they pay exorbitant fares (in fact, our prices are not high compared to our expenditures). It’s part of our culture. We are thankful to our passengers for ma king it possible for us to create new jobs, and we do our best to make the flights enjoyable. The air pas sengers should be exposed to experiences very much different from those one gets when riding a local bus. Did the passengers benefit in any way from UIA marking its twentieth anniversary? Yes, they did. On that day, we greeted passen gers by serving champagne at booking offices and on the planes. We also introduced twenty percent discounts for our regular flights. Participants of our Panorama Club loyalty program had their accumu lated miles doubled. We organized all sorts of pre sentations and contests and other things at UIA website. Our inflight magazine Panorama and In ternet social networks were also involved. Are there Ukrainian tourist companies among your partners? Of course! And quite a few of them! Among our partners are over 270 tourist companies and that includes practically all the tourist companies accre dited in Ukraine by the International Air Trans port Association (IATA). UIA performed over 4,000 charter flights in the first ten months of 2012. We also carry groups of tourists on our regu lar flights. It’s more expensive but safer for smaller tourist companies. Tourism is “a staple food” of aviation! We are thankful to tourist companies for cooperation but we want to see many more tourists coming to Uk raine from abroad. We are ready for an influx of fo reign tourists. It is more difficult to bring in foreign

tourists than to send local tourists abroad — but without incoming tourism, the Ukrainian tourist business may find itself in a very tough situation. What are, in your opinion, the main UIA achievements? We were the first in starting and developing ma ny things. We were the first in Ukraine to start flying Boeing airliners and we were the first to in troduce the world standards in services. We were

the first to start publishing an inflight magazine. We were the first to become members of the Inter national Air Transport Association (IATA). We were the first to pass successfully the Internatio nal Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) audit. We were the first to launch the passengers’ loyal ty program Panorama Club. We were the first to launch an official website, to introduce electronic tickets. We were the first to introduce the full ma intenance of Boeing airliners at Boryspil Airport. We’ve always been motivated by the ideas of in tegration into Europe. The professionalism and integrity of UIA as a company is probably our main achievement. UIA has about a hundred employees when it was foun ded and now we employ over 1,500 people. I think they appreciate working for UIA — we provide so cial and financial benefits, we provide opportuni ties for training. Initiative and company spirit are our main assets. 

Dmytro Kiva, a representative of the Antonov Aeronautical Scientific and Technical Complex, presents an award to Yury Miroshnykov, UIA president.

A certificate of appreciation is handed by Heorhiy Pyvovarov, Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.

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DISCOVERING

Boulevard Shevchenko in the early 20th century, with the central building of St Volodymyr University (now Shevchenko University) in the background.

A Stroll Along Shevchenko Boulevard OLEKSA PANIV TAKES THE READERS ON A WALK ALONG ONE OF THE CENTRAL STREETS OF KYIV, SHEVCHENKO BOULEVARD, WITH ITS INTIMATIONS OF THE NOBLE PAST, The monument to Count Alexey Bobrinsky, a fam ous industrialist and a patron of art. Early 1900s.

STILL VISIBLE VESTIGES OF THE SOVIET ERA, OASES OF SUMMER GREENERY, AND THE BUSY PRESENT-DAY.

B

oulevard is defined as a wide city street, usually treelined and landscaped. There are se veral streets in Kyiv which fall under this definition. As a mat ter of fact, a great many streets in Kyiv are lined with trees along the curbs but they are not referred to as “boulevards.” The boulevard that fully earns such an appel lation is located right in the very heart of the city — it is Taras Shevchenko Boulevard.

The boulevard is lined with poplars along its center.

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First, some bits of history The earliest known documented mention of the boulevard dates to 1834, but then it was called Bulvarne shosse, that is, Boulevard Highway.


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The central building of Shevchenko University (often referred to as The Red Building).

Then, Kyiv was a provincial town of the Russian Empire, with not too many featu res that would make one feel its Ukrainian background — but Kyiv was growing fast, in every sense of the word: in size, sophis tication and culture. In 1869, the street was named after Dmyt ro Bibikov, Kyiv Province Governor General and the name held until 1919 when, two years after the revolution of 1917, which brought Ukraine a couple of years of independence, it was renamed Taras Shevchenko Boulevard, to honor Taras Shevchenko, the great Ukrainian poet and cultural figure of the nineteenth century. The Bolsheviks, who returned to Ukraine into the fold of the Russian Empire, which acquired a new name too, the Union of So viet Socialist Republics (Soviet Union), did not bother to change the name, appropria ting Shevchenko’s fame to their propaganda purposes, turning the poet into a sort of re volutionary. They even went ahead and built a monument to Shevchenko, making him look very somber and pensive. The mo nument stands in the park across the street from the “Red Building” of the University (the red color has nothing to do with the “red” Bolsheviks — it was painted red in the 1830s when it was built). The park, along which runs Shevchenko Boulevard, often becomes a scene of all sorts of progovernment and

The building that now houses the Institute of Philology of Shevchenko University (formerly – a hymnaziya school).

antigovernment rallies and manifestations on dates which are connected with Shev chenko’s life or history of Ukraine (in the sovi et times, KGB made sure no one would be milling around in traditional Ukrainian em broidered shirts or carrying Ukrainian na tional colors of yellow and blue — Ukraini an “nationalism” was ruthlessly stamped out by the soviets). During WWII, the Nazis did not bother with knocking down the monument to Shev chenko but changed the name of the street. There have been but a few architectu ral or major visual changes since the post war reconstruction, with the exception of a several sovietstyle apartments, a couple of hotels and a very recent ugly highrise,

all of which deface the long stretches of the street. The street was provided with an alley of trees that ran along its length in the center of it in the late 1830s. The original horse ches tnuts were replaced by poplars in the 1840s, and poplars have remained ever since. Unfortunately, the everintensifying air pollution, mostly provided by the ever gro wing number of cars, does not do much good to the trees whose leaves wither and turn dirty brown in color by the end of sum mer, long before the advent of the cold. The city authorities do not seem to be doing anything about it — the airpollution, that is, or the cars which have already invaded the sidewalks. 

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The interior of the Cathedral of St Volodymyr. The facade of the Cathedral of St Volodymyr that faces the Boulevard.

Offensive monuments Shevchenko Boulevard presents the greatest concentration in town of all sorts of schools, hotels, restaurants, parks and other features which make it a street truly unique in Kyiv. The first known building that was erected in the street now sits at Number 25. As time went on, the street acquired mansions and brick houses of lesser visual attractions, but still fitting the general architectural appearance of the street. The rather pompous Cathedral of St Volody myr in the pseudoByzantineOldRussian style, the Botanical Garden, a couple of stately buildings that housed schools (one of these buildings now belongs to Shevchenko University — it is known as Yellow Building and is in fact, yellow) made the street an architectural landmark. In close vicinity to the Boulevard, in the streets that cross it, there stand the central building of Shevchenko University (the “Red Building”), uni versity libraries, The House of Teachers (the seat of the Ukrainian government in the early years of independence after the revolution of 1917) and a number of other buildings worthy of some architectural attention.

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Photo by M. Ivashchenko.

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Glimpses of Shevchenko Park, with the monument to Taras Shevchenko in the background.

Shevchenko Boulevard presents the greatest concen tration in town of all sorts of schools, hotels, restau rants, parks and other features which make it a street truly unique in Kyiv. At present, the boulevard also boasts the central building of the Medical University, three hotels, one of them five star, Draho manov University, a big hospital, several restaurants, two of them of Japanese cuisi ne, to name but more important sites. But most, if not all, of what is of any architectural or visual merit had been built before the Bolsheviks came to power. The Bolsheviks and their direct descendants see med to be bending over backwards to turn beauty into ugliness in everything they touched. Their additions to the boulevard in the shape of apartments are ugly or at best non descript. But the two most disgraceful ad ditions are the two monuments which con

tinue to be standing, Ukrainian indepen dence notwithstanding, on the boulevard named after arguably the most revered cul tural figure of Ukraine, promoter of free dom and independence. One of the disgraces is a monument to Lenin which stands at the beginning of the boulevard, at the crossroads with the cent ral street of Kyiv, Khreshchatyk, facing the central food market. It was erected in 1946 and the inscription on it says that without a concerted and joint effort of the Russian and Ukrainian proletarians no free Ukraine is possible. How about that in the capital of a country that was suppressed in every pos sible way for centuries by its huge imperia list geographical neighbor, Russia?

The monument is to the person who pla yed the pivotal role in the soviet enslaving of Ukraine. Lenin’s polices resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands of people during the civil war, and later of millions of people under Lenin’s heir, Stalin. The monument seems to mock the very idea of Ukraine’s independence and open ly proclaims it in the inscription — and yet no government or president since Ukraine’s independence more than twenty years ago has dared to remove the mocking monument, offensive to anything and everything Ukra inian. A couple of years ago someone tried to deface the face of the statue with a hammer — the offender was caught and punished; the communists had the face restored and placed the armed guard at the monument to protect it from “nationalistic vandalism”. Every time, passing by the monument and seeing the guards lounging on the ben ches at its foot, I can’t help asking myself — is the Soviet Union really dead? As long as that monument stands in the street named after Shevchenko in the center of the capital 

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Magnolias in bloom in the Fomin Botanical Garden.

Photo by M. Ivashchenko.

The Boulevard in the early 20th century.

Central entrance to the Botanical Garden as seen from the garden.

A monument to Shchors who executed Lenin’s orders and was instrumental in establishing the tyrannical soviet power in Ukraine, at the end of boulevard. Photo of the 1950s.

As long as the monument to Lenin stands in the street named after Shevchenko in the center of the capital of an “independent” Ukraine, the soviet spirit lives and no true independence is possible. of an “independent” Ukraine, the soviet spi rit lives on and no true independence is possible. To add insult to injury, the soviets erected another monument at the other end of the street — the monument to Mykola Shchors, a Red Army general whose contribution to

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the defeat of the forces of the independent Ukraine in 1919 was probably the grea test. Is it some sort of perverse Ukrainian masochism that keeps this and other such monuments intact all across Ukraine, years after the bloodiest and most tyrannical regi me had collapsed?

Parks and relaxation But in spite of such eyesores, it is still a pleasure to take a stroll up and down the boulevard. If you begin your walk from Khre shchatyck, close your eyes passing the mon ster in granite, then, once you are past it, continue your amble along the alley that runs in the center of the street. On the right and left will be two old hotels, overhauled and restored to meet the presentday re quirements, one of the hotels not without some chic. As you move up, on the right you’ll see the Museum of Shevchenko (if you have time, pay a visit), and right opposite it, there


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A monument to Lenin, who was responsible for the Red Army invasion of the independent Ukraine, at the beginning of the Boulevard. Photo of the 1950s.

The monument to Lenin still stands, the symbol of the past that is still with us; after an attempt at disfiguring it, the communists hired military guards to protect the monument 24/7.

stands one of the buildings of the Medical University. If you take a left turn and walk a few yards, you’ll spot a Museum or Rus sian Art, and still further down the same street, there is another Museum, of Wes tern and Oriental Art. The next stop can be Shevchenko Park, the one with the monument to Shevchenko in it. Walk through the park, sit on a bench, watch the kids playing on the playground, students discussing their boyfriends and girl friends and other important matters, some students reading, eat an icecream, relax, look at the pensive poet in bronze. Having rested, move on. On the right side of the boulevard, you’ll be greeted by the bright color of the “Yellow Building” of Shev chenko University, the seat of philological learning. Progressing further, also on the right side, you can’t miss the monumental Ca thedral of St Volodymyr, the nineteenth century architectural landmark with fres

coes decorating its interior that some find attractive. On the same side of the street you’ll pass by the building of another university, but slow down and cross to the left side. Enter the Botanical Garden (named after Acade mician Fomin); it is often referred to as The Old Botanical Garden — the “new” one is located in a different part of town. It is not very big but offers an oasis of relative quiet in the hustle and bustle of the center of a big town. Its many bowers lure the weary and those who want to have some moments of serene contemplation, or those who think they are in love. If resting on one of the benches in the Garden has restored your desire to proceed walking, stroll, now literally down the street. If you walk on the left side, at the first cros sing to the left you’ll spot in the distance the building of the central railroad terminal (on the other side of the boulevard, there stands the central railroad ticket office).

As you walk down, a couple of curious looking buildings of the nineteenthearly twentieth century are observable on the right side of the boulevard. A couple of hundred yards to the bot tom of the street will take you past another hotel, and a couple of Japanese restaurants (ignore the ugly buildings on the other side). If you feel famished or if you care for Japanese food, try any of these eateries — the food seems to be of genuinely Japanese cuisine. The streets empties into a big square, with a sort of an obelisk in the center (commemorating the victory in World War II) and a circus building on one side, and a big department store (which now calls itself “mall”) and a nondescript hotel on the other side. The walk is over. Shevchenko Boulevard provides, I think, a good glimpse of how really beautiful the city of Kyiv could be if… 

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DISCOVERING

WHAT HE SAW ON HIS REGULAR WALKS IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD OF WHERE HE LIVES, TEMPTED OLES PANIV TO WRITE ABOUT THE URBAN ENVIRONMENT THAT SURROUNDS HIM. AFTER A PERIOD OF GESTATION, HE HAS COME UP WITH THE FOLLOWING STORY. OLES PANIV

Courtyard

Oases

T

here must be hundreds upon hundreds of streets in a city like Kyiv which is said to ha ve close to three million de nizens — the exact figure is difficult to establish as there are untold numbers of those who come to work or on short visits. All of these people live in apartment hous es (comparatively few, obviously, stay at ho tels). There is also a relatively small number of those lucky ones who live in private houses. All these houses have addresses tied to streets, even though the actual connection to a street may be purely symbolic. There are streets — alas very few of them, whose

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existence can be traced to the earliest times of Kyiv as a city. There are streets that have no history at all and are as new as the houses that line them up. A peep into the past I live in an apartment house that stands in a street whose origins can be traced to the late nineteen forties, but quite possibly there could have been a welltrodden path among the small private houses long before the street took a definite asphalted and built up shape. The soviets, among a great many other ide ologically motivated myths and legends and downright lies, claimed that the city of Kyiv

was very badly damaged during WWII, and thus had to be built up anew. Kyiv did find herself in the focus of fierce fighting when the invading Germans were laying siege to it in the summer and early fall of 1941, and when the Red Army was pushing the invaders out in a major counteroffensive in the fall of 1943. But there was no total devastation even though the center of town was indeed redu ced to ruins. Anyway, in the postwar reconstruction, a great many private houses were raised to the ground and new housing began to be built. For reasons which do not seem to have been clearly explained, the urban popula tion of the Soviet Union was continuously


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suffering from acute housing shortage. One of the re asons was evidently an influx of people from the coun tryside into towns, but that alone does not explain the shortage. Most of the ordinary people in Kyiv, as practically anywhere else in the Soviet Union’s urban areas, lived in apartments with two, three or more families sha ring their one kitchen, one bathroom and one toilet. For many postwar years my parents and I lived in a small room, a tiny part of a huge apartment that accommodated eight families with a total number of more than thirty people. Later in life, successive (but unfortunately not very successful) marriages kept me moving around town but for the past doz en years I stayed put at one and the same place. The house that contains my apartment dates to the mid nineteenfifties. It is one of those apartment houses that got nicknamed “khrushchovka” — that is, a house built at the time when the top communist party boss and soviet premier was Nikita Khrushchev (who succeeded Stalin after the dictator’s death in 1953 and was ousted by the conservative party appa ratchiks in 1964 for his attempts to bunglingly intro duce some reforms). Nikita Khrushchev was reputedly the one who stood behind a major construction effort to “give eve ry soviet family an apartment to live in.” Since the scale of housing construction was indeed massive, the houses, mostly fivestoried but with no elevators, had to be built as simple and unadorned as possi ble — just boxes made of bricks, the only embel lishment being the balconies. But these brownbrick khrushchovka did actually help relieve an almost desperate situation with housing. I happen to be living in one of such houses, totally faceless among many other houses of the same type in my neighborhood. But strangely enough, the street, or for that matter the whole neighborhood, are not faceless and are easily distinguishable from any other similar neighborhoods in Kyiv. It is even not without quiet, modest charm. Over the years, I’ve even grown to like it. In fact, the building I live in is one of about a doz en that form a sort of an irregular quadrilateral with unequal number of buildings forming each side, and with rather a vast courtyard in the center (there are se veral quadrilaterals of this kind in my neighborhood). Three sides of this quadrilateral stretch along three streets, and the fourth side is “washed“ by a sort of a square. One of the streets is a major thoroughfare which seems to be solidly packed with traffic jams during the rush hours. Luckily for me, my apartment faces a quieter street which, in late evening hours, is pretty much deserted, with a few people and a few cars making their infrequent appearances. In warm seasons, on occasional evenings, I spend hours on the balcony, ensconced in a chair, submerged into con templation — and sipping whisky and soda to enhan ce the contemplative mood. The majestic horse che stnut trees that rise right in front of the house (and on the opposite side of the street too) isolate me from the rest of the world by their foliage. In spring, their candlelike white and pink blossoms exude a delicate fragrance that adds an olfactory touch to the drea my mood. With only a little effort, it is very easy to ima gine oneself sitting in a bower rather than on a balcony.

Relaxed urban setting As far as I am concerned, it is the trees that make the neighborhood of “brownbricks” (rather than brown stones) livable and even pleasing to the eye — plus the small patches of unpaved ground in front of the buildings, mostly on the inner sides of the courtyard. Some of these patches have been turned into flower

beds, and some are surrounded with bushes that bloom in spring — and the ubiquitous grass provides its own color pattern (unfortunately, another ubiqu itous presence — parked cars do their damned worst to mar and destroy nature in all of its manifesta tions). In the world of gray asphalt such oases are a most welcome sight. They turn what is actually an eyesore into an eyecatcher. The buildings themselves are nondescript but the people who inhabit them (not all of them of course — those few who care) started to look for ways of “ennobling” their environment. There are no little 

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In many courtyards, laundry continues to be hung as in the times of old, on the clotheslines to dry.

They may be retired and disabled — but they swap gossip and heatedly discuss the latest news and political and local issues.

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individual, private “gardens” that people can claim as theirs — but there are patches of naked soil which could be used to give a nice green or flower touch to the otherwise bleak surroundings. After the collapse of the Soviet Union where eve rything belonged to the state, the apartments peo ple lived in were privatized but the land on which the houses stand continued to belong to the state. And the land around the houses also belongs to the state. But those patches of soil near the houses seem to be noman’s land which, as it turns out, by the ef forts of beautyloving women (according to my

observations, it is only women, mostly middleaged or older who take care of them) can be transformed into tiny oases — or at least something that breaks the dull monotony of urban settings and introduces little splashes of nature. The balconies also used to have a lot of flowers in flower boxes but now most of the balconies have been “glassed” and if there are flower pots in them, you can’t see them. Some people on the ground floors, with, I suspect, no official permission, have built bal conylike glassed extensions which sit on these no man’s land patches with flowers right next to them. The courtyard of my “quadrilateral” boasts a culture center, a house maintenance center, an edu cation supervisory board center, two children pla ygrounds, and a small football/basketball/table

tennis ground. The almost continuous string of grass andflowerandbush patches along the houses, in various degrees of care given to them, is a nice fe ature, touching by its modesty and unpretentious ness. Some parches are almost neglected, some are lavishly decorated with all sorts of kitsch bricabrac. People are not paid or “officially” encouraged in any way, for thus adorning their own and anonymous neighbors’ lives. Babusi, old women wearing headscarves, are still seen sitting on the benches near the entrance doors that have survived drunken vandalism of younger generations — the way these old women have been doing for dozens of years. I never tire of marveling (in spite of a condescen ding skepticism of some of the people I know) at such a splendid female instinct of embellishing the world around us by whatever means available to them. I don’t think my neighborhood is unique in this respect — from what I know of Kyiv you can encoun ter “cultivated” little patches of ground elsewhere too. In the countryside, hardly any peasant house is with out flowers in their front or backyards. But being not unique it definitely has a lot of things that makes it easily distinguishable — one of such features is a rela xed quiet and the abundance of eateries, food stores and drugstores. And probably the most salient fea ture — my immediate neighborhood has not been af fected by the highrise construction craze that has hit the rest of the city. Eateries, food stores and drugstores My neighborhood is located neither in the suburbs nor close to the center of town — it’s somewhere in between. It takes about an hour of a bus ride to get downtown, but it’s not the distance that takes so much time to cover, but traffic jams that slow down the trip significantly. I would not want to live in the center or anywhere near the center — my sister does. Whenever I pay a visit to her place, the aggressiveness of the glass andstone urban environment makes me shudder. My sis complains that to do food shopping she has to go long distances — most of the stores downtown sell expensive clothes, jewelry, and other such things that cannot feed you. By contrast, in my immediate neighborhood, there are seven food stores (three of them supermarkets), several fruit and vegetable and cookies kiosks, six ca fesrestaurants, five drugstores, three “stomatolo gical” (that is, dentists’) centers, three schools, one hospital — all of them within a fivetoten minute wal king distance! A few more minutes of a very leisurely perambulation takes you to a variety of other food stores and drugstores — so if you have an urgent ne ed in buying a pain killer or if you are dying of hunger, neither your headache or toothache, nor your hun ger will be lifethreatening. I really have no idea why this neighborhood is blessed with such an inordinate number of food stores and drug stores — unless one hypothesizes that the people of the neighborhood are gluttons and treatyourself freaks. In my walks, which I take for exercise, I stroll along the houses inside the quadrilaterals looking at the flowers, or at the bushes or at the grass and these little touches of Nature energize me. 


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LIFE

Captain Yury Bondar on board Kupava.

The autopilot of the yacht was of great help.

THE UKRAINIAN YACHT KUPAVA, CAPTAINED BY YURY BONDAR, BRAVED THE STORMS AND CURRENTS AND ADVERSE WINDS OF THE OCEANS FOR MORE THAN TWO YEARS. YEVHEN BUDKO TALKED MR BONDAR INTO SHARING HIS REMINISCENCES ABOUT HIS AND HIS CREW EXPERIENCES. COURTESY OF

It

KUPAVA’S

Braving

was in May 2011 that the Kupava returned back to Ukraine. The captain Yury Bondar kept refusing to give interviews, saying that the successful circumnavigation of the earth was the achievement of his crew rather than of his, but at last we met at Kyiv’s Yacht Club, the birthplace of yacht Kupava. Mr Bondar, was it the Kupava that was the first Ukrainian yacht to circumnavigate the earth? No, it was not. The Ikar from the Ukrainian city of Mykolayiv was the first one. It happened back in the soviet times. The yachts Odesa200 and Hetman Sahaydachny took part in the roundthe

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CREW

world race in 1993–1994, and the yacht Lelitka circumnavigated the earth in 1994–1998. Some other Ukrainian yachts also took long sea voyages. But we were the first to travel around the world moving from east to west rather than west to east, as it is done traditionally. Any special reason for that? Not really. We thought it would be more fun to break the tra dition. Traveling from west to east is sort of assisted by the prevai ling winds. Did the reversal of the traditional westeast direction cause any problems? Well, yes, it did. At some parts of call, we were referred to as “those crazy Ukrainians.”


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the Oceans Were you actually the first to circumnavigate the world on a yacht moving east rather than west? No, we were not. I know of about half a dozen yachts that had done the same. And I can tell you this fromeasttowest sailing did cause us certain problems. It took a lot of maneuvering to avoid fierce storms and use favorable winds. How and when did you come up with the idea of circumnavi gating the earth on a yacht? We sailed in 2009, but we had been toying with the idea for quite some time. Initially, Andriy Zubenko, a good friend of mine, and me, we thought of paying a visit to a friend of ours, Ihor Myronenko, who lives in Australia. It was with him that we had built our yacht

Kupava. Then we thought we would go to Antarctica, to the Uk rainian polar station there, called Akademik Vernadsky. One should sail to Antarctica from the Northern Hemisphere in late fall to get there in summer — you remember that when we have winter they, in the Southern Hemisphere, have summer? We began doing repairs at the yacht. We put in a new mast, new engine, and formed a crew. It included Valery Deymontovych, a sci entist, Mykhaylo Illenko, a film director, Andriy Zubenko, a spe cialist in navigation and logistics, and me, a designer of yachts. Incidentally, Mykhaylo Illenko could join us because the filming of his FireCrosser had gotten stalled — the economic crisis robbed the staterun film studio for which he worked, of funds. 

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This crab was presented to the crew by Chilean fishermen.

Were there any changes in the crew during the voyage? There were. In fact, we had planned the replacements beforehand. When we got to Ar gentina, the oldest members of the crew, Illenko and Deymontovych, were replaced by Hennadiy Starykov and Viktor Kopayhorodsky. Illenko was then 62 and Deymontovych 73. Well, I was not too far behind — I was 59. But some time later Hennadiy and Viktor got off the yacht too, and it was only Andriy and I who were left to proceed on our journey. Still later, when we got to the Mediterra nean, we picked still another member of the crew, Oleh Panchuk. He is the head of a Kyiv yacht club. We stayed in Israel for some time doing some repairs — the storms had taken their toll. So we returned to Ukraine with a crew of three.

Kupava at the port of Ushuaia, which happens to be the southernmost town in the world.

Yury Illenko and Yury Bondar at the moment of crossing the equator .

As far as I know, Mykhaylo Illenko, a director, filmed the opening shots for his movie FireCrosser in Argentina. Yes, he did! And I attended the premiere. I knew, of course, what the film was about — during the journey we had discussed the plot with Mykhaylo. I did like the film. It’s about a Ukrainian pilot whose plane gets shot down by the Germans during the Second World War. He survives the crash, German cap tivity and the Soviet concentration camp and makes his way to Canada where he be comes the chief of an Indian tribe. Quite a story! And based on the real facts too! I know that Cape Horn is considered to be a tough place to go round in a yacht. Did you encounter any problems doing that? Well, yes. The first time we tried to do that, we failed because of a ferocious storm. The dominant winds blow from west to east and we were sailing from east to west and that did make the sailing a pretty tough bu siness sometimes. And Cape Horn did claim quite a few human lives. We sailed past it at night when the storm had abated a little. And once we got into the Pacific Ocean,

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At the beginning of our journey, the total age of the 4 people of our crew added up to 235 years.

we did our best to avoid being hit by cyclones which are a frequent occurrence there. We kept monitoring the weather situation thanks to the Internet and a cell phone with the satellite con nection. Those sailors who braved the oceans in ear lier times did not have any such aids. Yes, I never stop wondering how they managed to sail across the oceans without GPS, computers on board, detailed maps and cell phones! Did you ever sail long distances without all those things? Yes, I did. To mark the 500th anniversary of Co lumbus’ discovery of America, we sailed to Puerto Rico following the route that had been taken by Columbus. We used the sextant and oriented our selves by the stars and the sun. Which was the worst storm you survived? In the Black Sea! During that storm two big ships sank. In the oceans, the waves may get to be enor mous, but our yacht rode them almost with ease. The sudden gusts of wind were probably the worst things we experienced. The yacht was equipped with a device that kept us on course and we could spend a lot of time in the deckhouse in order to avoid getting too wet in storms. Once your clothes get

soaked in salt water, no matter how thoroughly you dry them, they absorb dampness real fast. Did you sail upstream along the Dnipro River to get to Kyiv after you had come to the Black sea? We did. But it took us quite a long time — we stopped much too often on the way to meet friends. 

Bondar, Kopayhorodsky and Starykov at the island which could have been the place where Robinson Crusoe spent so much of lonely time at.

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Sailing from east to west rather than from west to east, as is traditional in circumnavigating the globe, did cause some problems. At some ports of call, we were referred to as “those crazy Ukrainians”.

Andriy Zubenko with a tuna fish.

And everywhere we stopped, we were given a sort of a hero wel come — at one place even with a brass orchestra. Who sponsored the voyage? We put in a lot of our own money and we borrowed money too — and there were quite a few free donations. We are grateful to all those who donated money for our voyage. Also, we received donations in the form of canned food — the crew of the yacht Myr in the city of Zaporizhzhya, for example, gave us a hundred cans of meat. A businessman from the city of St Pe tersburg not only treated us to an excellent dinner at a restaurant but also gave us a large sum of money. Was it before you sailed? No! When we stopped at Easter Island we met this Russian busi nessman there! Of course it would be very helpful if we had had a

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Valery Deymontovych in Rio de Janeiro.

big sponsor who would finance the whole trip, but on the other hand we were not obliged to anyone for anything — except ourselves. Are you married? And if you are — how did your wife take your twoyear absence from home? Yes, I’m married, and my wife is a great person. Her support, in many senses of the word, was one of the ingredients of our success. I’m very grate ful to her. Did you have a chance to do some sightseeing at the places where you stopped for some time? We did. At some places we had to stay for rather long stretches of time doing repairs. After Cape Horn, we stopped at an Argentinean port to get a new screw and it took over a month to get through all the redtape to come into possession of that screw which we had ordered from Canada. When you are at sea, all you get to see is water — and we wanted to see the world and the people too. Incidentally, we never got to Antarctica as we had planned — it was already too cold and too dark to go there. Are there particular experiences that you had during the voyage that you might want to tell about? Oh, there are so many things that I could tell you about — but OK, there is one that seems to be particularly memorable. Not far from Tahiti, which is visited by many tourists, we stopped at an atoll. It was a small island in the middle of nowhere. The locals collect pearls from their pearl plantations, sell them and earn a lot of money. We got acquainted with one of the locals, a German who had served in the French Foreign Legion, retired and now is into growing shells that have pearls in them. He proved to be a very interesting person. We helped him to repair his house and stayed with him for quite a while. You mentioned that a part of the journey you sai led with only one other crew member on board — was it very difficult to manage the sails of a mo dern yacht with only four hands? It was not easy but we managed somehow. You see, our yacht was originally designed for racing, and not for long journeys across the oceans. We had to install a lot of additional equipment to make it sailable for circumnavigating the earth, and with all that equipment there was very little room for four people to feel anywhere near comfortable. So, when we were four of us, the conditions were cram ped, and when we were only two of us, it felt much more comfortable. Of course, we had many things to do between us two. But we had a lot of devices that made it easier to handle the sails. How much time each of you had to be on duty, so to say? We had threehour shifts, alternating between “work” and “rest”. We did not get enough sleep at

night, and we could sleep during the day, but there was too much light to sleep in the daytime. We coo ked, fished, took photographs. You did not run into pirates, did you? We almost ran into Somali pirates but the wea ther helped — when we were in the most dangerous waters, the weather was so bad that the pirates did not prowl too far from the coast. It was the only storm that we were glad to experience. But we did get a lot of warnings that pirates ope rated in many other places along the coasts of Af rica. We saw a catamaran riddled with bullet holes. We learnt that a similar vessel had been attacked by pirates and its captain killed. So we tried to keep a very low profile. We got arrested several times, by different local and international authorities who were suspicious and wanted to check who we really were, but we were soon released when those who arrested us as certained the nature of our mission, our peaceful and so to say legal status. Is there any place that you would like to visit as a tourist? Yes. I want to take a good look at the great Ame rican lakes that are located between the USA and Canada. A friend in Canada has invited me to come over for a visit. Do you happen to know what the former crew members are doing now? As far as I know, Mykhaylo Illenko is working on a documentary film about our expedition. An driy Zubenko is writing a book about it. Hennadiy Starykov has been invited to captain a chartered vessel. I am planning to design and build a new yacht to sail to Canada. 

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PERSONALITY A CLOSEUP Admiral Yury Lysyansky. A portrait by Volodymyr Borovykovsky. 1810.

FERDINAND MAGELLAN WAS A PORTUGUESE NAVIGATOR WHO WAS THE FIRST TO CIRCUMNAVIGATE THE GLOBE. THE FIRST UKRAINIAN WHO PERFORMED THIS FEAT WAS YURY LYSYANSKY. NATALYA MYKHAILOVA HAS PROBED INTO THE PAST TO SEE WHO THIS UKRAINIAN WAS AND WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES BROUGHT HIM TO THE SEA, AND NOW SHE TELLS THE READERS WHAT SHE HAS DISCOVERED.

The First Ukrainian Who Circumnavigated the Earth

The bust of Yury Lysyansky in the town of Nizhyn.

It

is but natural to begin a story of one’s life from mentioning where and when the protagonist of the story was born. We shall not break this enduring tradition though we realize that in the world of such rapid changes such a tra dition may seem a bit outdated.

Yury Lysyansky was born in the town of Ni zhyn on August 13, 1773. Nizhyn is proud to list a number of prominent personalities who were born, lived or studied there. Among them were Mykola (Nikolai) Go gol, the 1 9thcentury Ukrainian writer and the great classic of Russian literature; Ivan Maz epa, the hetman who fought for Ukrainian in dependence but lost the decisive battle in 1708.


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UKRAINE IN FACTS AND FIGURES Yury Lysyansky’s father was a priest of old Cos sack extraction. He managed to win the status of a nobleman, and thought that his son should be edu cated at the Navy Cadet Corps in St Petersburg. Yury must have expressed a wish to go to sea and his father obliged. Yury proved to be a diligent and successful student and his progress in studies put him at the top of his class. He made friends with a student of German extraction, Adam Johann Krusenstern, who prefer red to be addressed as Ivan. Yury and Ivan stayed close friends until the end of their studies. They both joined the Navy and fought bravely in naval engagements during the RussoSwedish war of 1788–1790, in the Battle of Sitka, in particular. Both Yury and Ivan rose through the ranks and distinguished themselves enough to be noticed by the Russian Empress Catherine the Great. She thought that the two young officers should con tinue their training and studies in Britain, then the strongest naval power in the world.

Next, they made landfall on the coast of India and stayed there for three months. And again Ly syansky used the opportunity to see as much of the country as he could. There was enough time to see the country, and Indian nature and the people seemed to be very exotic and unusual. In 1799, the ship he served on, went on a journey to Australia, the continent exploration of which was just beginning. On his return to Britain, Lysyansky hoped to stay in service and carry on further journeys, but in the early nineteenth century the political situation in Europe showed signs of approaching wars, and the then Emperor Pavel I, whose good judgment and even mental stability was often questioned, severed diplomatic relations with Britain and or dered all the Russian subjects there to immedia tely return to Russia. In Russia Russia made attempts to establish her coloni es in North America in the eighteenth century,

Ivan (Adam Johann) Krusenstern. A portrait by an unknown artist. Mid 19th century. The sloopsofwar Nadezhda (Hope) and Neva. A painting by Yevgeniy Voyshvillo and Borys Starodubtsev. 1986.

In Britain Lysyansky stayed in Britain for over five years. During 17931799 he sailed British ships to ma ny parts of the globe. Once, during one of the vo yages, his ship found herself in need of repairs, and she docked at one of the ports of the US eas tern coast. Lysyansky used the opportunity to tra vel and visited Boston, Philadelphia and New York. He was fascinated with the social and political organization of the country, which, in his opinion, was supported and guaranteed by the efficient ad ministration, effective laws and high morality. Quakers of Philadelphia made a particularly las ting impression on him. It was in Philadelphia, in 1795, that he was honored with being granted an audience with George Washington, the first president of the United States of America. Lysyansky found Washington to be an earnest, open and friendly person. On the way back to Britain, the ship Lysyansky was on, visited the Cape of Good Hope and he had a chance to learn a lot about the way of life of the Dutch colonists there.  The map that shows the route of the first Russian expedition that circumnavigated the globe in 1803–1806; the expedition was captained by Ivan Krusenstern and Yury Lysyansky.

The Ukrainian postage stamp released in commemoration of Yury Lysyansky.

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Photo by James Watt.

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One of the Hawaiian monk seals near the island named after Yury Lysyansky.

It took Yury Lysyansky 3 years to circumnavigate the globe and it took only 142 days to travel from Canton (Guangzhou), China, to Portsmouth, Great Britain — a record at that time.

Lisianski Island (in Hawaiian — Papa’apoho) is one of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

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and small Russian settlements did start to appear in Alaska and on the western coast of what today is the United States. Ivan Krusenstern worked out a plan of a naval expedition around the globe which would, among other places, visit Alaska, but nobody high enough in the imperial hierarchy seemed to be interested. But then a highranking official, Nikolai Reza nov entered the scene. He had risen high back in the time of Catherine the Great, and strengthen ed his standing by marrying a daughter of Gregoriy Shelikhov, who was one of the three major traders in fur between Russia and the Aleutian Islands. Rezanov went further and founded the Russian American Company, among whose stockholders were members of the Russian Imperial family. A curious aside: Back in the 1980s, one of the first soviet rock operas, Yunona and Avos, was ba sed on the fictionalized life story of Nikolai Reza nov, the central theme being his love for a young American girl – they meet and part, and the pro tagonist dies tragically; the disconsolate girl wa its for her paramour for thirty years and then ta kes the veil and the vow of silence. As a matter of fact, there is some historical truth behind the story. And now we go back to our story about Lysyan sky and the circumstances which put him aboard the ship that would circumnavigate the globe.

Rezanov was appointed by the Russian Emperor Alexander I to be his envoy to Japan. At that time, the idea of an expedition to circumnavigate the globe was very much on the agenda and the czar offered Rezanov to head the expedition — he must have thought it would be a dignified way for Re zanov, the imperial envoy, to arrive in Japan. Rezanov accepted the offer, probably hoping that the journey and his new post in a faraway country would help distract from mourning the tragic loss of his wife who had died in delivery of a child. The two captains of the two ships that were to sail, were to be Krusenstern and Lysyansky. The ships, sloopsofwar, had been purchased from Britain and were christened Nadezhda (Hope) and Neva (for the Neva River). The ships sailed from Krondstadt, a Russian mi litary base on Kotlin Island in the Gulf of Finland in the Baltic, not far from the capital, St Petersburg. From Krondstadt to Hawaii Lysyansky was a captain who, on top of his good knowledge of the sea and of all else that a captain should know, took a good care of his crew, making sure that enough food and water and other necessary things were stocked for the journey. He saw to it that the living conditions of the crew were tolerable and he treated them with respect — and respect they reciprocated. The trip across the Atlantic, the crossing of the Equator, which was celebrated on board in a tra ditional colorful ceremony, was not free of tense moments but the ship was spared severe tests of violent storms. The Neva successfully reached Cape Horn, the southernmost point of South America that extends


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into Drake Passage, and passed through the Antarctic strait from the South Atlantic into the South Pacific. It was during that passa ge in the usually turbulent strait that the two ships got separated and lost sight of each other. Lysyansky’s Neva sailed on and found herself in the vicinity of Easter Island, a place of mysteries. The island was named by a Dutch explorer who landed there on Eas ter Day in 1722. It is a rich site of the megaliths and the only source of evidence of a form of writing in Polynesia. Very little is known about the people who made the megaliths, and Lysyansky must have wondered too who created those huge sculptures. He conducted astronomical ob servations and introduced corrections into the geographical coordinates of the island’s location which, before him, had been estab lished by the English captain James Cook ear lier in the eighteenth century. It was only at the Polynesian island of Nuka Hiva that Lysyansky’s ship sighted Kru senstern’s Nadezhda, and from there they sailed on together to the Hawaiian Islands. During their stay there, Lysyansky tried to learn, the way he did in all of his journeys, as much as possible about the life of the locals, their customs and religion. He even compiled a dictionary of one of the local languages. He went to see the beach at Kea lakekua, the place where James Cook had been slain by the Polynesian natives. Lysy ansky’s visit did not stir any trouble. Krusenstern’s Nadezhda sailed on to Kam chatka and then to Japan, and Lysyansky’s Neva sailed to Alaska. Lysyansky made land fall at the Island of Kodiak, the largest island of the Kodiak archipelago, in the Gulf of Alaska. The archipelago had been explored about 1762 by a Russian fur trader, Stepan Gottov. The first Russian colony in North America was founded in 1784 at Three Saints Bay, on southeastern Kodiak Island, and until 1804 the colony was the center of Russian activity in Alaska. In 1867, when the United States purchased Alaska from Russia, Ko diak became an American possession. Lysyansky arrived at the time of trouble. The guns of his sloopofwar played a de cisive role in defeating the hostile Tlingit na tives in the Battle of Sitka. Afterwards, the trading station of the RussianAmerican Com pany got renamed into Novoarkhangelsk. Lysyansky was scandalized to discover that the Native Americans were badly trea ted by the Russian traders and colonists. The trade, he thought, was unfair — for costly furs they were paid with tobacco, beads and all sorts of cheap bricabrac, but his pro testations fell on deaf ears. With precious furs as its cargo, the Neva sailed to China where, at one of the ports, Lysyansky was to meet Krusenstern.

On the way to his destination, Lysyan sky discovered a small island whose only in habitants were seals (called Hawaiian monk seals) and sea turtles. It happened on Oc tober 15 1805. The island was named after Yury Lysyansky (spelled Lisiansky Island). Lisianski Island (in Hawaiian it is called Papa‘apoho) is one of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, with a land area of almost 156 hectares (384.425 acres) and a ma ximum elevation of 12 meters (40 feet above sea level. It is a low, flat sand and coral island about 905 nautical miles (1,676 km) northwest of Honolulu. Linked to Lisianski are also the extensive shoals which are called Neva Shoals. Access to this volcanic island is limited by helicopter or by boat to a narrow sandy inlet on the southeastern side of the island. Lysyansky reported the Island to be of lit tle interest, except its surrounding reefs and shoals that posed a threat to passing vessels. Return In November of 1805, the two ships at last met and from Macau they sailed first to Canton (Guangzhou) together and then back home — across the Indian Ocean, around the Cape of Good Hope, the southernmost tip of Africa. On the way back home, the ships separated in dense fog. In early 1806, the Russian and French relations were open ly hostile and both captains tried to avoid encountering French warships. Krusenstern chose to sail around the Bri tish Isles choosing a northern route and Ly syansky risked sailing on to Portsmouth in Britain. It took his ship 142 days to get from Canton to Portsmouth, a record at that time. It was only in August 1806 that Lysyan sky’s Neva arrived at Krondstadt. Krusen stern arrived there two days later.

For this feat Lysyansky was awarded in various ways, including the decoration with the Order of Saint Vladimir of 3rd degree. Krusenstern returned to civilian life and became one of the founders of the Russian Geographic Society, but Lysyansky continu ed to serve in the Imperial Navy. For his ex cellent captainship, he was presented a golden sword by the Neva crew. Lysyansky wrote a book about his travels with his circumnavigation trip taking the cent ral part of his story. He failed to get money from the state to get the book published (the language of his narrative was deemed to be “not academic enough,” plus some of the highranking officials of the RussianAmeri can Company who had a grudge against him for some of his utterances) and had to pay for the publication with his own money. Lysyansky retired from the navy in 1809. His book appeared in 1812 and was the first treatise in Russian about Hawaii. In 1824 he went on a visit to the town of Nizhyn in Ukraine and at the hymnaziya of which he had been a student, he was given a hero’s welcome. Lysyansky died on March 6, 1837 and was buried at Lazarev Cemetery of the St Ale xander Nevsky Monastery in St Petersburg. The fame of Krusenstern overshadowed Lysyansky, who in fact should be given cre dit, in equal measure with Krusenstern, for being one of the two first captains who cir cumnavigated the globe. A number of places are named after Ly syansky: Lisianski Island in the Northwes tern Hawaiian Islands; a peninsula of Bara nof Island, Alaska; a bay; a strait; a river; a cape in North America; an undersea moun tain in Okhotsk Sea (discovered in the 1959s), and a peninsula by the Okhotsk Sea. 

Lisianski (Lysyansky) Inlet, Southeast Alaska.

Photo by Joseph UMNAK.

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DISCOVERING

A Charming THERE IS A TOWN IN WESTERN UKRAINE WHICH IS OFTEN REFERRED TO AS “THE GATEWAY TO THE CARPATHIAN MOUNTAINS.” THE TOWN IS CALLED IVANO-FRANKIVSK. RECENTLY, YEVHEN BUDKO AND MARYNA GUDZEVATA, MIZHNARODNY TURYZM AND WELCOME TO UKRAINE SENIOR EDITORS, VISITED IVANO-FRANKIVSK AND DID DISCOVER THAT THE TOWN DOES DESERVE SUCH A REFERENCE. MYKOLA IVASHCHENKO, MARYNA GUDZEVATA

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Rotunda with a fountain and the figure of the Virgin Mary was built at the Sheptytsky Square to mark the 2000 years of Christianity.

Monument to Ivan Franko in the city center.

Place

I

vanoFrankivsk is situated in the land of Halychyna, and the local culture clearly shows in its appearance. . We found it to be a very friendly and even charming place. When later we sha red our impressions with friends who had been to or lived in IvanoFrankivsk, we dis covered that they were of the same opinion. The town has retained much of its old appearance and

has not been badly marred by nondescript or dow nright ugly housing blocks of the soviet times. The town hall remains to be the tallest building in town. We could not figure out what actually makes the atmosphere of the town so special. There is absolutely no provinciality in it, but at the same time there is no hustle and bustle, annoyingly ty pical of any major urban centre (IvanoFrankivsk with a population of 250,000 people cannot be called a small town, but neither is it a big city). One of the first very favorable impressions for us was the price of meals in restaurants. For a gorgeously delicious dish of trout we paid two times less than we would have paid in Kyiv. Of course, it was only one, and not the most important facet of the town. A considerably greater impression was made on us by the way the locals talk. Firstly, it is very good Ukrainian, not a garbled mixture of Ukrainian and Russian that you hear so often in Kyiv, and secondly, people express themsel ves clearly and intelligently. And this observation is not limited to intellectuals only. Everybody talks like this — teachers, florists, waitresses, cab dri vers, and shop assistants. A bit of history The official date of the town’s foundation is May 7, 1662 when the town was granted self government under the Magdeburg Law. Andrzei 

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Market Square in IvanoFrankivsk is one of the three squares preserved from old times in Ukraine. The roof of the town hall is gilded which makes it quite unique among other town halls of Europe..


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Sculptures presented to IvanoFrankivsk by artists who take part in the annual Fest of Blacksmiths.

Potocky, a Polish land magnate, is credited with having been the town’s founder. The town was originally called Stanislaviv (in ho nor of either Potocky’s son, Stanislaw, or his father, of the same name). At the site of the future town there had stood an old Ukrainian village, Zabolottya, the first mention of which in chronicles da tes back to the year 1437. There is enough evidence to suggest that the history of the place goes back into still earlier centuries.

In the 17th century, Potocky had a fort ress built, and later in its vicinity there arose a town hall, churches, mansions of the no bility and modest houses of the lower clas ses. A market place sprawled in front of the town hall. The Potocky family left their mark on the city. One of the Potockys was a suppor ter of the controversial Ukrainian Hetman Ivan Mazepa, the one who, in the hope of making Ukraine independent, sided up with

the Swedish King Charles XII, but was de feated together with the king by the Russi an forces of Peter I. The town was badly damaged in that SwedishRussian war. The wife of Pylyp Orlyk, one of Mazepa’s gene rals, for many years lived in the Potockys’ palace. Pylyp Orlyk was the author of one of the first written European constitutions (alas, it was never implemented in Ukraine); later he became a general of the French army. In 1772, after the partition of Poland among Russia, Austria and Prussia, Stani slaviv found itself under the Austrian rule. The town if not exactly prospered but de veloped quite well. The Revolution of 1848 brought to it a lot of positive political and economic changes. Ukrainian national and feministic movements began to gather mo mentum. Ukrainian, German, Polish and Je wish schools were opened, a housing con struction boom gave the town many fine buildings, particularly at the end of the 19th century. There are excellent examples of the Ugendstil (also called Sezession, Style Modern; Art Nouveau) among the town’s architectural landmarks. Ivan Franko and Stanislaviv Ivan Franko, a prominent Ukrainian wri ter, public figure and scholar of the late 19thearly 20th centuries, after whom 

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In the IvanoFrankivsk Art Museum (formerly a Catholic Church, a burial place of the Potockys).

In the 1970s, the old section of town adjacent to Market Square was under a threat of being torn down but the public opinion was dead against it, and it was saved from destruction. the town is now named, never lived there but visited it quite often and found it to be a nice place. He even contemplated coming to live there but he never did. Stanislaviv was the place where the three women whom he loved, lived at least for some time. Ivan Franko made an outstanding contribution to the develop ment of the Ukrainian national awareness. What Taras Shevchenko started in the first half of the 19th century, Franko continued at the turn of the centuries. The Revolution of 1917 in Russia, the subsequent collapse of the Russian Empire and the Bolshevik coup were momentous events which changed the destiny of Ukraine. The national libera tion movement in Ukraine culminated in the establishment of the Ukrainian People’s Republic in the east of the country and of the Western Ukrainian People’s Republic in the west in 1919. It is not accidental that it was in Stanislaviv where the decision to unite the two independent Ukrainian states into one was taken — the town was the seat of the Ukrainian National Council. The further history of Ukraine was tragic. Its eastern part was occupied by the Bolsheviks, not without the help of the local com munist sympathizers, and the western part found itself once again under the Polish rule.

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Nezalezhnosti (Independence) Street, the central street of IvanoFrankivsk.

In March 1939, in still another bid for inde pendence, Zakarpatska (TransCarpathian) Uk raine proclaimed itself independent and its army, Karpatska Sich which included many volunteers from Halychyna, operated in western Ukraine against the Polish troops. When the Soviet troops occupied eastern Po land (in accordance with a secret protocol of the GermanSoviet NonAggression Pact of 1939), they were enthusiastically welcomed in Stanisla viv. Little did the people of Western Ukraine know what was to follow — firing squads, deporta tions, concentration camps and other features of

the soviet regime imposed upon the “liberated” lands. Stanislaviv was turned into a regular Soviet town with a monument of Lenin in its centre. Brainwa shing from the preschool age to the grave was introduced, and “struggle against the Ukrainian bourgeois nationalism” was launched. The town was given a new name commemo rating Ivan Franko who was considered by the so viets to have been “a revolutionary” and as such worthy to be remembered. In 1989, two years before the collapse of the Soviet Union, IvanoFrankivsk saw yellowblue 

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Ukrainian national flags hoisted at its main squa re. The Ukrainian national movement was gaining momentum, Ukrainian independence was near. Architectural landmarks Rynkova Ploshcha (Market Square) is one of the three squares preserved from old times in Ukraine: there is one in Lviv, one in KamyanetsPodilsky and one in lvanoFrankivsk. The 50meter tall building of the town hall is relatively new — it was built in 1935; the three previous ones were destroyed by fires and wars. The block, a place for beheading people, sat in the square as late as in the 18th cen tury. Now fountain that peacefully splashes water right at the spot where this “block” had stood, does not remind us in anyway of its macabre pre decessor. The roof of the town hall is gilded which makes it quite unique among other town halls of Europe. In the 1970s, the old section of town adjacent to the Market Square was under a threat of being torn down but the public opinion was dead against it, and it was saved from destruction. Later, res toration work began, and by now almost all the houses have been restored. The oldest surviving church in IvanoFrankivsk dates to 1703 (its construction was begun in 1672). Several of the Potockys were buried in the vaults of the church. The Potocky Castle, dating from the end of the 17th century, is another lan dmark that keeps the memory of the past alive. The Armenian Church (1742–1762) in the late Baroque style, was turned by the Soviets in to a propaganda museum of history of religion and atheism. After Ukraine regained indepen dence in 1991, it became a place of worship again, but since there were practically no Armenians left in town, the church was given to the Ukrainian Au tocephalous Church. From the earlier times, the church preserved frescoes executed by a Polish pa inter Jan Soliecki and wooden sculptures carved by the Ukrainian artist Matviy Poleyovsky. The Svyatovoskresensky Cathedral of the Uk rainian Greek Catholic Church boasts an imposing iconostasis which was created in 1901. Andriy She ptytsky, a prominent church figure and ardent Ukrainian patriot, conducted religious services in this cathedral at the time when he was bishop of Stanislaviv. Scenic parks of the town are among its most attractive features and as such should be mentio ned. The lake in one of the parks with the “Island of Love” in the centre of it makes it a particularly picturesque place. Blacksmiths’ Fest The Fest of Blacksmiths was first held in Ivano Frankivsk in 2001, and since then it has been held annually. In fact, it’s an international event with blacksmiths coming from across Ukraine and from abroad to show their skills. The Fest, held in May, lasts for several days and is one of the biggest events of its kind in Eastern Europe. It has become a tradition for the smiths who come to attend the Fest to create all sorts of me tal sculptures. For their contributions, the smiths

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In the city center of IvanoFrankivsk.

are awarded all sorts of prizes and appreciation certificates The sculptures are then presented to IvanoFran kivsk on the Day of the City which is also celebra ted in May. In this manner the smiths demonstra te their skills and art, and express their gratitude to IvanoFrankivsk for hospitality. The sculptures are installed at the picturesque places in IvanoFrankivsk and add a nice touch to its streets and parks. The unveilings of the sculp tures attract a lot of locals and guests. As to the town’s charm which we felt right at the beginning of our sojourn there, we came to the opinion that it is not so much the town’s archi tecture and parks but rather the people of Ivano Frankivsk that create this special atmosphere of friendliness and benevolence which one can’t help experiencing. 


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DISCOVERING

Carpathian HANNA CHALOVA TAKES THE READERS TO THE MAJOR MINERAL WATER SPAS IN THE CARPATHIANS, PROVIDING ALL SORTS OF TIPS, INCLUDING SPECIALIZATIONS OF EACH SPA AND PROPERTIES OF THE MINERAL WATER EACH OF THEM OFFERS.

Spas

HANNA CHALOVA

U

kraine boasts over 500 mi neral water sources, with 80 of them being actively used by 50 spas. There are medical centers that use these mineral waters provi ding therapeutic baths and all sorts of medical treatment. Mineral water is also bottled and sold at super markets across the country. One of the major mineral water centers in Ukra ine is the area of the Carpathian Mountains. We shall move from place to place in that area, providing highlights of each.

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Skhidnytsya The mineral waters in Skhidnytsya are good for treating: chronic cholecystitis, kidney and liver; dys function of the gall passages and of the gallbladder itself; chronic hepatitis, chronic pancreatitis, chro nic cystitis, diabetes and other diseases. Skhidnytsya sits in the valley among the moun tains. The air is balmy, the mountain sights are gor geous. The surroundings are of the kind that you want to never stop enjoying their beauty — and if you have a camera with you, keep snapping pictures. But it’s not only the mineral water and the sights that Skhidnytsya boasts — not far from it there are ruins of an ancient fortress, Tustan, and in the


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neighboring village of Urych, you find a museum de voted to Tustan. I was told that the village of Skhidnytsya used to be called Zolota Banya (Golden Dome). During the Mongol invasion of the thirteenth century, the village was burned down, but later, the peo ple who had fled into the mountains, began to skhodytysya, that is “to gather” — to move back to the village. Hence the name — Skhidnytsya, that is a place where people come together. Skhidnytsya offers 13 mineral water sources (of the Naftusya kind). There are restaurants, sto res and a local market that provide meals, food and entertainment. It used to be a very quiet place, but as the num ber of tourists and health seekers keeps growing, it has turned into a rather bustling center. The prices for rooms at the hotels and medical centers vary but they are comparatively affordable. The prices depend on the season and on the me dical course of treatment you opt for. Skhidnytsya is next door to the national nature park Skolivski Beskydy. The city of Lviv, the cultural center of Western Ukraine, is not far either.

Notfar from Truskavets (4 kilometers, or less than 3 miles), is located the town of Boryslav, known, among other things, for the substance called “ozo kerite” — naturally occurring odoriferous mineral wax or paraffin (locals call it “mountain or black wax”) offered for sale to treat inflammations. It has an tiseptic properties and is good in treatment of the organs of digestion, the body locomotive system (for example, arthritis, osteochondrosis, etc), and the genital system. Truskavets is also known for its salt, called Bar bara which is produced from local highlyminera lized brine and which can be used in treatment of the gallbladder which can help prevent invasive surgery. Truskavets offers a wide variety of hotels and other kinds of accommodation. The sprawling me dical center includes a diagnostic center and spas. 

Truskavets The mineral waters in Truskavets are good for treating: kidneys and the urinary tract; digestive sy stem; cardiovascular system; the respiratory organs; skin and the locomotive system. Truskavets is a town, not a village. Its central at traction is the mineral water called Naftusya. It is described as hydrocarbonate, magnesiumcalcium water with low level of mineralization but with a high content of organic substances which are byproducts of natural oil. Truskavets has 14 mineral water sources, each source with its own name: Naftusya, Yuzya, Mariya, Sofiya, Bronislava, to name but a few. The mineral water center in Morshyn. The Hotel Mirotel, recently opened in Truskavets.

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Interior of MedPalace in Truskavets. Carpathia Health Center in Shayan.

The prices vary depending on the season, the kind of treatment you choose, the kind of food you want to have, and locality. Truskavets seems to never stop growing but luckily it is not losing its relaxing and benevolent atmosphere. Morshyn The mineral waters in Morshyn are good for tre ating: chronic hepatitis, chronic cholecystitis, pan creatic remissions, gall stones, digestive system,


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ulcers of the stomach and duodenum; digestive sy stem; dysfunctions of metabolism; liver; locomo tive system and urinary tract; obesity; neuroses. Morshyn can easily compete with such spas as Carlsbad. There is evidence that as long ago as in the fifteenth century, the locals knew of the medi cinal properties of the mineral water and used it for treatment of health problems. Morshyn is a small town which, in spite of its sta tus of a major mineral water spa, has preserved its quiet disposition. The properties of the mineral water sources dif fer a little but most of them share enough of proper ties to be called Morshynska. The Morshynska mineral water contains a lot of hydrocarbonates and sulphates. Morshyn offers a great variety of places where you can stay; there are a lot of what used to be cal led “sanatoriy�, built in the soviet times which com bine accommodation with medical treatment. But there are quite modern hotels too, with sophis ticated, allinclusive services to choose from. The prices vary depending on the season, tre atment and location of the place you stay at. Guided tours are organized to visit the lake of Synevyr, the Pochayivska Lavra Monastery and other tourist sites.

which are good for dealing with the abnormal aci dity of the stomach and for purging all sorts of obno xious substances from the body. The oldest accommodation and treatment cen ter in Polyana is 130 years old. Besides medical treatment, Polyana offers moun tain skiing facilities. Those who like mushroom hunting and gathe ring will find Polyana in spring an ideal place to go to. Solochyn The mineral waters in Solochyn are good for tre ating: chronic diseases of the digestive system; liver and gallbladder, diabetes; metabolism dysfunctions; respiratory and cardiovascular problems; diseases of the central and periphery nervous systems. This village is located in a highly picturesque pla ce surrounded by scenic mountains. ďƒ§

Polyana The mineral waters in Polyana are good for tre ating: digestive system; stomach ulcers; liver and gallstones; spine, joints and muscle diseases. The village of Polyana is located in a valley sur rounded by forested mountain ridges and the beau ty of the location enhances the effects of medical treatment. The two main attractions of Polyana are its mi neral waters, Polyana Kvasova and Polyana Kupel

One of the pools at MedPalace in Truskavets.


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Kvitka Polonyny Health Center in Solochyn.

Solochyn offers 15 mineral water sources, most of which are located at the village’s edge. One of the sources, at the foot of Tesanyk Mount, has excellent medicinal properties but does not smell or taste too good because of the high content of sulfur and hydrogen. Some people pinch their noses when they drink it — but it works! Mostly, for medical treatment purposes, hydro carbonatesodium mineral waters used are: Luzhan ska4, Luzhanska7, and Polyana Kvasova. Solochyn is a place which is attractive at any ti me of the year — mountain hikes, mushroom hun ting, mountain skiing are on the agenda in addition to mineral water treatment. Herbal tea is a local specialty. Borzhava The mineral waters in Borzhava are good for treating: chronic diseases of the digestive tract; locomotive system; diseases of the central and periphery nervous systems; cardiovascular dis eases; the respiratory tract; the endocrine system; metabolism dysfunctions; the endocrine system; periphery vessels; varicose veins.

This spa is located right in the center of the Land of Zakarpattya on the bank of the mountain river Borzhava. The area is reputed to be ecologically clean. The mineral waters Kushnytska12, Kushnyt ska876, Borzhavska, Olehivska and Teplytsya have properties which are very useful in treatment of va rious health problems. In addition to mountain hikes, you can take hor se rides, rent horses from one of the accommoda tion centers in Borzhava. The Valley of Narcissuses, a place of a very high tourist attraction potential, is located at a distance of 34 kilometers (about 20 miles) from Borzhava. If you get there at the end of April, you will see an amazing sight — a large field of white narcissuses framed by brightgreen grass. The flowers are not planted by man — they are put there by Nature. Shayan The mineral waters in Shayan are good for tre ating: diseases of the digestive and urinary tracts; gall ducts; liver; metabolism dysfunctions; chronic respiratory problems including bronchial asthma. The spa sits on the bank of the River Tisa. This ar ea of Zakarpattya is often referred to as “Ukrainian Switzerland.” Local lore is rich in sad and cheerful stories, some of which explain, in their own way, the names of the three mountains in the vicinity and the origin of mi neral water springs. Whatever the origin of those springs, the mineral water from them can easily compete with Georgian Borjomi, Russian Esentuki or French Vichy Selection. Thanks to its location, Shayan is well protected from winds and enjoys excellent weather all the year round. Guided tours are organized to many destinations to see old castles and other sights. Trout fishing is a popular activity, as well as mountain hikes. In winter, mountain skiing attracts many tourists. 


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TM

Tel.: +38 099 55 00000 +38 044 207 12 44/ 55 info@primetour.ua

Head office 30/39 Shchekavytska Str., suite 4, Podil, Kyiv, 04071, Ukraine


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CAMERA TRAINED AT THE WORLD

The Phantom of the State. 2010.

Provocative, Ironic and Disturbing

OLEKSANDR KADNIKOV IS A UKRAINIAN ART PHOTOGRAPHER WHO IS OFTEN DESCRIBED AS “AN IRONIC CONCEPTUALIST” AND “AN EXTRAVAGANTLY PROVOCATIVE PHOTO ARTIST.” MARYNA GUDZEVATA, WU SENIOR EDITOR, RECENTLY MET THE PHOTOGRAPHER IN PERSON AND DISCOVERED The Explorer of the North. 2009.

NEW FACETS OF HIS ART AND HIS PERSONALITY.

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SelfPortrait. 2012.


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The Nostalgic Sandwich. 2009.

The Moorings of the Spring. 2012.

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No name. From the series “Rakes.

W

elcome to Ukraine Magazine has been rather regularly publishing Oleksandr Kadnikov’s photos, taken in foreign lands and in Ukraine. But it was fairly recently, at the First Kyiv International Biennale of Contemporary Art Arsenale, that I saw the photographer’s talent in a different perspective. It turned out that Oleksandr is much into contemporary art photography. Incidentally, this Arsenale exhibition proved to be a major art event in Ukraine in 2012, at which many leading and foreign artists exhibited their art. Among the foreign artists represented were Ai Weiwei, Yayoi Kusama, Jake and Dinos Chapman. The curator of the exhibition was David Elliott, a wellknown cultural historian who has directed some of the most innovative and dynamic museums of modern and contemporary art worldwide. One of the first things that I discovered about Mr Kadnikov was his modesty. He did not mention any of his oneman shows or exhibitions in Ukraine and abroad in which he had taken part. And among such exhibitions were those that had been held in Cologne, Germany, in 2010, in Bratislava, Slovakia, in 2009. He has been an active participant of several art groups which promoted new ideas in the art of photography. Mr Kadnikov is fortyfive years old; he was born and lives in the city of Simferopol, the capital of the Crimea. It was practically by chance that he became a photographer. The technical school to which he applied had a department of photography and instead of enrolling at the shoemaking 

Oleksandr Kadnikov was the organizer and participant of more than ninety photo and video projects in Ukraine and abroad (Russia, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Slovakia); his photographs illustrate more than 100 books and have been used for the covers of the issues of 128 magazines. Some of O. Kadnikov’s oneman shows: Neofolk Project, 2012, within the framework of GogolFest 2012 Festival. Rakes, 2012, within the framework of the First International Modern Art Biennale ARSENALE Kyiv. Rakes, 2012, Art Center Ya Gallery, Kyiv. Simferopol. Treasury Cache, 2012, Heidelberg, Germany. Rakes, 2012, Art Center Ya Gallery, Dnipropetrovsk. Rape Culture, 2011, Dzyha Gallery, Lviv, Ukraine. Loudspeaker, 2010, Ya Gallery, Kyiv. People in Red, 2009, Gallery RА, Kyiv. ARTVILNIUS 09, Vilnius, Lithuania. GOGOLFEST 09 Festival, Kyiv. Books: Oleksandr Kadnikov. Okomir. Artbook Publishers, Kyiv. 2008 Oleksandr Kadnikov. Oshiynyk. Diva Publsihers, Dnipropetrovsk. 2006 Oleksandr Kadnikov. The Best of Krym (Crimea).

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Reflexes of the Civil Defense. 2012.

Jellyfish. 2012.

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department as he had originally intended, he chose to study photography. It did not take him too long to realize that it was art photography, not just technical side of it, that attracted him most. “I wanted to be creative, to study the world through the lens of my camera, to find what others look at but don’t see,” said Mr Kadnikov in a conversation with me. When he was a student, Kadnikov, together with his fellow student, wanted to organize an exhibition of their photographs which were inspired by surrealism in art, but when the headmaster of the technical school of which Kadnikov and his friend were students, saw the photos he didn’t allow them to be exhibited. In the late 1980s, when the Soviet Union, of which Ukraine was still a constituent part, he addressed himself to exploring social problems which society faced then. In the conservative atmosphere of the Crimea, where the soviet power still held all the key positions, his photography caused a highly negative reaction (in Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, the mood was already quite different and social themes in photography were if not welcome but tolerated). Once, when he was taking photos of beggars, the police interfered and took away his camera. The policemen who tried to prevent him from “conducting antisoviet activities” (the soviets had always been trying to hide social problems rampant in their society), wrote an indignant letter to the newspaper for which he worked, demanding a repressive and restricting action, but the paper ran a highly critical article instead, accusing the local police of interfering with the freedom of the press and speech. This and similar incidents caused the KGB, the infamous soviet secret police, pay a closer attention to him but he was not arrested — the times of their power and stifling grip on society had passed. Mr Kadnikov had his first exhibition held in Simferopol in 1988 but soon after the opening it was closed down. It was the local communist party bosses who insisted it be shut down — they labeled it “antisoviet” and “provocative.” The social theme has continued to be strong in his art ever since. Some of his works, dealing with social issues, were shown at Arsenale. Kadnikov finds his participation in the Arsenale exhibition to be the biggest achievement in his creative life. “When I saw the list of participating artists and found my name among them… It was a moment of happiness, you know”. The photographer does not simply capture scenes from life — he arranges the compositions and stages the scenes, so in a way, his photos are “installations” captured and frozen in photos. He introduces the figures of people, and uses objects and symbols which are familiar from the soviet times. The people who appear in his photos are often aggressive and it is the photographer’s ironic attitude that help soften the starkness of the situations depicted. The photographer issues a warning — these


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things have not been consigned to oblivion, they are still with us, and the human rights in this country have not been established and secured once and for all. “I’m playing with associations, memories, with soviet legacy, and I’m issuing a warning,” says the photographer. “Back in the soviet times, many people wanted to live in a society of freedoms and happiness. Now we sort of have those freedoms but there is no peace in our hearts. The reality of today is a far cry from what we hoped we would have. Many people are nostalgic, they remember only the good things and forget the terrible things. They choose to forget never ending shortages, long lines in the stores, the poverty and joyless existence. In my works, I try to remind people of the soviet realities.” The soviet legacy is still with us; the soviet ghosts are still wondering around. The remnants of the soviet past can be detected in little and big things of life, they are passed from generation to generation. The soviet spirit lived and still lingers on in education, in “New Year trees” as Christmas trees are still called, in books and films from the past which are still read and watched. Mr Kadnikov’s photos are portraits of those soviet ghosts which, when you recognize them, hit you like a punch in the head. Many of those who realize, thanks to Kadnikov’s photos, that the creeping sovietism still persists in the heads and in social institutions feel confused. Some of the photos are like scorching flames — they cause pain and make one think.

Mr Kadnikov’s photos look at the life around us in a very specific way — they are full of paradoxes, nonsensical things, funny things, twisted realities and incongruities. The photographer takes all sorts of other photos too — official meetings, festivals, cultural events, landscapes and views. He loves his Crimea and his photos reflect this love. I find Mr Kadnikov’s photos to be ironic, philosophical, sad, cheerful, peculiar, enigmatic, annoying, nonsensical, wise and sometimes too complicated to be assessed and appreciated at first glance. The photographer creates with his photographs absurd worlds which disturb and make you think of profound things such as the sense of life and of love. And you begin to appreciate more such simple but fundamental things as food, sleep and the sense of wellbeing. 

The show and performance Counterpoint staged at a penitentiary in Simferopol, Crimea, by O. Kadnikov and A. Shenetass. The inmates not only watched but took part in the performance.

One Wish. 2009.

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DISCOVERING The Pokrovska Church was the first to be restored in the SvyatoHryhoriyivsky Bizyukiv monastery.

Rags to Riches — and Back to Rags From

THE SVYATO-HRYHORIYIVSKY BIZYUKIV MONASTERY IN THE LAND OF KHERSONSHCHYNA USED TO BE THE FOURTH BIGGEST ORTHODOX MONK COMMUNITY IN THE RUSSIAN EMPIRE. NOT TOO LONG AFTER THE BOLSHEVIKS CAME TO POWER, THE MONASTERY WAS “SECULARIZED” AND BECAME A PART OF A SOVIET FARM. IN THE 1990S, IT WAS TURNED BACK INTO A MONASTERY. YEVHEN BUDKO WENT THERE TO HAVE A LOOK. YEVHEN BUDKO

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he village of Chervony Mayak (Red Beacon) grew around the administrative center, formerly a mo nastic retreat, of the radhosp (a soviet collective farm run as an industrial enterprise rather than as a farm) that contained a school, a winery, a culture center. The cemetery accommodated a school; the cathedral was made into “a culture center“, soviet style, and a vinery functioned in one of the monas tery buildings. After Ukraine’s independence, most of the buildings that used to be part of the monastery complex, were returned to the Ortho dox Church. There are two major branches of the Orthodox Church in Uk raine — one of them is under the jurisdiction of the Moscow Pat riarchate, and the other one is that of the Kyiv Patriarchate; there is a lot of rivalry between the two. The monastery we are talking about went to the Moscow Patriarchate.


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A 1902 postcard with a view of the monastery.

The arch above the altar of the monastery's cathedral has withstood all the soviet attempts to destroy it.

Monks are back I hail from the Land of Khersonshchyna, most of which is the end less steppe, sizzling under the hot southern sun. The Wild Field — this is how it was often referred to in the times of old. All sorts of mig rants used to live in the steppe with, it seemed to me, very little in the form of artifacts or architectural landmarks left for the archeolo gists and historyminded people of today to study and wonder at. During my visit to the monastery which has been freed from the destructive grip of the soviet militant atheism and now is slowly be coming what a monastic community is supposed to be, I saw quite a few pilgrims and tourists too. One of the buildings of the monaste ry, designed originally to accommodate pilgrims, has been turned into a more or less modern hotel facility. The central church of the monastery has been given new domes, shining in gold. The monas tery garden provides excellent fruit. I spotted several local teenagers drinking beer in the cool shade — not a sight that you’d expect to see in a monastery. 

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The crucifix on the wall of the wine cellar where priests were known to have been tortured by the Bolsheviks.

I was somewhat surprised at the rather slow pace of reconstruction — the Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate is very rich and I thought there must be a reason why the Bizyukiv Monas tery had not yet been fully restored to its former status. The basic reason is, apparently, the number of monks — only four, including their Father Superior. There is a tourist agency though that offers tours of the place — you pay 30 hryvnya (about $ 2.50) and you can join a group of tourists or be provided, if you so desire, with a guide who will take you around the monastery on an individual tour. Looking back into history The monastery dates to the late eighteenth century. Someone, named Fedir Maslov, before taking his monastic vows, was a son of a merchant who chose monastic life rather than trade as an occupation. During the RussoTurkish wars, he caught the eye of Grigori Potyomkin, the allpo werful favorite of the Russian Empress Catherine II. Potyomkin talked the Empress into giving the monk Maslov a piece of land for founding a new monastery in the part of the country recently won from the Turks. Maslov did what he had promised to do — and not surprisingly, the monastery, which sat on a hill overlooking the Dnipro River, was given the name of Grigory (Potyomkin’s first name), but conveniently, it was also the name of a saint, not only of that dashing courtier. In 1787, the Empress on her way from or to the Crimea paid a visit to the St Grigory Monastery and praised the way things were run there. In 1803, the Russian czar Alexander I granted the Grigori monastic retreat the status of a fullyfledged mo nastery. It was then that the monastery, in addit ion to being named for Saint Grigory (in Ukraini an pronunciation — SvyatoHryhoriyivsky), ac quired the name of Bizyukiv. The thing is that af ter being granted the full status of monastery, this religious community was also provided with financial support from the state — all the revenues from the village Bizyuki in Belarus, a couple of thousand miles away, were to be directed to the monastery. This village also supplied the monas tery with a 3,200 pound bell whose tolling was heard for miles around. The monastery kept growing and getting richer and richer. It attracted a lot of pilgrims, many of them from Moscow and St Petersburg, the then Russian Empire’s two capitals. Quite a few of pil grims were from noble families.


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The ruins of the palace of the monastery's hierarch.

Viewed from the river, the monastery did make an imposing sight: high on a hill, surrounded by defensive walls with towers, stood churches and chapels, rose a very tall bell tower surrounded by many other buildings. The flat landscape around increased the visual impact of the monastery — hardly anyone of those who were coming for wor ship, remained unmoved by the majesty of the sight. The riches of the monastery were vast indeed — hundreds of thousands of gold rubles in revenues; a couple of thousand horses, dozens of thou sands of sheep, plus a thousand workers and as sistants toiling for about two thousand monks. The thousands of acres of land that belonged to the monastery provided huge yields of corn and flax. Mills, oil refineries, wineries and numerous shops provided jobs for thousands of people who lived in that area. On the more spiritual side, the two cathedrals of the monastery (one for winter services, and the other one for services held in summer) were richly decorated with frescos painted by Italian painters and displayed icons of excellent quilt. The monastery supported and ran one civilian and one religious school, a hospital that provided medical services free of charge, and an orphanage. When, at the end of the ninetieth century the area was hit by several waves of highly contagious di seases of typhus and anthrax, only one case of death from these diseases was reported — thanks to the medical care provided by the monastery hospital. The achievement was particularly impressive in view of the fact that there were no major urban or medical centers for hundreds of miles around.

The Monastery was an imposing sight: high on a hill, surrounded by defensive walls with towers, stood churches and chapels; a very tall bell to wer rose above other buildings. Soviet ruin My guide, Rayisa, a lay sister, took me on an extensive tour of the place. In addition to the ob vious monastic landmarks, I saw the scars that the soviets had left in the monastery, among them a monument to Lenin, the Bolshevik leader who called upon the red military to “kill as many priests as possible”; the ruins of the “summer” Voz nesensky (Resurrection) Cathedral. The cathedral survived the fires of the revolution and civil war, the destructive zeal of the soviets but took a direct hit from a bomb in WWII and was badly dama ged. The local authorities knocked down what had remained of the ruined church but failed to destroy a huge arc that stood close by it. The site of the former cathedral was turned into a dancing ground and openair movie theater. The “winter” cathedral was turned into “a culture center” which evidently failed to promote high stan dards of culture among the locals. I was astounded by the sorry state of the most things I saw in the monastery which is in bad ne ed of a major restoration. Three monks, who ma ke up the religious community of the monastery, headed by Father Feodosiy, are to guide the efforts of all those volunteers coming to help take care of the place. Neither the local civilian authorities nor 

The staircase that has seen a great many pilgrims ascending it; among the pilgrims were the humble and the rulers.

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There is a lot to be restored yet in the monastery.

The Monastery had been thoroughly robbed and pillaged during the civil war of 19181920, by all the warring sides — and regular bandits too. The basements of the buildings saw terrible crimes.

There is a hotel at the monastery where pilgrims can stay

the Russian Orthodox Church, to which the mo nastery nominally belongs, seem to be doing any thing along the line of restoration. The monastery had been thoroughly robbed and pillaged during the civil war of 19181920, by all the warring sides and regular bandits too. The basements of the buildings saw terrible cri mes perpetrated by those who alternated in be ing in control of that area. In the more peaceful soviet times, the buildings of the monastery were used for various purposes of the Chervony Mayak soviet collective farm, which, surprisingly enough, became quite prospe rous and even in the early nineteennineties, be fore it was disbanded, still managed to produce something and even pay wages to its workers. Now, in place of the radhosp farm, the land is tilled by individual farmers. The water supply sys tem, built by the monastery decades ago, still func tions and provides water for the irrigation of the fields, and water is a very precious commodity in the arid climate of the area. Monastery as a tourist attraction There has been no archeological digging done in or around the monastery, but there is some evi

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dence that suggests that the monastery had had a predecessor — a religious community that had been found long before the one started by the monk Fedir. A small religious community at the site of the monastery could have appeared in the early Christian times. It is known that in its base ments, the monastery held “imperishable relics” — mummified corpses of the monks. The hill the mo nastery stands on is known to contain undergro und corridors and tunnels in which Resistance figh ters and locals were hiding during WWII. There is a great deal to explore in and around the monastery. They say that there was a Scythi an necropolis at the site now occupied by the vil lage but only some illegal digging was done there by those who are locally referred to as “black ar cheologists” (that is, those who engage in illegal ar cheological digging and pocket whatever they find to sell the discovered artifacts to private collectors). Local lore has it that the monastery in the old days used to have a gold mine somewhere in the vicinity but nobody has yet explored the basements of the monastery buildings to check whether they contain hidden entrances to secret corridors that would lead to the buried treasures. The nearest towns are Boryslav and Nova Kakhov ka (about 20 to 50 kilometers away, respectively). You can stay in one of the hotels of Nova Kakhovka or Boryslav and then travel by car to the monaste ry, or, if you are an adventurous person, you can stay at the monastery’s hotel — but then you will have to get up at about 6.30 am to attend the mor ning service — it’s obligatory. Find more at www.bizukov.org.ua. 


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DISCOVERING

This kind of rosary, called lestovka, is still used by the Staroviry Old Believers.


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A typical “road crossing” in Vylkove.

Old Believers, Reeds and Fish VERY CLOSE TO THE BORDER WITH ROMANIA, IN SOUTHERN UKRAINE, THERE IS A TINY TOWN WHICH IS CALLED VYLKOVE. IT IS OFTEN COMPARED TO VENICE, BUT THE ONLY THING THAT JUSTIFIES THIS FAR-FETCHED COMPARISON IS THE PRESENCE OF MANY CANALS. IN FACT, VYLKOVE DOES NOT HAVE STREETS IN THE USUAL SENSE OF THE WORD — ITS STREETS ARE ITS CANALS, AND THE ONLY MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION ARE BOATS. TETYANA KRYVENKO, ACCOMPANIED BY HER FRIENDS, WENT THERE TO INVESTIGATE. MYKOLA IVASHCHENKO

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The iconostasis in the Mykolayivsky (St Nicholas) Orthodox Cathedral.

The monument to the first Staroviry settlers in Vylkove.

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he first thing we discove red upon arrival in Vylkove (we travelled 250 kilomet res from Odesa to Vylkove by car), was a sort of “a tourist base” whose only service available seemed to be an inquiry office. The gates of “the tourist base” were locked, and the sign said, “zachyneno” — “closed”, but knocking at the small window of the inquiry office near the gate brought to life a voice which asked what we wanted. We said we wanted, if pos sible, to hire a boat and look around. The disembodied voice said that “if Petro is any where around he will take you on a tour.” We heard a telephone number being dialled, a muffled conversation followed, and we were told, “You’re in luck. He’ll be here in several minutes.” Then the voice added, “In cidentally, there’s a hotel round the corner. You can leave your things there, and, you know…” We went “round the corner” to discover a big peasantstyle house which did func tion as “a hotel.” I don’t think it could lay a claim even to a very little star if it were lis ted in a hospitality business catalogue, but the rooms were clean and had beds in them.

What else do you really need in a place like Vylkove? “Conveniences” like washstands and toi lets were outdoors. Petro arrived in a huge boat which could carry a couple of dozen people. Petro was middleaged, suntanned, smiling and friend ly. His stories and previous reading provided us with a brief history of the place. What it looks like today we saw with our own eyes — houses on tiny islands and on piles and reeds along the canals were the things that met the eyes. And the balmy quiet with no traf fic noise — only splashing of the water be neath the boat and cries of the seagulls above. Staroviry Vylkove was founded in 1746 by staro viry, or “old riters,” or “Old Believers,” who were attracted to the place not so much by the beauty of the scenery (with the mouth of the Danube nearby), but rather by the fact that the place could be easily made in to an impregnable fortress. Many natural canals, big and small (locally called “yoryks”), crisscrossing the area, enhanced both the scenic beauty and the natural defences. To day, a considerable part of the town is ta ken by picturesque water canals along which


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scuttle narrow and sharpbowed boats (in shape they resemble much larger “chaykas” or “seagulls”— boats the Cossack used in the 17th and 18th cen turies for naval operations against the Turks with devastating success). In the eighteenth century the town sat on the border between the Russian and Turkish Empires; later Vylkove was incorporated into the kingdom of Rumania (one of the Rumanian kings was said to like this place and go there to fish and have talks with local wise staroviry men). After the Second World War, the town was returned to Ukraine. There is a frontier post in Vylkove because the border with Rumania passes almost through the town, but there is not much to do for a handful of border guards there. But who were and are those staroviry? For an answer we have to go deeper into history. In the midseventeenth century, czar Alexis (Aleksey Mikhailovich), whom later generations considered to be the very model of a benevolent and gentle ruler, was on the throne. In spite of a generally peaceful character of Alexis’ reign, Mus covy, the country he ruled, kept slowly growing in size, flexing once in a while its military muscle. Nikon, Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, a powerful albeit controversial figure, launched a series of church reforms of a debatable necessity. It is not for us to join the debate — let historians decide the finer points of it. In the opinion of ma ny believers, the Church was being made into a tool of the state, into what we might call today “an ideological foundation” (there are, of course, other interpretations of the Raskol, The Great Schism). It triggered a process similar to the Refor mation in Western Europe. A considerable num ber of the faithful and their families opposed Ni kon’s innovations. They called for retaining the old style of the liturgical procedure, the Byzantine Rite, and the adherents of this movement came to be cal led staroobryadtsi (stary — old + obryad — rite; hence “old riters,” or Old Believers — staroviry). The

movement, that soon split into several sects, had its leaders, hardly less charismatic and persuasive than Nikon, and the priest Avvakum was the most ardent among them. The tsar sided with Ni kon against Avvakum, and in those times theologi cal debates easily transformed into political strife. Avvakum lost the battle of faiths and was burned at the stake (later, Alexis changed his attitude to Nikon who was disgraced and sent into exile). Ac ross the length and breadth of the huge country there began persecution of the staroviry. The “Most Peaceful” tsar even issued a decree encou raging his subjects “to root out the heresy” and burn those staroviry who persisted in their beliefs, at the stake. Persecution of the staroviry grew in intensity and acquired a genocidal character. The most fer vid supporters of the staroviry movement chose 

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A considerable part of the town is taken by the natu ral water canals along which boats scuttle to and from. It is located in the territory of the Danube Delta Reser ve — and is a great place to go to for birdwatching. to die in mass ritual selfimmolation which they called “baptism by fire.” When Peter became the sole ruler of the nascent Rus sian Empire, repressions against the staro viry continued unabated. They fled to the most remote parts of the Empire where they hoped they could practice their religion free of persecution. Many of staroviry went to the north of the country, some of them went to Siberia, and others went to the southwes tern lands where, at that time, the central power did not quite reach. In the early eighteenth century, the sta roviry of whom there were many among the Don and Kuban Cossacks, rose in an armed

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uprising but it was crushed by the army. The surviving insurgents fled further west and east, to Ukraine, to the lands bordering on the Ottoman Empire. Some got as far as the Danube where they settled down, founding new villages and building churches. In many of those border areas they mingled with those Ukrainian Cossacks who had survived the defeat of Ivan Mazepa’s Cossack army at Poltava. The staroviry who lived on the western and eastern banks of the Danube were spared the horrors of persecution and exile in Siberia, mostly because the Russian Empire had little or no control over those Danube territories.

Life in tamed wilderness From the very start the staroviry commu nities lived in accordance with a set of strict rules, industriousness and discipline being the most encouraged qualities. At the same time, they were — and are — very friendly and hospitable to travellers and guests who happen to visit them. Idleness and alcohol drinking were looked upon as the greatest sins. Most of these features of staroviry com munities have been preserved down to our days and we experienced their most sincere cordiality and exceptionally generous recep tion when we visited Vylkove. Vylkove of today is not only staroviry but they determine the general tenor of life. Their men are heavily bearded, many of them are blueeyed. Both men and women wear clothes whose style dates a couple of hund reds of years back. They speak a dialect which is a mixture of Ukrainian, old Russian and Rumanian. They are fiercely independent and recognize only one authority — God.


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Tourist boats are moored here.

But we came to Vylkove primarily to enjoy the scenery rather than to explore the lifestyle of Old Believers. And Vylkove is a very picturesque place indeed. Vylkove and its environs are rich in fish, birds and other animals, among which there are some that have been listed in the books of endan gered species. Catfish are said to grow to great sizes but we did not see any of them. But we did see great numbers of birds of many species. We were treated to an excellent dinner of fish, cooked in large pieces, with hot spices. The local wine proved to be very good too. Though staro viry themselves are not supposed to drink alcohol, they make wine, and very good wine at that. Besi des, there are quite a few of those among the lo cals who do not belong to the staroviry community. In addition to fishing, one of the local busines ses is dealing in reeds which are very good for some commercial purposes. These reeds are even exported. There is a popular joke told and retold in Vylko ve: a Vylkovite who has had too much of novak (young red wine, much appreciated by the locals) sways when he walks, only back and forward, but never to the sides — thus, even if they fall, they will not fall into the water. Those strips of soil and wooden planks that stretch along the canals are so narrow that one halfstep to the side and you find yourself in the water. We were much surpris ed to see some bicycle traffic — mostly children — over timber sidewalks that stretch along some of the canals. Later, we discovered that tourist companies ba sed in Odesa do send tourists on one or twoday trips to Vylkove, and organize meals which are highly appreciated. In summer time, the provincial quiet is some what disturbed by droves of painters who come from all over Ukraine to paint in the open air. The number of tourists is growing too. I have fallen in love with this enchanting and enchanted place. 

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ACHIEVEMENTS & BREAKTHROUGHS

FOUR UKRAINIAN STUDENTS HAVE CREATED GLOVES THAT ALLOW SPEECH- AND HEARING-IMPAIRED PEOPLE TO COMMUNICATE WITH THOSE WHO DON’T USE OR UNDERSTAND SIGN LANGUAGE. THE GLOVE-LIKE DEVICE, WHICH IS CALLED ENABLE TALK, IS EQUIPPED WITH SENSORS THAT RECOGNIZE SIGN LANGUAGE AND TRANSLATE IT INTO TEXT ON A SMARTPHONE OR COMPUTER, WHICH THEN CONVERTS THE TEXT TO SPOKEN WORDS. COURTESY OF MICROSOFT, QUADSQUAD TEAM

Enable Talk

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he Ukrainian QuadSquad team, which was made up of Anton Paternikov, Mak sym Osika, Anton Stepa nov and Valeriy Yasakov, who are members of the Computer Academy Shag in the city of Donetsk, took part at the 10th international competition Microsoft Imagine Cup, the world’s premier student technology competition, which this time was held in Sydney, Australia, in the summer of 2012. They competed in Software Design Category, considered to be the toughest — and they won the first prize. The inventors claim that the idea to cre ate such a device developed when they fa

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ced the challenge of communicating with a fellow student with impaired hearing — they did not know the sign language the deaf people use and it posed a major ob stacle in communication. So, to go around this hurdle, they put their heads together and came up with

creating a device which could recognize the voice and make it possible for the one who uses such a device to recognize sign language messages. The initial device, built into a sort of glove, consisted of a micro controller, 15 flex sensors, accelerometer, gyroscope, and a compass in order to defi ne the position of the glove in space. The device had a builtin system that can translate sign language into text and then into spoken words using a texttospeech engine. And the entire system can work over Blue tooth enabling smartphone connection. The Enable Talk device user creates a text by moving hand and fingers in certain sequences and then this text is transfor med into “computer voice” speech.


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There are millions of deaf people and many of them use sign language to com municate among themselves, but there are very few people who have no problems with hearing or with speech, who actually under stand sign language. Using Enable Talk gloves opens new exciting opportunities for people with impaired hearing for communication with people with no such problem. The few existing projects that come close to what Enable Talk is proposing, general ly cost around $1,200 and usually have fewer sensors, use wired connections and don’t come with an integrated software solution. Enable Talk, on the other hand, sa ys that the hardware for its prototypes costs somewhere around $75 per device.

The marketable device will cost consi derably more — it is estimated to stay with in $300. Besides the cost, though, there is anoth er feature that makes this project so interes ting — users can teach the system new ges tures and modify those that will be avail able in a library of standard gestures. Given the high degree of variation among sign langua ges, which also has regional dialects just like spoken language, this will be a welcome feature for users. Now further research is in process. Cur rently, there is no commercially available

product yet. Enable Talk project work was rated highly on Microsoft Imagine Cup, but still this device needs a lot of further deve lopment. The Ukrainian QuadSquad team applied for Microsoft Imagine Cup Grant, a three year, $3 million competitive grant program that provides students with funding and support to help transform their project into a social enterprise or nonprofit that will ad dress a specific social issue. In December 2012, QuadSquad team was announced among 5 winners of the Grant. If it is a success, as it looks it will be, it will certainly help to bridge the language gap that separates hearing from nonhearing culture. 

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NEWS

Ukraine Wins Junior Eurovision 2012 the Junior Eurovision Song Con test 2012, the tenyear old singer Anastasiya Petryk from Ukrai ne received a total of 138 points for her song "Nebo" (Sky) which made her the winner. Last year's winner Geor gia, with The Funkids, finished se cond with 103 points and Armenia's Compass Band finished third with 98 points. Anastasiya Petryk is very happy to have won the Junior Eurovision. Her elder sister Victoria had taken part in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2008 and had been the runnerup.

At

Anastasiya's singing voice was described as beautiful and strong. Those who had heard her sing at the Ukrainian competition to win the right to sing at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest were of the opinion that she had very good chances of winning this Contest. Originally, it was planned to provi de her performance with a backup ballet group, but the director and pro ducers decided she had enough power in herself to carry her through. It was the seventh time that Ukrai ne was represented at the Junior Euro vision Song Contest. When asked after the show what Anastasiya was drea ming of, the girl said, "I want my elder sister win the Eurovision Song Contest for adults." Her fifteenyear old sister Victoria said in an interview that the victory of her younger sister was also a victory for their whole family. "And I am plan ning to take part in Eurovision Song Contest for adults as soon as I am of age. And I do hope to win the con test. The Ukrainian Petryk family are the winners!"

Ukraine Is to Host Junior Eurovision 2013 kraine has won the right to host the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2013, but unlike the Eurovision Song Contest, winning the contest does not grant the right to host the next edition. The Host Broadcaster is decided in a bid ding process by the Steering Group which is made up by representatives from broadcasters all over Europe. Several broadcasters all over Europe expressed the Ukrainian wish to host the event on November 30, 2013. The final decision was made by the Steering Group of the contest. To make sure the contest will be held at the best possible level, the Steering Group evaluated all proposals and in the end the offer by Ukrainian broadcas ter NTU, was chosen. "We felt NTU's proposal was the strongest one among the bids we received. Thanks to our previous experience with them and their plans for this year’s event, we are expecting an excellent show in Kyiv," says Vladislav Yakovlev, Executive Supervisor of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. NTU organised also the 2009 Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv. That event was won by Ralf Mackenbach, who represented the Netherlands, with his song "Click Clack". The previous Junior Eurovision Song Contest was also won by Ukraine when their contestant Anastasiya Petryk won the hearts of Europe with her song "Nebo".

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Ukrainian Biathlon Athletes Win Medals he 46th Biathlon World Championship was held in Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic, from 7 to 17 Februa ry 2013. A total of 11 competitions were held: sprint, pursuit, in dividual, mass start and relay races for both men and women, and a mixed relay. The women’s national te am of Ukraine has won more medals then ever before at such Olena Pidhrushna: competitions. At the very first event of the championship – sprint, Olena Pidhrushna won the gold medal and her teammate Vita Semerenko won the bronze medal. No Ukrainian athlete has ever won the biathlon sprint event ever before. Incidentally, it was Ukraine’s first biathlon gold medal in eleven years. Says Olena Pidhrushna: “It was an auspicious start! And a good sign for the future too — the next Winter Olympics is only a year ahead.” In the pursuit event, Olena Pidhrushna won her second medal, thus time the bronze one. In individual event, Valya Semerenko (Vita Semerenko’s twin sister) won the bronze medal. In the relay event Ukrainian women athletes Yuliya Dzhyma,Vita Semerenko, Valya Semerenko and Olena Pidhrushna were the runnersup and this won them the silver medals. On the last day of the competitions, in the mass start event, Vita Semerenko was the fourth, one step short of medal. Biathlon world championships began to be held in 1958, but it was only in 1989, at the 24th biathlon world cham pionship, that women began to take part. In 1999, Olena Zubrylova from Ukraine was the star of the show with her three gold and one bronze medals, the highest Ukrainian achievement so far at such competitions. Unfortunately, Ukrainian male biathlon athletes this time have won no medals. In the overall medal count, Ukraine with its one gold, one silver and three bronze medals, was the third after Norway and France.

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EuroBasket 2015 Preparations Coordinating Committee Set up krainian President Viktor Yanukovych has signed a decree setting up a coordinating committee on preparing for and holding the final tournament of the European basketball cham pionship in Ukraine in 2015. Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov was appointed the head of the committee. The committee includes 49 people. Among them are Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Vilkul, ministers, Head of Ukraine's Presidential Admi nistration Serhiy Liovochkin, mayors of cities bidding to host Euro Basket 2015 matches and the heads of respective regional state administrations, heads of parliamentary committees, various agencies, President of the Basketball Federation of Ukraine Olek sandr Volkov, and a member of the supervisory board of PrivatBank, Ihor Kolomoisky (by consent). The coordinating committee should meet at least once a quar ter. The committee's decisions are mandatory for consideration by the central and local executive authorities. The activity of the coordinating committee is regulated by the presidential admi nistration. The local organizing committee for the prepa ration of Ukraine to host the EuroBasket 2015 Euro pean Basketball Cham pionship will be led by UEFA Euro 2012 Tourna ment Director in Ukraine Markiyan Lubkivsky. "I am very grateful to the Basket ball Federation of Ukraine for their offer to lead the preparation of a basket ball tournament in terms of its organization and the projects close to those that we prepa red for Euro 2012… I think the local organizing committee of Euro Basket 2015 will begin its work in February 2013," he said. It is planned to build and modernize sports arenas and other sports facilities in Kyiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk, Lviv, Odesa and Kharkiv to put them in line with the requirements of Internatio nal Basket Association, FIBA Europe. The infrustructure facilities will be put in operation not later than December 2014. In addition, funding will be allocated for the construction, investments will be attracted for the prepara tion of the infrastructure for the championship, security of public order will be ensured and medical services will be organized in the abovementioned cities. Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Vilkul said that at least 100,000 people would be engaged in the construction of infrastructure facilities for this championship and that at least 10,000 would be involved in the operation and maintenance of these facilities. Ukraine also intends to create a comfortable environment for the fans who are planning to attend EuroBasket 2015. As reported, on December 18, 2011 Ukraine received the right to host the European Basketball Championship in 2015.

Anna Ushenina Wins Women’s World Chess Championship

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nna Ushenina, 27, from Kharkiv, Ukraine, won the Women’s World Chess Championship on December 1, 2012 when she beat Antoaneta Stefanova, the former world champion from Bulga ria, in a decisive game, thus making overall score 3.5 to 2.5 in her favor. The championship was held in the Russian city of KhantyMansiysk. In an interview the twentyseven year old Ukrainian said that she did not think of playing chess only in terms of winning: “I enjoy the very process of playing chess.” “It was a tough competition,” she admitted. “The competitors were very strong and I did not think I’d be able to get through. The toughest were the finals. Every game was exhausting, I was very tired at the end — but luck was on my side.” One of Ms Ushenina’s coaches said that “she is never intimidated by the opponent, no matter how experienced her opponent may be. She looks for the slimmest chances to win, even when a tie would seem to be the only solution.” He went to say that “Winning at all costs is her motto” thus somewhat contradicting Ms Ushenina’s own words when she claimed that playing chess was just to enjoy it. Anna Ushenina expressed a wish to take part in the world cup chess competition among men which will be held in Norway at the end of Augustearly September of 2013. Her winning the world chess championship among women au tomatically made her grandmaster, the title that entitles her to take part in men’s chess competitions of the highest level. In accordance with the FIDE rules, Anna Ushenina will have to defend her title in the second half of 2013 against the Chinese pla yer Hou Yifan. Anna Ushenina was not the first Ukrainian to become female world chess champion — in 1950 the title was won by Lyudmyla Rudenko from the town of Lubny in the Land of Poltavshchyna, who held the title for three years. She was the second female champion ever and first among the soviet chess players to win the top title.

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Enigmatic Sculptor

Pinsel in Louvre Project Manager Nataliya Zabolotna, who is also general director of the National Art Complex Mystetsky Arsenal in Kyiv, concurred. She said that the exhibition was an event of historic importance for Ukrainian art as it showed Ukrainian artistic heritage in the context of European art. Ms Zabolotna added that Pinsel’s art will move to the premises of Mystetskyi Arsenal in Kyiv after the end of The Louvre’s exhibition. Pinsel has become the first Ukrainian artist, whose works were exhibited in one of the most popular museums of the world. French experts have personally selected sculptures for the exhibi tion. According to the experts of the museum, Pinsel is one of the greatest and yet most enigmatic artists of the eighteenth century. Sometimes he is referred to as “Ukrainian Michelangelo.” Very little is known of Pinsel’s life. He is thought to have lived and worked mainly in Western Ukraine. Mikolaj Potocki, a Polish nobleman, was his patron and the main customer until Pinsel’s death, presumed to have occurred in 1761. Galleries of Washington, New York and Munich have already expressed an interest in showing Pinsel’s works too. The exhibition was open until February 25.

November 2012, the Louvre Museum in Paris mounted an exhi bition that showed works of a mysterious Ukrainian sculptor best known as Johann Georg Pinsel who was active in the mideighteenth century. His thirty works, which included finished sculptures and sketches, were exhibited in the Salle de la Chapelle. It was for the first time, that The Louvre showcased a Ukrainian artist. Pinsel’s recognized skill and strong personality give his art a spe cial place among Baroque works, said curator Guilhem Scherf. “His style is brilliant, especially the way he carves the folds of the draperies, like faces of diamonds, with lines and oblique curves.” According to Scherf, Pinsel’s works suit the museum perfectly. “It is important to show at The Louvre, which is an encyclopedic museum, art that is not [usually] shown there — Baroque sculptures from Central and Eastern Europe,” he said. Scherf noted the origin of the art is no less important to museum visitors than its style. “People in France are curious about art from various countries,” he said. The exhibition is also important for Ukraine, as its national art begins to slowly emerge on the world scene. “This is the first and very valuable step toward the world discovering the rich cultural heritage of Ukraine. I am confident the success of Pinsel’s art at The Louvre will give the world a new view of Ukraine and draw its attention to the rich high cul ture of our land,” Mykhaylo Kulynyak, the then Culture Minister of Ukraine said at the official opening.

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LOCAL PARTNER IN GLOBAL BUSINESS www.attorneys.ua Адвокатське об’єднання ЮФ «Iлляшев та Партнери». Свiдоцтво про реєстрацiю в Мiн’юстi № 445

Ukraine Signs Drilling Deal with Shell for Shale Gas oyal Dutch Shell, the largest oil company in Europe, signs a con tract to drill for natural gas in Ukraine. The company's chief executive, Peter Voser, and the Ukrainian president, Viktor F. Yanukovych, signed a production agreement on January 2012 for the potentially prolific Yuzivska gas field in the eastern part of Ukraine. The signing took place at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Winning an active Shell drilling program is a potential boon for Ukraine, which is thought to be one of the best bets in Europe for socalled shale gas and tight gas. Such gas, found in porous under ground shale rock, is usually withdrawn through the process known as hydraulic fracturing. The technique is controversial, because of the potential environmental effects. Menno Koch, an analyst at Lambert Energy Advisory in London, speaking of Ukraine said that Ukraine is considered by many to have huge potential." Shell plans to drill 15 wells as part of a 50year joint venture with a local company called Nadra Yuzivska. It would be the latest in a series of steps ahead for unconventional gas development in Europe. The oil and gas industry is betting that postsoviet states and countries like Poland, which are heavily dependent on gas imports from Russia, will be more receptive politically to shale gas exploration. Ukraine has a particular incentive to develop its own gas resources because in recent years it has twice suffered cutoffs from Russia during disputes. Shell's contract covers the Yuzivska field in the Kharkiv and Donetsk regions. The Ukrainian prime minister, Mykola Azarov, said

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that the area could contain as much as 113 billion cubic meters, or 4 trillion cubic feet, of gas. It remains to be seen how much, if any, of the Ukraine gas is recoverable. The local councils in Ukraine have so far declined to approve Chevron's deal, though, prompting displeasure from the central government. Some of the Ukrainian experts have voiced their concern: "The consequences are unpredictable and the environment risks may be high," says Yury Korolchuk of the Energy Strategies Institute in Kyiv. Oleksiy Vasyliuk, deputy director of nongovernmental National Ecological Center of Ukraine, claims: “It is the pumping of great amounts of chemically treated water to create pressure in the shale gas deposits which will push the gas out, that can cre ate potential environment risks. Not only the chemicals used can be a major pollutant, but the fact that at least of the toxic water remains under the ground causes a particular concern”. A number of public pickets against shale gas production in Kharkiv, Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities took place.

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FASHION WORLD

TATYANA MITUS IS A JEWELRY DESIGNER AND THE FOUNDER OF THE MITUS DESIGN BRAND. THE TV UKRAINIAN FASHION CHANNEL JOURNALIST LILYA PRIL WENT TO TAKE A LOOK AT THE NEW COLLECTION WHICH WAS INSPIRED BY TRADITIONAL UKRAINIAN ORNAMENTS. Kateryna NIKOLAYCHUK

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ast year, Tatyana Mitus presented her capsule collection at the Yuliya Aisina fashion show within the Ukrainian Fashion Week. Recently Tatyana MITUS produced a jewelry collection inspired by the Ukrainian fashion designer Olga Navrotskaya’s collection. Ms Mitus, what inspired you to create jewelry sets for the Inspired by Ukraine collection designed by Olga Navrotskaya? I’ve been following Ms Navrotskaya’s successful work in many fields — in film direction, video clips production and fashion design for quite some time now. Everything she does is of high professional quality, and when she shared some of her ideas concerning her new collection with me I got interested in it. I was excited by an opportunity to work with her. Ukraine is a country of many talented fashion designers. There are also good designers of purses and shoes — but there is a lack of jewelry designers. Because of it, many fashion designers face a problem: what should be done to enhance their collections, how to put emphasis on the images they create. And it is where I come in. Who proposed cooperation to who: you to Ms Navrotskaya, or she to you? I had met Ms Navrotskaya at various shows and other occasions before and I always thought it would be interesting to work with her. And she believed 


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that she would want to work with me. She phoned me and we met. We discussed things. She told me that she was working on a new collection, inspired by Ukrainian traditional decorative design. She wanted to create something that would go beyond the usual format of classical national traditions, she wanted to create something new. And she asked me whether I would care to design jewelry for her dresses. Did she express any particular ideas about the design trends in jewelry? She said that gold decorations should be massive, with bright stones such as rubies, onyxes, or emer alds. She showed me a book on the history of the Ukrainian national dress and ornaments. I was fasci nated and began to carefully study the book. I found out that Ukrainian women, regardless of their social status, used to decorate their chest with large sized beads. I was inspired by what I had learnt and by Ms Navrotskaya’s ideas, and I got down to designing jewelry for her collection: brooches, pen dants, transformers and massive rings. I used ancient coins from the times of the Byzantine and Turkish Empires which I had in my own coin collec tion. The results were bright and impressive — and my jewelry collection proved to be a success.


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Ms Mitus, I guess that working with Ms. Navrotskaya was mutually beneficial? Yes, it was. People saw that I was creative and that I could produce things that I hadn’t done before. I realized that I could follow up on any fashion designers’ ideas implemented into jewelry. At first some people were won dering why the MITUS DESIGN brand would want to work for a fashion designer – they probably feared that I’d be obscured by the name of a popular fashion designer. But it did not happen. The most important thing for me is to make women want to wear my jewelry. I love to give people positive emotions through my jewelry. You design jewelry — but who actually produces pieces that you design? Italian masters. They know exactly what I want and they are happy to work with me. There is only a handful of Ukrainian jewelers who would be prepared to make jewelry by individual orders — they tend to make stan dard things. How long have you been designing jewelry? How did it all start? Three years ago when I was in India, I saw a great num ber of fantastic precious stones. I admired their beauty and bought some stones. I made bracelets using silk threads and natural stones — an Indian taught me how to do it. When I came back home, I showed my bracelets to some 

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of my friends. They liked what I had created very much and they asked me to make something for them too. And then I thought: why not to try to design jewelry for sale? That’s how it began. I created my first collection two years ago shortly before the Ukrainian Fashion Week show. I exhibited my collection at one of the stands at the place where the Ukrainian Fashion Week was held. I got my col lection photographed, a website was created and I set up my own jewelry brand. I love to wear jewelry, I love to buy it, to give jewelry pieces as gifts, and I love it when they are given to me as presents too. But I’d like to design not only jewelry — I have plans to design clutch handbags too. What is it that you are working at now? I’m designing a spring collection. It will be necklaces named after famous women. I’m toying with an idea of cre ating a very special diamond collection. I create something new for each new season. The metals I mostly work with are silver and bronze and all sorts of alloys. Where can one buy your jewelry? At the MITUS DESIGN studio, on our website and at the studio of Olga Navrotskaya.  Learn more at www.mitusdesign.com


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PERSONALITY — A CLOSEUP

MARIYA VILINSKA, BETTER KNOWN AS MARKO VOVCHOK, HAS EARNED A PROMINENT PLACE IN THE HISTORY OF UKRAINIAN AND RUSSIAN LITERATURES, BOTH BY HER CREATIVE WRITINGS AND BY TRANSLATIONS. HOWEVER, THIS ESSAY FOCUSES ON HER PRIVATE LIFE RATHER THAN HER LITERARY Mariya Vilinska. Photo of the 1850s.

ACHIEVEMENTS.

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ariya Vilinska is much better known as Marko Vovchok. This penname in Ukrainian suggests a man who hides behind it, rather than a wo man; George Eliot — Mary Ann Evans — in English literature, and George Sand — Aman dine Aurore Lucie Dupin, Baroness Dude vant — in French literature, also chose pen names which suggested men rather than women writers. Vovchok’s stories and novels were of a “critical realism” kind and mostly devoted to the life of the lower classes. Taras Shev chenko called her “my literary daughter”

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and “a humble prophetess.” Her contribu tion to literature also includes her many translations, Jules Verne’s novels, which were very popular then. Her own works were translated into several European lan guages, and thus she was responsible for making Ukrainian literature an internatio nal phenomenon. She is known to have praised the writings of the N. Dobrolyubov, a radical Russian utili tarian critic whose main concern was the criticism of life rather than of literature, and of other radical literati, and it suggests that her own views were of a radical kind as well

and that she stood for comprehensive so cial and political reforms. Her social and political leanings aside, Marko Vovchok had a reputation of “a femme fatale” though she does not seem to have ever acted as “a seductress” on purpose or deliberately. There was something in her that made men lose their heads when they happened to come to know her better. Early life and marriage Mariya Vilinska does not seem to have had a happy childhood — her stepfather mistreated her and her mother took her to 


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Mariya Vilinska married Opanas Markovych when she was 16.

Panteleymon Kulish: “Mariya’s levity, fickleness, and faithlessness have ruined me! Life is no longer worth living!”

Marko Vovchok maintained first romantic and then friendly relations with the Russian writer Ivan Turgenev for years.

The Femme Fatale MARKO VOVCHOK (nee Mariya Vilinska), a remarkable Uk rainian writer, was born on December 22 1833 in Russia, into a family of an army officer and a noblewoman. Her father died when she was 7. She attended a private school in Kharkiv, Uk raine, and later she moved to Oryol, Russia, where she met Opa nas (Aphanasy) Markovych, a Ukrainian folklorist and ethno grapher. Mariya married Markovych and in 1851 moved to Uk raine where she accompanied her husband in his ethnographic expeditions. In 1850s, she began to write prose which was met with acclaim in the Ukrainian literary circles. Among those who encouraged her creative writing were Taras Shevchenko and Pan teleymon Kulish. In Russia, among those who admired her wri tings were Ivan Turgenev, N. Nekrasov and A. Pisemsky. In 1859, Marko Vovchok went abroad (Germany, France, Italy and Switzerland) where she met prominent scientists, scho lars, composers and authors (D. Mendeleyev, A. Borodin, I. Se chenov, A. Herzen, Jules Verne, to mention but a few). In 1867 she moved back to Saint Petersburg, where, because of the czarist ban on the Ukrainian language, Vovchok was for ced to write in Russian. In addition to novels, short stories and literary criticism, Vovchok did a lot of translations. Vovchok seems to have been sympathetic to certain radical ideas. Closer to the end of the nineteenth century, Vovchok returned to Uk raine where she lived for several years. At the end of the nine teenth century she moved to the Caucuses where she spent the remaining years of her life. She died on August 10, 1907.

A letter of Marko Vovchok to Taras Shevchenko. June 1859.

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Marko Vovchok paid a visit to the Island of White in 1859 where she met the Russian “dissident” Alexander Herzen. He was enchanted by her, like so many other men were.

The young but sick Russian literary critic Nikolai Dobrolyubov fell in love with Mariya when they met in Naples, Italy.

Kharkiv where she left the girl with some welltodo relatives. After finishing a pri vate school in Kharkiv, Mariya moved to Oryol to live with her aunt. Her aunt’s house was a sort of “a salon” for local intelligent sia to gather at once in a while. At one of such gatherings the impressionable girl Ma riya met Opanas Markovych, a Ukrainian eth nographer who had been exiled for three years from Ukraine to Oryol in Russia for his “nationalistic ideas” and for having been a member of a secret organization. Marko vych was tall, goodlooking, grayeyed, spor ting embroidered shirts and dress in the Uk rainian traditional style. And he recited Uk rainian folk tales with great gusto. Mariya was impressed both with his looks and with his recitals and stories about Ukraine. He was eleven years Mariya’s senior, very poor and not of a robust health. The young Mariya looked more like a wellbuilt young woman rather than a teenager. Her conver sation was lively and sparkling with wit. Mar kovych was swept off his feet by Mariya’s charms, she did not reject his advances and it did not take them long to progress from discourse about lofty subjects to “congress” of a less lofty kind but much more exciting. They failed to keep their relationship secret and it became the talk of the somewhat scandalized town. Markovych proposed marriage, Mariya accepted, they were married in a small church in Oryol in Decem ber 1850. Mariya came from of a mixed ethnic back ground — Ukrainian, Polish and Russian, but as she was raised in Russia she began to learn Ukrainian only when she moved with her husband to Chernihiv in Ukraine, where Mar

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kovych landed a job at a local newspaper. Some time later, he found a job of a teacher in a school in Kyiv. It is in Kyiv that their son, who was given the name of Bohdan in ho nor of the seventeenthcentury hetman of Ukraine Bohdan Khmelnytsky, was born. Markovych, being an ethnographer by education and calling, regularly traveled to the Ukrainian countryside collecting folk songs and folk tales. His young wife accom panied him on his ethnographic trips. She made a point of learning and then maste ring Ukrainian to perfection as fast as she could — and she did learn very well indeed. In fact, when several years later, Taras Shev chenko was asked by the Russian writer Ivan Turgenev whose writings he would advise to read to learn and enjoy the prefect Uk rainian, he said that it was “Marko Vovchok — the only one who writes perfect Ukrainian!” Kulish Mariya did indeed begin to write short stories which were not only highly readable but also were couched in a refined language of idiomatic Ukrainian. Her husband sent some of Mariya’s sto ries to a friend of his, Panteleymon Kulish (see an essay about Kulish in WU 1’ 2010) who lived at that time in St Petersburg and was planning to start publication of Ukraini an books there. Kulish found Mariya’s stories well written and surely worthy of being pu blished. Mariya and her husband went to St Pe tersburg. Markovych introduced his wife to Kulish who offered himself as an editor and did a lot to get her stories published. From Mariya’s editor and publisher, Kulish rather

Aleksandr Passek, a lawyer, Mariya’s great love, died in 1866 of TB, not yet thirty.

quickly moved on to become her lover. He ad mitted he “was enchanted,” he called Mariya “divine,” “a God’s created bee who lives off the nectar from the flowers of our tongue.” Kulish did not make any effort to keep the relationship secret. He left his wife but Mariya felt crowded by his admiration. Her own husband chose to pretend he was una ware of being cuckolded. It was Kulish who suggested the penname — Marko Vovchok. Mariya appreciated the suggestion and adop ted the penname. Kulish introduced Mariya to the circle of Russian literati. Her readings of her own works were highly praised. One of the most ardent praisers was Ivan Turgenev, one of the luminaries of Russian literature. He was in raptures over Mariya’s writings and, evi dently, infatuated with Mariya herself. He even offered to translate her stories into Russian, claiming she would immediately become “famous all over Russia.” When the doctors advised Mariya, whose health showed signs of requiring an impro vement, to go abroad for treatment, Tur genev offered to accompany her. Mariya accepted the offer. Kulish was devastated. “Her levity, fickleness, and faithlessness have ruined me! Life is no longer worth living!” he exclaimed in a moment of despair.” In a letter to Mariya, Kulish wrote, “You loved me but little. I should stop suffering from being in love with a woman who cannot love me in return.” The literary society in St Petersburg, wo men in particular, wondered what was so special in “this Mariya whose appearance was plain and who was not a good conver sationalist at all,” that made men fall for her.


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Mykhaylo LobachZhuchenko, Marko Vovchok’s last husband, hailed from Poltava; he was seventeen years her junior; she stayed with him for 30 years until her death.

Dmitry Pisarev, a Russian literary critic and Mariya’s distant relative, drowned taking a swim with her son; her being “femme fatale” was once again confirmed.

Mariya, to use a modern phrase, was a great hit in Germany and France. Prosper Merimee (1803–1870, French writer of romantic stories and novels) undertook to make translations of her stories into French, and some of them were later pu blished in periodicals. Neither Kulish nor Mariya’s husband see med to abandon hope of being reunited with Mariya, and sought to see her. Kulish met Mariya in Berlin but apparently Mariya refused to renew their relations, and Kulish, though heartbroken, returned to his wife and tried to mend his faltering marriage. The husband proved to be more lucky — the MarkovychVovchok family was reunited in Dresden and for at least some time it see med the breakup was mended. Mariya learnt several languages well enough (French, English, German, Polish) to start translating from them. Her favori te author was Jules Verne (1828–1905; French writer who is considered the foun der of modern science fiction), whose po pularity in the 1860s and 1870s was at its peak, and Mariya’s translations were publi shed in Russian very soon after each new novel was released in France. Passek The cracks in the mended marriage pro ved to only have been papered over, and when in 1860 Mariya fell in love with a young lawyer, Aleksandr Passek, the patience of her longsuffering husband was exhaus ted and they broke up. This time the split turned out to be permanent but officially they were not divorced, and they remained legally married until Markovych’s dying day. 

The title page of the fourth volume of Marko Vovchok’s Complete Works published in Saratov, Russia, in 1898.

The title page of Marko Vovchok’s book Narodni opovidannya (Short Stories of the People). Zagreb, Croatia. 1899.

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Passek was younger than Mariya and pro bably it added fuel to this passionate love. Theirs seems to have been a truly happy, mutual love. But happy loves often have un happy endings — Oleksandr suffered from TB and in 1866 the disease killed him. He was not yet thirty when he died. Mariya her self, only thirty three at the time of his death, was disconsolate. She did not see any point in staying abroad, all the more so that such friends as Turgenev or the Russian emigre Herzen had dropped out of her life.

Pisarev Mariya and her son returned to St Pe tersburg in February 1867. At the railroad station she was met by her distant relative, Dmitry Pisarev. He proved to be a sort of a godsend — he helped her, still grieving for her Passek, her great love, live through the most difficult period of her life. Pisarev, a nobleman by birth, belonged to the radical wing of Russian intelligent sia; for his much too radical views, he spent several years in prison (St Peter and St Paul Fortress in St Petersburg). He was twenty seven when he met Mariya, then thirty four years old. In one of his letters to Mariya, he wrote, “I’ve given myself to you complete ly... I can’t imagine life without you, and yet I feel there’s the sword of Damocles hanging over my head — the sword that may sever our relationship.” In 1867 Mariya’s “nominal” husband di ed and as a widow she was free to marry but Pisarev’s mother was dead against her son marrying Vovchok. She wrote letters to Mariya begging her “to at least treat him well to make him happy if you can’t love him.” In 1868, Mariya, her son and Pisarev went to a resort on the Baltic coast not far from Riga. On July 4, Pisarev drowned while taking a swim. His death came as a great shock to Mariya, all the more so that her previous lover had died while her love for him was at its highest.

before any feminist movement began in ear nest), she insisted on having only women to work for the magazine. It was probably the reason why Mariya and her magazine came under attacks from various quarters. The magazine was accused of not paying royalties on time and even of plagiarism practiced by the authors it publsihed. The magazine had to be closed down. The repu tation of “a femme fatale”, now firmly esta blished in St Petersburg, did not make her li fe any easier, and Mariya left St Petersburg. In 1872 she went to visit a relative who lived in Tverska Hubernia (Province) in Russia. While she was there her son Bohdan paid her a visit, accompanied by his friend My khaylo LobachZhuchenko who hailed from Poltava. Mykhaylo was Mariya’s seventeen years junior. It did not prevent him from falling in love with Mariya who, by the standards of the nineteenth century, was already “an aging woman.” Mykhaylo’s love was overwhelming and Mariya not only reciprocated but went ahead and married Mykhailo. She asked one of her influential friends to find a job for her young husband and the family moved to Stav ropol in Russia when such a job was found. By that time, Mariya had become fed up with “all that filth and vanity and rat race of St Petersburg” — she was longing for “fresh air of the steppe where I would never see those hateful faces or hear their lies.” The 1860s and 1870s saw a number of drastic government ukases and decrees di rected against the Ukrainian language, and Mariya’s works in Ukrainian could be publi shed only outside the borders of the Russi an empire. Mariya found the general at mosphere in her country to be stifling and was only too happy to change her lifestyle and habits completely. In 1885, she and her husband moved to the little town of Bohuslav in Kyivska Hub ernia (Province) where she spent eight ye ars. In 1893, her husband’s job required their moving to Saratov in Russia, and in 1 8 9 9 they moved again, this time to the North Caucasus. When several years later her husband retired, he and Mariya settled down in the town of Nalchik in what is now KabardinoBalkaria. Mariya lived the last two years of her life quietly, spending much of her time sitting under a pear tree in their little garden, re miniscing. Shortly before her death, she told her husband, “Since it does not look I can be buried close to Shevchenko, have me buried under this pear tree.” 

Marko Vovchok in the village of Aleksandrovskoye, Stavropol Province, Russia. Early 1900s.

LobachZhuchenko Marko Vovchok survived the shock and immersed herself in translations. She even founded a magazine which was to publish translations only. In a feminist gesture (long

The article has been adapted from the screenplay written by Yuliya Shpachynska for the TV serial Hra doli (Games of Fate) produced by VIATEL Studio (www.viatel.kiev.ua).

The house in NeuillysurSeine (suburb of Paris), where Marko Vovchok lived in 1860s. The man sitting at the table is PJ. Etzel, an author and the publisher of Jules Verne’s works; largely thanks to Etzel who was romantically involved with Mariya for some time, she was given the exclusive right for translation of Verne’s works into Russian.

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CLASSICAL

The Spell Bygone days are in the past, that’s true, but sometimes happe nings in the days of yore seem to have occurred just yesterday. They say that, what you hear or what you see when you are young, stays with you until your dying day. That woolspinning old woman, also used to spin yarns for us, young girls, and we absorbed eagerly her every word, her stories of the way things were in the past, of won ders of olden times. Here is one of the old woman’s stories. Once upon a time there lived an old Cossack named Zadorozhko with his wife. Out of their love, with God’s help, was born a son, a wonderful boy. And what a manly, handsome and stalwart young man he grew up to be! Ty mish had a magnificent horse, his attire and his arms were truly knight ly, and he was chivalrous and gallant. And he had a loving heart and was of a magnanimous and cheerful disposition. And mark my words — he loved and respected his parents. They were so happy and over joyed, and thanked God for blessing them with a son like that.

Then came time for the old Zadorozhko to end his days on earth — God claimed him. The dying old man asked his wife and his son not to be grieving over him, and to give him a good funeral. Then he blessed them and departed this life for good. “Don’t cry, mother,” Tymish said soothingly to his old mother. “By being so disconsolate, you offend God.” “My dear child, how can I stop crying when the tears are sprin ging out of my eyes all by themselves? I’ve lived a good and quiet life, I was so happy to have a loving husband, and now he is gone! Wherever I look in the house, or in the garden, or in the backyard I seem to be seeing him!” “Wipe off your tears, old dear. I have to leave now as there are things for me to do — but before I go I’ll walk you to the neighbors’ place. You should not stay alone. May good Hanna help you deal with your grief.” “Yes, right, my good boy — take me to Hanna!” Hanna was a widow who had an only daughter named Khyma. It was a nice girl, as radiant as a bloom, with sparkling eyes. She was Tymish’s age peer, they had been growing up together like bro ther and sister. They played together, they shared joy and sorrow, they were fond of each other just like true lovebirds. If a day pas sed without Tymish seeing her, he felt he was missing something sorely, and Khyma would have her eyes brimming with tears if her

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darkhaired neighbor did not come by at the end of the day. People could not help seeing what was going on and said, “Let their love flourish! God willing, they will be happily married!” There were quite a few other young men who were enchanted by Khyma. The moment she walked out into the street, they would rush towards her, trying to attract her attention. But the proud girl would pass by, ignoring their advances. It was only the handsome Tymish who was on her mind, it was only for him she was looking out morning and evening. Without seeing him she was sad, but the moment she saw him, she was overjoyed and she felt it was so good to be alive in this world. II However, in this world there’s no joy, they say, without alloy. Fortune has not only smiles for us but frowns too — once, some time after his father had died, Tymish failed to turn up at Khyma’s place. Then another day passed without Khyma’s seeing him, and still ano ther. Khyma’s nights became sleepless, and her days were spent in anguish of waiting – she could not sit still, she kept pacing restles sly up and down her garden. She was treading on her fragrant flo wers which she had been taking such a good care of. She was obli vious of anything around her, her faithful heart was filled with sorrow, misery and gloom. Then, after days of watching out for Tymish, she spied him in the street on his way home. Khyma rushed out of her house and con fronted him. He looked quite cheerful and unaware of her torments. “My dear friend, won’t you say a word to me? I’ve not seen you for so long! Have you forgotten about me? If you do not care to see me any longer, tell me the truth!” “My good girl,” said Tymish, “I’m very, very sorry, but I must tell you something that will sadden you as it saddens me too — I do not think I’ll be proposing to you…” “What? Have you found someone else who is better than me? Can she love you as deeply as I do? Oh please tell me — who is she? I want to know and to see the girl who is ruining my life!” “Let her be, Khyma! Don’t be angry with her! She is very gentle and her soul is kind. She’s all alone in this world.” “I think I know who you are talking about! It’s Olena! Am I right? So it’s her place you go to every night! I’ve been crying my eyes out, the world has darkened for me, and you look so happy and radiant! Are you going to marry her? Are you two getting along well? Woe unto me! Are you really going to take her for wife? “Yes, I’ll propose to her on Sunday.” “But why are you in such a hurry to wed her? What if it turns out that she is not good for you after all?” “Why are you making evil prophesies? Don’t croak disaster — it’s unkind of you!” “Now, Tymish, listen to me carefully — leave that girl of yours! What right does she have to do what she has done to me? Leave her — or you’ll be so sorry! You’ll regret it if you don’t do it — you’ll be regretting it for the rest of your life! But no matter how much you may repent, there will be no coming back!” “Leave her? No I won’t! You are saying evil things! As long as I live, as long as the sun shines, I’ll never betray her, I’ll never leave her!” “Think well, Tymish, think well! Is it your final word? Will you leave her?” “May a great misfortune befall me if I ever leave her!” “All right then! And know that a misfortune will surely strike!” And she turned and dashed back to her house. “It was surely mean of her to say what she has said!” mumbled Tymish and his heart grew heavy. But then Olena came to his mind and in his mind’s eye he saw how good she was, gentle as a lamb, sunny and fair as dawn, tender and humble as a dove! With her image conjured up before him, he exclaimed, “May I be punished severely if I leave you, my precious one!” III Before he declared his proposal of marriage, Tymish sought his mother’s advice,


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“My dear mother, I’m in love with a girl and I want to take her for wife. Will you bless my marriage?” “God will bless you, my son! Yes, my good boy, marry the girl you love! Khyma will be happy with you.” “It’s not Khyma, mother, it’s Olena Bondarivna.” “Oh, Olena? I’ve always been sure it would be Khyma! She’s such a nice girl! And she treats me with great respect, she does. But if you have given your heart to Olena, then you must plight your troth to Olena. I’ll accept anyone as long as she loves you.” The ceremony of the official betrothal was held complete with all the proper accoutrements — embroidered decorative towels and all the rest of things that tradition required. When the old Hanna, Khyma’s mother, heard of the engagement, she was upset. “My dear daughter, looks you are not destined to be with Tymish. It’s a pity — I was sure that come autumn he’d take you to wife and you would be married in church.” “There seems nothing stable and sure in this world,” said Khy ma glumly. “Don’t be gloomy, my dear! I’m sure you’ll find even a better hus band for yourself. Thank God, you are so young and so goodlooking! You’re like a ripe apple!” Once in the evening, when Tymish, full of good cheer and brim ming with happy anticipation, was on his way to see Olena, he sud denly saw Khyma who emerged, as a ghost, in front of him. She loo ked pale, somber and sullen. Khyma said harshly, without any greeting, “Now, tell me — will you leave her?” At first he was so taken aback that he could not say anything, and then he mastered his consternation, and said, “No, by God, I will not leave Olena! It’s very unreasonable and rude of you to demand it! Haven’t you heard that I am engaged to her?” “I ask you one last time — will you leave her?” “I’d better die rather than live without her.” “That’s your last word?” “Yes, it is.” IV The next day Khyma said to her mother, “I’ll go to see Aunt. I need some diversion.” Khyma’s aunt lived in a neighboring village, not too far away. “Yes, my dear, go, you do need some diversion. Pour your heart out and may it help you.” But Khyma did not go to her aunt’s place — instead she went to the distant forest where, she had been once told, there lived an old witch. The wretched Khyma thought the witch could help her in her distress. When she reached the outskirts of the village, Khyma looked around and seeing no one was in sight, she chose the road that led to the pine forest rather than the one that led to the neighboring village. It was quiet, the only sounds being the rustling of a lonely willow that stood at the crossroads and the burbling of water some where in the distance. It turned out she had to walk a long way. She passed hills with outcroppings of rock, and green meadows. The closer it was getting to the noontime, the hotter was the sun; her bare feet were sore from walking on sharpedged pebbles; her hair was full of prickly bracts from the thistles. But she kept walking on. When she was passing by a pond, she stopped and looked at her reflection in the clear water. She saw that she had changed so much that she could hardly recognize herself. “What has happened to my beauty? Why is it gone? But what do I need beauty for? I have no need for it any longer! May I lose my beauty for ever as long as I’d be able to do what I intend to!” At last she arrived at the pine forest. Standing at the edge of the forest, she looked at the sun and saw that it was already low above the horizon, and the sky had already be gun to change color. The trees in the dense forest stood so close to each other that as she stepped among them she found herself in darkness. The deeper she went into the forest, the darker it became. Cra cking and other noises came from everywhere; the echoes reverbe rated; she seemed to hear someone whispering her name. She lost

track of time and knew not where she was. Then she saw two mighty oaks in front of her, and there was a woman sitting between the bo les of those oaks. The woman was so old and ancient that she was overgrown with moss. Khyma was struck dumb with fright. It was the old woman who spoke first, “What did you come here for, so young and beautiful?” “I… I came to see you, I’ve come to ask you to help me.” And Khyma told the old woman what had happened to her and why she was distressed. The witch listened and then said, “All right, I’ll tell you what to do.” “Oh, please do!” The witch produced a knife and beckoned Khyma to come clo ser. In her other hand the witch held a small feather. “Stretch your left hand!” Khyma did as she was bidden. The witch slashed with the knife across the tip of one of Khy ma’s fingers, and as the blood began dripping from the cut, the witch dipped the feather into the blood, and said, “Now, you have the power over those who have hurt you.” By the time Khyma found her way out of the forest, the sun had already set. Khyma felt that she possessed some superhuman po

wers — she turned into a swallow and flew back to her village. When she got there, the dark was already setting in. Khyma fell on the ground in front of Olena’s house and turned into an old woman. She could see through the window that Olena was sitting among her friends, wearing a flower wreath on her head. Olena looked beauti ful and happy, luminous with good cheer, with serene love in her eyes. Her friends were hovering around her as bees hover over the flowers. They surrounded Olena as wild flowers surround a majestic rose. Seeing this, Khyma felt her heart ache, “Aha, you’re having a hen party! So I’ve come just in time!” Khyma enetered the house. She was greeted and asked who she was and where she came from. Instead of answering, the old woman pushed the window open and stretching her hands towards the girls, cried out in a terrible voice, “Fly, the bride, fly like a bird, and the rest of you — follow her! Chirp and fly to the end of time!” As she uttered the spell, the girls turned into birds and flew out of the window, beating their wings wildly. And leading the little flock was Olena. V The village filled lamentations and mounting fear when the girls’ disappearance was discovered. They were searched for everywhere 

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but they were not to be found — they had had disappeared as though swallowed by the earth. Tymish was so distressed he could not stay at one place and in despair paced the streets up and down. In his aimless wanderings, he unexpectedly came across Khyma. Staring at her, he could not help remembering her ill prophesizing. “There you are, prophetess of doom! It was you who have brought disaster! May you never see a happy day in your life either!” shou ted Tymish and ran away. She followed the hastily retreating Tymish with her eyes and for one moment she felt pity for him. But a moment later, she cried out, “We’ll see how things turn out!”

Time, they say, is a great healer. Once, a year later, Tymish’s mo ther said to her son, “My dear boy, you should marry! Look at yourself — you are young and yet you are withering away! Marry – and you’ll forget your grief! What’s gone is gone and you can’t bring it back! Give peace to my old heart. I wish so much I would live the rest of my days which are numbered, in peace and joy, thanking God and you, my boy!” “My dear old mother! I will never be able to find a girl like Olena to call my wife! I can’t marry anyone else!” “What about Khyma, your old flame? She’s really a good girl, she respects me. May God be good to her too and give her some hap piness. I know she still loves you!” “To marry Khyma? But she’s my sworn enemy! It was she who wished me ill and foretold disaster!” “Ah my dear son, let bygones be bygones! Everything is in God’s hands. Besides, the girl was upset and when one is upset one may say foolish things! Her words could have been unkind, but they could not bring disaster!” And since that day, Tymush’s mother began persuading him to change his mind and marry Khyma. The old woman used tears and

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kind words to make him change his mind, and, as they say, drops eat away stone, and Tymish began to soften up — his mother kept pleading with her son to take pity on her, the old woman, who had raised him who had lost her health raising him and now all she as ked was to give her a bit of joy in her old age. Tymish succumbed to his mother’s entreaties and proposed to Khyma. Soon they were wed and Tymish’s mother was indeed over joyed to have such a daughterinlaw — Khyma was full of deference to her, always obedient, always ready to help and do what needed to be done. She was like a native daughter to Tymish’s mother. And she went out of her way to coddle and humor Tymish and indulge his every whim but he continued to be gloomy and unresponsive. Khyma was not put off by Tymish’s coldness and kept pampering and babying him as though he were a child, and when Tymish did re ward her efforts with a smile, it was as though the sun had come out to dispel the gloom. Tymish’s smile made her buoyantly happy — her eyes began to sparkle and her cheeks began to glow with a flush. VI Once, when Tymish and Khyma were sitting in their garden on the grass, not talking, in a gloomy silence, and Khyma was trying to meet his gaze and do something to dispel the gloom, they heard some birds burst into a wild chirping. One of the birds was hove ring right above Tymish’s head, circling and getting lower and lo wer. The birds’s wings almost touched his head. Khyma grabbed Tymish by the hand and cried out, “Go get your gun, Tymish, and shoot this bird!” “Why should I do an evil thing like that! To kill a harmless chir ping bird!” “Please do shoot it, my beloved husband, please do it!” Khyma begged Tymish, squeezing his hand harder and harder. “No, I won’t do it. And don’t ask me to do it ever again.” “You won’t? Your loving wife is begging you to do her a little favor and you refuse? You don’t care for me at all, do you?” and Khy ma burst into tears. Her tears fell on Tymosh’s hand and they felt as though they would scald his skin. “Your tears are like boiling water!” exclaimed Tymish. “It is because they are so bitter! Please don’t make me cry so much!” And she began to beg him again to shoot the bird. But he refused to do it and shouted at her, “Get away from me, evil woman! Be off!” Khyma scrambled to her feet and ran away. And the bird never stopped circling above Tymish’s head. Ty mish took a better look at the bird and for some reason he greatly enjoyed looking at it and listening to its lovely singing. And he even felt that tears began to well in his eyes — and a moment later the tears began rolling down his cheeks in a flood. He fell on the ground sobbing, his copious tears bedewing the grass. Loud croaking above him made him raise his head. He saw a black raven chase away the birds and then attack the bird that caused Ty mish to shed tears. The raven wanted to knock down the bird with its beak or wings, but the bird managed to dodge, the raven flying after it in hot pursuit. Tymish rushed into the house, grabbed the gun, ran out and shot the raven. The black bird hit the ground at his feet. Lo and behold — it was not a raven any more but his wife, blood spurting from her chest. And right by her side there was lying his Olena, his beautiful, beloved fiancee! She looked full of life, the way she was on that fateful evening, wearing her fine dress and a flower wreath — but she was dead. Khyma turned into dust right before Tymish’s eyes. Olena was buried in the churchyard, near a cherry tree. A cross was erected at her grave, and many tiny birds perched on the cross, chirping mournfully. The birds were seen coming every spring and singing over Olena’s grave. Tymish did not live long — his grief and sorrow drove him to his grave. His house was in ruins, the garden was choked with weeds, the well by the house got clogged. Moss and dust covered this scene of desolation. 


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NATIONAL

Beauty and

Symbolism

YURY MELNYCHUK, A MASTER OF UKRAINIAN TRADITIONAL EMBROIDERY AND A DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL FOLK CULTURE CENTER MUZEY IVANA HONCHARA, SHARES WITH THE READERS SOME OF HIS VAST KNOWLEDGE OF UKRAINIAN EMBROIDERY. IVANNA ADAMCHUK


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krainian traditional embroidery stands out among the dec orative arts of other ethnics as a craft which uses color arrangements and symbolism of patterns and ornaments in its own inimical way. Decorative embroidery requires very special skills and artistic talents. The techniques of embroi dery, symbolisms and colors are highly sophisticated and reflect hundreds of years of continuous development. The ornaments, their patterns and colors can be read and interpreted as one reads and interprets ancient texts. Various parts of Ukraine have various differences in the colors and patterns used in embroidery; in some areas even neighboring villages can show differences in the colors and patterns used in embroidery. Hundreds of various kinds of stitch es used and thousands of ornament patterns attest to a truly amazing variety. Of a special importance are shirt embroideries — they have their own special symbolisms and patterns which differ on shirts designed for grownups and children, for men and women. These days such embroideries are looked upon as mere decorative elements but in the times of old they played the role of charms protecting the wearers from evil. Shirt embroideries, by their patterns and colors, could tell a lot: the prove nance, for example. The interiors of Ukrainian peasant houses were lavishly decorated with embroi deries too. The central items of such decorations were decorative towels. Among the most popular symbols used, we find The Tree of Life, The Tree of the Clan, the symbols of life, blessings and prosperity. Decorative towels were used in all the most important events of one’s life: birth, coming of age, marriage and death. WU Magazine thanks to the National Folk Culture Center Muzey Ivana Honchara (www.honchar.org.ua) for the help it provided in preparing this article.


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The Land of Kyivshchyna Kyivshchyna covers a vast swath of land stretching from the right bank of the River Dnipro across forests and step pes. Threads of different colors are used in embroideries in this Land, but black and red predominate. These colors sug gest the polar differences of life, life active and passive, female and male, yin and yang, and other such opposites. In one of the popular Ukrainian songs, lyrics read, in part: “The red — it’s love, the black — it’s grief,” but it does not quite apply to the symbolisms of embroideries. Embroideries in the Land of Kyivshchy na show predominance of strictly geo metric patterns. The one in the photo comes from a woman’s shirt — the cross symboliz es the sun and provides protection, and the swastika symbolizes happi ness. The ornaments that look like parallel horizontal and vertical bars symbolize fecundity in nature.

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The Land of Bukovyna Bukovyna is located in Western Ukraine and today’s Chernivtsi Oblast is only a part of it. There are many eth nics who live in that area and embroi deries reflect this ethnic variety — colors and patterns differ widely. Women’s shirts are true works of art. Wool, cotton and silk threads are used alongside silver and gold threads to create impressive color effects. Some of the Bukovyna patterns and ornaments can be traced in embroi deries of other areas which bear the traces of ancient cultures. Techniques of embroidery also differ a lot and some of them can be found only in Bukovyna.


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The Land of Podillya In Podillya some of the patterns and ornaments suggest their ancient origins. The technique of embroidery is peculiar to this land too — the nee dle goes into the fabric from the reverse side rather than the other way round. Red and blue, red and black are popular juxtapositions, but proba bly the black is the most preferred color. Black threads were made from the wool of finefleeced sheep. The die of such threads does not fade in the sun. Among the most popular symbols are the swastika as a symbol of the sun, symbols of happiness, symbols of eternity which protect against evil and symbolize things unharmonious, and symbols of the pagan Great Goddess, Mother of All Being.

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The Land of Polissya Polissya is located in the north of Ukraine and is heavily forested. Polissya is crisscrossed with rivers and it abounds in lakes and marshes. There are many archaic elements in embroideries that have come from times immemorial. Embroideries often imitate weaving which must have come into being before embroideries did. The dominant color is red — it is the color of life, of the sun that gives life and warmth. In the ornaments and patterns we can discern solar rhombic symbols of Earth and of Woman. Such rhombs contain a cross within them and are often referred to as “the sown field.” Such symbols were often embroi dered on shirts by men, and also by women who wanted to have children.

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The Land of Pokuttya White on white is a typical feature of embroideries in that land. As a matter of fact, such whiteonwhite embroideries were once widely done across Ukraine. It reflects ancient pagan traditions and is probably connected with adoration for the Creator, the Sun, the Fire as one of the natural elements, the realm of spirits which are made of light. The white was the color widely used in whitewashing the walls of houses, and in garments. The photo shows a detail of an embroidery from Pokuttya in Western Ukraine (the Land of IvanoFrankiv shchyna) which is a fine sample of highly sophisticated and highly skilled embroidery work. Embroideries of this kind have won many top prizes at exhibitions held in Paris, Berlin and Leipzig.

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The Land of Chernihivshchyna Whiteonwhite embroidery is popular in this land too but often enough we see black and red creep in. The color of the fabric used for making shirts was usually of a silvergrey shade and embroideries on such a background produce a subtle and tasteful effect. Red and black threads add dynamic effects. Elongated rhombs are typical in the orna ments of Chernihivshchyna. Such rhombs, which contain crosses that divide the inside of the rhomb into four parts, symbolize fecundity, fertility and material well being.


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LIFE

Operetta SOON AFTER BOHDAN STRUTYNSKY HAD BECOME THE HEAD OF THE KYIV OPERETTA THEATER, HE MADE A BREAKTHROUGH IN THE SHOW BUSINESS OF KYIV. HIS THEATER CAME INTO THE FOCUS OF MEDIA ATTENTION AND HIS THEATER PERFORMANCES ATTRACT LARGE AUDIENCES. YEVHEN BUDKO, MIZHNARODNY TURYZM SENIOR EDITOR, RECENTLY PAID A VISIT TO THE OPERETTA THEATER IN KYIV AND TALKED TO ITS DIRECTOR.


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A scene from the operetta Mister X.

in Kyiv

On

my way to the director’s office, I passed through the world of discordant sounds, stage props and glamour. The office struck me by its contrast with the world that I had just seen — it was a quiet and respectable place. The director who doubles as the artistic director of the theater (whose official name is Kyiv National Academic Theater of Operetta) was wearing a dark sweater rather than a formal dress as I half expect ed he would be. 

A scene from the operetta A Banquet with Italians.


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A scene from the operetta Za dvoma zaytsyamy (“Do not try to chase two hares at once — you’ll catch none”).

Operetta is arguably the most difficult performing art since it unites instrumental music and choir, vocals and choreography, decorative painting and all the recent advances in staging performances. The way he talked and his general appearance suggested that he was a man who valued his time. And there was an air of mod esty about him. For his staging efforts he had been award ed prizes and honorifics. He not only runs the theater as its director — he produces and directs shows. His innovations were appreciated and his directing style was described as “daringly inno vative” and even “somewhat extravagant”. He took his company on tours abroad and the performances were both critical and pop ular success. My first question seemed to take him off guard. Mr Strutynsky, do you sometimes, when off duty, hum tunes? That’s an unexpected beginning of an interview! Well, sometimes I do. The tunes are usually those that come from the shows which are currently being rehearsed. But some times they are tunes from the catalogue of the popular Ukrainian rock band Okean Elzy.

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Does that mean that your musical inter ests include things which are not operatic at all? I’ve been fighting with stereotypes as to what operetta is all about for quite some time. Stereotypes can be a good thing to a certain extent if we are talking about traditions, but often enough serotypes hinder devel opment by their bias. Operetta, or “musical comedy” of the soviet times created unfor tunate stereotypes which continue to exist. Unfortunate, you say? I could use a much stronger word too. Operetta degraded to a cheap, unpretentious show with primitive music. The general pub lic came to regard operetta as a thirdclass entertainment. But we managed to do away with such stereotypes. As a matter of fact, operetta is arguably the most difficult among the performing arts since it unites instru mental music, choir singing and vocal lead singing, acting and choreography, decorative painting and all the most recent advances in staging performances. As a performing art,

operetta requires the highest possible stan dards. Some of the operettas of the past are not staged simply because they require the opera level of singing and the theaters do not have singers good enough for that. My theater should by rights be called “a music theater” rather than operetta. There are so many things you can see on our stage packed into one show: musical, opera, drama, ballet, all fused into one. Incidentally, we are preparing a show that will combine the latest achievements in stage scenery and props with the elements of classical performing art seen through the eyes of today. Do you mind telling a story, at least briefly, of your coming to direct the operetta theater in the capital of Ukraine? I hail from a village in the Land of Ivano Frankivshchyna in the west of Ukraine. No one in my family had ever had anything to do with theater or music. My mother did some artistic embroidery and her works were even shown at exhibitions abroad. My father was in agriculture cooperative work. I did feel that my calling was theater and music and I went to study at an art and cul ture school. I met a lot of interesting people, I got encouraged to go on but I dropped out


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to go to the city of Rivne and enroll at the Institute of Culture there. After two years of studies there, I happened to come to Kyiv as a member of amateur student group that performed at a humor show. I got noticed by a talent scout and was offered to move to Kyiv and study at the KarpenkoKary University of Theater, Cinema and Television. I accept ed the offer. Among my teachers were Les Tanyuk and Andriy Zholdak, the wellknown figures in Ukrainian theater and culture. Even before the graduation I got a proposal to give trainings in fencing there. It was only once that as a student I went to see a show at the operetta theater in Kyiv. It was real bad. During the performance, friends I was with said they could not stand it any longer and that they were leaving to “have some beer.” I joined them even though I do not drink alcohol. Upon the graduation, I directed com mercials, then shows held at Maydan, the central square of Kyiv, during the celebra tions of the Day of Independence and Days of Kyiv. I also went abroad to continue my training. And I kept receiving invitations to be director of the operetta theater. And I kept turning the invitations down. And then, one day I asked myself — Why not? Try to bring the theater to the presentday world standards. I left my work at the Kurbas Center and at KarpenkoKary University and at the Conservatory where I conduct ed classes in theater directing. As director of the operetta theater, I worked fourteen hours a day to give the theater a new image. And six months later the atti tude to the theater began to change. I had to deal with many problems, one of which was debts of which the theater had a lot. I invited young performers and actors. I did my best to change the atmosphere in the theatre, to make people love rather than despise what they were doing. And I think I managed to do that. What about traditions? Did you dis card them too? There were some traditions which were worth retaining. In the soviet times, the Kyiv operetta was among the best in the country. The Kyiv operetta performers were regu larly invited to Moscow to take part in the official gala concerts. Choreography was good. Shows based on the national Ukrainian music theater were always on the theater’s reper toire. Ukrainian composers, playwrights and poets, among them Lysenko, Koshytsya, Sadov sky, Ryabov, Filipenko, Poklad, Zankovetska, Vyshnya, Tychyna and many others, wrote music and plays and librettos for the operetta. There is enough to last for a long time. Such things should not be discarded. So you infuse your operetta shows with national coloring. What else foreign audi ences are likely to appreciate in your shows?

The Gypsy King is full of verve.

High standards of music and perform ance. Besides, our shows are of the kind that foreign audiences have never seen before. Every show has something special to offer — at one show, the actors leave the stage to min gle with the audience; at another show, all the women in the audience get flowers, at still another show, we get children involved in competitions. What about the language you perform in? Yes, the language barrier is always a prob lem. We provide simultaneous interpreta

tion or show the text of the interpretation on a big screen. And that helps those who do not understand Ukrainian appreciate our shows. We also stage concerts at which we per form numbers for which we get the right to perform from the copyright holders. For example, in our concert devoted to Strauss, we obtained the rights to perform certain numbers from the holders of the copyright in Vienna. Your show Welcome to Ukraine was staged at the time when Ukraine was 

The director of the operetta theater in the lobby of his theater.


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A scene from the show Tango of Life.

My theater should by rights be called “a music thea ter” rather than operetta. There are so many things you can see on our stage packed into one show: musical, opera, drama, ballet, all fused into one. hosting the Euro 2012 soccer champi onship. Your theater is located next door to the central stadium of Kyiv — did any of the soccer fans come to see your show? I don’t think so — but frankly, I did not expect any of them would. Welcome to Ukraine show took quite some time to be developed from disparate ideas. We wanted to introduce elements of singing and dancing borrowed from Ukrainian national tradi tions and mingle them with the story in which a French girl and a Ukrainian young man get acquainted and fall in love through the Internet. In addition to the live perform ers, we incorporated videos into the show. The music pieces range from the classical

Ukrainian composers like Lysenko to the presentday pop tunes. You had quite an extensive innovation and repair job carried out in the theater — did the state pay for that? Thanks to our proximity to the stadium and to the Euro games, the city authorities decided we should look good in the eyes of European fans who would come to see soccer games, and we got the money for the exteri or repairs, but the interiors were done at our expense. What are, in your opinion, the best five operetta theaters in the world? Volksoper in Vienna; the operetta the ater in Budapest; the operetta theater in

Bohdan Strutynsky, both metaphorically and literally, is on his high horse.

Sverdlovsk, Russia; operetta shows staged by the German company Arena — and the operetta theater in Kyiv. What about the general state of things in operetta in the Western Europe? It lived through a sort of a crisis — but we managed to find our niche. In our shows, in addition to Ukrainian music, we use music of such composers as Paul Abraham, Cole Porter, Jerry Herman and George Gershwin. At the concerts we stage, we often present Ukrainian folk songs — we do try to break stereotypes of what operetta should be about. At one point we realized that there are dozens upon dozens of operettas that had never been performed in Ukraine — and we began staging them. We have set a branch of our theater which we called Mala stsena (Small Stage) where the audience sits at the tables sipping wine or coffee. There we stage highclass entertainment shows. What about the price for the tickets? In the soviet times and even later, the price was ridiculously low — so I raised it to


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In a scene from the operetta Gypsy Baron the rain falling on the performers on the stage is very real, making them soaking wet.

seventy hryvnya (less than 10 US dollars). I thought it was affordable. And then I dou bled the price — and we do not have any problems in selling out our shows. In the soviet times, cheap tickets and free shows depreciated the performing arts. Our audiences are not just those who have money for entertainment — all those who care for good performing art come to see our shows. Do you maintain any relations or con tacts with any of the European operetta theaters? Yes, we do. Back in 2006, the Rumanian ambassador in Ukraine invited our perform ers to perform at diplomatic receptions and we got into contacts with the operetta the ater Ion Dacian in Bucharest. In 2008, we went to Bucharest to take part in the per forming arts festival Viata e frumoasa. Our tour of 2011 in Rumania was a great suc cess and recently the performers from the operetta theater Ion Dacian came to Kyiv to perform at the stage of our theater.

In fact, we maintain contacts with sever al foreign operetta theaters — in Germany, Austria and Lithuania, to name just a few. Do you make good money during for eign tours? Not really — but we want to see the world and let the world see us. We want to promote Ukrainian culture in the world! Which of the recent shows at your theater you could single out as a partic ularly good one? Gypsy Baron (Gypsy Baron or The Romani by Johann Strauss the Younger. – ed.)? It has a lot of special effects — and even a live horse appears on the stage! Yes, it’s a good show but not at all excep tional for our theater. This show is per formed in many operetta theaters of the world but usually not all of the original music score is performed. We use about seventy percent of the original music — no one has ever performed in Ukraine so much of the original. And we do put all we can into it — the energy, the skills, the inspiration! 

A scene from the operetta Za dvoma zaytsyamy.

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PERSONALITY A CLOSEUP

An old print with a view of the siege of Vienna; the two figures in the foreground are those of Yury Kulchytsky and his servant.

Coffee for Europe Yury Kulchytsky's personal seal.

YURY KULCHYTSKY IS NOT A HOUSEHOLD NAME IN UKRAINE THOUGH HE SHOULD BE. THIS UKRAINIAN, A WARRIOR AND GOURMET, WHOSE RECIPE OF MAKING COFFEE HAS BECOME KNOWN AS “VIENNA COFFEE”, CONTRIBUTED A LOT TO PREVENTING THE TURKS FROM OVERRUNNING EUROPE. OLENA KRUSHYNSKA TELLS A REMARKABLE STORY OF THE SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY UKRAINIAN HERO.

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very time I sip my coffee, I can’t help recollecting the name of Yury Kulchytsky who, by rights, should have been included into the pantheon of national heroes. He should have been as famous as some of the pivotal heroes from the past are known in many countries of the world — but he is not. Which is a shame because he does deserve a national fame.

Kozak, merchant, interpreter The village of Kulchytsi, near Sambir, in the Land of Lvivshchyna (then part of the PolishLithuanian Commonwealth) where Yury Kulchytsky was born, is famous for giving Ukraine a number of pro minent political figures, Hetman Petro KonashevychSahaydachny among them. Two more Cossack (Kozak would be closer both to the Ukrainian spelling and pronunciation) hetmans, Marko Zhmaylo Kulchytsky and Pavlo Pavlyuk, also hail from the village of Kultchytsi.


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Many prints and paintings were devoted to The Battle of Vienna, arguably the most important European event at that time.

The monument to Yury Kulchytsky, at the corner of the street named after him in Vienna.

Фото Л. ЛОБОДИ

The protagonist of this story was brought into life in the year 1640. He was christened Yury. In later life, he spent a lot of time in the Germanspeaking lands and was known there as Georg Franz Kolschitzky, and in his Polish persona he was Jerzy Franciszek Kulczycki. Little is known about his life before his twentieth year when he found his way to the Zaporizka Sich, the major Kozak centre and community in the southeast of Ukraine. Cossacks made frequent raids into the Tartar Crimea and against va rious Turkish targets, and Yury, who joined these raids, learnt the Turkish and Cri mean Tartar language and was often employed as an interpreter. During one of the raids he was taken prisoner by the Turks and spent some time in captivity. He became quite fluent in Turkish. All in all, he was fluent in the Turkish, German, Hungarian, Romanian, and Polish languages. It is quite probable that it was in Turkish captivity that Yury tasted and came to like strong Turkish coffee. His knowledge of languages came to be very useful too — some Serbian merchants bought him out of the Turkish slavery and offe red a position of a translator for the Belgrade branch of the Austrian Oriental Company (Orientalische Handelskompagnie). When the Turkish authorities began to be suspicious of foreign traders, regarding them to be spies, Yury avoi ded arrest by claiming Polish citizenship. Later he moved to Vienna where he worked as a translator at the Austrian court and continued to develop his trade business. He bought and sold carpets, silk and precious metals. Since most of his trade partners were Turks, it is but na tural to infer that he was a regular drinker of Turkish cof fee — it’s hard to imagine any trade talks without coffee being served! There is another, also quite believable, version of Kul chytsky’s life, in which he never went to Zaporizka Sich. His family had noble roots and that allowed him to make his way to Vienna where he received a good educa tion. His career began at the Austrian embassy in Turkey. When the war between Turkey and Aus tria broke out, Kulchytsky returned to Vienna. There is not enough compelling evidence in favor of either of these stories. Perso nally, I am inclined to choose the Ko zak version — it seems to tally better with his heroic deeds in later life. Either way, we know for sure that Kulchytsky lived in Vienna before the start of the Turkish 

The title page of Yury Kulchytsky's memoirs.


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The First Coffee House in Vienna. 1683. A painting by Franz Schams. 1823.

Kulchytsky had an excellent talent for promotion stunts: he walked around wearing Turkishstyle dress and offering passersby to taste his coffee. A year after the siege of Vienna had been lifted, he opened his first coffee house.

Austrian war in the summer of 1683. We know even the name of the street he lived in and the house number: 8 Haidgasse. Shortly after the news of the beginning of hostilities reached Vienna, Kulchytsky voluntarily joined the Austrian army. His age (he was then forty three) and his diplomatic status would have had protected him from being drafted but he decided it was his duty to volunteer for army service. Such a move does suggest a Kozak past. Siege of Vienna The Ottoman wars in Europe, also known as Turkish Wars, were a series of military conflicts in which the Ottoman Empire attempted to expand its territorial holdings in Europe. These conflicts lasted for several centuries. In spite of setbacks, the Ottomans kept making their attempts to grab as much of the European territory as possible. In 1683 started what is usually referred to as the Great Turkish War. The Ottoman Turks marched to Vienna with a force of bet ween 140,000 and 300,000 men. Some of the protestant Hun garian noblemen, who rebelled against the Habsburg rule, sup ported the Turks. A Holy League was formed which included Au stria and Poland, Venetians and the Russian Empire. In the summer of 1673, the Turkish forces began their siege of Vienna. The Viennese were appalled by the strength of the Turkish army that surrounded their city. Even though many Viennese men joined

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Photo by R. MYSHKOVETS

the garrison, there seemed to be little hope that the city would be able to withstand the siege for long. An appeal for help was urgently to be sent out. Several attempts were made to send couriers to the main Habsburg forces but all messengers were captured and executed by the Turks. Kulchytsky volunteered to leave the besieged and starving city and contact Duke Charles of Lorraine, a Generalissimo of the Habsburg army. Together with his trusty servant, a Serbian, he left the city at night, on August 13, in the rain, wearing Turkish attire for disguise. They moved stealthily at first but when the day broke, they wal ked on boldly. Kulchytsky even kept whistling Turkish tunes. When asked who they were, Kulchytsky said that he was a Turkish mer chant who delivered food to the Turkish army. Kulchytsky talked and looked so convincing that he and his servant were even trea ted to a lunch. However, their Turkish disguise almost led to their being killed by the locals when the pair were crossing the Danube. Kulchytsky and his servant did get to the duke, and passed on the letter crying for help. The Duke gave them his own letter in which he encouraged the Viennese to hold on as the relief force was on its way. The pair managed to return to the city, again passing through the Turkish camp. They reported that there was a promise of im minent relief and because of that, the city council decided not to


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In the memorial coffee house in the village of Kulchytsi, which boasts a museum of Yury Kulchytsky, the coffee is made to Yury Kulchytsky's recipe.

surrender to the Turkish forces of Kara Mustafa Pasha and conti nue the fight instead. After the arrival of Christian forces led by the Polish king Jan III Sobieski, on September 12, the siege was broken. Kulchytsky was considered a hero by the grateful townspeople of Vienna. The city council awarded him with a considerable sum of money while the burghers gave him a house in the borough of Leopoldstadt. King Jan III Sobieski himself presented Kulchytsky with large amounts of coffee found in the captured camp of Kara Mustafa’s army. Coffee house Kulchytsky was hailed as a true hero of Vienna and given the status of honorary citizen. This status freed him from paying ta xes. He was also given a job of a personal translator of the Austri an monarch. It did not take Kulchytsky long to figure out what to do with the coffee beans that had been given as a present — he began making coffee. He walked around town offering this beverage free of charge to anybody who would care to taste it. For advertisement reasons, he was wearing Turkishstyle dress. On August 13 1684, exactly a year after his heroic exploit (another excellent promotion stunt!), he opened a coffee house in

Vienna at Schlossergassl near the cathedral. It was named Hof zur Blauen Flasche — the House under the Blue Bottle. His coffee house was the first one of its kind in Vienna and one of the first in Europe (it is known that there were coffee houses in Venice, Oxford, Paris and some other towns). His abilities helped popularize coffee in Austria. Soon enough his “cafe” became one of the most popular haunts in town. People came not only to drink coffee but to take a look at the proprietor who always served the mortarground coffee wearing Turkish at tire. It added to the place’s popularity. It was not long before he hit upon another brilliant idea — to serve coffee with milk or cream and sugar or honey. The Turks ne ver served coffee in this way, and the new flavor was an immedi ate and huge success. Kulchytsky is also credited with the invention of croissants — cakes in the shape of “the Turkish halfmoon”. He charged a very small price for them, which only increased their popularity. The homey and friendly atmosphere of Kulchytsky’s coffee house made it a place visited by people from many walks of life. He introduced musicians to entertain the patrons and greeted every one who entered by saying, “How are you doing, dear brother — or sister?” Kulchytsky wrote a book about his adventures and it became a bestseller. 

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Photo: courtesy of Ihor SAPELYAK

The actors who took a part in a film about Yury Kulchytsky, at the unveiling of the monument to Kulchytsky in the village of Kulchytsi.

Local History Museum in Kulchytsi Open 10 am to 5 pm, Monday — off Tel.: +380 3236 49 551 Cell: +380 96 301 6548

house was located. The figure holds in one hand a tray with a coffee cup sitting on it and in other hand — a Turkish style coffee pot. The sculpture is still there — but the coffee house is not. At present, there are over a thousand coffee houses in Vienna, with a great many restaurants and confectionaries which also of fer coffee. UNESCO put the Viennese culture of coffee houses on its World Heritage List in November of 2011.

Kulchytsky remains a popular folk hero and the patron of all Viennese cafe ow ners. Until recently, every year in Octo ber “Kolschitzky“coffee feast is held. Several more coffee houses sprang up in Vienna in imitation of Kulchytsky’s place. Kulchytsky died on February 1694, tuberculosis being the major cause of his death. He was buried at a cemetery near the Cathedral of St Stephan (the cemetery does not exist anymore). In 1862 a street was named after him (Kolschitzkgasse). There was a coffee house in it named after him too. Its walls were deco rated with murals depicting the Battle of Vienna of 1683; there we re also portraits of him and of the King Jan Sobieski. Kulchytsky (spelled in Austria as Kolschitzky) remains a popular folk hero and the patron of all Viennese cafe owners. Until recently, every year in October a special Kolschitzky feast was organized by the cafe owners of Vienna, who decorated their shop windows with Kolschitzky’s portraits. In commemoration of the Battle of Vienna, a sculpture to Kul chytsky was erected on the facade of the building where the coffee

Photo: courtesy of Ihor SAPELYAK

The Kulchytsi villagers and guests at the ceremony of unveiling of the monument to Kulchytsky in 2010.

Memory of Kulchytsky in Ukraine It seems that Kulchytsky is much better remembered in Poland and in Austria (as Jerzy Franciszek Kulczycki and Georg Franz Kol schitzky respectively) than in Ukraine. It was only relatively recently that his name has resurfaced again. In the Ukrainian city of Lviv, there used to exist a coffee house na med after Yury Kulchytsky. It must have been thanks to that coffee shop that an interest in Kulchytsky and his deeds began to stir up. One of the fist private coffee houses (after Ukraine’s indepen dence) is called The House under the Blue Bottle. It is considered to be the one of the “right” coffee haunts in Lviv, located in the central ancient part of town known as Rynok and which is frequen ted by the locals. The village of Kulchytsi boasts a Local History Museum that in cludes an exhibition on Yury Kulchytsky with a monument to him standing in front of it. It was erected in 2010 to commemorate the 370 anniversary of Kulchytsky’s birth. The monument was unveiled during the Kulchytsky Fest traditionally held in midJuly. The curator of the Museum, Bohdan Sydor, who is a great Kul chytsky enthusiast, loves telling stories about Kulchytsky, both true and fable, and invites the visitors to the coffee house which is lo cated in the basement of the museum (which he himself actually founded), and treats guests with a cup of coffee made according to Kulchytsky’s recipe.  The author expresses her gratitude to Ihor Sapeliak and Serhiy Reminnyi for help they provided in research for this essay.


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Welcome to Ukraine  

#1-2013 www.wumag.kiev.ua

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