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Private Zoo Owner Plans to Spend a Year Living with Lions

Alexander Pylyshenko, the owner of a private zoo in the Zaporozhye region of Ukraine, has announced he plans to spend a year caged with two full-grown lions, in order to raise funds for a  proper care center for big cats.

If this story sounds familiar to you, it’s probably because this wouldn’t be Alexander Pylyshenko first such attempt. Back in 2011 he set a new Ukrainian record, after he spent 35 days caged with two lions, during which time he even helped the female deliver her cubs. From the moment he set foot into the cage, the feline lover started living as if he was a lion himself. That meant sharing the raw meat the lions were fed with and sleeping on hay beds. He even built a toilet and shower inside the enclosure so he wouldn’t be forced to leave the cage at any moment. This time however, he plans on living with male Samson and lioness Katya for a full year, so he needs to plan accordingly. Alexander, who has studied lions his whole life, decided to spend time with his two fanged pets both inside their metal cage and in his nearby country house, where he’ll be able to cook. The Ukrainian beast-master says that although his lions consume between 5 and 10 pounds of meat per day, depending on the season, Katya has developed a taste for his cooking and enjoys mushroom soup and tomatoes with mayonnaise.

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Dangerous Hands – Ukrainian Hairdresser Cuts Hair Blindfolded

Oleg Maksakov, a hairdresser from Sevastopol, Ukraine, has a very unique way of cutting his clients’ hair – wearing a blindfold and masterfully wielding two pairs of scissors at the same time.

Most clients visiting a hairdresser are worried they might get a bad haircut, but Oleg Maksakov’s customers are more worried about getting one or both of their ears sliced off. That’s because the young Ukrainian likes to cut hair with both hands and wearing a blindfold. He has been a hairdresser for 10 years, but only recently took up the dangerous challenge of cutting hair blindfolded. “I wanted to test my skill level,” he told TSN. First he learned to cut hair with his left hand, than with both hands at the same time, and finally, while blindfolded. “It’s kind of like meditation,” Oleg says. “Each haircut for me is extreme. The structure of hair, different people, it all goes a different way every time.” According to local media, Maksakov has become very popular after word of his special skills spread in Sevastopol, but his very first client was the person that trusts him the most – his mother.

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Self-Taught Amateur Artist Paints with Ground Coffee and a Pinch of Sand

Alexander Wald works as a plumber in the Ukrainian city of Lviv, but in his spare time he likes to exercise his artistic talents by painting with unusual mediums like ground coffee and sand.

Painting with coffee is not exactly unheard of. Artists like Karen Eland and Steven Mikel have been doing it for years, and even coffee beans have been used as an artistic material in an impressive mosaic by Saimir Strati. But until I came across Alexander Wald’s works, I had never heard of anyone using ground coffee. The Ukrainian amateur artist makes a living working as a plumber at the Lviv Circus, but most of his free time is spent creating unique works of art from dried coffee residue and sand. He drinks 2-3 cups of coffee a day, and instead of throwing away the coffee grounds on the bottom of his cup, he dries them and uses them as an art medium. His colleagues pitch in as well, otherwise Alexander would actually have to buy fresh ground coffee. This way, he enjoys his morning cups of java and has plenty of free material to work with. The self-taught artist says any kind of coffee will do, except for instant coffee, which doesn’t produce any leftover grounds.

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Ukrainian Artist Creates Incredibly Detailed Artworks from Sand and Seashells

Svetlana Ivanchenko is a talented Ukrainian artist who uses overlooked natural materials like sand, seashells, quartz, tree roots and tree bark to create wonderful mosaics that look almost painted by hand.

Born and raised in Yalta, on the shores of the Black Sea, Ivanchenko was always fascinated by the abundance of natural materials that surrounded her. She studied at the Crimean Art School, under the supervision of renowned artist Sergei Bokaeva, and later graduated from the Glukhivskiy Pedagogical Institute. The artist currently based in the city of Dnepropetrovsk uses a variety of sand, shells, quartz and tree parts to create amazing works of art inspired by her place of birth and the warmth of the female body. It’s hard to believe, but every little piece of material used to create the artworks is placed by hand, and no coloring other than that of the composing elements is used. As Pinar from My Modern Metropolis notes, Svetlana “merges the various textures and colors brilliantly, making it difficult to imagine the frames being made of anything else.” Her natural masterpieces have been exhibited in international galleries, and many of them reside in the private collections of connaisseurs in Russia, Ukraine, Germany, Estonia and the Dominican Republic.

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Coffin Therapy Helps Ukrainians Get Used to the Afterlife

Enterprising coffin maker Stepan Piryanyk, from the Ukraine, is offering living people the chance to lay down in one of his comfortable coffins in order to get used to the afterlife. After all, death is always so sudden, so why not take some time to get used to it…

Lying down in a coffin as therapy is not unheard of. Just a week a go we posted an article about a special Chinese psychotherapy clinic where patients lay down in a coffin and have the lid shut over them, in order to experience death and rebirth. A Taiwanese professor also buries his students alive in a coffin in the floor of his classroom, to make them appreciate every second of their lives. But Stepan Piryanyk, from the Ukrainian town of Truskavets, has found a new way to use his spooky wooden boxes as a form of therapy. The owner of a large coffin-making business, Stepan decided it would be a good idea to set up a special room where people could just lay down in one of his comfortable coffins, and experience being dead. Ironically enough, some people actually took him up on his creepy offer and said it was a very relaxing experience. Read More »

Anastasiya Shpagina (Fukkacumi) – Ukraine’s Real-Life Anime Girl

It’s official, this real-life anime trend has gotten completely out of hand. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t stumble upon some photos of girls going to any lengths in order to look like real live anime characters. Today’s example, Anastasiya Shpagina, an Ukrainian girl who has even taken a Japanese name – Fukkacumi. Not the most inspired choice, I must say…

Just last Friday I wrote an article about a rather creepy-looking Chinese model called Tina Leopard, who had the pointiest chin I’d ever seen and had risen to Internet fame thanks to her anime-like appearance. I had discovered there was actually a trend sweeping China, with thousands of Chinese teens posting photos of themselves with anime-style makeup and hairstyles, but apparently it’s not just China that’s affected by this bizarre fashion. Venus Angelic, a young Londoner who made headlines in international media for her YouTube videos where she talks and makes herself look like a living Japanese doll, and Dakota Rose(aka Kotakoti) from America, were also praised for their genuine anime looks, and now the trend has apparently hit Eastern Europe as well. After Valeria Lukyanova sparked controversy in Ukrainian and Russian media with her doll-like features a few months back, it’s Anastasiya Shpagina’s turn to baffle us with her realistic anime-like looks. Coincidentally, she’s from the same town as Valeria, Odessa.

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Ukrainian Car Enthusiast Turns His Mitsubishi Eclipse into a Lamborghini Reventon

Alexander Stupkin, a 30-year-old car enthusiast from Odessa, Ukraine, has spent the last two years turning his old Mitsubishi Eclipse into a gorgeous Lamborghini Reventon replica.

It’s barely been two weeks since we posted an article about Wang Jian, the 28-year-old Chinese farmer who built his own Lamborghini Reventon from scrap, and now we have another Lambo fan who decided to built his own dream car. His name is Alexander Stupkin, a young Ukrainian jeweler from Odessa. Apparently he has always been a fan of beautiful sports cars, and since he was already working in a field that requires patience and accuracy, he decided to try his luck with tunning. Although he had no experience with tunning cars, with the help of family and friends, Alexander managed to transform an old 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse he bought in 2008 into a stunning replica of his Italian dream car, the Lamborghini Reventon. It’s true the build process took over two years, but the end-result is really impressive, if you ask me.

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Real-Life Shrek and Fiona Have Their Very Own Fairy Tale Castle

A Ukrainian couple from the village of Akimova, in the Zaporozhye region have spent 10 years building their own fairy tale castle. And because of their resemblance to the popular animation characters, they are known as Shrek and Fiona by the locals.

Anatoly and Larisa Galitsky love children, so one day they decided to built a castle-themed cafe where they could come and play in a fairy tale setting. The courtyard was supposed to be full of swings and carousels for the kids to enjoy, while the castle interior was designed to look like what they read in popular stories. But alas, the real world has its own villains, and in the Galitskys’ case it was the local sanitation department who just wouldn’t authorize the build of a public cafe on the site of an old landfill. After several attempts to convince the authorities to approve their project, Anatoly finally decided to give up and make his castle into a unique residence. The real-life Shrek drew up the plans himself, and after 10 long years, he and his beloved Fiona finally have a castle to call their own. The entire structure covers an area of 300 square meters, has three large halls, a bedroom and a huge kitchen. The three stone walls also house a bathhouse and a garage. Of the castle’s six pointy towers, only one is actually hollow, the rest are just for show.

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Ukrainian Artist Creates Unique Paintings with Fish Bones Scales and Eyes

Elena Zhuravskaya, an amateur artist from Kiev, Ukraine, uses fish bones, scales and even their boiled eyes to assemble amazing paintings on velvet canvases. Although her work is virtually  unknown outside her native country, I hope this article changes that.

I found photos of Elena’s works on a wonderful-yet-obscure blog called Viola, and after doing some “digging” I was able to find more info on this wonderful artist and her unique trade. Ms Zhuravskaya, who works as an architect in Kiev, has a very interesting hobby – she likes to use fish leftovers (bones, scales, eyes) to create detailed ivory-like paintings on dark velvet canvases. The self-taught artist has invented a number of bone-processing techniques which allow her to manipulate the fine medium into whatever shape she desires, although she admits working with such delicate materials is a painstaking process. So far, her fishy artworks have been displayed in various galleries around Kiev, leaving art-enthusiasts in awe of both her bizarre medium choice and amazing attention to detail.

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Real-Life Sleeping Beauties Are Contractually Bound to Marry Their Prince Charmings in Controversial Art Exhibit

Aptly named “Sleeping Beauty“, a controversial art exhibit at the National Art Museum of Ukraine has real-life sleeping beauties waiting to be “woken up” by true love’s kiss, just like in the famous fairytale by Charles Perrault. Only these fair maidens are bound by contact to marry their suitors if they open their eyes while being kissed.

Earlier this month, a group of young women were chosen to be part of an an unusual art installation designed by Canadian-Ukrainian artist Taras Polataiko. Each one has agreed to lay down on a pedestal-style bed for three days waiting to be woken up by true love’s kiss. Unlike the sleeping beauty in Perrault’s story, these girls are not under any curse, nor have they been poisoned, they just volunteered to be part of a really unique art project and hopefully find the love of their lives. Because the contract they agreed to sign clearly states that if any of them open their eyes while being kissed by any of the male visitors, they are obliged to marry them. To make things interesting, each of the visitors is also required to sign a contract that obligates them to marry the sleeping beauty if she opens her eyes during the kiss. Pretty serious stuff…

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TreT – The Amazing Parkour Dog from Ukraine

Parkour is cool when performed by humans, but when it’s a dog that doing the stunts, it’s simply amazing.  TreT, a 5-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier from the Ukraine jumps over railings, climbs walls and sprints, proving he’s a Pakour master on four legs.

TreT is one of only two known Parkour dogs around the world. His owner, Evgeny Elchaninov, says he knew nothing about the other dog from Hawaii when they started training, and that TreT’s moves are much more spectacular, anyway. The young man from western Ukraine used to practice Parkour himself, until a bad knee injury ruined his career, Suddenly he had to give up his biggest passion in life, but his unfulfilled dreams reincarnated in his six-months old dog, who loved to run and jump. He began training TreT in the art of Parkour, both in urban landscapes and at historic landmarks, and posted videos of his amazing stunts online. Now the pooch is a true Internet celebrity.

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Ukrainian Painter Turns Communist Apartment Building Into an Inhabitable Art Gallery

Communist-era apartment buildings from the former Soviet Union are some of the ugliest edifices in the world, but Ukrainian painter Valery Haroun managed to turn one of them into a marvelous art gallery.

The apartment building in Odessa, Ukraine looks pretty ordinary from afar, but as you draw near the entrance, you realize there’s something special about it. The building’s door has been painted to look like that of a palace, the bland concrete pillars look like old temple columns and there’s a mural of naked Aphrodite looking right at you. Pretty unusual, but we’ve all seen graffiti artworks on apartment buildings, right? But it’s actually the interior of this place that’s truly stunning. Each of its nine floors is covered with colorful artworks, from reproductions of Claude Monet and Victor Vasnetsov, to postcard illustrations and cartoons like Winnie the Pooh and Madagascar.

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Ukrainian Artist Creates Fantastic Religious Icons from Millions of Knots

Using a special knot weaving technique called macrame, Ukrainian artist Vladimir Denshchikov creates mind-blowing religious icons made almost entirely of linen thread.

Born on July 1, 1952 in Kiev, Vladimir Denshchikov graduated the Kiev Theater University and went on to become and actor. He worked his way up  to director and artistic director of the Simferopol Crimea Maxim Gorky Academic Russian Drama Theater, and since 2007 he has been teaching acting and directing at the Simferopol Institute of Culture. Quite an impressive professional career, but this national artist of the Ukraine is mostly known for his unique hobby – making incredibly detailed religious icons from linen thread, using a technique called “macrame”.

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Ukraine’s Amazing Underwater Painters

You can’t rush art! That’s what they say anyway, but that rule doesn’t apply to the members of Ukraine’s national school of underwater painting, who have just 40 minutes of oxygen to complete their masterpieces.

Painting usually takes patience and comfort to produce memorable works of art, but the artists painting in the depths of the Black Sea can’t really afford to take their time, because that would mean risking their lives. The unusual group of painters, all certified divers, work at depths of between 2 and 20 meters, and claim what they do is just like regular painting, only their canvases are covered with a waterproof adhesive coating, before they plunge into the sea. Although they decide at what depth they want to work, underwater painters have to be very careful because the deeper they go the more color is lost, and on the surface colors look totally different. Red, for example, turns brown or even black.

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You Think Football Is Too Easy? Try Footdoubleball

Invented by a group of Ukrainian students who apparently thought regular football wasn’t exciting enough, footdoubleball is a wacky sport played with two balls of different color, at the same time.

Footdoubleball isn’t exactly new, since it was first played in 2007, but it’s definitely new to many people in western European countries, and especially North America, where regular football (soccer) isn’t as popular as in other parts of the world. Most of the rules that apply in a game of football are also obeyed in footdoubleball, but there are certain alterations and additions supposed to make the game “more dynamic and dramatic”. The most notable difference between the two sports is that footdoubleball is played with two balls (of different color) at the same time. At the start of the match each team is awarded one of the balls, and goalkeepers have to kick off the game from the corners of the keeper’s area. That’s when it starts getting really confusing. Each team tries to attack with one ball and defend its goal from the other team at the same time. If one team manages to steal the ball from the other team it can attack with both, and goalkeepers often find themselves in situations where they have to parry two strikes at the same time.

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