Euro-integration has devastated Ukraine
If you experience it every day, you quickly get used to it; you no longer overreact. Figures turn into statistics and then into history. This history has become so familiar that it no longer surprises anyone, hardly affecting most people. But two years have passed since Ukraine’s Euromaidan. In retrospect you start to realize how low the country has fallen during this period.
What is the ‘European’ present, now?
Territory and population
Ukraine lost 47,000 sq. km. or 7.2% of its territory.
The population officially amounts to 42.7 million people, about 35-36 million without the Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics and citizens who emigrated to Russia. Taking into account whose who left for Europe, we get 33-34 million people.
About 35.2 million people lived in the territory of the modern Ukraine in 1913. In 1944, after liberation, there were 33.5 million.
More than twenty years of looking for ways to join the West cost the country 7 million people and about 3-4 million ‘temporary’ emigrants. The past two years cost the country 3 more million people and an extra 7 million emigrants and ‘separatists’. The country suffered such devastation only once, after the events of 1914-1920 and the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945.
Macroeconomic indicators of 2014-15 (excluding territories which Kiev today does not control):
- GDP: -16.49%;
- Industry: -22.15%;
- Agriculture: – 2.7%;
- Goods transported: -19.63%, of
- Passengers transported: -16.95%;
- Construction: -32.26%;
- Wholesale trade: – 25.37%
- Retail; -27.52%;
- Exports: -38.84%
- Services: -34.34%
Today’s hole is worse than the one in 2008. During the first year of the world economic crisis, Ukraine’s economy declined a little, but then it rebounded. Now, at a time of relative stability in the world economy, due to Maidan and the decisions taken by Ukraine’s current government in favor of its people, it has declined again, and there may not be another rebound since the world is in recession again.
Entire industries are destroyed, often on purpose. Metallurgy, a strategic industry of Ukraine, declined in 1995-1996: in 2015 a total of 22.9 million tons of steel were smelted, in 1995-1996 it was 22.3 million tons. Now, even a small drop will roll back this vital sector of Ukrainian industry to 1960, when Ukraine was just straightening its industrial shoulders as a star of the USSR.
Standard of living
Has the population begun to live better?
Maybe some people have. But this absolute minority of the Ukrainian population are the ones who made business out of the blood of their citizens. Most people have been living less well, and most has fallen into poverty. Aside from those who lost everything due to the war.
The hryvna declined against the dollar from 7.993 hryvna as of January 1, 2014 to 24.00 at the beginning of 2016. Today a dollar is equal to 27.23 UAH.
The hryvna declined against the dropping ruble from 0.25 hryvna per ruble as of January 1, 2014 to 0.33 hryvna as of January 1, 2016; today one hryvna is equal to 0.36 RUR.
But man shall not live by the dollar alone. He draws a salary in hryvna and buys products in hryvna. What are the achievements of the pro-European government?
The average monthly wage per employee in 2013 was 3,265 hryvnia. In 2014, it was 3,480, in 2015, 4,207. In two years, the average monthly wage increased by 28.85%. During the same period, the official price level increased by 78.98%. The population has officially become poorer by a third, but in fact – by much more.
The population became poorer twice as fast as the rate of GDP decline. This alone shows who the new Ukrainian ‘people’s’ power works for. That is why over the past two years, the government’s credibility has rapidly fallen…
The citizens of the Ukraine do not trust the government. A poll conducted in December 2015 put the President’s credibility at 25%. At the same time, only 4% supported him unconditionally. The rest supported him partially, apparently out of hopelessness since they trust no one.
The credibility of the Cabinet of Ministers and Parliament is much lower – about 10%. The personal rating of Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk is one per cent. There’s not much room left for him to get to zero. But maybe he’s already there, with sociologists having decided to factor in a small error.
One should keep in mind that former Ukrainian citizens do not take part in the polls, such as those living in areas not controlled by Kiev, who have extremely negative attitudes towards all the above mentioned.
The day before the collapse of the Yanukovich government, his rating was almost one and a half times higher than Poroshenko’s today. And it’s twice as high taking into account the opinion of all former residents of Ukraine. Yet the West is in no hurry to provide support for the population of the Ukraine by overthrowing the anti-people’s regime, as it did in 2013-2014. Apparently, the situation suits it, notwithstanding the opinions and the future of Ukraine’s population.
Currently, it does not make any sense to conduct polls about Ukraine entering the EU. The question is not about the desire of Ukrainians to get out of the hell it was pushed into by the European Union itself. The point is that Europe does not want to consider Ukraine part of it.
One could sum up the relationship between the Ukraine and the EU: used, abused and refused.
NATO. Fewer Ukrainians want to join the alliance. Desire to hide under the North Atlantic umbrella peaked at the end of 2014 when, according to polls, 51% of Ukrainian citizens under the control of Kiev, voted ‘for’ NATO, 25% voted ‘against’ it. Naturally, this did not take into account the opinion of the residents of most of the Donbas and Crimea. By the end of 2015, only 46% of Ukrainians were ‘for’ joining NATO, with 31% against .
Actually, before the war, 10% of the population lived in the part of the Donbass that is not independent of Kiev. And another 1.5 million people have been forced to flee to Russia over the past two years. All of them have expressed their attitude both to NATO and the EU. But to do that they didn’t need to speak to pollsters: some expressed their opinions with weapons in their hands, others, using their feet.
It’s not just about the citizens of the Ukraine, yet the US and Europe do not believe their stooges. For the third time, Western colonialists are trying to seize Ukraine, but they always face the same problem. Those they choose as the best turn out to be thieves and scum – even murderers.
Everybody in the West believes that the current leaders of Ukraine are capable of building something sustainable, but not everybody working on this is helping. It’s clear that without constant infusions from the IMF, ‘pro-European’ Ukraine will collapse and ‘fall’ under the tutelage of Moscow. In the West, everyone understands this and tries to do something. But a significant part of the Ukrainian government consists of citizens of the USA and the EU, but this doesn’t work too well. They say that external financial flows should be placed under the control of the IMF and European institutions.
Ditmar Stuedemann, ex-Ambassador of Germany to the Ukraine: “Ukraine is trying to become a modern democratic state for the third time, but so far all the money that came to Kiev from the West has disappeared into a black hole. The Marshall Plan for reformation and development of the country will only be worthwhile if all the financial assistance that Kiev has received is controlled by the IMF and European institutions. If we leave it entirely in the hands of Ukraine, it will never work, as experience shows. Over 25 years of its (Ukrainian) independence, we have observed an uncontrolled struggle for power, serving private interests. If this repeats again, the current financial stabilization will never reach its goal”.
After two years of independence, there is no credibility in Kiev. The United States and Europe consider Ukraine as a colony under their direct foreign control. They do not see any other way to develop Ukrainian independence, because any real independence of Ukraine’s elites equals the destruction of the state. The end of the history that the West dedicated the last twenty-five years to building on the ruins of the Soviet Union, has been ‘Ukraine, not Russia’.
Unfortunately this is not the end of our history. Only two ‘happy’ years have passed, becoming a frightful present for its people. Considering the determination of ‘Eurointegrators’, the experiment is likely to continue.
The author is a popular Ukrainian blogger who also has a big following in Russia.
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