In Digest, Ukraine

Alina Bondareva, Vesti.ukr, September 10, 2015, translation by New Cold

The population of Ukraine, irrespective of emigration flows, declined during the past year by 164,800, according to a new study by the State Statistics Service of Ukraine (SSSU). The decline was caused by increased deaths relative to births. It says there is no region in the country that saw a decline in mortality rates.

The worst hit regions were Dnipropetrovsk, Odessa and Kharkiv. In the Dnipropetrovsk region, the number of deaths for the year increased by 181,000; in Odessa by 140,000 and in Kharkov by 9,000 inhabitants. The statistics for Volyn and Chernivtsi regions were unchanged and they were slightly changed in Kirovograd, where mortality increased by 7,000.

Experts blame increased mortalities on the war in the east of the country and the economic crisis.

In general, according to the statistics service, the mortality rate in Ukraine rose to 14.7 per cent per thousand people in the period from July 2014 to July 2015. That’s a rise of more than four per cent compared with the previous period, July 2013 to July 2014.

According to the chief researcher of the Institute of Demography of SSSU, Natalia Rynhach, an important factor was deaths caused by the war. “In 2014, the mortality of working age men from external factors was 160,300 compared to 134,100 in 2013,” she says. Those are both direct losses and indirect ones. Kyiv reports that 3,394 men died as a result of military actions in 2014.” [1]

“If the war continues,” the Ukrainian demographer says, “this will become a most serious problem in Ukraine, considering that mortality among men is three times greater than among women for the age cohort between 20 and 60.” That will affect marriage patterns and thus the number of children born.

As for the leaders of mortality, Dnepropetrovsk, Odessa and Kharkiv region, there are several reasons. “These are industrial regions where there are problems with ecology. Also, as a result of the crisis many have lost work and do not have the means to maintain their earlier standard of living. And of course, the war.”

“In Dnepropetrovsk,” sociologist Pavel Korniyenko adds, “there are many military units, and there are many deaths among them.” He says that the regions doing relatively better have fewer environmental and economic problems and also have fewer military personnel within their borders.

A third specialist, Oleksandr Okhrimenko, says that the crisis has affected mortality in another way: medicines have become more expensive, and some cannot afford the drugs that they need.

Note by New Cold
[1] One of the features of the latest, biased report on the human right situation in Ukraine of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights is its low estimate of deaths caused by the civil war in the country. The UN office claims that approximately 8,000 people have died in the war during the past 18 months. Yet the above Vesti news report cites the Ukrainian government as saying in 2014 alone, 3,394 of its soldiers died in the war! Kyiv keeps a very tight lid on reporting its war deaths.

Read also in Vesti.ukr:

Only five per cent of Ukrainians are confident in future success of economic reforms

Vesti.ukr, Sept 9, 2015 (translation by New Cold

According to a published poll of Ukrainians by the Democratic Initiatives Foundation, more than half of Ukrainians do not believe in the success of economic reforms of the present government. The numbers are divided as follows:

  • 30 per cent of those polled do not expect any success from reforms
  • 32 per cent of citizens still feel little hope for their success
  • 25 per cent of Ukrainians believe in the reforms in general but doubt their success
  • Only 4.8 per cent of respondents are “fully confident” in reforms

Forty eight per cent of respondents believe that none of the proclaimed economic reforms have been implemented, 24 per cent believe that only ten per cent has been done and nine per cent that that no more than one third have been made. Only 0.6 per cent of respondents believe that the better part of reforms has been implemented.

Fifty one per cent of citizens say that the government and oligarchs are the greatest obstacles to the conduct of reforms. Thirty two per cent believe the government is a positive factor in the conduct of reforms whereas only seven per cent h. Conversely, only 7% of Ukrainians have such an opinion of the wealthy oligarchs.

President Poroshenko says that that economic growth in the country will resume in the future and the high inflation rate will gradually decrease.


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