Kyiv – This article is an answer to the questions Americans do not ask — “What really is Ukraine? Why do Ukrainians tell Americans they are in a state of misery and despair?”
Imagine the largest country by area in Europe – 609,000 sq.km. Yes, the area of Texas is even larger – 696,000 sq.km. Imagine, green rural lands, mountains like in Colorado or Appalachia, seas like in California and Hawaii, woods like in Connecticut. There are some large cities — 7 cities with a population of 1 million+ people. The capital is Kyiv with an estimated 3.5-4 million people. The country has enormous natural reserves. The country doesn’t need to buy gas – it has enough gas for its own production and civil needs. The country doesn’t have to buy metal – the country is one of the largest exporters of iron ore, pig iron. The country doesn’t need to buy coal – the country is one of the largest exporters of coal. The country is in the top five producers of wheat and grains in the world. There are more facts like that.
Wait a second! Not is. Used to be, was… Not anymore.. not any time soon in a short-term forecast. There is a war going on in Ukraine. What? From February 22, 2022 when Russians bombed Kyiv at 4am in the morning? No. The war started in 2014 after the so-called (it was later called that on TV) – Revolution of Dignity? Was it a revolution? – no. Was dignity involved? – not for any of the participants, that’s certain.
Thus, the first myth is that the war started in February of 2022. This is not true – the war has been dragging from 2014. Did people die in the conflict since 2014? Yes, Definitely. Ukraine lost approximately 10% of its territory in 2015. Thus, it’s a continental war since that time. Ukraine has lost 2 regions and 50% of the territory of two more regions that are currently (as of June 2023) occupied by Russia.
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Second question and second myth – Ukraine is so wealthy as a country, why do they (Ukraine or the population?) not buy the weapons they need to defend their country?
Ukraine’s natural reserves are in the ground and the rural lands. The reserves (think, oil, gas, coal, iron ore, etc) have to be excavated, purified, delivered to some storage, sold to other countries, exported. The rural lands have to be leased or bought, cultivated, people have to be hired to produce wheat and grains, then the crops have to be stored somewhere and exported to other countries.
The production enterprises are controlled by oligarchs and ruthless former and current government officials. Some very few production enterprises were privatized and acquired by multinational corporations. The MNEs were very picky and cautious what they chose to acquire in Ukraine. The competitive environment and the macro-environment was and is very risky based on the macro and country-risk analysis.
The average Ukrainian family, and we are speaking about an average Ukrainian family, not an average Kyiv or Donetsk or Kharkiv family, has an income of 400-800 USD/month or even less. Millions of Ukrainians live on 200-300-400 USD per month. The average middle class Kyiv family makes 2-3 thousand USD per month (estimated). Wealthy office workers make 2-3-4 thousand USD/month. Thus, in general the families and the households in Ukraine are very poor. The majority of people in Ukraine have a couple thousand USD in savings and do not have deposits.
Thus, answering the second question and the second myth – Ukraine as a government is broke. Bankrupt. The government announced a deficit of USD 60 billion at the end of the year. The experts estimate the total debt of the government to exceed USD 250 billiion (yes, the official state debt is less!, don’t argue!; add municipal and state-guaranteed debt) and if combined with the current deficit and the deficits of state owned enterprises and government agencies under the control of the central government the figure can reach USD 250-300 billion. Thus, the government is not able to pay for weapons and supply – the government is insolvent; the population is not able to pay for the supplies – they are poor, nevertheless, at the beginning of the war in 2022, several months of the conflict were financed from the pockets of the population. Civilians and businesses sent hundreds of millions of dollars for equipment and the army of Ukraine.
What is the purpose of the government Americans should ask? Yes – 1) defend its territory 2) Organize the civil society in an orderly manner. There are other objectives of the government. We just state two here. It’s enough. Thus, the government of Ukraine is broke by any math-based consideration, thus, insolvent, thus, not creditworthy. Yes, you can check the current sovereign rating – it’s C- (on bonds). It’s 11 notches below the investment grade level of BBB-. You need to realize it’s synthetic. The rating is D. D-default. Thus, the government has failed on the debt, failed its population, failed its purpose. There are other characteristics of the failed government, the list is long and boring. We don’t need to state all the reasons. The war is the ninth black level of a crisis. The war is a consequence, not the reason of the failure of the government and the misery of the population in Ukraine.
Why do we call Ukraine a country of misery in this article?
Let’s summarize in order to answer this question. Some facts and some conclusions from previous analysis and research. Nine crises within thirty years of existence of the country since 1991. Let’s count: crisis of 1991-93, 1995, 1998, 2000, 2008-09, 2012, 2014-15, 2020, 2022 – the war. Plus, add 2 years of COVID-crisis in between 2020-2022. Thus, looking at the calendar, we declare this is too much for a country. Nine crises! The ninth level of crisis is the war – the black level of crisis.
The population didn’t have time to live – the population is in a constant survival mode – fighting for their own survival and the survival of their families. Of course, there are some wealthy Ukrainians traveling in the EU and a few even reach the USA. How many? 10-100,000 people out of an estimated 42 million population calculated in 1998? The country was not able to accumulate the wealth, the population was not able to accumulate the savings required to start businesses, renovate their apartments and their houses. The oligarchs have looted the country of its future. The government officials killed the future in order to launder the money for their own cottage houses and 2 story apartments in the center of Kyiv. The oligarchs and government officials are married in one big carousel of money cycle in Ukraine – a stationary government Laundromat – we will call it “Stirka”. Even the Central Bank of Ukraine (the infamous NBU) calls the investment cycle – a “carousel of investments”.
Right now you might think, “Didn’t they have revolutions and oust bad governments?”
No. They were not the revolutions from the population, they were synthetic revolutions financed by a mix of money from various sources and organized and led by various players — local oligarchs, external oligarchs, local and external NGOs/NPOs, and, we dare to say, governmental agencies from inside the country and outside. The results of the “revolutions” were not successful, meaning, that the latter government officials were often even worse than their predecessors.
The government laundromat continues its cycle – “stirka”.
American government officials who come to meet Ukrainian government officials have to obey the diplomatic protocol and use euphemisms in their diplomatic conversations. Their thesaurus comes from Georgetown University or Harvard. Their education and upbringing do not allow them to call the parties “crooks, shysters, incompetentos”. They know who they (Ukrainian officials) are, but they (Americans) can’t say this.
Euphemistically, they speak in politically correct roadmaps: “we are deeply concerned about the level of corruption in Ukraine, and the failure of initiatives”. A traditional Ukrainian translator translates these euphemistic sentences in the following manner, rephrasing the meaning and the angle of message: “the level of corruption in the government is high”. Then the Ukrainian officials present a plan to fight corruption processes they do not control as of that moment, or fight corruptioners in the opposition. They can’t fight theirselves or find theirselves. Thus, the next time American officials speak to Ukrainian officials the conversation is the same, the same, the same. The status is the same, the same, the same. Ukrainian officials do not understand the meaning of the sentence said by the Americans: “corrupted state” is a euphemism for “failed state”. The elections and the revolutions in Ukraine bring the worst of the worst, the worst incompetence out of incompetentos.
What are the reasons for the misery of Ukraine and the Ukrainians?
— the government as a body, and the infected governmental officials in the government, and imposition onto the government from outside of Ukraine, plus, the influence of NPOs/NGOs/government agencies from the West.
Looking at the quantity of crises’ in Ukraine (read above), the conclusion is made that no government in Ukraine (as a team that should consist of a President and the Cabinet of Ministers, Judges, courts, police) was able to manage the country as a living organism that consists of a monetary system, banking sector, real sector, population, infrastructure. Based on the analyses of nine crises and a war, we can say every governmental team (presidents, ministers) were failures and thieves – prior to the revolutions and after the revolutions.
We arrive to the conclusion that the country’s system became even more chaotic and the political fight for limited country-level and municipal-level resources more fierce and ruthless. The laundering, the channeling and the carouseling of Ukraine’s budgetary and the Western donors’ money became more elaborative and impudent.
We conclude the misery of Ukraine is created by the thieves, criminals in the government of Ukraine. The chaos in Ukraine’s economy and politics is a consequence of the fight between political and business activities of several groups: 1) local criminals in the government financed and on the hook by Ukrainian oligarchs 2) local criminals in the government and the oligarchs from Russia 3) local criminals in the government under the influence and under the control of the Western-affiliated NPOs/NGOs/governmental agencies 4) Westerners from the Western NPOs/NGOs/governmental agencies.
Who are the victims?
The victims are the population. The waves of emigration out of Ukraine are enormous. The country is losing its population. The country has been losing its nucleus from 1991.
Don’t believe the myth there were 42 million Ukrainians before the war started. That large of a population was an estimate in 1998. 38 million people was an estimate prior to 2020. An estimated 3.5 million Ukrainians were residing in Russia prior to the war (2022), an estimated 3 million Ukrainians emigrated to Russia since the outbreak of the hot war in 2022. Thus, subtract 7.5 from 38. We obtain 30.5 million.
Then, subtract 18.5 million people as pensioners in Ukraine. You get 11.5 million people. Then subtract 3 million people that work on the government, including approximately estimated 1 million currently busy in the war. 8.5 million people. Subtract kids and students. The quantity of people in the economy of Ukraine is estimated at around 2-3 million people.
The country is not able to feed itself, the country is not able to invest into itself, the country is not able to reproduce itself. An estimated 9 million people have left Ukraine since the beginning of the hot war in 2022. Some articles mention reverse immigration (returning Ukrainians) – but this is mythical propaganda. Ukrainians who have left for the EU dream not to return to the country that failed them. Ukrainians that had to emigrate to Russia think about returning home, but they can’t return to the regions where they lost their homes, and they are not welcomed in other regions of Ukraine. In addition to the war, there is a social conflict in the country, media dictatorship, propaganda, lies and hypocrisy of unprecedented levels.
We would like to conclude the article with a hope that new leaders will appear in Ukraine, and that people will be able to choose to vote for people who are not able to produce anything other than chaos, looting, thievery, social conflict and empty declarations.
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