G. B. in Tribuno del Popolo
July 8, 2015
“These huge figures speak of a Ukraine completely destroyed so far as the human point of view is concerned.”
Translated from Italian by Tom Winter
Since Kiev finished up their “Maidan,” hounding out the government of Yanukovych, Ukraine has had to endure the displacement of 1.4 million people. Not only that, according to a report of the United Nations, poverty would be on a sharp increase in the country because of the grip of the International Monetary Fund, which granted Kiev a loan of 17.5 billion, whose return is strangling the Ukraine.
A country in pieces is the picture that emerges of Ukraine from the United Nations report: “The Millennium Development Goals. Ukraine: 2000-2015.” This report has been drawn up with the support of the National Demographic Institute, the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, and the Ministry of Economic Development, thus its credibility is beyond doubt.
The country would be undergoing the harshest inflation that hit Ukraine in several months, to the point of reaching 40.7%, according to data of the State Statistics Service.** Such a high inflation rate clearly undermines purchasing power, especially of the poorest sections of the population, making mere survival problematical.
According to the report the situation will only worsen in the coming months because of the war in the Donbass, and through 2015, poverty will keep growing in the Ukrainian population, targeting as many as 32% of the citizens. In short, a rude awakening for the Ukrainians who had the illusion that the “Maidan” could finally reach the regions of prosperity, a deception that today is paid directly by the people who find themselves having to deal with inflation, unemployment, and uncertainty resulting from the war.
Last year at least 1.4 million people had to flee in order to escape from the war in the Donbass, dramatic figures photographing a country almost bankrupt and unable to guarantee security to its citizens, often at the mercy of armed nationalist gangs. If we counted the citizens of Ukraine who have fled to Russia and Belarus, the total number of displaced Ukrainians approximates two and a half million people. These huge figures speak of a Ukraine completely destroyed so far as the human point of view is concerned.
But the biggest problem for Kiev comes just from the International Monetary Fund, which has loaned the new Ukrainian government 17.5 billion euros, since the loan came with the imposition of draconian reforms. The result is that to pay off this debt, the government has increased all bills (Electricity up 40%, gas 280%, heating 66%), making survival difficult for many citizens, especially the most vulnerable. In short, someone may have exaggerated in telling the Ukrainians that turning their backs on Yanukovich and Russia would bring Ukraine to prosperity. Today it’s the very same Ukrainians to pay the price.
Actually lowballed. May 1 inflation rate was 60.9%; June 1, 58.4%. See the year in Ukraine inflation at Trading Economics.