On August 24, 2016, was a day of the 25th anniversary of Independence of Ukraine. The country celebrated its anniversary in a state of profound political and, consequently, economic crisis.
By the time of the secession from the Soviet Union, Ukraine was one of the leading republics in the level of industrial development, which had a powerful industrial potential. Since Ukraine has gained its Independence, it could have become one of the most developed countries in the post-Soviet region. However, everything has turned out completely different. Over the years, entire industries have been lost: aeronautics, rocketry, shipbuilding, production of household appliances and electronics. The country has changed into a raw materials` source. All this has led to a reduction of the Ukrainian GDP by one third, which, nowadays, falls short of USSR`s GDP in 1991.
Especially a significant decline of all economic indicators is observed during the last two years after coup d’état in 2014, as a result of which, so-called ‘euro integrators’ came to power.
Instead of European life standards, promised by the Ukrainian `rulers´, the Ukrainians have got a total impoverishment. According to a conclusion of UN, which had been analyzing a living standard of the Ukrainian citizens, the overwhelming majority of the population lives on the breadline, and Ukraine itself has come to a line with third-world countries in living standards.
Because of low social standards, the country`s population size decreases rapidly every year, which is confirmed by the State Statistics Service of Ukraine. According to official information, on July 1, 2016, the population size of Ukraine amounted 42 million 658 thousand people. For comparison, its population size, by the time of the secession from the Soviet Union, was 52 million people.
Nevertheless, the Ukrainian authorities continue to conduct antisocial policy: there is an increase of the cost of housing and communal services and of the retirement age, a reduction or abolition of social benefits in the country…So, in the beginning of August, this year, the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine announced its intention to save on an education in institutes of higher education. Particularly, the point is that scholarships will be revoked next year and the students will be transferred exceptionally on a contract basis in magistracy. The official authorities call such reforms the compulsory measures, arguing a lack of funds in the budget. But at the same time, the salaries of the President, ministers and ‘people’s’ deputies still grow. And the funds for that can be found in the budget.
I think that such reforms will lead to the fact that the Ukrainian university entrants will be looking for an opportunity to study in neighboring countries, which will provoke a stepwise increase of `brains` outflow´ from Ukraine. Besides, it might be a reason for new mass protests throughout the country.
Being involved in the war in Donbas, and also taking into consideration the comatose economic state, in which Ukraine is today, it is not worth waiting an improvement of the economic situation. The way out of the crisis could be a resumption of trade and economic relations with the Eurasian Economic Union and Russia as well. However, there is no need to wait for that in the nearest future. Currently, the economic collaboration depends on a process of political negotiations, which the Ukrainian authority cannot conduct independently.
Elena Melnick, the DPR People`s Council deputy
Official website of the DPR People’s Council