As it happened that the Ukrainian government and population live in completely different realities, and officials do not care about how ordinary people live. At a time, when the population’s income significantly went down, and a cost of gas, heating and electricity tariffs has increased by several times, people have to not only save, but look for alternative sources to create a familiar comfort in their homes.
For example, the Ukrainians began to offer an installation of generators in their houses, which can produce gas (methane) from, literally, waste. Also, you can see heat pumps, wind-powered and solar generators as different kind of producing heat or other energy, but the cost of these systems is unaffordable for the most population of the country. That is why, many Ukrainians refused from a gas heating in favor of solid fuel boilers. At the same time, the firewood price rose – 500 hryvnas per cubic meter. As weather forecasters predict, the forthcoming winter will not please Ukraine with its European softness, the people are urged to prepare for a serious long-term frost and precipitation. Trying to save, a rural population is actively laying in firewood for the winter. The Ukrainian forestry mentions about a growing number of poaching and unauthorized distribution of timber.
But do not forget the fact that only one third of the Ukrainians live in separate houses. The rest lives in flats, where the installation of autonomous heating system is problematic. Ukraine inherited the vast majority of housing stock (it is about 90%) from the Soviet Union, after the collapse of which has already passed 25 years. During this period, Ukraine could only maintain the condition of its housing and public utilities up to standard that does not allow houses to collapse. The state of all utility systems, ranging from water supply and sewer systems to power supply network and gas pipeline, is far from satisfactory. The quality of services, provided by the Ukrainian public utilities, has never been a priority for them. And now, when the tariff prices soared ‘on the order of the IMF’, the main goal of local public utilities is to collect charges for provided services.
They are ready to blame for the increase of tariff prices: government corruption, Russian aggression, their own past, weather… The Ukrainians have that government they stood up for and supported during ‘Maidan’, and they are reaping rewards now.
More than two years have passed since the coup d’état, during which Ukraine managed to steal more than in all the years of the independence. Gas and electricity tariffs have become not just a subject of acrimonious debate and political manipulation. The heads of housing and public utilities announce the price increase for public services as if it is a great achievement, giving arguments that the tariff prices were underpriced artificially during ‘Yanukovych’s tyranny’. And now, they say that the prices for gas and other resources have reached the required level that corresponds to the cooperation programme with the IMF.
The new Ukrainian government executed a plan of not only population’s impoverishment, but also future Ukrainian generations by credit servitude. Instead of channeling funds for the reconstruction of the housing stock and development of resource saving programmes, the Ukrainian government is driving its own nation into a condition wherein it has to eke out its miserable existence or to accumulate astronomical debts for utilities. According to the Ukrainian energy market expert, the level of payments for utility services in Ukraine does not exceed 60%. There are precedents when people’s apartments were taken away in case of debts.
The Ukrainian government announces that the increase of gas tariffs is not going to be the last. The prices are expected to be increased by 20% in 2017 and 2018.
Mass switching to a wood heating is not a civilized approach to the people’s lives improvement. Such attitude towards its own people is similar to genocide, when there is a purpose to minimize the number of people in the country by creating terrible conditions for living.
Marian Zheynova, the DPR People’s Council deputy