#Commentary of Alla Barkhatnova on socio-economic situation on different sides of demarcation line
The General Statistics Office in the Donetsk region published data on the socio-economic situation in the Donetsk region and Ukraine. According to the data, the population’s debts to the state for utility services and debts to the population on wages in the territory of Donbass, which is temporarily controlled by Ukraine, however, as well as throughout Ukraine, have increased.
Thus, at the end of November 2017, arrears on utility payments amounted to more than 2.9 billion hryvnias, almost half of which accounted for gas – 1.05 billion hryvnias, and the rest for heating and electricity –167.8 million and 49.3 million hryvnias respectively. According to the Ukrainian media, this is not the limit – the debt will only grow.
On the other hand, the wage arrears of the population grow. On November 1, 2017, it amounted to 482.7 million hryvnias. It should be noted that, according to the data of the State Statistics Service of Ukraine, this debt is 31.7% of the total amount. In total, the wage arrears in Ukraine are 2.467 billion hryvnias and it increased by almost 10% by September 2017.
At the same time, they try to obtain debt payments from the population on the territories temporarily controlled by Ukraine by any means. For example, a heating network in Druzhkovka comes up with motivational slogans, and its cashiers accepted payments on weekends. For those who do not respond to this call, the consequences will be the most regrettable – a lawsuit and huge fines.
This situation with the payment of utilities is not surprising, if you remember that these services keep becoming more expensive. Thus, the next increase of prices for water supply and gas for industrial enterprises is planned in 2018. By the way, the latter will lead to the rise of prices for goods of prime necessity and again utility services.
The consequence of this policy has been an increase in crime, aggravated by the possession of a large number of weapons. For example, nobody in Mariupol is surprised by the news about a mine found in a park nowadays.
Comparing the situation on the territories temporarily controlled by Ukraine with life in the Donetsk People’s Republic is not entirely correct, at least, because we live under constant shelling and in economic blockade imposed by Ukraine. However, the cost of public utilities is much lower in the Republic and there are no wage arrears.
Ukraine is not able to cope with the economic consequences of its own actions within the so-called ‘anti-terrorist operation’ neither in the territory of the Donetsk region nor in the territory of the whole country. The destruction of infrastructure, economic ties and logistics led to a collapse, which was the most acutely felt by the residents of the Donetsk region, the territories temporarily controlled of Kiev. There can be only one way out: Donbass should become one again.
Alla Barkhatnova, the DPR People’s Council deputy