#Commentary of Ekaterina Martyanova on what catchphrase of year “free-visa regime” means to Ukraine

The newspaper of the Verkhovna Rada “The Voice of Ukraine” published data on unemployment. Thus, according to the publication’s information, half of the unemployed have higher education, and one fourth of them – technical and vocational education in the Chernigov region. And half of the applicants, who had registered at the Centre for Employment, were unable to find a job because of the low level of wages in the Lugansk region. In parallel, another Ukrainian edition carried out an interesting study on why Ukrainians leave the country.

Against the background of this information, the news that “free-visa regime” has become the catchphrase of the year in Ukraine starts looking new. It was the dream of “Maidan” – to travel to Europe without making visas. But the Ukrainians do not just go there, they leave to seek employment. According to a social survey, 32% of the country’s male population and 27% of women want to leave Ukraine. That is, a third of the citizens of the state want to leave. This statistics look even more interesting, if we take into account that the other 70% of the population include infants and pensioners. This means that if you consider the percentages not of the total population, but of the number of able-bodied citizens, the situation will become even more dramatic.

What do the Ukrainians run from? The answer is obvious: they run from low wages, high prices, civil war in the country. Last year, the UN published data according to which 60% of the Ukrainians lived below the poverty line. Moreover, according to the UN standards, a minimum subsistence level in Ukraine is set at the level of absolute poverty, and the inflation in this neighboring country for 2017 was 13.8%.

All these figures need no comment. Indeed, “free-visa regime” is not just the catchphrase of the year, it is a meme that means Ukraine has no future.

Ekaterina Martyanova, the DPR People’s Council deputy

The official website of the DPR People’s Council

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