- Ukraine immediately lost Crimea. Crimea was having none of the radical Euromaidan coup government installed in Kiev after former President Yanukovych fled on February 22nd, a protest rose, a referendum was held – Crimea was gone for good, and it’s never looked back.
- A brutal war broke out in Donbass, which has claimed casualties estimated by some sources as over 50,000, causing massive amounts of destruction, and misery in its wake. (My photo from Lugansk, August 2014, right)
- Unemployment is up, way up, from 7.25% in 2013 to 11.47% in 2015. Prior to that, it had been falling year on year. Economic growth at 0.2% in 2012, 0% in 2013, sunk to -6.8% for 2014, with 2015 set for another fall.
- Actually, all the figures in Ukraine have got worse. GDP, from $4195 in 2013 to $3016 in 2014, public debt as a % of GDP from 39.9% in 2013 to 70.3% in 2014. Investment, at 5% in 2012 plunged to -8.4% in 2013 and dived to -23% in 2014. The list goes on, and on.
- It’s down, and going down, the International Business Times report ‘Ukraine’s gross domestic product was expected to fall by 12 percent by the end of this year, further than the 7.5 percent predicted in April’ – meanwhile industrial output is down over 20%, consumption down 20%, retail is down 25%. The Ukrainian hryvnia is, across the board, worth about a third what it was before Euromaidan. Real wages are down 34%.
- There is something going up – inflation, over 40%, meanwhile gas has skyrocketed 453%, with Ukraine on the perpetual brink of gas crisis, unable to pay its bills and, due to the ‘everything that Russia does must be bad‘ ethos of Euromaidan, finding it hard to accept olive branches, such as Russia’s recent offer of a restructuring of its $3 billion debt.
Ukraine’s gas negotiations have been defined by ungracious bickering from the Ukrainian side, disinformation about how much it’s used, needs, and reference to having made payments which the Russian side then state they haven’t received.
- The weapons which flooded Maidan spilled into the rest of the country, with murder in Ukraine now a far common occurrence than it was – the gunning down of journalist Oles Buzina in Kiev, in April, the recent assassination attempt on the chief Ukrainian MH17 investigator in Kiev. RT report –
‘Reports of military explosives used in crimes committed far from the rebel-controlled east come virtually on a weekly basis in Ukraine. On July 30, a hand grenade was tossed into the yard of a house in Cherkassy in the center of the country…. On July 2, an Odessa restaurant was seriously damaged by a powerful IED, which also shattered windows in a nearby café and apartments.‘Ukraine is never calm. There’s regular explosions and chaos in Kharkov, Odessa, riots in Kiev.
- Ukraine exists in perpetual chaos – yesterday, activists storming, smashing up banks in Kiev (right), last week terrorist group Pravy Sektor took over the borders of the country, imposing a trade blockade, before that activists blowing up power supply to Crimea. Video, from Alfa Bank in Kiev, 20th February, here –There never seems any real aim in the destruction, just destroy first, don’t even bother picking the pieces up, because there’s still something more to destroy.
Maidan installed a new government not by democracy, but by violence. Violent activists became more powerful than government. And that’s been the legacy of Maidan since – violent activists can do what they want, and no one in power can stop them, because they know if they did, they’d be turned on next.
- The politics is a mess, and corruption is even worse. President Poroshenko’s approval ratings are lower than Yanukovich’s at the time of Euromaidan, 17% down from 47% , Prime Minister Yatsenyuk’s rating around 1%, but even so, Poroshenko couldn’t force him out last week, moving journalist Chris Miller, known for near fanatical support of Euromaidan, to write a grim assessment of Ukraine two years on in his article on Mashable ‘Ukraine’s post-revolution government is falling apart‘ the tone set by –
‘With Ukraine embroiled in perhaps its worst-ever political crisis…‘
US Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoff Pyatt, whose support for Euromaidan stopped just short of his mounting the barricades to scream ‘Slava Ukraine’ tweets incessantly, seemingly despairingly about the apparently losing battle against corruption – (pictured here with Victoria Nuland, on Maidan in late 2013) –Feb 11– Important for Ukrainian government to restore trust, continue on reform path, tackle corruption.
Feb 15 –
#Ukraine deserves a clean judiciary. Will require top-to-bottom rule of law reform to address pervasive corruption + cronyism.
Feb 17 – This Washington Post editorial gets it just right on the issues of corruption and deoligarchization in Ukraine
Feb 20 – The most fitting memorial to the Heavenly 100 is a Ukraine rid of corruption, cronyism, & kleptocracy. @GeoffPyatt
This, not even starting on his retweets on the theme. Meanwhile Kiev mayor, former boxer Vitali Klitschko, was recently accused by FEMEN of running a protection racket for local brothels.
And of all industries, the funeral parlour business is in the grip of such corruption it moved this, pro-Ukrainian, journalist to write this heartfelt piece about what happened when his father died in Ukraine.
- Ukraine can’t hold proper elections any more. There’s farce, almost 50 candidates with names from Star Wars, with one – Emperor Palpatine – actually winning a seat in October’s elections, then there’s the fact that of the 130 political blocs and parties that competed in the elections, just a dozen actively campaigned in two or more regions, showing local oligarchs in full control.Turnout was an anaemic 45%, down a third on the 60% of presidential elections the year before.
If an election doesn’t look like it’s going to go the Kiev government’s way, as was recently the case in Mariupol (above, October 2015), the Kiev government, or local ‘activists’ will just cancel it.
- The Ukrainian government does things to hurt Russia which end up hurting its own citizens even more. The 2015 banning of flights between Ukraine and Russia forced Ukrainian travellers to pay $200 rather than $50 to travel there – 70% of passengers on Ukraine to Russia flights had been Ukrainian citizens, with some 5 million Ukrainians working in Russia. Meanwhile, while Russia can do without Ukrainian airports, Ukrainian carriers had previously used Russian airports for connecting global flights.
- People are fleeing the country – to escape poverty, to get out of mobilisation into the military – ‘Poland, last year, received 2,318 asylum applications from Ukraine, compared to 46 in 2013. It also issued 830,553 short-term visas for Ukrainian border traders and migrant workers, compared to 720,125 the year before.’
And that’s Euromaidan Ukraine, 2 years on.