The Plight of the Ukrainian People
According to Julie Hyland in “What the Western-backed regime is planning for Ukrainian workers” the new regime which came to power in the guise of a “democratic revolution” is made up of “former bankers, fascists and oligarchs” and is preparing “draconian austerity measures” for the Ukrainian people.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Union (EU) are going to apply the “Greek Model” of economic austerity explains Hyland. This model, she goes on, has caused Greece’s economy “to collapse by nearly 25 percent in five years and produced a massive growth in unemployment and poverty.”
The IMF and the EU assert they are “rescuing” the country. They are promising now a loan package of $15 billion which is going to be dedicated to REPAYING WESTERN BANKS! The loan will be guaranteed by massive cuts in social spending for pensions and subsidizing fuel.
The former Prime Minister Mykola Azarov BEFORE THE COUP decided that conditions of a renewed IMF loan were far too harsh which was why his government decided not to sign the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement and instead agree to a no-strings loan from Russia of $15 billion along with gas subsidies. Hyland maintains this refusal of the EU "help" was the pretext for US- and EU-sponsored protests and the coup.
An IMF mission has already been at work over the last fortnight, meeting with the minister of energy and coal and representatives of the National Bank of Ukraine and the gas distributor Naftogaz. It reports that its work is “progressing well” and that the new authorities are committed to “economic reform.”
These “reforms” include further currency devaluation, major cuts in public spending and pensions and, in particular, an end to state energy subsidies, which are a life-and-death matter in a country where temperatures can fall as low as minus 20 degrees.
The Financial Times reports, “Sixty state agencies in various EU countries have already concluded so-called twinning agreements that aim to refashion their Ukrainian counterparts in their image.”
A 10 percent collapse in GDP is publicly spoken of by economists. Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, handpicked by Washington to replace the ousted elected president, Viktor Yanukovych, has stated baldly that he will be “the most unpopular prime minister in the history of my country.”
So the “brave” Yatsenyuk, US/EU puppet and partner to a worrisomely strengthened neo-Nazi element in the Ukraine, is willing to be the most unpopular prime minister in the history of his country and increase the already austere conditions there? (Makes one think of the “good” being done right now in our own Detroit!)
Hyland’s assessment of the current Ukraine:
1. 80th poorest country in the world based on gross domestic product per capita, BEHIND Iraq, Tonga and Bosnia-Herzegovina
2. 1/4 of its population, 11 million people, 1 out of 4, live below the official poverty line of $127 per month (1,176 UAH)
3. Average wage is 79 US cents an hour
4. 15% of its population has left the country since 1991 when the Soviet Union was dissolved mostly in search of employment
5. The population is declining due to one of the lowest birth rates in the world
6. The country has the highest mortality rate in Europe.
7. There are epidemic proportions of HIV/AIDs incidences (reportedly 57 new cases a day identified in 2012). Drug abuse, alcoholism, prostitution are rampant. Every 6th prostitute is a minor.
8. Ukraine is a “major hub” for human trafficking, for both sexual exploitation and forced labor.
9. Former Stalinist bureaucrats and “mafia-oligarchs” have stolen former state property and plundered state assets to enhance their own personal fortunes.
10. Ukrainian debt is estimated at $80 billion. This will soon aggressively increase.
Now there will be leveled on this already struggling population “draconian measures” from I’m thinking the not socially responsive “former bankers, fascists and oligarchs.”
And just in case the oppressed Ukrainians think about rebelling against the new government bosses, same as or worse than the old government bosses, there will be a ROBUST National Guard set up by the fascists and “extreme-right paramilitaries” of the new illegitimate regime with the ROBUST blessings of the US and the EU.
The Ukrainian parliament on Thursday voted to form a 60,000 member National Guard recruited from “activists” in the Russian protests and from military academies. The Guard will be directed by Andriy Parubiy, founder in the early 1990s of the neo-Nazi Social-National Party of Ukraine. His deputy will be Dmytro Yarosh, leader of the paramilitary Right Sector. According to Hyland the Right Sector is “the Ukrainian equivalent of Hitler’s storm troopers.”
There was no contest between authoritarianism and democracy in the Ukraine. There was no humanitarian concern from the West for the welfare of Ukrainians. This was economic and military opportunism and a willingness by Western imperialist countries to align with fascists and neo-Nazis for economic profit and military advantage.
[cross-posted on open salon and daily kos]