German Version

REMEMBERS Guest contribution by Evelin Piètza
Edited/Translation: Mark Bartalmai

Ukrainian pensioners are on the verge of starvation

The economic crisis and the fall of the Griwna leads more and more Ukrainians in the social abyss. While food prices and especially the heating costs rise enormously, there is a stagnation or even cuts in wages and pensions of Ukrainians. The minimum wage in Ukraine is 79 EUR, the minimum pension only 62 EUR.

The last time the minimum wage and the minimum pension in Ukraine have been adjusted was on December 1, 2013. Against the background of the „freezing“ of the social benefits and the increase in tariffs in the service sector as well as the lack of hot water (1) and the dramatic reduction of heat supply, the protests (2) started simultaneously in several regions of Ukraine. The people block roads and rush to the meetings of municipal councils to draw attention to their situation.

One can assume that the social protests will increase in the near future. The economic situation in Ukraine will continue to deteriorate, added an astronomical rise in unemployment. The current average earnings of 3,000 Griwna (160, – €) is already no longer sufficient for many people. The destruction of the real economy of Ukraine and the associated dramatic increase in unemployment, the fall in the impoverishment of many Ukrainian citizens is inevitable.

Looking at this all it is important to mention, that the new „military tax“ introduced by the new government since August 3, 2014, already earned half a billion Griwna (3). Every taxpayer must apply 1.5% of his wages per month for the ATO, according to this law.

Budget deficit in Kiev is 2 billion hryvnia

„Despite the fact that Kiev generated 30% of the state budget, the coffers of the city budget remain empty,“ Vitaly Klitschko (4) said during a meeting with businessmen in Kiev.

The standard of living in the capital has dropped sharply during the ATO. Many elevators in the city now only work after a certain schedule to save power. For the same reasons, in the evenings (5) – especially in the suburbs – often power is turned off.

A more dramatic situation (6) is distinguished from now also in the medical care of Kiev. The debt in this area is several million Griwna . Thus, there is a drastic shortage of essential medicines for chronically ill people. Klitschko stated that the debts are so high that hospitals can not purchase any more drugs on credit. Solely 416 patients could die in the next few days because of lack of funds, because their supply with essential medicines can not be guaranteed.

The supply of hospitals and daycare facilities the city of Kiev with food and fuel can also no longer be guaranteed, said the mayor.

Ukraine on the path to social Darwinism

The national debt of Ukraine is currently at 70% of the GDP of Ukraine.

The economist Vladislav Starinetz explained (7) now at the „round table for the recovery of the Ukrainian economy“ that there would be no Marshall Plan for the reform of Ukraine. But Ukraine must now develop from a post-socialist economy to Social Darwinism, Starinetz said. This means, above all, to reduce the costs for the public sector. He also spoke of a pension reform and that the cost reduction affects in the first instance officials, inefficient schools and hospitals.

Starinetz stated that most people in the United States work 55 hours per week and restrict their holidays to 7-12 days a year. Churchill promised the people before the war blood, sweat and tears. The Ukrainian government should do the same and finally tell the population of Ukraine, that unemployment, inflation and a reduction of income as a price for the desired change are to be expected.

It will be necessary, Starinetz stated, to privatize the railway and to increase ticket prices. Questions about the pension system must be clarified as well as discussing an increase in the consumption tax.

One can assume that 2015 will be the worst year for the inhabitants of the Ukraine. Should the reforms succeed, it is conceivable that in 2016 the income of the population will rise again gradually, in case one reaches the desired economic growth, Vladislav Starinetz said.


The Business of War

According to unofficial data, the war in the southeast of the country of Ukraine (8) costs nearly 70 billion Griwna. While the soldiers were not even equipped with the necessary winter clothing, the Defense Department developed a new military doctrine for the year 2015, after which the Armed Forces of Ukraine are to be subjected to a complete modernization.

The pace of deployment of financial resources for the war against the own people is breathtaking. In June, the parliament estimated the costs for the ATO to just 20 billion Griwna. In August, however, they declared on the eve of the planned offensive (August 24) the need for the acquisition of extensive military equipment. For these purposes, the Ministry of Defence were assigned with additional 9 billion Griwna. After the failure of the offensive then they could also explain the additional purchase of „two thousand armored vehicles“ as necessary.

Judging by conservative estimates, in the foggy environment of ATO hundreds of millions of hryvnia are misappropriated on a monthly basis. The reports of course remain strictly confidential; it is declared simply by the loss of hundreds of liters of fuel, small arms, ammunition, food and even tanks.

Billions of Griwna are assigned to companies in the course of the ATO, who founded only in the last 6 months. A whole shade industry, made up of hundreds of shadow companies, now squeezes the anti-terrorism budget. Among them there are the smaller companies such as Agencies, which sell false testimonies. But even large companies participate in the tenders of the Ministry of Defence i. e. for the supply of fuel (at excessive prices). Not to mention the many newly founded, private „security contractors“ on behalf of „whoever“ who take care of unpleasant Witnesses spreading the truth are important.

In addition a strong military lobby is rising, which has a great interest in the continuation of the ATO.


1 http://www.mpsh.ru/47-ukrainskie-pensionery-nahodyatsya-na-grani-golodnogo-bunta.html
2 http://vz.ru/news/2014/11/18/715921.html
3 http://vz.ru/news/2014/9/1/703399.html
4 http://vz.ru/news/2014/11/13/715193.html
5 http://www.politnavigator.net/ukraina-na-puti-k-social-darvinizmu-pod-nozh-pojjdut-neehffektivnye-pensionery-shkoly-i-bolnicy.html
6 http://www.e-news.su/info/34523-na-ukraine-nachalis-protesty-iz-za-otsutstviya-sveta-i-tepla.html
7 http://www.objectiv.tv/141114/105890.html
8 http://dnr-news.com/stati/7964-ato-biznes-na-trupah.html


Evelin Piètza

Evelin Piètza

Evelin Piètza

Journalistin, Publizistin, Fotografin

  • bereits seit 30 Jahren politisch aktiv
  • seit 20 Jahren vorwiegend mit den Konflikten und Kriegen der ganzen Welt beschäftigt
  • seit mehr als 10 Jahren in Publizistik tätig


“Das Leid dieser Welt. Wenn man es nicht mehr sehen kann, sollte man erst recht nicht wegschauen! Mein Fokus liegt vornehmlich auf der Friedenspolitik, wobei ich da dem Grundsatz folge, dass man sich intensiv mit den Kriegen dieser Welt auseinander setzen muss, bevor man den Frieden erreicht bzw. über ihn reden kann. Denn ich bin der Meinung, dass nur eine umfangreiche Aufklärung der Menschen es möglich machen wird, dass sie sich immer weniger instrumentalisieren lassen. Was dann zur Folge hätte, dass Kriege so einfach nicht mehr durchführbar wären. Durch meine Arbeit als Friedensaktivistin konnte ich mir im Laufe der Jahre ein sehr umfangreiches Netzwerk aufbauen und stehe daher mittlerweile in Kontakt mit deutschsprachigen Aktivisten aus 23 Ländern dieser Welt sowie mit über 30 unabhängigen Journalisten. Und dieses unersetzbares Netzwerk bereichert mein Wirken natürlich sehr”.
Evelin Piètza


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