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Thread: Ukraine Elections and Political Developments

  1. #421
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    https://www.politico.eu/article/coro...rkers-trapped/

    So there's quite alot to say (and argue about) in this. I remember hearing at the beginning of March that travel restrictions would be imposed - one reason why I left - and that people would have to apply to apply to the Foreign Ministry to go to work abroad in future. It was ridiculous in my view. For a start it was exceedingly doubtful that the Foreign Office had the capacity in staff numbers alone to process 2-2.5m foreign travel applications; in effect they would have had to create migration sub department but this was not funded in the budget. Second it seemed exceedingly regressive almost to a Soviet past. One of the good things that came from the EU Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade agreement - at least as far as the man on the Kyiv tram could see - was he that he could go work in Poland or wherever he/she wanted and earn much better money - alot of which they naturally sent home.

    So when this virus arrived in late February early March there were some 2m Ukrainians living and working in Poland alone (the languages are different a bit like French is different from Italian but not entirely incomprehensible). So when Poland and the other European countries started 'closing down' naturally many of these Ukrainians had no other option but to go home - a girl I know arrived knocked on door the day we left having come back from Warsawa. Then came this insane neo Soviet Foreign Ministry idea which was then modified to basically impossible stipulations that these people now have to meet to be able to leave; proof of 3 month contracts, accommodation, medical insurance and 'organised transport'.

    There are pros and cons vaguely - sure some of them are well qualified and could help at home - I mean maybe some are doctors even, and many will be young who would ideally raise new families at home to fight our horrific demographic problem but for the life of me I cannot any sense in this at time when the Ukrainian economy is taking a hit from the virus 'lock down' and will take time to recover.

    Nor frankly are these absurd stipulations of 3 month contracts etc in any way realistic. Most summers when I was at Uni I would buy open return flight to Hellas and if I had not already been invited to an archaeological dig just show and offer to help. If they said no it was no problem - lots of bars or hotels to work in just by asking. I have an Irish friend who now lives in Minsk who just visited by whim and got offered a job while visiting. And it's not as if you want a time fixed contract alot of the time - you want the freedom to move on. I spent a week in Eilat moving painting a mural because some Lady passed by while I was drawing, then I served in a restaurant before I went south in Sinai and taught scuba diving. Not that I even particularly needed the money though it was nice but it was part of the 'experience' and you met new and different people. I met a Christian Egyptian and stated an export/import business with him for those cotton clothes the Egyptians make - colourful scarves etc... Alot of Europeans and Yanks settle in Ukraine for the most part just because they like it - or meet a partner and they start businesses or work but they usually visited on a whim or to teach English. So frankly the absurd formality that the Ukrainian government now requires before letting someone work abroad ("organised transport?" doesn't it count if I organised it?) is just a fundamental misunderstanding of how people are - or worse - a direct attempt to stop them doing what any normal person would. It seems insane when one considers that remittances from those Ukrainians living abroad made up about 12% of the foreign income last year, particularly when there is not likely to be a shortage of the workforce in the wake of virus shutdown.

    I can understand that we want those who leave to come back - so does Poland naturally. But the way to deal with that is like Poland has done - get the economy growing and keeping 2+m migrant workers penniless at home is not going to that.

  2. #422
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    For a start it was exceedingly doubtful that the Foreign Office had the capacity in staff numbers alone to process 2-2.5m foreign travel applications; in effect they would have had to create migration sub department but this was not funded in the budget.
    With a quarter of the population seeking work abroad you assume the Ukrainian Foreign Office does not have a migration department? Seriously?

    Also, you seem to be misunderstanding something there. Ukrainians who work abroad? That's not 2-2.5m, but between 10 and 12 million. Those 2 million in Poland, 3 million EU-wide? Those are the people who are there to stay, and of which 90% did stay in the EU - which is about everyone who has been staying there for longer than just one year. There's by estimates between 7 and 9 million seasonal migrant workers in Ukraine who work in Europe or in Russia (...40%) for periods of under 3 months. Those are the ones stuck.

    There's a reason why in surveys in Ukraine it's not war with Russia named as the biggest threat to the country but instead: mass emigration. Kyiv is not representative of Ukraine either - it's the rural countryside that's virtually depopulated by mass emigration. And the far-right government's actions now reflect using the occasion as a possible lever to combat this.

  3. #423
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    Certainly the Foreign Ministry has a migration department but it is principally concerned with inward migration - people like me and deciding if others like myself can have residency/work permits or citizenship and passports. Nobody actually knows how many Ukrainians who were working abroad have actually gone home due to this covid business nor do I entirely trust your figures of 10-12m working abroad but let us guess that somewhere over 1 million at least have returned due this virus. Then the Foreign Ministry has to create a whole new sub department to determine if these 1 million + plus meet the insane requirements the Government has stipulated to work abroad in future. This is new - before Ukrainians from western Oblasts could just get on a bus or train and go to Poland looking for a job; they did not need to ask anyone. Now these people in theory have to ask the Foreign Ministry and I can bet they have neither the staff nor the policies in place to determine such disparate requests.


    Let me take one example - a girl I know in Kyiv who gave me Muscovite and Ukrainian language/writing lessons in 2014. Nice girl, speaks good English about 25 etc... Well her Sister left for Poland in 2015, works for an IT company in Wrocław, doing very well for herself and sends money home every month. I doubt the Sister has returned to Kyiv due to this virus but what if the sister in Kyiv wants to visit the one in Wrocław? Can she get on a bus/train and just go or must she ask the Foreign Ministry? Now suppose she works this out and goes to Wrocław where someone offers her a job that pays alot more than she can make in Kyiv. What is she to do then? Go back to Kyiv and ask if it is ok to take the job she has been offered? But she may lose the chance if she does that. Well I know what I would do - take the job and to hell with the idiocy of the Ukrainian Government and I would bet 90% of other people would do the same. Does this then make her liable for prosecution if/when she returns to Ukraine? The whole thing is fraught with idiocy and to think that the Foreign Ministry has either the policies to justly determine such questions, the process - including an appeal process, or the personnel to deal with such enquiries is just wishful thinking.

    As for the rural countryside well my family home is in the western 'rural countryside' and most young people go primarily to the cities - Ivano Frankivsk or Lviv in my case though our nearest town has in fact grown in population since 2014 due to having enacted a broadly 'progressively green' policy since the 'revolution' (they sunk the first geo thermal bore hole in Ukraine in an old salt mine etc...). One of the reasons the rural areas have become depopulated relative to the cities is the 'moratorium' on the sale of agricultural land which was first imposed in 2001. The entire history of land distribution is a long story but the moratorium of the last 19yrs meant that even if you owned (or rented) agricultural land and made a profit you could not leverage the value of the land (even if you owned it) to invest in it - or in new machinery/more land etc... My Husband and Father in law got stuck under 'ceiling' that meant even if you were profitable there was effectively a ceiling above which one could not pass and because of this profitability could not rise and neither could wages. But the agricultural land moratorium is due to end next year on July 1st (see; https://www.osw.waw.pl/en/publikacje...lifted-ukraine). I do not know how this will work out in practice and it is likely that the land reform laws will need further adjustment at some point but it is at least a start and hopefully will keep some people closer and able to make a decent living in the rural areas.

    As for your contention that migration is a graver danger to Ukraine than Muscovite imperialism; it's like comparing apples with cattle. Moscow is an existential threat, migration for work is not. Suppose that all Ukraine were again to become subjected to Muscovite despotism; how many of those now abroad would then return? There are pro's and con's to migration for work - there are no pro's to Muscovite subjugation.

    One other thing that could and should be done is for the Government to give incentives to fight the demographic decline of the population - perhaps similar to the PiS Government in Poland where a couple get subsidies and tax cuts for every child after the second in a progressive scale. Or perhaps the Government could establish a 'fund' of some sort for every child at birth or past a certain age and feed into it every year the child lived allowing the parents to add to it tax free so that the fund could be used for nursery care, education, even housing of a large family. I do not know much about this area; fighting the demographic decline is not even a serious policy issue for the last or current Government but these are some ideas of 'way out radicals' that I have heard of.
    Last edited by snapper; 02 Jun 20, at 15:37.

  4. #424
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    I doubt the Sister has returned to Kyiv due to this virus but what if the sister in Kyiv wants to visit the one in Wrocław? Can she get on a bus/train and just go or must she ask the Foreign Ministry? Now suppose she works this out and goes to Wrocław where someone offers her a job that pays alot more than she can make in Kyiv. What is she to do then? Go back to Kyiv and ask if it is ok to take the job she has been offered?
    Why do you think she should be entitled to that? On both accounts?

    Especially in the current situation in which international travel is suspended outside humanitarian reasons, and where she and her sister due to their age are prime disease vectors. The same goes in reverse too. Currently i could not travel to Ukraine for any reason whatsoever.

    On a side note: Entering a country on another premise and "finding" work there without the relevant bureaucratic processes - which generally includes applying for a work visum from the home country - is generally regarded as visa fraud in the European Union. In Germany or France it can get you banned from entry for several years as a non-EU resident.

    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    As for your contention that migration is a graver danger to Ukraine than Muscovite imperialism; it's like comparing apples with cattle. Moscow is an existential threat, migration for work is not. Suppose that all Ukraine were again to become subjected to Musc
    The expectation in the EU and at UNO is that if the current situation persists Ukraine will lose 20% of their population within the next 30 years. The last time Ukraine lost that kind of population share was in the Holodomor.

  5. #425
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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    Why do you think she should be entitled to that? On both accounts?
    I am not sure what you are getting at unless you mean that perhaps some travel restriction should be acceptable due to this virus. If that is what you mean well certainly stay at home if you can but this new arrangement is apparently nothing to do with covid-19; it is how things are supposed to be virus or not.


    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    On a side note: Entering a country on another premise and "finding" work there without the relevant bureaucratic processes - which generally includes applying for a work visum from the home country - is generally regarded as visa fraud in the European Union. In Germany or France it can get you banned from entry for several years as a non-EU resident.
    Well yea for 'on the books' jobs though anyone who has spent a summer floating around the med will have relied on at least some 'casual' jobs. But suppose this job is formal - a person will pay tax etc in the country where they find a job; what business would it be for the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry to tell them that accepting such a job is ok? Do you need a work visa from the country you're going to work in AND from the Ukrainian foreign ministry?

    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    The expectation in the EU and at UNO is that if the current situation persists Ukraine will lose 20% of their population within the next 30 years. The last time Ukraine lost that kind of population share was in the Holodomor.
    Those lost in the Holodomor can never return, those working abroad are not 'lost' in the final sense.

  6. #426
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    Zelensky has gone full vindictive... seems Petro Poroshenko is being 'investigated' by the new Prosecutor General Iryna Venedyktova (who has been in Office since March 17th). Apparently 5 cases were originally opened; https://www.ukrinform.net/rubric-pol...oroshenko.html two of which are now going forward.

    The first involves giving some 'illegal order' to someone (a person is not named) in the Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine (the SZRU) in 2018 at which time was 'run' by Yehor Bozhok. What the 'illegal order' and to who it was allegedly given is not mentioned. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-u...-idUSKBN23H203

    The second case involves the sale of some valuable paintings; again zero details; https://www.rferl.org/a/ukrainian-in.../30663456.html

    This is after the former Prosecutor General Ruslan Riaboshapka was fired in March for refusing to open a case against Poroshenko.

    Of course Zelensky is not doing so well in the polls now as all his promises of 'creating 5% GDP growth' and 'ending the war' (he said "All we have to do to end the war is to stop shooting" which has given rise to several sayings such as "all we have to end Coronavirus is to stop coughing"), Zelensky's Party in the Rada is split such that he has to rely on opposition Parties to get a majority so Poroshenko is subsequently gaining. If there was an election now it would be 50/50 who would win.

    It was obvious to many (including myself) that Zelensky's 'dream' goals were almost certainly beyond his capacity - he was in fact a sort of 'slogan merchant' who had little idea of how Ukraine works, what the man on the Kyiv tram actually wants, or how to achieve his dreams. The former Prime Minister, Oleksy Honcharuk, whom Zelensky appointed and fired said "He [Zelensky] does not understand economics". This lack of understanding may be proved if his pet Prosecutor General actually goes after Poroshenko in court; Yanukovych prosecuted Yulia Tymoshenko and locked her up... did not end well for Yanukovych.

  7. #427
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    The cases against Poroshenko:


  8. #428
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    Meanwhile in Muscovy:



    See also this classic 'How WW2 started' according to V Putin; https://nationalinterest.org/feature...982?page=0%2C2
    Last edited by snapper; 19 Jun 20, at 02:00.

  9. #429
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    Zelensky "kept his fingers crossed" for Canada: https://112.international/ukraine-to...ain-52521.html

    A President tells a country's UN representatives how to vote, not 'cross their fingers'. Anyone would think he did not want Canada as an ally...

  10. #430
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    Tomas Fiala, who heads Ukrainian investment management company Dragon Capital, spoke for many when he called Smolii’s exit from the central bank a red line. “We will now postpone all new investments,” commented Fiala. “For the past five months the authorities have been doing the exact opposite of what investors, both domestic and international, expect from them and advise them. This is the last straw. One can only guess what the motives are. It is either complete incompetence or sabotage motivated by Russia.”
    I am afraid I am forced to agree with the worse alternative.

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