Shrinking Ukraine: Does Anybody Care?

Ukraine, over the past three years, has been losing its population faster than Syria, Iraq, and some war-torn African countries.

The theme of refugees and migrants does not lose relevance and, according to some experts, the modern extent of resettlement is characteristic to the period of the world wars.

Studies by European institutions show that the highest number of refugees from military and political conflicts in the world come from the African country Democratic Republic of the Congo. From a country which for many years saw a bloody war, 922 thousand people went in search of a better life. 824 thousand left Syria, and from Iraq 659 thousand people. The studies also note that what causes the largest refugee flows are still natural disasters, particularly in South-East Asia. Mass migration can bring with it disease, famine, and destruction, a report of the Norwegian Refugee Council states.

However, there are topics about which European researchers are silent. Totally outside the writings of the venerable scientists are refugees from Ukraine. Apparently, because of a reluctance to recognize the existence of civil war in the country, the European organizations don't want to see the refugee problem there, turning a blind eye to the tragedy of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian families.

The hostilities between Ukraine and Russia left more than 1.2 million citizens refugees. And that is just the number of those who, according to the Interior Ministry of Russia, have applied to the Russian migration service and wish to obtain citizenship. In Belarus over the past two years 170 thousand Ukrainians were granted the status of refugee.

The number of people leaving Ukraine is approximately 5% of the population. If you take into account the number of labor migrants, which according to official data of Kiev employs from five to seven million people, it would appear that the country in the center of Europe is rapidly losing its citizens. Even faster than Congo and Syria.

The last population census of Ukraine was carried out 15 years ago, and it appears the current authorities are not interested to know the present truth. Official records have long been turned into a "Potemkin village". In fact, the current leaders of Ukraine are doing everything to trend towards population decline and are doing nothing to slow it down. They made a killer pension reform at the behest of the IMF, restricted social assistance to different categories of people in need, and significantly increase utility rates each quarter- forcing entrepreneurs, who did not see any of the promised tax breaks or reduced corruption, to think about leaving.

The official position of Europe is striking. To the West, the ruling Ukrainian oligarchs continue to "sing", pretending that in Ukraine everything is fine and democratic, the reforms are great, and the welfare of the citizens increases, while more than 20% of Ukrainian citizens flee from war, unemployment, corruption and banditry, forever leaving their homeland. This "blindness" denies these people the status of refugees, and with it, among other things, the possibility of legalization on the territory of Europe, humanitarian assistance missions and charities. No man – no problem.

The opening of visa-free travel for Ukrainians in Europe is not quite what they expected. Innovation does not give the right to work in the EU, and the maximum stay is only three months, with stricter controls and sanctions for violation of the migration regime.

Where is the course for Europe, for which people continue to die, where the bright future, which leads to the Poroshenko regime? Most likely, the Ukrainian citizens are thought of as competitors to the Syrians and the Afghans in the struggle for European jobs and social assistance.

Dimitri Dolaberidze

01 June 2017 18:09