If you ask why the Maidan uprising took place in late 2013 to early 2014, you’ll get different answers depending on who you ask. If you ask anyone who is familiar with the Brzezinski Plan (See: The Grand Chessboard by Zbigniew Brzezinski) and understands CIA color revolution / destabilization strategies and neoliberal soft power politics, they will tell you that the Maidan coup happened as a result of US State Department, CIA, EU, and western NGO / foundation-funded meddling. Of course we shouldn’t leave out Victoria Nuland’s friends at Chevron who also sponsored the Maidan coup!
If you ask others, perhaps those who watched the famous viral video entitled “I am a Ukrainian” and were moved to tears by the emotional pleas of the young actress posing as a brave activist, they may tell you that the people of Ukraine rose up against their pro-Russia government because they wanted “freedom.”
But freedom from what? Freedom from Russia? Is that all? Has Russia oppressed Ukraine so horribly in recent years, since the fall of the USSR and Ukraine’s independence from Russia which was won without a single shot being fired? Surely the people who gathered in Maidan must have had some notion of economic freedom as well? Freedom from want – call it what you may. Freedom and democracy are simply a means to an end, and that end is usually regarded in one way or another to be economic prosperity, or at least freedom from the economic oppression of a ruling oligarchical class.
So one question is rarely asked in this regard: what has the new government of Ukraine done for Ukrainians? What have they delivered besides bombs and Russophobic rhetoric? What have they actually done for the economy? Does anyone even remember the mantra – it’s the economy, stupid?
Well, it depends which government you’re talking about. If you mean the government in Kiev, led nowadays by the candy oligarch Poroshenko, they have done very little apart from killing eastern Ukrainians (at the time of writing, Shirokino and Gorlovka in Donetsk are being shelled by Ukrainian forces, with women and children among the many casualties) and making fools of themselves on the world stage with their hysterical Russophobic raving and extreme tolerance of open fascists, many of whom occupy positions of power within the government.
If, however, you mean the government of Novorossiya, they have done a lot of very real, and very promising, things in a very short period of time.
Let’s take a look first at what the new government of Kiev has to offer
In the words of Professor Stephen Cohen, there is “a deepening economic, financial, political and military crisis in Kiev… The regime is becoming wobbly. It can’t do anything except call for war.”
It all actually started before Maidan with the Ukraine EU Association Agreement which then Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych refused to sign, and with good reason.
According to Alexander Mercouris of Russia Insider, the agreement calls for Ukraine to surrender “regulation of its economy to the EU in Brussels. Questions of regulation of Ukraine’s economy will no longer be decided by the Ukrainian government and parliament in Kiev, but by the European Council and the EU Commission in Brussels.” This, by the way, comes with no commitment on the part of the EU to actually accept Ukraine as a member of the EU. “Ukraine is surrendering control of its economy to the EU without the corresponding benefit of EU membership” says Mercouris.
And then there’s the IMF. Crimea’s deputy prime minister, Olga Kovitidi, described the “tentative agreement with the IMF which the Ukrainian authorities signed with the IMF on March 2, 2014.” In an article for Voice of Russia she revealed that “the country’s entire gas pipeline system will be handed over for free” to Chevron, “while the owners of the Mariupol, Zaporizhzhya and Dnipropetrovsk steel mills will be obliged to surrender their 50% stakes to Germany’s Ruhr.”
The Donbass coal industry will be handed over to Ruhr’s subsidiary in Finland… Gas prices for municipal companies will have to be increased by 50% and for private will double. Electricity tariffs will be raised by 40%, housing utility tariffs will be raised, too, gasoline excises will go up 60% and transportation tariffs 50%, while state support for childbirth will be cancelled, the free distribution of textbooks will be annulled at schools and the VAT relief will be scrapped in rural regions… VAT will be introduced on medications, which will push up prices and bring citizens’ living standards down… The planned annulment of the moratorium on the sale of farmland looks appalling. The selloff of Ukraine’s black soil zone, including to foreign countries, may have disastrous economic and social consequences.
Fast-forward to June 1, 2015, and believe it or not, the situation is worse than Olga Kovitidi could have imagined! From TASS News Agency:
Ukraine has stopped paying out welfare payments for pensioners, World War Two veterans, people with disabilities, liquidators of the Chernobyl disaster beginning with Monday, since the law of December 28, 2014, on stabilizing the financial condition of the state has come into force. It affects practically all social security beneficiaries, without defining the mechanisms for providing targeted assistance to low-income groups. Kiev has eliminated transport, healthcare, utilities and financial benefits for former prisoners of Nazi concentration camps and recipients of some Soviet-era orders and titles. Compensations to families with children living in the areas contaminated by radiation from the Chernobyl accident will be no longer paid either.
By February of 2015, RT reported that “Ukrainian supermarkets have imposed rationing of basic products after the drastic fall in the value of the hryvnia. The currency has lost 70 percent of its value causing people to stockpile food and buy electronics as a hedge.”
In May of 2015, Reuters reported that “Ukraine faces highest inflation since 1996.”
Valentyna Lozova, a Kiev-based accountant and business owner said (as reported by Bloomberg) that her business “is about to close and there are many more like it… Salaries aren’t rising, inflation is galloping and the hryvnia’s (Ukraine’s currency) in freefall. I’m afraid of the future.”
I challenge anyone to point out one measure, anything at all, which has been implemented by the Kiev circus masquerading as a government since 2014, that provides any benefit to the people of Ukraine – not the banks, not the oligarchs, not the IMF or EU, but the people. You know – the 99%!
Novorossiya – a huge social experiment and dirigist economic recovery program
Compare this nightmare of IMF/EU austerity and oligarchical government with Novorossiya. According to author and historian Dr. Webster G. Tarpley, who has recently visited the Donetsk Republic on two separate occasions, a huge social experiment is underway in the Donetsk Republic.
This is what an economic recovery plan looks like.
Boris Litvinov, member of the joint parliament of Novorossiya (Lugansk and Donetsk Republics), speaking to visiting western journalists such as Webster Tarpley and Pepe Escobar, reports that the fledgling government of Novorossiya has nationalized the entire banking system – all private banks have been made national or shut down. The bank of Ukrainian multibillionaire oligarch Ihor Kolomoyskyi (a citizen of Ukraine, Israel, and Cyprus) has been seized, kept open, nationalized and used to start paying pensions again. For those in the United States who dream of ending or (better yet) nationalizing the Federal Reserve, these moves are exemplary, and alone should be sufficient cause to pop open some champagne and give a nice round of applause.
Webster Tarpley writes on tarpley.net:
The Kiev regime had ostentatiously cut off pensions and other social benefits it owed to residents of the Lugansk and Donetsk regions. Kiev regime boss Poroshenko formally promised at the Minsk 2 accords to resume these payments, but so far has failed to do so. But now the DPR has stepped in to make the payments for April, using the nationalized bank branches formerly controlled by the oligarch Ihor Kolomoyskyi.
Litvinov: “the state needs to push”
Novorossiya is implementing an ambitious program of strong dirigism, and a revolution built on the rejection of the Maidan-style “national fascism” as they call it.
In an interview with Halyna Mokrushyna for New Cold War.org in November 2014, he said, “we do not want Kyiv’s idea of building a mono-ethnic state.”
I was on Maidan Square three times – in November, when it all started, in December, and in early February. I saw how it all unfolded. In the second half of February, the wave reached us in Donetsk and Donetsk region. We stood up because we did not want Maidan ideology to invade our land…
We want to build a parliamentarian republic, based on the state’s ownership of land and its resources, of air and water spaces, a state’s strong control of economic process, and a socially oriented state.
Litvinov says that Novorossiya rejects the Feindbild of Russia being built up by the Kiev fascist clique, as well as their oligarchical economy.
In the above-mentioned interview with Halyna Mokrushyna, he states:
A third contradiction is the image of Russia as the enemy, which has been formed and imposed during 23 years of Ukrainian independence. It has been formed through education, ideology, arts. If a state creates an enemy, it has to protect itself against this enemy, or to fight it. Because Ukraine is too weak, it appeals to NATO and other Western allies. We know quite well that NATO cannot be allowed here, because this would be a direct threat to us and to our brothers and sisters in Russia…
As for Russia, we want to become a member of the Eurasian Union and we will do everything to make that happen.
Turning away from the Neoliberal rip-off economy
As reported by Webster Tarpley, they are building a mixed economy: private companies + a strong state sector. Electrical energy, for example, is viewed as a vital necessity and has been placed under control of the state and made a public utility. They are also fighting to restart their coal plants, a crucial element of the eastern Ukrainian economy. Half of their coal industry has been shut down, due to the war waged by Kiev against Donbass.
Litvinov, from businessweek.com, 18 Sept 2014:
“Our constitution says that the land, minerals, forests, water, and air resources belong to the state,” he says. And he should know-he wrote it. “The DPR believes that basic industries should be kept under state control,” he says, adding that it will also “nationalize the entire chain of electricity production.”
“At some stage,” Litvinov says, a public-private partnership in steel and energy “will be possible, with a controlling interest owned by the state, and the remaining shares controlled by the private investor.”
Novorossiya intends to be the world leader in the area of coal machine tools, something they have long excelled at. As Webster Tarpley points out, one of the key features of a viable and modern nation-state is being the world leader in something! China and Vietnamese delegations have already visited to consider buying coal machine tools which are gaining a great reputation.
Families must have the necessities
New, modern, state-owned supermarkets have been opened in the Donetsk People’s Republic, and agricultural cooperatives are being launched. It is simply not possible to build a real economy when people can’t afford to feed themselves! Someone needs to tell this to Poroshenko.
Webster Tarpley: “These new supermarkets, along with energy, agriculture, and other industries, are launching a revived state sector in a mixed economy.”
Population has declined significantly since the days of the USSR, and many people have fled (mostly to Russia) since Kiev began the war against eastern Ukraine. In order to build a viable and sustainable economy and society, the government of Novorossiya wants to encourage population growth – the opposite of the disastrous one-child policy of China. Indeed, the target is three children per family. They hope to encourage an increase in marriages by providing the economic basis of the family – something seldom or never heard from the “family values” politicians of the American Republican Party! Families must have the necessities of life. Without this, any economic recovery program is simply not feasible. The US government perhaps doesn’t understand this, as shown by frequent talk of “jobless recoveries” – one of the great oxymorons of recent history. It is doubtful that the new government in Kiev could grasp such a concept, as they continue to bomb civilians in eastern Ukraine and never miss an opportunity to bow to their oligarchical masters who demand more and more austerity.
These are just a few of the measures being discussed and implemented in Novorossiya to relaunch their economy. If they are successful in their struggle to break away from the Kiev fascist clique – and it is sad that hardly anyone in the West, least of all American left liberals, supports them in this fight against fascism and neoliberal financiers – Novorossiya is positioned to become an economic success story, and the contrast between the two Ukraines will stand as a historical case study in how to and how not to run a nation.
As Webster Tarpley notes:
In addition to formulating economic policy, Litvinov can be considered the Thomas Jefferson of his country, since it was he — aided in the drafting by colleagues Cherkashin and Purgin — who worked through the night of April 6 to 7, 2015 to compose the Declaration of Independence of the new People’s Republic of Donetsk. In contrast to the wildly false and defamatory portrayal of these events by Wikipedia (“The entity was declared on 7 April 2014 by a group of armed and masked militants …”), Litvinov and his associates — all leading intellectuals — carefully studied precedents in international law as they prepared for independence. Livinov has been working with two economic institutes in Moscow in developing his reform plans. The result may establish the DPR as one of the leading laboratories for anti-globalization and anti-IMF economic reform worldwide.
American left libs, take note! Compare and contrast the economic program of Boris Litvinov and company, and the economic program of whoever it is you plan on voting for in 2016. You have much to ponder!
Webster G. Tarpley’s Eyewitness Report from the Donetsk People’s Republic:
An economic recovery program for America:
Stephen Cohen: Ukraine’s Full-Fledged Economic Meltdown:
How the EU Association Agreement Makes Existing Ukraine-Russia Trade Links Impossible:
Interview with Boris Litvinov:
Brzezinski Mapped Out the Battle for Ukraine in 1997: