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Collapse of Ukraine's Economy in Five Charts

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And make no doubt about it – a collapse is exactly what it is, and it afflicts way more of the country than just the war-wracked Donbass. Ukraine now vies with Moldova for the country with the lowest average wages in Europe.

Gabon with snow? Saakashvili is hopelessly optimistic. That would actually be a big improvement!

GDP is at 60% of its 1990 Level

ukraine-gdp-1990-2015

As of this year, the country with the most pro-Western revolutions is also the poorest performing post-Soviet economy bar none. This is a not unimpressive achievement considering outcomes here have tended to disappoint rather than elate. Russia itself, current GDP at about 110% of its 1990 level, has nothing to write home about (though “statist” Belarus, defying neoliberal conventional wisdom, at a very respectable 200% does have something to boast about).

Back in 2010, although by far the worst performing heavily industrialized Soviet economy, Ukraine was still performing better relative to its position in 1990 than Moldova, Tajikistan, and Georgia. In the intervening 5 years – with a 7% GDP decline in 2014 which has widened to a projected 9% in 2015 – Ukraine has managed to slip to rock bottom.

How does this look like on a more human level?

Housing Construction is Similar to That of 5 Million Population Russian Provinces

housing-construction-russia-ukraine-in-2014

With a quarter of its population, Belarus is constructing as much new accomodation as is Ukraine. 16 million strong Kazakhstan is building more. Russia – more than ten times as much, even though it has less than four times as many people.

The seaside Russian province of Krasnodar Krai, which hosted the Sochi Winter Olympics, with its 5 million inhabitants, is still constructing more than half as much housing as all of Ukraine. No wonder the Crimeans were so eager to leave.

New Vehicle Sales Collapse to 1960s Levels

 

ukraine-automobile-sales

The USSR might have famously concentrated on guns over butter, yet even so, even in terms of an item as infamously difficult to acquire as cars under socialism, Ukrainian consumers were better off during the 1970-1990 period than today. Now Ukrainians are buying as few new cars as they were doing in the catastrophic 1990s, and fewer even than during the depth of the 2009 recession.

And even so many Maidanists continue to giggle at “sovoks” and “vatniks.” Well, at least they now make up for having even less butter than before with the Azovets “innovative tank.” Armatas are quaking in fear looking at that thing.

Debt to GDP Ratio at Critical Levels

ukraine-debt-to-gdp-ratio

And this figure would have risen further to around 100% this year.

Note that 60% is usually considered to be the critical danger zone for emerging market economies. This is the approximate level at which both Russia and Argentina fell into their respective sovereign debt crises.

To be fair, the IMF has indicated it will be partial to flouting its own rules to keep Ukraine afloat, which is not too surprising since it is ultimately a tool of Western geopolitical influence. And if as projected the Ukrainian economy begins to recover this year, then there is a fair chance that crisis will ultimately be averted.

But it will be a close shave, and so long as the “meet the new boss, same as the old boss” oligarchs who rule Ukraine continue siphoning off money by the billions to their offshore accounts with impunity, nothing can be ruled out.

Resumption of Demographic Collapse

ukraine-crude-birth-rate-1988-2015

Much like the rest of the post-Soviet Slavic world, Russia had a disastrous 1990s in demographic terms, when mortality rates soared and birth rates plummeted. But like Russia – if to a lesser extent – it has since staged a modest recovery, incidentally with the help of a Russian-style “maternal capital” program. In 2008, it reached a plateau in birth rates, which was not significantly uninterrupted by the 2009 recession.

Since then, however, they have plummeted – exactly nine months after the February 2014 coup. The discreteness with which this happened together with the fact that the revolt in the Donbass took a further couple of months to get going after the coup proper implies that this fertility decline was likely a direct reaction to the Maidan and what it portended for the future.

This collapse is very noticeable even after you completely remove all traces of Crimea, Donetsk, and Lugansk oblasts which might otherwise muddy the waters (naturally, the demographic crisis in all its aspects has been much worse in the region that bore the brunt of Maidanist chiliastic fervor). Here are the Ukrstat figures for births and deaths in the first ten months of 2013, 2014, and 2015:

Births Deaths
2013 350658 441331
2014 354622 445236
2015 329308 450763

Furthermore, this period has seen a huge wave of emigration. Figures can only be guesstimated, but it is safe to say they are well over a million to both Russia and the EU.

The effects of this will continue to be felt long after any semblance of normalcy returns to Ukraine.

 
• Category: Economics • Tags: Crisis, Finance, Ukraine 

70 Comments to "Collapse of Ukraine's Economy in Five Charts"

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  1. Can’t Ukraine jump start their economy by using their Hawayt power? They have the magic GDP-IQ hawayt mega-points right?

    They don’t?

    Whores to istanbul it is then.

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  2. Well, at least they now make up for having even less butter than before with the Azovets “innovative tank.” Armatas are quaking in fear looking at that thing.

    OMG! Is that actually a tank? If so, where’s the cannon? Looks more like an APC made of tinfoil.

    Anyway, it won’t be long now before ‘AP’ turns up to enlighten us all with his magic-hat stats showing out-of-control economic growth and fecundity in post-Maidan Ukraine–excluding that hell-hole called Donbass, of course.

  3. I found your housing chart extremely confusing. A better chart would have been housing square footage per million population.

  4. Speaking of tanks, Ukraine recently failed to deliver more than 40 tanks ordered by Thailand. It delivered only 10, and all of these tanks were built when Tymoshenko was prime minister. This article says that Ukraine may no longer have the industrial and technological capacity to make tanks.

    http://infopolk.ru/1/H/item/tankovyj-pozor-ukrainy.html#ce8f4fde-f587-b1e4-b2be-6391b073cad2

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  5. Even I have a hard time believing that.

    Lost of news reports about Ukraine increasing military production (inc. tanks) e.g. http://korrespondent.net/ukraine/3558187-kyevskyi-bronetankovyi-zavod-za-hod-v-4-raza-uvelychyl-proyzvodstvo

    Surely this is more likely either a logistical fuckup or the usual corruption.

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  6. Well it’s too bad that I am in codgerdom. I missed the opportunity to snatch up a cheap ex-USSR hottie back in the 90s. Hot Ukrainian mail order brides will be in demand now for sure.

  7. A breakdown by region for these issues would have been much more meaningful. Averages aren’t particularly meaningful if they are simply the amalgamation of different groups.

    This is reminiscent of stats showing America has the highest homicide rates or worst educational achievements among industrialized nations without separating such stats according to differently-performing groups. Sure, America’s overall PISA scores are aren’t great relative to Europe or Asia, but its whites outperform most Europeans and its Asians outperform most Asians.

    Here are stats for GRP by oblast, up to and including 2014 (but not 2015):

    http://www.ukrstat.gov.ua/operativ/operativ2008/vvp/vrp/vrp2008_u.htm

    A visit to Kiev or Lviv might be helpful, to see Ukraine’s “collapse” for yourself.

    • Replies: , ,
  8. It does not seem to include tanks.
    The T-64 in the diagram are of course only restored from storage/repaired rather than produced in post-Soviet Ukraine.
    Maybe that is the problem. Post-Soviet Ukraine has produced only fairly few new tanks.
    They are busy repairing and upgrading tanks from the Soviet era for their own forces and the export (for the latter check out: http://bmpd.livejournal.com/tag/Регистр%20ООН)
    There is little room for new Ukrainian tanks.

  9. Kiev’s performance is not representative for Ukraine.

    A breakdown by region for these issues would have been much more meaningful. Averages aren’t particularly meaningful if they are simply the amalgamation of different groups.

    Ukraine is an unitary state. Why not treat it like one?

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  10. What a gloomy and depressing article, Anatoly. How dare you cast a pall over the joyous festivities marking Stepan Bandera’s birthday!

    http://thesaker.is/nazi-ukrofreaks-celebrate-the-birthday-of-stepan-bandera/

  11. Given stark differences between subpopulations, averages are not very meaningful. Ukraine has extreme regional differences in economic performance and other variables. Averages – particularly if they include the Donbas warzone – aren’t very informative. This is fairly standard. If, say, a medication is 100% effective for males and 0% effective for females, you don’t conclude that the medication has only a 50% average effectiveness. If the USA’s students of European-descent outperform almost all Europeans on the PISA but black and Hispanic students do poorly, you don’t conclude that American schools are among the worst in the industrialized world. And if Ukraine’s average stats are dragged down by complete collapse in the Donbas, it isn’t accurate to say that Ukraine has completely collapsed economically.

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  12. The decline in the number of births has been stronger in the western, more third-worldish parts of the Ukraine, than in the east and center. I looked at the numbers here. The number of births in the Lvov region in August of 2015 was 14.7% lower than in August of 2013. The number in the Ivano-Frankovsk region was 16.2% lower, in the Ternopol region 18.8% lower, in the Rovno region 15.7% lower, in the Volyn 16.1% lower.

    The decline in the country as a whole, minus the portions of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions that it controls, was “only” 12.7%.

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  13. Maybe that it is one of the reasons why Ukraine is such an underperformer among the post-Soviet republics.
    It is a centralised republic despite “extreme regional differences in economic performance” and “stark differences between subpopulations”.

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  14. While the rate of decline in comparison to 2013 was indeed higher, the rate was higher to begin with and remains high relative to the other regions.

  15. says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    Isn’t Ukraine a little indebted after the West decided that Ukraine does not have to pay back Russia $3 billion in loans??

  16. It is a centralised republic despite “extreme regional differences in economic performance”

    Some of this is recent. Donbas has been trashed by a war. Eastern regions have been cut off from Russia by the trade war.

    and “stark differences between subpopulations”.

    The loss of Crimea and Donbas has ameliorated this to a large extent. Ukraine is less divided than it has been, which is a good thing. Commitment and full integration with either the eastern or western system would probably have been preferable to the vacillation between East and West.

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  17. Some of this is recent.

    Most of it isn’t recent.

    Commitment and full integration with either the eastern or western system would probably have been preferable to the vacillation between East and West.

    The best option for Ukraine would have been acting as bridge between East and West, but Ukrainian politicians were apparently not competent enough to achieve that.

    By the way, full integration requires that both sides agree to full integration and the terms of the integration.

  18. There was no trade war, the loss of Russian markets is a result of policy of successive Kiev governments, pre-Maidan and post-Maidan that is.

  19. More problems with this article:

    It fails to take into account population change. In 1990 Ukraine had almost 52 million people. Prior to the loss of Donbas it had about 45.5 million. Accordingly, per capita GDP comparisons are not as negative (this is also true of Russia). Ukraine’s per capita nominal GDP in 1990 was $2,901.06 in 2014 dollars. In 2014 Ukraine’s nominal per capita GDP was $3,082, according to the World Bank. It’ll dip a little below the 1990 level in 2015.

    Failing to take into account population change exaggerates the level of economic misery. Ukrainians* are not 40% poorer than they were in 1990. They are probably something like 5% poorer, which is bad enough.

    This is true of the cars also. In 1970 Ukraine had 47 million people, compared to 45.5 million with Donbas/Crimea and around 41 million without. So again, people aren’t buying less cars now, there are simply fewer people. Furthermore, compared to 1970, the cars they are buying are more often decent Western or Japanese ones rather than Zhigulis. the implication that with respect to auto buying Ukrainians are back to the late 1960s is silly and unrealistic.

    Also, care sales are not a very valid way of gauging ability to buy consumer products. They are very expensive, more of a luxury than a necessity in Ukraine, and generally imported (Ukraine doesn’t have Russia’s domestic car industry). Cars are thus perhaps the single product most affected by the hryvnia’s collapse. The implication that Ukrainians can’t buy things any more because car sales have dropped precipitously isn’t very realistic. Indeed, Ukraine’s consumer spending is about where it was in 2010, well ahead of the 2009 crisis and the 2000s:

    http://www.tradingeconomics.com/ukraine/consumer-spending

    *And, again, there huge differences in rate of economic collapse within Ukraine. You get the 5% worse than 1990 figure by including war-torn Kiev-controlled Donbas.

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  20. Ukraine doesn’t have Russia’s domestic car industry

    I read that and thought “what about the Zaporozhets? Zaporozhye is in the Ukraine. Cossacks, cataracts on the Dnepr, it’s got to be there.” Looked it up and was surprised to learn that the factory is still working. So there still IS something for Porky and Yahtzee to steal! Not everything of value has been sold for scrap yet.

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  21. >Belarus, defying neoliberal conventional wisdom, at a very respectable 200%

    Why hasn’t Batka been nominated for the Economics “Nobel” ?

  22. Ukraine had a decent car industry, but I would not be surprised if that is gone now.

  23. No one really knows how many people there are in the Ukraine. Georgia’s population declined by 31% from the 1989 census to the 2015 census. Latvia’s population declined by 22% between the 1989 census and the 2011 census. Those countries are run by the same sorts of people, ideologically-speaking. Humans tend to flee original Communism aka Trotskyism aka anti-Sovietism aka neoconnery. Plus it has a tendency to kill. It and human life have been somewhat at odds with each other.

    If the Ukraine lost a quarter of its late-Soviet population, it would have had 39 million at the time of the Maidan coup. It lost 2.4 million (real figures, 2014 Crimean census) and (I’m guessing) roughly 3 million in the Donbass afterwards. So it could have less than 35 million now. It could have 32 million for all I know. Official estimates are worthless. In Georgia the estmate was 4.5 million on the eve of the census that showed 3.7 million.

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  24. Uhm the Ukraine was actually doing quite OK economically until the end of 2013, GDP growth was positive again, while unemployment was not too high and debt to GDP ratio was pretty low.

  25. A victim of Western propaganda might say “but the neocons hated Yanukovich. How are they to blame for the Ukraine’s troubles during his term?”

    It’s important to realize that the neocons overthrew Yanukovich not because of anything he did, but because of things that he might have done. He wasn’t anti-oligarch or anti-looting or against coercive Ukrainization. The Ukraine never got out of the 1990s, the looting and destruction never stopped in it. But there was a chance that Yanukovich might have started the process of integrating the Ukraine’s economy with Russia’s. And there was a chance that this would have cleaned things up, that the looting party would have ended some day because of this. So they overthrew him to nip that in the bud. It’s not the whole story, but it’s certainly a part of it.

  26. Ukraine now will repeat the fate of Baltic states. Her industry will die, and unemployment will be high. But unlike the Baltics, Ukrainians cannot leave and seek work elsewhere in EU because they are not in the EU. I personally think countries that have supported Ukraine in her drift westwards should accept unemployed Ukrainians to lift the burden. Ukrainian diaspora in US and Canada should lobby the governments there.

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  27. [In 1970 Ukraine had 47 million people, compared to 45.5 million with Donbas/Crimea and around 41 million without. So again, people aren’t buying less cars now, there are simply fewer people]

    Well, let’s look at 1973. What you tried to imply is that 48 million divided by 41 million is not less than 200 000 divided by 50 000. Proud of yourself?

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  28. says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    Ukrainian diaspora in US and Canada should lobby the governments there.

    The most famous being Wayne Gretzky.

  29. The drop in population accounts for a small part, maybe 5-10%. But to be consistent, then all ‘successful’ Eastern European countries – Latvia, Lithuania, even Poland – should account for the much lower population when showing their GNP/capita.

    Ukraine’s economy is very centralized in Kiev. Kiev has been taking more and more of the economic output both with government/taxes and because companies’ headquarters are located there. Also the bulk of foreign funding and NGO’s money is in Kiev. That is a large source of economic activity that is mostly missing elsewhere in Ukraine. Having a disproportionally rich capital is usually a sign of economic weakness and coming problems (US might have the same problem with regard to Washington).

    Ukraine’s best and most realistic option was to deepen its cooperation with both EU and Russia. Maybe even play them against each other when possible.

    Yanukovitch was not a ‘pro-Russian’ president, he was from the Russian speaking east, but he spent his presidency working on dumping Russia in order to align with EU. How is that even remotely ‘pro-Russian’? He backed out on the last minute because of the enormous, negative economic consequences of the AA with EU. Maidan reversed that, but now they are facing the same predicted consequences. And a lot more because of the emotionalism that Maidan introduced in its anti-Russian ideology. There will be no growth in Ukraine for years. What would the economy grow from? Cheap labor and farm products are plentiful in the world. Remittances only go so far. They cannot keep on borrowing from the West. This will get very ugly.

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  30. What you tried to imply

    Of course not.

    But coming back to the auto sales graph –

    Auto sales as a measure of economic performance contradicts AK’s use of nominal GDP, because in 2008 new vehicle sales were almost triple the high point during the Soviet period, in 1984, even though 2008′s nominal GDP was lower.

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  31. But to be consistent, then all ‘successful’ Eastern European countries – Latvia, Lithuania, even Poland – should account for the much lower population when showing their GNP/capita.

    They do. The point was that AK did not use GDP per capita to compare Ukraine in 1990 to Ukraine in 2014 or in other years. He used simple GDP. Given Ukraine’s decreasing population, doing so produces a deceptively negative result.

    Yanukovitch was not a ‘pro-Russian’ president, he was from the Russian speaking east, but he spent his presidency working on dumping Russia in order to align with EU.

    He was a pro-Yanukovich, and secondarily a pro-Donbas president. But he was an ethnic Russian (half-Belarussian), from the second-most Russian region in Ukraine, with a Russian PM (Azarov) who moved to Ukraine when he was in his forties. I doubt he was some sort of Russian patriot, but he was less a Ukrainian one.

    There will be no growth in Ukraine for years.

    There has already been slight growth in the 3rd quarter of 2015.

    What would the economy grow from? Cheap labor and farm products are plentiful in the world.

    In addition to agriculture, Ukraine is becoming a major source for IT outsourcing. It’s IT exports showed 10% growth in 2015, accounting for 2.4 billion dollars. The major centers of this industry are Kiev and Lviv. Also, moving light manufacturing to Ukraine to take advantage of cheap labor and low transportation costs (a friend here n the USA works for a German company producing electric cables for cars; their largest plant is in Lviv oblast and it may expand).

    Presumably EU AA will mean that there will be much more of this. At least, that is the hope.

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  32. In addition to agriculture, Ukraine is becoming a major source for IT outsourcing. It’s IT exports showed 10% growth in 2015, accounting for 2.4 billion dollars. The major centers of this industry are Kiev and Lviv.

    IT seems to be one of the few bright spots in the Ukrainian economy. In particular its presence on the video game scene is rather impressive in relative terms – Cossacks, Stalker, Metro 2033.

    Why? This also ties in with Kamran’s comment at the start of this thread. I suspect this is a combination of high IQ – bad institutions/instability. Few people are willing to build anything substantial like a multi-billion dollar factory. Hence so far as heavy industry goes it just continues to coast on the ever depreciating Soviet legacy.

    How much capital do you need to launch a middle-sized video game studio? Can’t imagine its much more than $100,000. Most of the value is in the brains. And if instability strikes, you just bugger off to someplace like Cyprus or Malta (like 4A games did in 2014).

    Incidentally one can see the same thing (if to a significantly smaller extent) in both Russia and Belarus.

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  33. Of course you were trying to imply it. AK wrote [Ukrainian consumers were better off during the 1970-1990 period than today] and you pretended you were answering him by addressing the single year of 1970. It’s one instance of what makes you one of the most dishonest and deceitful commenters out there.

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  34. All this transfer of production and IT outsourcing will be possible only when Ukraine stops the war against Donbass, and begins to create an attractive investment environment. The EU will not be of much help when groups of thugs harass businesses and destroy infrastructure.

    Likewise, human capital needs to be cultivated. Education, much like everything else has deteriorated. For that you need money, and money comes from industry, which has deteriorated.

  35. Of course you were trying to imply it. AK wrote [Ukrainian consumers were better off during the 1970-1990 period than today] and you pretended you were answering him by addressing the single year of 1970.

    Nonsense, liar. I was responding to the bolded heading New Vehicle Sales Collapse to 1960s Levels when mentioning Ukraine’s 1970 population.

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  36. A clever and probably correct explanation.

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  37. …though another factor is institutions and local (though not yet national) political environment geared for this particular industry, at least in Lviv:

    http://youteam.co.uk/blog/lviv-tech-scene/

  38. Gallup has just issued a new poll (although the actual data was collected some months ago), in which ‘Conflict-weary Ukrainians gave their lives in 2015 the worst ratings that Gallup has measured yet in that country.’ I have provided some details here: https://irrussianality.wordpress.com/2016/01/04/ukrainians-unhappier-than-ever-before/

    AK: Thanks I’ve been planning to write about this.

  39. So you were making a valuable and honest contribution to the discussion when you disputed that [New Vehicle Sales Collapse to 1960s Levels], although you could see from the graph that per capita they are almost the same as in 1969, less than in 1970 and about a quarter as much as in 1973?
    Like I said, one of the most dishonest and deceitful commenters out there.

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  40. Another post, another lie from 5371.

    although you could see from the graph that per capita they are almost the same as in 1969, less than in 1970

    Of course on the graph per capita auto sales were not “almost the same” in 2015 as in 1969. The raw numbers of new cars sold appears to be “almost the same” in those two years. But because the population in 1970 was 47 million people and in 2015 about 41 million people (if not lower as glossy suggested) auto sales per capita were much higher in 2015 than in 1969, dummy. They were close in 1970, and a lot lower in 2015 than in 1973.

    Moreover, as I had written earlier, care sales are not a very valid way of gauging ability to buy consumer products. They are very expensive, more of a luxury than a necessity in Ukraine, and generally imported (Ukraine doesn’t have Russia’s domestic car industry). Cars are thus perhaps the single product most affected by the hryvnia’s collapse. The implication that Ukrainians can’t buy things any more because car sales have dropped precipitously isn’t very realistic. Indeed, Ukraine’s overall consumer spending is about where it was in 2010, well ahead of the 2009 crisis and the 2000s:

    http://www.tradingeconomics.com/ukraine/consumer-spending

    So you are wrong with respect to the big picture, and even fail when you try to argue the minutiae.

    BTW when earlier you wrote: “Well, let’s look at 1973. What you tried to imply is that 48 million divided by 41 million is not less than 200 000 divided by 50 000″ it looks on the graph that the number of cars sold in 1973 was about 160,000, not 200,000. That’s not a big deal, compared to your other dishonesty of course.

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  41. Cabinet ministers and governors who bray at each other barnyard-style in public government meetings, a president who hawks his company’s chocolates during public speeches in foreign countries and has his flunkies photoshop his face on magazine covers, and as propagandist a sleazy, pettifogging, ass-wiggling little cheat like you – everything in the Ukraine is of a piece.

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  42. Nice to see you resort to empty insults after your face has been rubbed into your own B.S. (again).

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  43. That’s like countering the news about the travails of US middle class by proposing visit to the Hamptons. Or Manhattan.
    “Averages” are actually far more “meaningful” in this case. Sure, there are some decent areas in Kiev and Lviv, but so what? They are quite small, and prove little.

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  44. There is nothing decent about Lvov beyond its old architecture, which its current inhabitants have nothing to do with and which they’ll probably destroy within a generation as a legacy of colonialism. Which it undoubtedly is in their case.

    Do you know that Galician politicians eschew suits in favor of peasant shirts? It’s a common third-worldish attitude. Suits and ties are a legacy of colonialism, of a superior culture. The Man wears suits, the master. Mobutu Sese Seco, Khaddafi, Neru, that cannibalistic emperor of the Central African Republic all understood that. They didn’t learn it from each other, they all must have felt it independently. The Man wears suits, and they hate The Man. For beeing better. It’s a rebellion against civilization.

    Galicians’ chief cultural heros are guys who organized massacres of women and children. They love them FOR that. The Nazis had to hide what the SS was doing from the German public. Their propaganda presented what was happening as a regular war. But you don’t have to hide massacres from third-worlders. They’re proud of them. It’s their nature.

    So no, there’s nothing decent in Lvov. Not materially (the income level is African), not culturally, not in any other way. It’s third-worldish hellhole.

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  45. That’s like countering the news about the travails of US middle class by proposing visit to the Hamptons. Or Manhattan.

    You make it seem as if Lviv or Kiev are outliers in terms of GRP change since 2013. That is not at all the case, however. In terms of economic change Lviv or Kiev are more representative of Ukraine than is Donbas.* In 2014 Luhansk oblast lost about 50% of its GRP and Donetsk about 30%. No other region came close to such a loss. These areas aren’t “the middle class” they are the fringe.

    “Averages” are actually far more “meaningful” in this case. Sure, there are some decent areas in Kiev and Lviv, but so what? They are quite small, and prove little.

    Averages are never really meaningful when scores that constitute the average cluster into separate groups. As I explained earlier, if a medication works effectively for 100% of males and 0% of females, a summary of “average effectiveness” of 50%” is meaningless. It isn’t useful and actually provides a misleading view of how well that medication works.

    In Ukraine you’ve got two oblasts whose economies crashed by 30% and 50% in 2014 (and probably more in 2015), 6 oblasts whose economies grew by .8% to 7.8%, and 17 oblasts showing declines ranging from .4% to around 8%.

    Just as in our example with the medication, a meaningful conclusion would be “medication works 100% for males but 0% for females” rather than “medication is only 50% effective”, in Ukraine’s case one would conclude “economy collapsed in the Donbas warzone, did rather well in west-central Ukrainian agricultural regions, and experienced decline ranging from slight to serious elsewhere” – rather than simply “Ukraine’s economy collapsed.” That’s more complicated but such is reality.

    *To be clear – the parts of Donbas under Kiev’s control, about 1/3 of the population of prewar Donbas or around 5% of Ukraine’s population and roughly 8% of Ukraine’s prewar economy

  46. You’re trying to portray me as similar to yourself, not successfully. Don’t take my word for it – ask anyone else who’s had the misfortune of reading your mendacious comments.

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  47. There is nothing decent about Lvov beyond its old architecture

    Says someone who knows nothing about it. No Ukrainian city other than perhaps Kiev, and few Russian cities, offer Lviv’s quality of life.

    which its current inhabitants have nothing to do with

    Lviv isn’t Kaliningrad or Vilnius, with a totally new population after the war. It was historically over 15% Ukrainian. There was a Ukrainian area near downtown, the mother church of the Ukrainian Catholic Church has always been there. The Ukrainian architect Sylvester Havryshkevich co-designed the massive Galician government house in the 1870s and also restored and rebuilt a lot of the city’s old churches and buildings in the 19th century:

    https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sylwestr_Hawryszkewycz

    And which they’ll probably destroy within a generation

    Lviv was crumbling indeed after Sovok misrule and neglect. It was in very bad shape in the early 90s. It has recovered very well post-independence,

    Do you know that Galician politicians eschew suits in favor of peasant shirts? It’s a common third-worldish attitude.

    Like in Austria:

    http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-19976271

    Those third-world Viennese…

    Galicians’ chief cultural heros are guys who organized massacres of women and children.

    Says a fan of Stalin.

    Lviv admires Ivan Franko, Andrei Sheptytsky, Shevchenko, etc. in addition to Bandera you know.

    They love them FOR that.

    Almost all fans of Bandera (you mean him, right?) don’t celebrate massacres. They tend to deny them or blame them on someone else. Actually that’s not unlike a lot of Stalin’s fans such as you.

    So no, there’s nothing decent in Lvov.

    Other than beautiful and well-maintained architecture, lots of restaurants whose food is comparable to that of Prague or Vienna in quality but not in price, music festivals, decent law-abiding people (one of the lowest crime rates in Ukraine) and a gorgeous opera house. Here is their schedule btw:

    http://opera.lviv.ua/en/

    Africa indeed :)

    Guess – which place’s homicide rate and HIV rate are closest to Africa’s…Lviv’s or Donbas’.? Or even Russia’s?

    It’s third-worldish hellhole.

    Thus confirming your lack of credibility about anything having to do with Ukraine.

    Another one bitter about “Banderists” having created a place that is more civilized, cultured, conservative, and decent than anywhere else in Ukraine and than most places in Russia.

  48. You’re trying to portray me

    No, your own words portray you, correctly, as a liar. One can simply click up the chain of comments to see your string of falsehoods and their debunking. You’ve finally learned to avoid stating “facts” that can be checked. Good for you.

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  49. No, you are the fraud and deceiver, as all readers of this and other threads will confirm. I would like to congratulate the Poles on acquiring you as a future citizen, but the value of the acquisition is so dubious that the words stick on my tongue.

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  50. Like in Austria:

    Not among public officials performing public duties. Most people recognize a need for formality in certain situations. But what exactly does formality look like? Those who carry a chip on their shoulders in regards to Western Civ. choose something other than a suit and tie.

    Here’s a typical example, Evo Morales speaking at the UN.

    Says a fan of Stalin

    As Stalin’s power gradually increased, the amount of state violence in the USSR gradually decreased. One could draw a graph. Who was the agent of that decrease? It’s a stupid question. He of course. His late period, interrupted by the war, was peaceful. The later, peaceful USSR was a continuation of the late Stalinist period and essentially his creation.

    You know how in math you can often check a result by another method? Whose memory do the intellectual heirs of the early, violent Communism hate the most? Well, here you are. Result checked. Trotsky was for worldwide refolution, Stalin was against it. Whose memory do the modern proponents of worldwide revolution hate the most? Stalin’s. It’s not an accident.

    lots of restaurants whose food is comparable to that of Prague or Vienna in quality but not in price

    I could find the web site of the Michelin guide or of Zagat’s and compare the number of entries for Prague, Vienna and Lvov, but that would be a waste of time. I know the result beforehand. A lot of your claims are as ridiculous as this one.

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  51. I did end up wasting time on this: http://www.viamichelin.com/web/Restaurants

    Michelin doesn’t seem to list any restaurants in the former USSR, not even in Moscow. Prague has 64, Vienna 94. New York has 874. The number in Paris changes as you zoom in and out (I guess it’s suburbs and arrondisements being lumped together and unlumped again). It’s roughly comparable to the New York number though. I thought they WOULD have Moscow, but they don’t.

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  52. So you admit that using Michelin as a measure of restaurant quality in a city was your usual ignorant foolishness? Or do you feel Moscow is a culinary desert.

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  53. Not among public officials performing public duties. Most people recognize a need for formality in certain situations. Those who carry a chip on their shoulders in regards to Western Civ. choose something other than a suit and tie.

    Right-wing Austrian politician Haider’s funeral, Austrian folk costumes:

    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2008/10/22/article-0-0229B4D1000005DC-254_468x286.jpg

    Here’s Archduke Wilhelm Franz von Habsburg-Lothringen in a vyshyvanka:

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/72/Vyshyvanyi_01.jpg/180px-Vyshyvanyi_01.jpg

    Here’s a typical example, Evo Morales speaking at the UN.

    Where the pic of Poroshenko wearing vyshyvanka at the UN btw? It’s mostly this:

    http://s3.reutersmedia.net/resources/r/?m=02&d=20150929&t=2&i=1083233203&w=&fh=&fw=&ll=644&pl=429&sq=&r=LYNXNPEB8S15N

    Lithuania’s president at a public event:

    http://gs.delfi.lt/images/pix/prezidente-dalia-grybauskaite-68418098.jpg

    Your attempt to “prove” that Lviv is a third world type of place because its politicians wear Ukrainian folk embroidered shirts in public speaks to your desperation. It’s yet another of your ridiculous failures.

    Says a fan of Stalin

    As Stalin’s power gradually increased, the amount of state violence in the USSR gradually decreased. One could draw a graph. Who was the agent of that decrease? It’s a stupid question. He of course. His late period, interrupted by the war, was peaceful. The later, peaceful USSR was a continuation of the late Stalinist period and essentially his creation.

    We’ve been over this before. Stalin was in control by the early 30′s. Anyways, one can apply the same silly logic towards OUN. The height of its massacring of civilians was in the late summer of 1943. Killing rate decreased after that. By your logic the decrease ought to be attributed to the OUN being somehow humane, like Stalin. In the real world, however, this decrease happened because the victims were already mostly dead and/or gone. As in the case of Stalin, whose mass murders ended once the peasants were broken (at the cost of millions dead) and whose potential political enemies were liquidated in the upper 100,000s if not over a million. By potential political enemies I mean not only party members but most of the Russian nobles who had survived the 1920s, Russian Orthodox priests unwilling to collaborate with the Party (over 100,000 of whom were shot in 1937-1938), etc.

  54. Typical example of open lying by 5371, upthread:

    5371 claimed “although you could see from the graph that per capita they [autos purchased in Ukraine] are almost the same as in 1969, less than in 1970″

    One merely has to scroll up to see that on the graph per capita auto sales were not “almost the same” in 2015 as in 1969. The raw numbers of new cars sold appears to be “almost the same” in those two years. But because the population in 1970 was 47 million people and in 2015 about 41 million people (if not lower as glossy suggested) auto sales per capita were much higher in 2015 than in 1969.

    This sort of open and repeated lying seems to be 5371′s specialty.

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  55. You could always use tripadvisor and focus on reviews by Western (including Polish) tourists. They love Lviv’s many restaurants.

    For a laugh, compare Lviv to a medium-sized historical Russian city.

    Best of Lviv:

    http://varlamov.ru/1085938.html

    Worst of Lviv:

    http://varlamov.ru/1085062.html

    Note almost no trash on the ground or graffiti even in crappy Sovok-built areas, well-restored buildings in good shape.

    Best of Tver:

    http://varlamov.ru/1042308.html

    Worst of Tver:

    http://zyalt.livejournal.com/1041812.html

    Worst of Lviv is basically people parking on sidewalks as they do in Russia, some bike lanes placed in the middle of traffic, cafes having their outdoor seating on sidewalks. Worst of Tver: mounds of garbage, passed-out drunks on the streets, etc.

    You may creatively find “proof” for your claims in terms of the type of clothes politicians wear in public, but it seems clear which place is more civilized and less third world. Even though I’ll bet Tver has more money.

    (I realize Tver is about half of Lviv’s size; unfortunately there was no Lviv-sized city to compare)

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  56. The wiki on restaurant ratings: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restaurant_rating

    One of these is called La List. It’s sanctioned by France’s Foreign Ministry and Tourism Board and claims to list the 1,000 best restaurants in the World.

    They have 6 in Vienna, 0 in Prague and 0 in the former USSR. Paris has 26, New York 41.

    The wiki also suggested the rating system of Gault-Millau. They also don’t have any cities in the former USSR. Paris is first, London second, Vienna third, Prague is not in the top 25.

    So yes, it seems that I overestimated Moscow’s culinary significance. Your idea that Lvov is comparable on this score to Prague and Vienna is not supported by the evidence either. All of these three lists are global, not European. They include America and Japan.

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  57. That’s some guy I’ve never heard of writing up his impressions. The Michelin company is trying to make money advising people. Their evidence is many times less anecdotal than that. They’ve got a huge staff, formal standards, a global reach and tons of money to lose if customers stop trusting them. They gave zero stars to Lvov restaurants. Your claim that Lvov restaursnrs are comparable to those in Vienna and Prague failed to receive support.

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  58. Or the ex-USSR is simply off their radar. Similarly, I’ve seen international university ranking claiming MGU is worse than University of Florida or Penn State.

  59. Ah…I see the resident nutjob ,factless troll AP is spamming nonsense here (again)
    Always surprises me how persistant you freaks are

  60. Tver to Lvov (yes Lvov or Lemburg not “Lviv ) is an idiotic false comparison. Lvov doesnt compare even close to Khabarovsk or Kazan in living standards

    As for cleanliness in Lvov…your nonsense applies to the main tourist areas (like in most countries around the world) the general metroplitan areas is in fact average

    Ratings for travelers to Lvov are mixed….and what is more is that they are far fewer now that one of their largest tourist bases of Russia , arent travelling there on breaks that much now

    It is in effect a leach of a city in the rest of the country. Any idiot can have “higher” life expectancy there if heavy industry making the backbone of the country isnt located there……and if they get more than generous state handouts compared to the limited wealth they develop for the country….as in the case of Lvov. In terms of contribution to the economy….other than aggro and an obscene refusal to properly try and unite Ukraine over the years in a way that suits everybody…Lvov is nothing more than a worthless leach

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  61. You repeat the same nonsense over and over again like a prostitute wearily lifting her skirt on the same street corner. Everyone knows your comments are false and boring, everyone knows your country’s rulers have turned it into a revolting dump to your applause. Your biggest enemy could wish you no worse.

  62. yes Lvov or Lemburg not “Lviv

    Their insistence on forcing foreigners to pronounce the names of their cities the way they do is another little third-worldish tick, another bit of shameless look-at-me victimology, no less important than peasant shirts on pols.

    Germans, Finns and Hungarians aren’t bothered by us calling them Germans, Finns and Hungarians. Cologne is in the news today. The natives call it Köln. But have you ever heard them complain about Cologne? On this issue Ukro-nationalists stand with Gypsies, Myanmerese (?), Mumbaiers (?), Kolkatans, etc. It makes me feel sorry for the normal parts of the Ukraine. They have not deserved what this demented, special-ed victimologist nonsense implies about them to the whole world. Odesa my ass.

    As a Muscovite I’m proud of being above that. “Moscow” is an English word that belongs to English speakers, Moscou is a French word, etc. A man debases himself every time he complains or needlessly inconveniences others. It’s a low-class thing to do. If the meaning is clear and no insult was implied, it’s OK.

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  63. To continue with this, Kiev became an English word through chicken Kiev. A large number of English speakers have heard of Odessa. And even for the towns and cities most of them haven’t heard of there are tons of old reference works in English that call them by their old, non-Ukronized names. When they Ukronize things in other languages they don’t just tell the world to treat them like easily-offended special ed kids, they also increase confusion.

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  64. Who cares about the blogger. The numerous pictures, nice or not, speak for themselves.

    Their evidence is many times less anecdotal than that. They’ve got a huge staff, formal standards, a global reach and tons of money to lose if customers stop trusting them. They gave zero stars to Lvov restaurants.

    Michelin may not have even visited Lviv. Or judged Moscow. The fact that not a single place in the ex-USSR got on their radar is telling.

    Here’s some reviews:

    Lonely Planet:

    http://www.lonelyplanet.com/ukraine/western-ukraine/lviv/travel-tips-and-articles/five-reasons-to-visit-lviv-the-safe-and-affordable-gem-of-western-ukraine

    The international bean-frenzy has crept across Eastern Europe in a rash of cloned cafes, but Lviv is different. A reluctant part of the USSR for only 50 years, this Habsburg city managed to retain its Viennese caffeine traditions and the result is the best line-up of coffee houses in Eastern Europe, some roasting and grinding their own blends.

    Conde Nast:

    http://www.cntraveller.com/guides/europe/ukraine/lviv/where-to-eat

  65. As for cleanliness in Lvov…your nonsense applies to the main tourist areas (like in most countries around the world) the general metroplitan areas is in fact average

    No, the outskirts of Lviv are quite clean too. And the “tourist area” is most of the city. The pictures I linked to are rather clear. Take an elektrichka out of Lviv and you pass from clean city to clean suburbs to clean villages . Take one from, for example, Moscow, and until you reach the places where the nice dachas are you will see plenty of mounds of garbage.

    It is in effect a leach of a city in the rest of the country. Any idiot can have “higher” life expectancy there if heavy industry making the backbone of the country

    Sovok myths and Sovok attitude. Typical.

    Donbas is gone. Lviv is still doing well without the mytholoigical “host.”

    In terms of contribution to the economy….other than aggro

    More Sovok myths. Lviv is Ukraine’s number 2 IT city and top IT city per capita. But aggro is important, and there is nothing wrong with that, prole-worshiping Sovok. Minnesota is a nice model of an agricultural/technical place.

    You seem to be butthurt that Galicia has defeated Russia in its struggle for Ukraine’s identity and loyalty. Dnipropetrovsk has followed. Will Odessa be next? You have the Donbas hole as a consolation prize, at least.

  66. On this issue Ukro-nationalists stand with Gypsies, Myanmerese (?), Mumbaiers (?), Kolkatans, etc.

    You forgot Russians, with their Kaliningrad, St. Petersburg/Petrograd/Leningrad/St. Petersburg, the Chinese with Peking/Beijing, etc.

    And Lithuanians with Wilno/Vilnius, Poles with Danzig/Gdansk, Slovaks with Bratislava rather than Pressburg. And of course Strasbourg/Strassburg. Your mind must be too deep in the third world gutter to notice that what happened to Lviv’s name is not odd for Europe.

    Lvov is simply the Soviet name, analogous to monstrosities such as “Karl Marx Stadt” or “Stalingrad.” You clinging to Sovok terminology is quite understandable, of course. But why have you stopped using Leningrad? Kuibishev? Sverdlovsk?

    no less important than peasant shirts on pols.

    Yes, just as trivial and just as used in your desperate grasping-for-straws.

  67. When they Ukronize things in other languages they don’t just tell the world to treat them like easily-offended special ed kids, they also increase confusion.

    Do you think this of Slovaks with Bratislava/Pressburg, Lithuanians with Wilno/Vilnius, Russians with Kant’s famous hometown, Sverdlovsk, etc.?

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