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Economics Won't Magically Bind Belarus to Russia
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Now to preface this, I have argued extensively that many factors make it unlikely that Belarus institutes a hard anti-Russian zmagarist regime in the event of a successful color revolution against Lukashenko.

However, there are also some arguments to that effect which are if not outright false then significantly flawed.

Perhaps the biggest one is the argument from economics, which I have seen from a wide variety of people, from RT’s Bryan MacDonald to nationalist pundit Egor Prosvirnin. Basically, it goes that the Russian and Belorussian economies are so intertwined that a serious break in relations with Russia would lead to a collapse in living standards in Belarus – similar to what happened in Ukraine after 2014.

… Well, there you go. It did happen in Ukraine in 2014.

Moreover, the depression there was not permanent, as Ukropessimists like to claim. While severing economic ties might be painful, it is still a one-off shock, and growth eventually resumes – as Ukraine itself showed.

As commenter AP has shown, despite the loss of part of the Donbass, which was richer than the Ukrainian average – & the urban/industrial part of it at that – Ukraine had a higher GDP per capita relative to Russia by 2019, than it did in 2013.

In 2019 Ukraine had 45.7% of Russia’s GDP per capita PPP.
In 2013, before Maidan, Ukraine had 41% of Russia’s GDP per capita PPP.

In 2010 Ukraine had 40.2% of Russia’s GDP per capita PPP.

In 2008 Ukraine had 45% of Russia’s GDP per capita PPP.

But in 2007 Ukraine had 49% of Russia’s GDP per capita PPP.

So actually after Maidan, by 2019 Ukraine had erased about a decade’s worth of decline compared to Russia and was back to its relative position in 2008.

EDIT: Some serious doubts raised over these calculations, e.g. see here, here which suggest that Ukraine hasn’t gained on Russia after all. Though doesn’t much detract from wider point; economic considerations didn’t stop Euromaidan.

The main effect was in fact to reorient the locus of Ukrainian growth from the more Russified East, which was more dependent on Russia, to the more Occidentophile west of the country, which has seen a modest influx of investment from Central European manufacturing companies even in run-down places like Ternopil, as well as IT offshoring to Kiev and Lvov.

Moreover, while Russia has indeed subsidized Belarus to the tune of tens of billions of dollars over the past decade in oil and gas dotations, it is also important to emphasize that its absolute volume has collapsed since 2016.

This in fact a significant driver of the negative feedback loops that have led us to these developments in the first place: (1) The stagnation of the Belorussian economy; (2) rising public discontent with Lukashenko; (3) worsening Russian-Belorussian relations.

However, what that also means is that some chunk of the pain from a breakdown in the Russian-Belorussian relationship has already been accounted for.

Now yes, there are a bunch of important caveats to this analysis:

(1) The most important one is that Ukraine has always been less “synced” with Russia, and relations were bound to go into a nosedive after Crimea and Russian backing for the Donbass rebellion anyway.

(2) Even in 2013, the Ukraine was almost twice less dependent on trade with Russia (23% of exports – down to 6.5% by 2019) than was Belarus (38%) in 2018.

(3) The state sector remains dominant in Belarus, accounting for 40% of exports, 50% of employment, 60% of gross revenue, and 80% of industrial production. Its preservation shielded Belorussians from the sharp collapses in living standards seen in both Russia and Ukraine during the 1990s. It is likely to be ravaged in the event of a reorientation towards the West – though the severity of this should be mitigated by many of these enterprises actually being internationally competitive.

(4) While one might argue that the improvement in Ukraine’s position relative to Russia was, in significant part, an artifact of the collapse of oil prices, which hit Russia disproportionately, it should be noted that Ukraine is also highly dependent on global commodity prices, and that it had to deal with a debt overhang which necessitated painful cuts to social welfare and associated hits on consumption. Aid from the developed world was always modest.

So, I’m not saying there’ll be no economic pain from a breakdown in Russian-Belorussian economic relations. There will be, and it will probably be worse than in Ukraine (perhaps comparable to what you saw in the Russia-oriented east of Ukraine, in places such as Kharkov and Dnepropetrovsk). But a hypothetical determinedly zmagarist regime will be able to pull through. Close economic ties to Russia are not absolutely indispensable for Belarus, especially considering that vicarious “national liberation” sentiments can tide over economic dismay for some period of time. It is dangerous for Russia to base calculations on the optimal course of action in Belarus on materialist determinism – that model having failed so spectacularly in the Ukraine (and, for that matter, as regards the USSR as a whole in the early 1990s).

 
• Category: Economics • Tags: Belarus, GDP, Growth, Russia 
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  1. Please keep off topic posts to the current Open Thread.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

  2. Anatoly, what are your thoughts on the future of Russian as an official language in Belarus* in an event of Lukashenko losing power?

    It has been reported that Tikhanovskaya intends to restore the constitution of 1994 (or hold a referendum on it), i.e., the version in which Belorussian is the sole official (“state”) language of the country. That would overturn the the result of the 1995 referendum and set the country on the path of the Ukraine when it comes to language policy which would entail a gradual but inevitable linguistic replacement in the country and separation from the rest of the Russian cultural space (coupled of course with inculcation of the anti-Russian pseudo-national mythology).

    I know you have quoted opinion polls that showed that Belorussians are as Russophilic as people of Donetsk and Lugansk (that represent one of the ends of the ideological spectrum in the Ukraine); however, Belorussians may prove to be too passive to resist the linguistic replacement agenda of a new Sviadomy elite and there is a possibility of a new (semi-)authoritarian regime emerging, now with a pronounced and bold anti-Russian agenda.

    *I have to admit I use this word reluctantly having a slight suspicion that it owes its origins directly to the Polish Białoruś

    • Replies: @Russian Unionist
    @Russian Unionist

    Have reposted in the open thread.

    , @Anatoly Karlin
    @Russian Unionist


    Anatoly, what are your thoughts on the future of Russian as an official language in Belarus* in an event of Lukashenko losing power?
     
    I have a post already written about that, though I won't publish yet as I don't want my feed to get too full of bulbapoastings.

    But in short I don't expect Russian to go anywhere in Belarus, based on both post-1991 trends and general reasons described here: https://www.unz.com/akarlin/why-belarus-isnt-ukraine/
    , @Svevlad
    @Russian Unionist

    Even if that happens, unlike Serbia, Russia can always internally claim that both Belarusian and Ukrainian are just dialects of Russian. What they gonna do, send angry letters?

    Replies: @AltanBakshi, @Russian Unionist

  3. @Russian Unionist
    Anatoly, what are your thoughts on the future of Russian as an official language in Belarus* in an event of Lukashenko losing power?

    It has been reported that Tikhanovskaya intends to restore the constitution of 1994 (or hold a referendum on it), i.e., the version in which Belorussian is the sole official ("state") language of the country. That would overturn the the result of the 1995 referendum and set the country on the path of the Ukraine when it comes to language policy which would entail a gradual but inevitable linguistic replacement in the country and separation from the rest of the Russian cultural space (coupled of course with inculcation of the anti-Russian pseudo-national mythology).

    I know you have quoted opinion polls that showed that Belorussians are as Russophilic as people of Donetsk and Lugansk (that represent one of the ends of the ideological spectrum in the Ukraine); however, Belorussians may prove to be too passive to resist the linguistic replacement agenda of a new Sviadomy elite and there is a possibility of a new (semi-)authoritarian regime emerging, now with a pronounced and bold anti-Russian agenda.


    *I have to admit I use this word reluctantly having a slight suspicion that it owes its origins directly to the Polish Białoruś

    Replies: @Russian Unionist, @Anatoly Karlin, @Svevlad

    Have reposted in the open thread.

  4. @Russian Unionist
    Anatoly, what are your thoughts on the future of Russian as an official language in Belarus* in an event of Lukashenko losing power?

    It has been reported that Tikhanovskaya intends to restore the constitution of 1994 (or hold a referendum on it), i.e., the version in which Belorussian is the sole official ("state") language of the country. That would overturn the the result of the 1995 referendum and set the country on the path of the Ukraine when it comes to language policy which would entail a gradual but inevitable linguistic replacement in the country and separation from the rest of the Russian cultural space (coupled of course with inculcation of the anti-Russian pseudo-national mythology).

    I know you have quoted opinion polls that showed that Belorussians are as Russophilic as people of Donetsk and Lugansk (that represent one of the ends of the ideological spectrum in the Ukraine); however, Belorussians may prove to be too passive to resist the linguistic replacement agenda of a new Sviadomy elite and there is a possibility of a new (semi-)authoritarian regime emerging, now with a pronounced and bold anti-Russian agenda.


    *I have to admit I use this word reluctantly having a slight suspicion that it owes its origins directly to the Polish Białoruś

    Replies: @Russian Unionist, @Anatoly Karlin, @Svevlad

    Anatoly, what are your thoughts on the future of Russian as an official language in Belarus* in an event of Lukashenko losing power?

    I have a post already written about that, though I won’t publish yet as I don’t want my feed to get too full of bulbapoastings.

    But in short I don’t expect Russian to go anywhere in Belarus, based on both post-1991 trends and general reasons described here: https://www.unz.com/akarlin/why-belarus-isnt-ukraine/

  5. @Russian Unionist
    Anatoly, what are your thoughts on the future of Russian as an official language in Belarus* in an event of Lukashenko losing power?

    It has been reported that Tikhanovskaya intends to restore the constitution of 1994 (or hold a referendum on it), i.e., the version in which Belorussian is the sole official ("state") language of the country. That would overturn the the result of the 1995 referendum and set the country on the path of the Ukraine when it comes to language policy which would entail a gradual but inevitable linguistic replacement in the country and separation from the rest of the Russian cultural space (coupled of course with inculcation of the anti-Russian pseudo-national mythology).

    I know you have quoted opinion polls that showed that Belorussians are as Russophilic as people of Donetsk and Lugansk (that represent one of the ends of the ideological spectrum in the Ukraine); however, Belorussians may prove to be too passive to resist the linguistic replacement agenda of a new Sviadomy elite and there is a possibility of a new (semi-)authoritarian regime emerging, now with a pronounced and bold anti-Russian agenda.


    *I have to admit I use this word reluctantly having a slight suspicion that it owes its origins directly to the Polish Białoruś

    Replies: @Russian Unionist, @Anatoly Karlin, @Svevlad

    Even if that happens, unlike Serbia, Russia can always internally claim that both Belarusian and Ukrainian are just dialects of Russian. What they gonna do, send angry letters?

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
    @Svevlad

    Russian Communists were truly idiots on national question compared to the Chinese ones. Chinese dialects differ more than the Slavic languages. Why the hell would Mao and company declare that the great enemy of Peoples Republic is the Beifangren or Tang chauvinism and that it is governments responsibility to protect the national development of Hakka, Min, Cantonese, Wu etc languages and cultures, and that all those languages need separate republics. Although protecting Cantonese or Hakka would be a million times more culturally important than protecting hohol bydlos. Still is every language worthy of protection? But I cant believe that it was ethnically Russian Communists who invented this mad policy, fault lies probably in some other groups...

    Replies: @AP

    , @Russian Unionist
    @Svevlad

    How would a declaration by the Russian government change a policy adopted by Belarus or the Ukraine?

    Replies: @Svevlad

  6. Don´t watch this Ukraine GDP. People do not eat GDP.

    I live in the Eastern Europe and we have very small minimum wage. Now after this “revolution” we have big problem with thousands ukros who working below this tiny minimum wage. We do not have this problem with Belorussians, Russians or even with Moldovan s.

    Anatoly maybe sees rising GDP. Entire former Soviet bloc sees only rising number of Ukraine refugees, more in numbers, more qualified and more willing to work whatever condition. And sleep in the forest. Yes, our police hunting those illegal workers, so they work in the day and in the night they sleep in the forest. In the tents, in the winter. We have very harsh winters, remember how German Army freeze to death in 1941.

    • Thanks: GazaPlanet
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @Juri

    Where are you posting from?

    Replies: @reiner Tor

    , @AP
    @Juri


    Now after this “revolution” we have big problem with thousands ukros who working below this tiny minimum wage. We do not have this problem with Belorussians, Russians or even with Moldovan s.
     
    IIRC Thulean Friend posted figures showing per capita there are as any Belarusians as Ukrainians in Poland. It's just that Ukraine has about 4 times the population of Belarus.

    There very well be Ukrainians working for below minimum wage in Poland. OTOH plenty work at Polish wages. The real estate agent who manages my US-dwelling friend's apartment in Warsaw (finding tenants, etc.) is a Ukrainian from Lviv.

    Before COVID-19 hit, Ukraine's economic improvement meant decline in Ukrainian workers:

    https://www.aljazeera.com/ajimpact/ukraines-economic-growth-spell-trouble-poland-200302005101436.html



    Nearly two million Ukrainian migrants have arrived in Poland since 2014. Many escaped their fledgeling economy and the war in Ukraine's east.

    Since then they have created 11 percent of Poland's gross domestic product or GDP growth, according to the National Bank of Poland. Ukrainians have been crucial to plugging the labour gap as Poland faced its lowest unemployment in almost 30 years last year.

    Yet now some fear that the tide could turn.

    On March 1, Germany loosened its immigration rules to attract skilled workers from outside the EU. Yet while interest in Germany is growing, significant barriers for Ukrainian workers could slow the outflow.

    More worryingly for Polish firms, Ukraine's economy is bouncing back, with real growth at 3 percent in 2019, according to International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts. With falling unemployment, now at 9.3 percent, Ukrainian firms are seeking workers.

    "They are beginning to feel as though their labour market has been drained," according to Andrzej Kubisiak, a labour market expert at the Polish Economic Institute, a think tank.

    Wages have been rising by 16 percent year on year, while inflation has slowed to 4.1 percent. As the Ukrainian hryvnia appreciates, earnings in Polish zloty are worth less.

    As a result, interest in Poland, the Czech Republic and Russia has weakened, according to the National Bank of Ukraine's January report.

    Yet experts reassure that the changes will not be sweeping. The "guest worker" model in Poland is evolving, as many Ukrainians move into higher-paid sectors and stay for longer.

    ...........

    According to the EWL's report, higher earnings are a key condition for returning home for three-quarters of Ukrainians working in Poland. A majority also list political and economic stability, followed by fighting corruption (41 percent). Just 10 percent of respondents say nothing could persuade them to go back to Ukraine.

    Sentiments differ between sectors. "It doesn't make sense for many programmers to leave [Ukraine], since they pay 5 percent tax", said Oleh from Lviv, who works at a technological consulting company in Warsaw. "I tried to bring some of my Ukrainian friends here, but it did not make financial sense for them."

    ............

    According to the recruitment agency Personnel Service, more than one-fifth of Polish companies now hire Ukrainian workers, but their model of employment is changing.

    "Workers from Ukraine are increasingly hired in the service industry and more often in specialised positions," Personnel Service's Inglot, told Al Jazeera.


    In 2014, almost half of Ukrainians in Poland worked in agriculture. The number dropped to 8 percent in 2018, as many newcomers moved into industrial production (from 12 to 39 percent), services (from 28 to 33 percent) and construction (from 14 to 21 percent).

    Low-wage sectors are most exposed to labour outflow. "Workers come with higher expectations in terms of wages, working conditions and company benefits," Korkus told Al Jazeera. For example, the meat-production sector "has seen a notable increase in Asian workers, replacing those from Ukraine," he added.
    , @Philip Owen
    @Juri

    I have seen derelict holiday camps in Russia with Armenians sleeping 16 to a room. It's a feature of illegal immigration. Make them legal and they will work for higher wages.

    , @GazaPlanet
    @Juri

    The Jew takeover of Ukraine inevitably involves the gradual diminution and steady impoverishment of the Ukrainian population, that is what they do. Stats about GDP really have no relation to the Ukrainian people. The idea the prosperity of the parasite should be averaged with the misery of the host, that is the notion of "GDP per capita."

  7. Ukraine had a higher GDP per capita relative to Russia by 2019, than it did in 2013.

    Will it still be true if you account for money transfers from gastarbeiters?

  8. In 2019 Ukraine had 45.7% of Russia’s GDP per capita PPP.
    In 2013, before Maidan, Ukraine had 41% of Russia’s GDP per capita PPP.

    In 2010 Ukraine had 40.2% of Russia’s GDP per capita PPP.

    In 2008 Ukraine had 45% of Russia’s GDP per capita PPP.

    So, in 2019 Ukraine achieved the same percentage of the Russian 2008 GDP per capita PPP (45%). But in 2008 Ukraine had 45 million people and now it has 35 million people while Russian population remained more or less constant.
    In the end, the net achievement of Maidan was to reduce the size of the Ukrainian GDP PPP from 14% to the 11% of the Russian economy. It also lost a quarter of its population and chunks of its lands. Hardly a “remarkable” achievement.

    • Replies: @AP
    @Aedib


    In the end, the net achievement of Maidan was to reduce the size of the Ukrainian GDP PPP from 14% to the 11% of the Russian economy. It also lost a quarter of its population and chunks of its lands. Hardly a “remarkable” achievement.
     
    Ukraine lost territory populated by people who were either hostile or indifferent to Ukraine. This is not a bad thing, for Ukrainians. If Kaliningrad became part of Poland, Poland's population and size would increase, but would this be good for Poland?

    Replies: @Aedib, @Mr. XYZ

  9. Belarus is much more a strategic necessity than an economic opportunity for Russia for the foreseeable future. Russia should consider the money spent keeping Belarus in its orbit part of its defense budget. It’s a big reason why I think the better long-term play for both Russia and Belarus is a semi-autonomous union or outright annexation.

    Russia can’t afford and shouldn’t gamble major infrastructure investment in Belarus while it’s playing NATO off against Russia and Belarus needs long term investment like that, not the sugar-highs NATO offers, to modernize its industry and make better use of its human capital. Otherwise we’re all going to end up living in the West or Russia anyway.

  10. @Juri
    Don´t watch this Ukraine GDP. People do not eat GDP.

    I live in the Eastern Europe and we have very small minimum wage. Now after this "revolution" we have big problem with thousands ukros who working below this tiny minimum wage. We do not have this problem with Belorussians, Russians or even with Moldovan s.

    Anatoly maybe sees rising GDP. Entire former Soviet bloc sees only rising number of Ukraine refugees, more in numbers, more qualified and more willing to work whatever condition. And sleep in the forest. Yes, our police hunting those illegal workers, so they work in the day and in the night they sleep in the forest. In the tents, in the winter. We have very harsh winters, remember how German Army freeze to death in 1941.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @AP, @Philip Owen, @GazaPlanet

    Where are you posting from?

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    @Daniel Chieh

    I was also thinking about it.

    Replies: @AltanBakshi

  11. @Svevlad
    @Russian Unionist

    Even if that happens, unlike Serbia, Russia can always internally claim that both Belarusian and Ukrainian are just dialects of Russian. What they gonna do, send angry letters?

    Replies: @AltanBakshi, @Russian Unionist

    Russian Communists were truly idiots on national question compared to the Chinese ones. Chinese dialects differ more than the Slavic languages. Why the hell would Mao and company declare that the great enemy of Peoples Republic is the Beifangren or Tang chauvinism and that it is governments responsibility to protect the national development of Hakka, Min, Cantonese, Wu etc languages and cultures, and that all those languages need separate republics. Although protecting Cantonese or Hakka would be a million times more culturally important than protecting hohol bydlos. Still is every language worthy of protection? But I cant believe that it was ethnically Russian Communists who invented this mad policy, fault lies probably in some other groups…

    • Replies: @AP
    @AltanBakshi


    Although protecting Cantonese or Hakka would be a million times more culturally important than protecting hohol bydlos
     
    Such attitudes are a great reason why Ukraine should not unite with Russia. Thank you for the open demonstration.

    Replies: @AltanBakshi, @Gerard-Mandela

  12. @Daniel Chieh
    @Juri

    Where are you posting from?

    Replies: @reiner Tor

    I was also thinking about it.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
    @reiner Tor

    Probably Slovakia? Lots of mountains and forests with relatively harsh winters, near Ukraine too.

  13. @reiner Tor
    @Daniel Chieh

    I was also thinking about it.

    Replies: @AltanBakshi

    Probably Slovakia? Lots of mountains and forests with relatively harsh winters, near Ukraine too.

    • Agree: Blinky Bill
  14. @Juri
    Don´t watch this Ukraine GDP. People do not eat GDP.

    I live in the Eastern Europe and we have very small minimum wage. Now after this "revolution" we have big problem with thousands ukros who working below this tiny minimum wage. We do not have this problem with Belorussians, Russians or even with Moldovan s.

    Anatoly maybe sees rising GDP. Entire former Soviet bloc sees only rising number of Ukraine refugees, more in numbers, more qualified and more willing to work whatever condition. And sleep in the forest. Yes, our police hunting those illegal workers, so they work in the day and in the night they sleep in the forest. In the tents, in the winter. We have very harsh winters, remember how German Army freeze to death in 1941.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @AP, @Philip Owen, @GazaPlanet

    Now after this “revolution” we have big problem with thousands ukros who working below this tiny minimum wage. We do not have this problem with Belorussians, Russians or even with Moldovan s.

    IIRC Thulean Friend posted figures showing per capita there are as any Belarusians as Ukrainians in Poland. It’s just that Ukraine has about 4 times the population of Belarus.

    There very well be Ukrainians working for below minimum wage in Poland. OTOH plenty work at Polish wages. The real estate agent who manages my US-dwelling friend’s apartment in Warsaw (finding tenants, etc.) is a Ukrainian from Lviv.

    Before COVID-19 hit, Ukraine’s economic improvement meant decline in Ukrainian workers:

    https://www.aljazeera.com/ajimpact/ukraines-economic-growth-spell-trouble-poland-200302005101436.html

    [MORE]

    Nearly two million Ukrainian migrants have arrived in Poland since 2014. Many escaped their fledgeling economy and the war in Ukraine’s east.

    Since then they have created 11 percent of Poland’s gross domestic product or GDP growth, according to the National Bank of Poland. Ukrainians have been crucial to plugging the labour gap as Poland faced its lowest unemployment in almost 30 years last year.

    Yet now some fear that the tide could turn.

    On March 1, Germany loosened its immigration rules to attract skilled workers from outside the EU. Yet while interest in Germany is growing, significant barriers for Ukrainian workers could slow the outflow.

    More worryingly for Polish firms, Ukraine’s economy is bouncing back, with real growth at 3 percent in 2019, according to International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts. With falling unemployment, now at 9.3 percent, Ukrainian firms are seeking workers.

    “They are beginning to feel as though their labour market has been drained,” according to Andrzej Kubisiak, a labour market expert at the Polish Economic Institute, a think tank.

    Wages have been rising by 16 percent year on year, while inflation has slowed to 4.1 percent. As the Ukrainian hryvnia appreciates, earnings in Polish zloty are worth less.

    As a result, interest in Poland, the Czech Republic and Russia has weakened, according to the National Bank of Ukraine’s January report.

    Yet experts reassure that the changes will not be sweeping. The “guest worker” model in Poland is evolving, as many Ukrainians move into higher-paid sectors and stay for longer.

    ………..

    According to the EWL’s report, higher earnings are a key condition for returning home for three-quarters of Ukrainians working in Poland. A majority also list political and economic stability, followed by fighting corruption (41 percent). Just 10 percent of respondents say nothing could persuade them to go back to Ukraine.

    Sentiments differ between sectors. “It doesn’t make sense for many programmers to leave [Ukraine], since they pay 5 percent tax”, said Oleh from Lviv, who works at a technological consulting company in Warsaw. “I tried to bring some of my Ukrainian friends here, but it did not make financial sense for them.”

    …………

    According to the recruitment agency Personnel Service, more than one-fifth of Polish companies now hire Ukrainian workers, but their model of employment is changing.

    “Workers from Ukraine are increasingly hired in the service industry and more often in specialised positions,” Personnel Service’s Inglot, told Al Jazeera.

    In 2014, almost half of Ukrainians in Poland worked in agriculture. The number dropped to 8 percent in 2018, as many newcomers moved into industrial production (from 12 to 39 percent), services (from 28 to 33 percent) and construction (from 14 to 21 percent).

    Low-wage sectors are most exposed to labour outflow. “Workers come with higher expectations in terms of wages, working conditions and company benefits,” Korkus told Al Jazeera. For example, the meat-production sector “has seen a notable increase in Asian workers, replacing those from Ukraine,” he added.

  15. @AltanBakshi
    @Svevlad

    Russian Communists were truly idiots on national question compared to the Chinese ones. Chinese dialects differ more than the Slavic languages. Why the hell would Mao and company declare that the great enemy of Peoples Republic is the Beifangren or Tang chauvinism and that it is governments responsibility to protect the national development of Hakka, Min, Cantonese, Wu etc languages and cultures, and that all those languages need separate republics. Although protecting Cantonese or Hakka would be a million times more culturally important than protecting hohol bydlos. Still is every language worthy of protection? But I cant believe that it was ethnically Russian Communists who invented this mad policy, fault lies probably in some other groups...

    Replies: @AP

    Although protecting Cantonese or Hakka would be a million times more culturally important than protecting hohol bydlos

    Such attitudes are a great reason why Ukraine should not unite with Russia. Thank you for the open demonstration.

    • Agree: Philip Owen
    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
    @AP

    Scratch a Ukrainian patriot and you find a supporter of Soviet nationality policy, but still you see only evil in the Soviet past, quite a cognitive dissonance you have comrade... And before you accuse that I am the one who suffers from that, I must remind that I defended the less dualistic, less black and white view on the Sovok past. A view that is more nuanced. For you see Soviets as a totally evil misdirection in the history of the Rus. Or so I have understood.

    Also I meant that hohol culture does not need protection. But people there do need.

    Replies: @AP

    , @Gerard-Mandela
    @AP


    Such attitudes are a great reason why Ukraine should not unite with Russia. Thank you for the open demonstration.
     
    LOL

    1. You are sure as f*ck not in any position to comment on what a mass of Ukrainians want to do, or what they should and shouldn't do because:

    i. You have never been to Ukraine and don't even know BASIC things about it you dimwit
    ii. you cant speak Ukrainian or Russian

    AK: Can I remind you the deal that that we agreed upon? This is factually incorrect, anyway. AP speaks Russian.



    iii. you are descended from ( or rather, claim to be, LOL) the worst sub-Roma, sadist, eye-gouging, cursed-forever in hell sect of people commonly known as the Banderetards of western Ukraine - who the aim is not to make a success of the country but to decapitate it because Russian world annihilated you cursed, sub-Roma , zero-talent lowlifes.

    2. Amusingly ( well, tragically) in "disuniting" from Russia, they are still far more connected to Russia then they are to EU or the west in general - trade, investment, remittances, citizenship, gas deal and many other things prove it

    3. - things are so embarrassing that if Putin were to run as Ukrop President.....he would easily walk into the second round. Things are that bad that if Putin didn't run but Yanukovich was allowed to run....then even he would also make it into the second round........even Zhirik

    4. In fair circumstances, the country is measured to still have huge pro-Russian sentiment. I think last time they were asked, it was a complete non-contest if Ukrainians preferred to refer to it as Great Patriotic war instead of calling it the Second World War, same thing on languages, same thing on resuming direct flights and many other things - of course in a prostitute, authoritarian failed state it is impossible to act on these democratic wishes

    5. At this moment in time, not only are newborn names for people in Kiev and Moscow identical - there may be even more Russians ruling the country than Galicians - incredible if you reflect on it. Now add to that list the top Banker of the country ( Russian, Lugansk - raised) and this farce becomes even more extreme

    6. It should be impossible for any intelligent person to link , quote or believe your demented nonsense on economy of Ukraine or anything else. That Karlin ridiculously indulges in this freakshow again makes me think there is a Norman Bates/mother situation here

    7. Congratulations on the recession ( seriously Karlin, how can you quote this clown's ludicrously BS "data", just s0 you provoke other people to respond, as if the drivel was a serious claim, knowing that this clown will respond to EVERYTHING and make the number of comments look bigger)........also congratulations on coronavirus out of control now relative to its "peak" and the real and only sucess of Galicia in the last 1000 years......having deaths 5 times more than Novorossiya despite less population

    Replies: @Gerard-Mandela

  16. @Aedib

    In 2019 Ukraine had 45.7% of Russia’s GDP per capita PPP.
    In 2013, before Maidan, Ukraine had 41% of Russia’s GDP per capita PPP.

    In 2010 Ukraine had 40.2% of Russia’s GDP per capita PPP.

    In 2008 Ukraine had 45% of Russia’s GDP per capita PPP.
     
    So, in 2019 Ukraine achieved the same percentage of the Russian 2008 GDP per capita PPP (45%). But in 2008 Ukraine had 45 million people and now it has 35 million people while Russian population remained more or less constant.
    In the end, the net achievement of Maidan was to reduce the size of the Ukrainian GDP PPP from 14% to the 11% of the Russian economy. It also lost a quarter of its population and chunks of its lands. Hardly a “remarkable” achievement.

    Replies: @AP

    In the end, the net achievement of Maidan was to reduce the size of the Ukrainian GDP PPP from 14% to the 11% of the Russian economy. It also lost a quarter of its population and chunks of its lands. Hardly a “remarkable” achievement.

    Ukraine lost territory populated by people who were either hostile or indifferent to Ukraine. This is not a bad thing, for Ukrainians. If Kaliningrad became part of Poland, Poland’s population and size would increase, but would this be good for Poland?

    • Replies: @Aedib
    @AP

    Just 6 millions (Crimea + Donbas) of these 10 millions decided to go back to Russia. The remaining 4 millions “disappeared” because of the pre-existent depopulation process that Maidan greatly accelerated.

    , @Mr. XYZ
    @AP

    Do you feel similarly in regards to the US--as in, that the US would be better off losing its largely Hispanicized Southwest and its largely Negrified Southeast?

  17. Ukraine should give up Kharkov and Dnipropetrovsk to get richer GDP.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    @joni

    No. They have industries that add value to metal. Novorossiya mostly produces metal that is as cheap and better quality produced in China. Coal of course but this isn't the 19th C. Losing Novorossiya was losing the past. Even when Hughes built it, it was not modern. The Tsar wanteed quantity not quality so Hughes reproduced 60 year technology from the glory days of Merthyr Tydfil instead of the Bessemer process from Blaenavon. The Royal Navy may have had technology transfer concerns as well.

    Replies: @joni

  18. @AP
    @AltanBakshi


    Although protecting Cantonese or Hakka would be a million times more culturally important than protecting hohol bydlos
     
    Such attitudes are a great reason why Ukraine should not unite with Russia. Thank you for the open demonstration.

    Replies: @AltanBakshi, @Gerard-Mandela

    Scratch a Ukrainian patriot and you find a supporter of Soviet nationality policy, but still you see only evil in the Soviet past, quite a cognitive dissonance you have comrade… And before you accuse that I am the one who suffers from that, I must remind that I defended the less dualistic, less black and white view on the Sovok past. A view that is more nuanced. For you see Soviets as a totally evil misdirection in the history of the Rus. Or so I have understood.

    Also I meant that hohol culture does not need protection. But people there do need.

    • Replies: @AP
    @AltanBakshi

    There was pre Soviet policy

    Replies: @AltanBakshi

  19. @Svevlad
    @Russian Unionist

    Even if that happens, unlike Serbia, Russia can always internally claim that both Belarusian and Ukrainian are just dialects of Russian. What they gonna do, send angry letters?

    Replies: @AltanBakshi, @Russian Unionist

    How would a declaration by the Russian government change a policy adopted by Belarus or the Ukraine?

    • Replies: @Svevlad
    @Russian Unionist

    It won't. But it will contribute to them being seen as laughing stocks by the minority of people on the planet who have the qualifications to be considered full humans

  20. @Juri
    Don´t watch this Ukraine GDP. People do not eat GDP.

    I live in the Eastern Europe and we have very small minimum wage. Now after this "revolution" we have big problem with thousands ukros who working below this tiny minimum wage. We do not have this problem with Belorussians, Russians or even with Moldovan s.

    Anatoly maybe sees rising GDP. Entire former Soviet bloc sees only rising number of Ukraine refugees, more in numbers, more qualified and more willing to work whatever condition. And sleep in the forest. Yes, our police hunting those illegal workers, so they work in the day and in the night they sleep in the forest. In the tents, in the winter. We have very harsh winters, remember how German Army freeze to death in 1941.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @AP, @Philip Owen, @GazaPlanet

    I have seen derelict holiday camps in Russia with Armenians sleeping 16 to a room. It’s a feature of illegal immigration. Make them legal and they will work for higher wages.

  21. @AltanBakshi
    @AP

    Scratch a Ukrainian patriot and you find a supporter of Soviet nationality policy, but still you see only evil in the Soviet past, quite a cognitive dissonance you have comrade... And before you accuse that I am the one who suffers from that, I must remind that I defended the less dualistic, less black and white view on the Sovok past. A view that is more nuanced. For you see Soviets as a totally evil misdirection in the history of the Rus. Or so I have understood.

    Also I meant that hohol culture does not need protection. But people there do need.

    Replies: @AP

    There was pre Soviet policy

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
    @AP

    Ah the enlightened Polish rule in Volyn and Galicia I presume? Or maybe being a colony under benevolent Prussian masters? Or their puppet government led by Skoropadsky. Yes Skoropadsky was such a Ukrainian patriot that he mainly used Czarist officers in his government, what a patriot! Or maybe you do mean policy of the Russian empire. Yes I agree then with you, they truly had right policies and intentions in the pre-revolutionary Little Russia.

    Replies: @AP

  22. @joni
    Ukraine should give up Kharkov and Dnipropetrovsk to get richer GDP.

    Replies: @Philip Owen

    No. They have industries that add value to metal. Novorossiya mostly produces metal that is as cheap and better quality produced in China. Coal of course but this isn’t the 19th C. Losing Novorossiya was losing the past. Even when Hughes built it, it was not modern. The Tsar wanteed quantity not quality so Hughes reproduced 60 year technology from the glory days of Merthyr Tydfil instead of the Bessemer process from Blaenavon. The Royal Navy may have had technology transfer concerns as well.

    • Replies: @joni
    @Philip Owen

    According to AP things are booming in Western Ukraine, but he seems unconcerned that Eastern Ukraine is losing industries. It might become less governable if they don't stop playing favorites.

    Replies: @Aedib

  23. @AP
    @Aedib


    In the end, the net achievement of Maidan was to reduce the size of the Ukrainian GDP PPP from 14% to the 11% of the Russian economy. It also lost a quarter of its population and chunks of its lands. Hardly a “remarkable” achievement.
     
    Ukraine lost territory populated by people who were either hostile or indifferent to Ukraine. This is not a bad thing, for Ukrainians. If Kaliningrad became part of Poland, Poland's population and size would increase, but would this be good for Poland?

    Replies: @Aedib, @Mr. XYZ

    Just 6 millions (Crimea + Donbas) of these 10 millions decided to go back to Russia. The remaining 4 millions “disappeared” because of the pre-existent depopulation process that Maidan greatly accelerated.

  24. @AP
    @AltanBakshi

    There was pre Soviet policy

    Replies: @AltanBakshi

    Ah the enlightened Polish rule in Volyn and Galicia I presume? Or maybe being a colony under benevolent Prussian masters? Or their puppet government led by Skoropadsky. Yes Skoropadsky was such a Ukrainian patriot that he mainly used Czarist officers in his government, what a patriot! Or maybe you do mean policy of the Russian empire. Yes I agree then with you, they truly had right policies and intentions in the pre-revolutionary Little Russia.

    • Replies: @AP
    @AltanBakshi


    Ah the enlightened Polish rule in Volyn and Galicia I presume?
     
    They at least did not starve to death 10% of the population.

    Or maybe being a colony under benevolent Prussian masters? Or their puppet government led by Skoropadsky. Yes Skoropadsky was such a Ukrainian patriot that he mainly used Czarist officers in his government, what a patriot!
     
    Colony under Bolsheviks was better? Millions killed, society destroyed. Network of Ukrainian schools in central and eastern Ukraine was created under Skoropadsky, this wasn’t a Soviet creation. Giving Soviets credit for Ukrainian schools is like giving them credit for electrification, antibiotics, etc. It would have happened without them.

    As for Czarist officers, there were plenty Ukrainian ones. Russian ones participating were also ago. Unlike you I do not have ill will towards Rus people who aren’t mine.

    And you forgot to mention benevolent Hapsburgs. The Ukrainians living in their state achieved full literacy in the Ukrainian language by 1910, 20 years before this was achieved under Soviets.

    Replies: @AltanBakshi, @AltanBakshi

  25. @Russian Unionist
    @Svevlad

    How would a declaration by the Russian government change a policy adopted by Belarus or the Ukraine?

    Replies: @Svevlad

    It won’t. But it will contribute to them being seen as laughing stocks by the minority of people on the planet who have the qualifications to be considered full humans

  26. @AP
    @Aedib


    In the end, the net achievement of Maidan was to reduce the size of the Ukrainian GDP PPP from 14% to the 11% of the Russian economy. It also lost a quarter of its population and chunks of its lands. Hardly a “remarkable” achievement.
     
    Ukraine lost territory populated by people who were either hostile or indifferent to Ukraine. This is not a bad thing, for Ukrainians. If Kaliningrad became part of Poland, Poland's population and size would increase, but would this be good for Poland?

    Replies: @Aedib, @Mr. XYZ

    Do you feel similarly in regards to the US–as in, that the US would be better off losing its largely Hispanicized Southwest and its largely Negrified Southeast?

  27. It is dangerous for Russia to base calculations on the optimal course of action in Belarus on materialist determinism – that model having failed so spectacularly in the Ukraine (and, for that matter, as regards the USSR as a whole in the early 1990s).

    This is actually an excellent point. National independence (and/or national (re)unification) can often be perceived as justifying a high cost in money and/or lives. People generally don’t like losing lives in a war for independence (or, alternatively, for national (re)unification) and they also generally don’t like feeling huge economic pain but they are often nevertheless willing to endure one or both of these things in the pursuit of a good cause. A Ukrainian nationalist, for instance, might have very well been willing to swallow large-scale economic pain in the 1990s and beyond as the price of renewed Ukrainian independence; similarly, an Algerian nationalist might have been willing to pay a high cost in Algerian lives (possibly including his or her own life) in order to ensure that Algeria would have finally gotten its independence from France.

  28. typical brainy but low-on-knowledge run of the mill regurgitated msm platitudes.

    Western Ukraine has seen no increase in investments of which to speak. Cite me a source other than AmCham or Austrian PR firms. Lviv is entirely dependant on Kiev handouts, and its fabled IT sector is mostly strumpets stripping on LiveJasmin through which Sadovyi launders money for the local mob. Sadovyi is notorious for fraud via his Maryland based Galicia Investments. Entire buildings regularly collapse in the city, when not going missing from the city property index, “miraculously” appearing in the assets of Sadovyi’s friendss like Antonov.

    Ukraine’s economy is not more independent of Russia’s. Had you any economic training you’d know that the reason the statistics are painting the picture you are expounding is because there’s been a collapse in the East. You’re putting the carriage before the horse. Ukraine’s GDP has shrunk in nearly every quarter since Maidan. There have been minor reversals, with the economy still far beneath pre-Maidan peaks. For a country of fifty million, a GDP of 130 billion is close to pathetic. Slovakia’s is bigger. Prior to Corona, it was shrinking 3.3 percent, etc, yada yada.

    • LOL: AP, reiner Tor
  29. @Philip Owen
    @joni

    No. They have industries that add value to metal. Novorossiya mostly produces metal that is as cheap and better quality produced in China. Coal of course but this isn't the 19th C. Losing Novorossiya was losing the past. Even when Hughes built it, it was not modern. The Tsar wanteed quantity not quality so Hughes reproduced 60 year technology from the glory days of Merthyr Tydfil instead of the Bessemer process from Blaenavon. The Royal Navy may have had technology transfer concerns as well.

    Replies: @joni

    According to AP things are booming in Western Ukraine, but he seems unconcerned that Eastern Ukraine is losing industries. It might become less governable if they don’t stop playing favorites.

    • Replies: @Aedib
    @joni

    De-industrializing East Ukraine is considered a good process by Svidos.

  30. @joni
    @Philip Owen

    According to AP things are booming in Western Ukraine, but he seems unconcerned that Eastern Ukraine is losing industries. It might become less governable if they don't stop playing favorites.

    Replies: @Aedib

    De-industrializing East Ukraine is considered a good process by Svidos.

  31. @AltanBakshi
    @AP

    Ah the enlightened Polish rule in Volyn and Galicia I presume? Or maybe being a colony under benevolent Prussian masters? Or their puppet government led by Skoropadsky. Yes Skoropadsky was such a Ukrainian patriot that he mainly used Czarist officers in his government, what a patriot! Or maybe you do mean policy of the Russian empire. Yes I agree then with you, they truly had right policies and intentions in the pre-revolutionary Little Russia.

    Replies: @AP

    Ah the enlightened Polish rule in Volyn and Galicia I presume?

    They at least did not starve to death 10% of the population.

    Or maybe being a colony under benevolent Prussian masters? Or their puppet government led by Skoropadsky. Yes Skoropadsky was such a Ukrainian patriot that he mainly used Czarist officers in his government, what a patriot!

    Colony under Bolsheviks was better? Millions killed, society destroyed. Network of Ukrainian schools in central and eastern Ukraine was created under Skoropadsky, this wasn’t a Soviet creation. Giving Soviets credit for Ukrainian schools is like giving them credit for electrification, antibiotics, etc. It would have happened without them.

    As for Czarist officers, there were plenty Ukrainian ones. Russian ones participating were also ago. Unlike you I do not have ill will towards Rus people who aren’t mine.

    And you forgot to mention benevolent Hapsburgs. The Ukrainians living in their state achieved full literacy in the Ukrainian language by 1910, 20 years before this was achieved under Soviets.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
    @AP

    So by pre-soviet policy in Ukraine, excluding Galicia, you mean the rule of puppets under German occupation? A shortlived regime under the enemy is your example? You truly walk on thin ice...

    Replies: @AltanBakshi, @AP

    , @AltanBakshi
    @AP


    Giving Soviets credit for Ukrainian schools is like giving them credit for electrification, antibiotics, etc. It would have happened without them.
     
    No government in history of humanity has tried to destroy some useful medicine from existence, or destroyed purposefully ones electrical infrastructure without being in war. But many civilized countries have canceled the teaching of minority or politically non-dominant languages and dialects in their schools. Ask the British, ask what they did with Welsh and Irish, ask Swedes and Norwegians what they did with Sami or Finnic languages on their territories in near history, or ask the French who strived systemically eradicate all non Parisian French languages and dialects on their land. Such enlightened policy was not followed by the Bolsheviks. But my arguing is futile for you live in denial...

    Replies: @AP

  32. @AP
    @AltanBakshi


    Ah the enlightened Polish rule in Volyn and Galicia I presume?
     
    They at least did not starve to death 10% of the population.

    Or maybe being a colony under benevolent Prussian masters? Or their puppet government led by Skoropadsky. Yes Skoropadsky was such a Ukrainian patriot that he mainly used Czarist officers in his government, what a patriot!
     
    Colony under Bolsheviks was better? Millions killed, society destroyed. Network of Ukrainian schools in central and eastern Ukraine was created under Skoropadsky, this wasn’t a Soviet creation. Giving Soviets credit for Ukrainian schools is like giving them credit for electrification, antibiotics, etc. It would have happened without them.

    As for Czarist officers, there were plenty Ukrainian ones. Russian ones participating were also ago. Unlike you I do not have ill will towards Rus people who aren’t mine.

    And you forgot to mention benevolent Hapsburgs. The Ukrainians living in their state achieved full literacy in the Ukrainian language by 1910, 20 years before this was achieved under Soviets.

    Replies: @AltanBakshi, @AltanBakshi

    So by pre-soviet policy in Ukraine, excluding Galicia, you mean the rule of puppets under German occupation? A shortlived regime under the enemy is your example? You truly walk on thin ice…

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
    @AltanBakshi

    Oh sorry I forgot that you are of Galician heritage, therefore the German enemy were your rightful masters, unlike to the rest of Rus, or even to rest of the Ukraine. Once again we are reminded of peculiarity of Galicia, compared to the other lands inhabited by the Russian people. Indeed a very rare case of a succesful colonization in Europe.

    Replies: @AP

    , @AP
    @AltanBakshi


    So by pre-soviet policy in Ukraine, excluding Galicia, you mean the rule of puppets under German occupation
     
    Nice words from a Soviet supporter. In your world the rule of puppet Skoropadsky is somehow worse than slavery under a genocidally anti-Slav Georgian who killed about 10% of Ukrainians.
  33. @AltanBakshi
    @AP

    So by pre-soviet policy in Ukraine, excluding Galicia, you mean the rule of puppets under German occupation? A shortlived regime under the enemy is your example? You truly walk on thin ice...

    Replies: @AltanBakshi, @AP

    Oh sorry I forgot that you are of Galician heritage, therefore the German enemy were your rightful masters, unlike to the rest of Rus, or even to rest of the Ukraine. Once again we are reminded of peculiarity of Galicia, compared to the other lands inhabited by the Russian people. Indeed a very rare case of a succesful colonization in Europe.

    • Replies: @AP
    @AltanBakshi


    Oh sorry I forgot that you are of Galician heritage, therefore the German enemy were your rightful masters, unlike to the rest of Rus
     
    1. Serfdom ended in Galicia earlier than in Russia.

    2. More individual liberties and political ones (elections, local parties, etc.) under Hapsburgs than under German Romanovs or Soviets.

    3. Development and mass literacy in native Rus language under Hapsburgs a generation earlier than under Soviets.

    So Galicians less slaves than non-Galician Rus peoples.


    Indeed a very rare case of a succesful colonization in Europe
     
    Kept native language and customs, have their own country. Lol. Example of successful colonization of Rus lands was the genocide of Novgorod Rus by the brother-killing Muscovite Rus.

    And I am only 3/4 Galician, one of my grandparents was from central Ukraine.
  34. @AP
    @AltanBakshi


    Ah the enlightened Polish rule in Volyn and Galicia I presume?
     
    They at least did not starve to death 10% of the population.

    Or maybe being a colony under benevolent Prussian masters? Or their puppet government led by Skoropadsky. Yes Skoropadsky was such a Ukrainian patriot that he mainly used Czarist officers in his government, what a patriot!
     
    Colony under Bolsheviks was better? Millions killed, society destroyed. Network of Ukrainian schools in central and eastern Ukraine was created under Skoropadsky, this wasn’t a Soviet creation. Giving Soviets credit for Ukrainian schools is like giving them credit for electrification, antibiotics, etc. It would have happened without them.

    As for Czarist officers, there were plenty Ukrainian ones. Russian ones participating were also ago. Unlike you I do not have ill will towards Rus people who aren’t mine.

    And you forgot to mention benevolent Hapsburgs. The Ukrainians living in their state achieved full literacy in the Ukrainian language by 1910, 20 years before this was achieved under Soviets.

    Replies: @AltanBakshi, @AltanBakshi

    Giving Soviets credit for Ukrainian schools is like giving them credit for electrification, antibiotics, etc. It would have happened without them.

    No government in history of humanity has tried to destroy some useful medicine from existence, or destroyed purposefully ones electrical infrastructure without being in war. But many civilized countries have canceled the teaching of minority or politically non-dominant languages and dialects in their schools. Ask the British, ask what they did with Welsh and Irish, ask Swedes and Norwegians what they did with Sami or Finnic languages on their territories in near history, or ask the French who strived systemically eradicate all non Parisian French languages and dialects on their land. Such enlightened policy was not followed by the Bolsheviks. But my arguing is futile for you live in denial…

    • Replies: @AP
    @AltanBakshi


    Ask the British, ask what they did with Welsh and Irish
     
    Thank you for your honesty. Indeed, as long as attitudes such as yours are common in Russia, there is no reason for Ukrainians to want unity of any kind with Russia. Who would want to be Ireland to Russia’s England? Lol.

    Replies: @AltanBakshi

  35. Good post, man does not live by bread alone.

  36. @Juri
    Don´t watch this Ukraine GDP. People do not eat GDP.

    I live in the Eastern Europe and we have very small minimum wage. Now after this "revolution" we have big problem with thousands ukros who working below this tiny minimum wage. We do not have this problem with Belorussians, Russians or even with Moldovan s.

    Anatoly maybe sees rising GDP. Entire former Soviet bloc sees only rising number of Ukraine refugees, more in numbers, more qualified and more willing to work whatever condition. And sleep in the forest. Yes, our police hunting those illegal workers, so they work in the day and in the night they sleep in the forest. In the tents, in the winter. We have very harsh winters, remember how German Army freeze to death in 1941.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @AP, @Philip Owen, @GazaPlanet

    The Jew takeover of Ukraine inevitably involves the gradual diminution and steady impoverishment of the Ukrainian population, that is what they do. Stats about GDP really have no relation to the Ukrainian people. The idea the prosperity of the parasite should be averaged with the misery of the host, that is the notion of “GDP per capita.”

  37. The Ukrainian population is shrinking and the IMF (contrary to its own rules and for politically purposes) is pouring tens of £billion of your tax money, by way of loans, into the country. GDP per head would therefore increase. Nothing to do with the country being anymore efficient and productive.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    @Christopher Porritt

    Providing some loans wouldn’t automatically result in GDP growth. It’s also unclear why such loans are supposed to be contrary to the IMF rules. Clearly they will be paid back, absent cataclysmic events like a war.

    Replies: @JL

  38. @Christopher Porritt
    The Ukrainian population is shrinking and the IMF (contrary to its own rules and for politically purposes) is pouring tens of £billion of your tax money, by way of loans, into the country. GDP per head would therefore increase. Nothing to do with the country being anymore efficient and productive.

    Replies: @reiner Tor

    Providing some loans wouldn’t automatically result in GDP growth. It’s also unclear why such loans are supposed to be contrary to the IMF rules. Clearly they will be paid back, absent cataclysmic events like a war.

    • Replies: @JL
    @reiner Tor

    Probably the reference to violations of IMF rules in its loans to Ukraine is related to not being able to lend to a country that is in a state of default. Since Ukraine refused to honor its commitment to the $3 billion of Eurobonds it issued to Russia, technically it was in default. Incidentally, whatever happened with those bonds? I seem to remember some court ruling, but none of the details.

    Replies: @reiner Tor

  39. @reiner Tor
    @Christopher Porritt

    Providing some loans wouldn’t automatically result in GDP growth. It’s also unclear why such loans are supposed to be contrary to the IMF rules. Clearly they will be paid back, absent cataclysmic events like a war.

    Replies: @JL

    Probably the reference to violations of IMF rules in its loans to Ukraine is related to not being able to lend to a country that is in a state of default. Since Ukraine refused to honor its commitment to the $3 billion of Eurobonds it issued to Russia, technically it was in default. Incidentally, whatever happened with those bonds? I seem to remember some court ruling, but none of the details.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    @JL

    To be honest, the argument that the Crimea should bear the burden of some of the Ukrainian government debt and therefore the $3 billion is owed by Crimea is not unreasonable. Though this would be an implicit recognition of Crimea’s secession.

    Alternatively, the argument could be made that Ukraine was the victim of aggression by Russia, which is certainly technically true. This would also make the Russian claims questionable.

    I’m also interested in the fate of the $3 billion. This is what I found:

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ukraine-russia-court/russia-tells-uk-court-ukraine-should-be-forced-to-pay-debt-despite-disputes-idUSKBN1YD003

    https://112.international/finance/ukrainies--3-billion-debt-on-eurobonds-was-not-included-in-gas-agreement-with-russia-russian-deputy-prime-minister-46810.html

    So as of December it was still disputed at a British court.

    Replies: @JL

  40. @JL
    @reiner Tor

    Probably the reference to violations of IMF rules in its loans to Ukraine is related to not being able to lend to a country that is in a state of default. Since Ukraine refused to honor its commitment to the $3 billion of Eurobonds it issued to Russia, technically it was in default. Incidentally, whatever happened with those bonds? I seem to remember some court ruling, but none of the details.

    Replies: @reiner Tor

    To be honest, the argument that the Crimea should bear the burden of some of the Ukrainian government debt and therefore the $3 billion is owed by Crimea is not unreasonable. Though this would be an implicit recognition of Crimea’s secession.

    Alternatively, the argument could be made that Ukraine was the victim of aggression by Russia, which is certainly technically true. This would also make the Russian claims questionable.

    I’m also interested in the fate of the $3 billion. This is what I found:

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ukraine-russia-court/russia-tells-uk-court-ukraine-should-be-forced-to-pay-debt-despite-disputes-idUSKBN1YD003

    https://112.international/finance/ukrainies–3-billion-debt-on-eurobonds-was-not-included-in-gas-agreement-with-russia-russian-deputy-prime-minister-46810.html

    So as of December it was still disputed at a British court.

    • Replies: @JL
    @reiner Tor

    While these arguments for Ukraine not honoring the debt are reasonable, my understanding is that they don't have much of a legal basis. In fact, this is one of those highly unusual cases where Russia finds itself in a win-win situation. A ruling against Russia would throw a large number of covenants of Eurobond issuance, not to mention the common law that backs them, into dispute. A ruling for Russia would be a huge geopolitical blow to the empire and a hard hit to Ukraine's already precarious financial state. I wonder how long this can remain tied up in court.

  41. @AltanBakshi
    @AP

    So by pre-soviet policy in Ukraine, excluding Galicia, you mean the rule of puppets under German occupation? A shortlived regime under the enemy is your example? You truly walk on thin ice...

    Replies: @AltanBakshi, @AP

    So by pre-soviet policy in Ukraine, excluding Galicia, you mean the rule of puppets under German occupation

    Nice words from a Soviet supporter. In your world the rule of puppet Skoropadsky is somehow worse than slavery under a genocidally anti-Slav Georgian who killed about 10% of Ukrainians.

  42. @AltanBakshi
    @AP


    Giving Soviets credit for Ukrainian schools is like giving them credit for electrification, antibiotics, etc. It would have happened without them.
     
    No government in history of humanity has tried to destroy some useful medicine from existence, or destroyed purposefully ones electrical infrastructure without being in war. But many civilized countries have canceled the teaching of minority or politically non-dominant languages and dialects in their schools. Ask the British, ask what they did with Welsh and Irish, ask Swedes and Norwegians what they did with Sami or Finnic languages on their territories in near history, or ask the French who strived systemically eradicate all non Parisian French languages and dialects on their land. Such enlightened policy was not followed by the Bolsheviks. But my arguing is futile for you live in denial...

    Replies: @AP

    Ask the British, ask what they did with Welsh and Irish

    Thank you for your honesty. Indeed, as long as attitudes such as yours are common in Russia, there is no reason for Ukrainians to want unity of any kind with Russia. Who would want to be Ireland to Russia’s England? Lol.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
    @AP

    I gave historical examples of language policies of Western European countries. Which you probably hold in very high esteem. But you just couldn't accept that Soviets were "progressive" on the question of Ukrainian language. So you purposefully misunderstood my analogy. You could as well said that you and your kin dont want to be the Languedoc of France, or Westfalen of Germany, or Finnmark of Norway, or Mezzogiorno of Italy. Also historically the cultural and linguistical differences between Ireland and England were much larger than between most Slavic peoples. I hope that you are not so historically illiterate that you would argue otherwise.

    Replies: @AP

  43. @AltanBakshi
    @AltanBakshi

    Oh sorry I forgot that you are of Galician heritage, therefore the German enemy were your rightful masters, unlike to the rest of Rus, or even to rest of the Ukraine. Once again we are reminded of peculiarity of Galicia, compared to the other lands inhabited by the Russian people. Indeed a very rare case of a succesful colonization in Europe.

    Replies: @AP

    Oh sorry I forgot that you are of Galician heritage, therefore the German enemy were your rightful masters, unlike to the rest of Rus

    1. Serfdom ended in Galicia earlier than in Russia.

    2. More individual liberties and political ones (elections, local parties, etc.) under Hapsburgs than under German Romanovs or Soviets.

    3. Development and mass literacy in native Rus language under Hapsburgs a generation earlier than under Soviets.

    So Galicians less slaves than non-Galician Rus peoples.

    Indeed a very rare case of a succesful colonization in Europe

    Kept native language and customs, have their own country. Lol. Example of successful colonization of Rus lands was the genocide of Novgorod Rus by the brother-killing Muscovite Rus.

    And I am only 3/4 Galician, one of my grandparents was from central Ukraine.

  44. @reiner Tor
    @JL

    To be honest, the argument that the Crimea should bear the burden of some of the Ukrainian government debt and therefore the $3 billion is owed by Crimea is not unreasonable. Though this would be an implicit recognition of Crimea’s secession.

    Alternatively, the argument could be made that Ukraine was the victim of aggression by Russia, which is certainly technically true. This would also make the Russian claims questionable.

    I’m also interested in the fate of the $3 billion. This is what I found:

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ukraine-russia-court/russia-tells-uk-court-ukraine-should-be-forced-to-pay-debt-despite-disputes-idUSKBN1YD003

    https://112.international/finance/ukrainies--3-billion-debt-on-eurobonds-was-not-included-in-gas-agreement-with-russia-russian-deputy-prime-minister-46810.html

    So as of December it was still disputed at a British court.

    Replies: @JL

    While these arguments for Ukraine not honoring the debt are reasonable, my understanding is that they don’t have much of a legal basis. In fact, this is one of those highly unusual cases where Russia finds itself in a win-win situation. A ruling against Russia would throw a large number of covenants of Eurobond issuance, not to mention the common law that backs them, into dispute. A ruling for Russia would be a huge geopolitical blow to the empire and a hard hit to Ukraine’s already precarious financial state. I wonder how long this can remain tied up in court.

    • Thanks: reiner Tor, AltanBakshi
  45. Those numbers for Ukraine are off somewhere. Look at their growth. Ukraine’s per capita growth since 2014 are -1.1%, -9.4%, 2.6%, 2.9%, 3.9%, 3.8%. Multiply it up: (1-0.011)(1-0.094)(1+0.026)(1+0.029)(1+0.039)(1+0.038) = 1.02. That’s 2% total per capita growth since 2014.

    This is in fact basically the same as Russia. So Ukraine hasn’t grown faster, although not slower either. This can also be seen if you look at the numbers on World Bank for GDP (PPP) in constant 2017 prices. The ratio of GDP per capita between Russia and Ukraine the same in 2019 as in 2013.

    I think this has to with that World Bank recently did some re-estimation where they increased the GDP (PPP) per capita of Ukraine by about 30%. They used to have Ukraine’s GDP (PPP) per capita at 10k last year which is similar to the numbers IMF has for Ukraine (IMF has Russia at 30k).

  46. @AP
    @AltanBakshi


    Ask the British, ask what they did with Welsh and Irish
     
    Thank you for your honesty. Indeed, as long as attitudes such as yours are common in Russia, there is no reason for Ukrainians to want unity of any kind with Russia. Who would want to be Ireland to Russia’s England? Lol.

    Replies: @AltanBakshi

    I gave historical examples of language policies of Western European countries. Which you probably hold in very high esteem. But you just couldn’t accept that Soviets were “progressive” on the question of Ukrainian language. So you purposefully misunderstood my analogy. You could as well said that you and your kin dont want to be the Languedoc of France, or Westfalen of Germany, or Finnmark of Norway, or Mezzogiorno of Italy. Also historically the cultural and linguistical differences between Ireland and England were much larger than between most Slavic peoples. I hope that you are not so historically illiterate that you would argue otherwise.

    • Replies: @AP
    @AltanBakshi


    I gave historical examples of language policies of Western European countries. Which you probably hold in very high esteem
     
    France obliterated other cultures during Enlightenment rule. This was considered progressive. I hold no esteem for that. Conservative Hapsburgs were good, however.

    Bottom line is that I support native Rus cultures and peoples, and systems within which they thrive. Sovok was not one of them.

    Replies: @joniel

  47. @AltanBakshi
    @AP

    I gave historical examples of language policies of Western European countries. Which you probably hold in very high esteem. But you just couldn't accept that Soviets were "progressive" on the question of Ukrainian language. So you purposefully misunderstood my analogy. You could as well said that you and your kin dont want to be the Languedoc of France, or Westfalen of Germany, or Finnmark of Norway, or Mezzogiorno of Italy. Also historically the cultural and linguistical differences between Ireland and England were much larger than between most Slavic peoples. I hope that you are not so historically illiterate that you would argue otherwise.

    Replies: @AP

    I gave historical examples of language policies of Western European countries. Which you probably hold in very high esteem

    France obliterated other cultures during Enlightenment rule. This was considered progressive. I hold no esteem for that. Conservative Hapsburgs were good, however.

    Bottom line is that I support native Rus cultures and peoples, and systems within which they thrive. Sovok was not one of them.

    • Replies: @joniel
    @AP


    Conservative Hapsburgs were good, however
     
    They had some concentration camps for Rusyns.
  48. An interesting article about the suppression of rights of Donbas people by the current Ukrainian regime.

    https://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/6100294.html

    It seems that detachment of Donbas from the former Ukraine has reached an irreversible level.

  49. The figures you quote about Ukraine GDP per capita PPP compared to Russia appear to be taken from the World Bank Databank. The figures are based on current prices not constant prices. The constant price figures take into account the higher rate of inflation Ukraine has had since 2014 compared to Russia. The constant price figures show that Ukraine has not closed the gap with Russia compared

    • Agree: Denis
    • Replies: @AP
    @Christopher Porritt

    It compares year to year.

    Replies: @FactCheckUkraine

  50. @AP
    @AltanBakshi


    I gave historical examples of language policies of Western European countries. Which you probably hold in very high esteem
     
    France obliterated other cultures during Enlightenment rule. This was considered progressive. I hold no esteem for that. Conservative Hapsburgs were good, however.

    Bottom line is that I support native Rus cultures and peoples, and systems within which they thrive. Sovok was not one of them.

    Replies: @joniel

    Conservative Hapsburgs were good, however

    They had some concentration camps for Rusyns.

  51. Long-time reader; first-time poster. Writing here because I think that you (Anatoly) are accidentally downplaying the economic crisis that Ukraine is in.

    I hope that, if you find my argument convincing, you’ll shift or reverse your position on this issue, and – ideally – correct the statements that you’ve been making on the matter. Because I do think that your current position is not only incorrect, but also harmful to your own objectives – as well as harmful to Ukrainians, and potentially Belarusians, insofar as they buy into it and similar arguments.

    The reality is that Ukraine’s economy, while not totally collapsing, was already in serious decline prior to the Maidan, and since then has entered into even more rapid decline. I will cite two measures that clearly demonstrate this.

    But if you read nothing else, look at this graph:

    https://yadi.sk/i/YEjnA8hMR0CwFw

    1. TOTAL GDP

    The commenter AP has repeatedly pointed to GDP per capita as evidence that Ukraine has recovered from the Maidan.

    Now, it’s true that, in many contexts, GDPpc as a measure is preferable to GDP. In Ukraine, using GDPpc would make sense, for instance, if population shrinkage were the cause of economic shrinkage and you wanted to show that productivity and quality of life were not receding despite the decline in overall economic activity. But we all know that that’s not what’s happening. If anything, it’s the opposite: economic decline is suppressing fertility and driving labor emigration. (Hence the endless mass exodus of Ukrainians, despite the consistent, rapid decline of the Ukrainian population.) So, in this case, insisting upon GDPpc actually amounts to saying that one of the consequences of economic decline (no money -> no kids, no jobs -> emigration) somehow makes up for that decline, or somehow makes it less serious. (To the contrary, it seems to me that a demographic crisis being partially caused by an economic crisis only adds to the severity and urgency of the latter.)

    Ultimately, people are going to choose either GDP or GDPpc based on which satisfies their own preferred narratives. But I think that Ukrainians who opt for the latter are just deluding themselves to their own detriment. Fundamentally, it’s not a good thing that Ukraine’s population is declining even faster than its economy is, nor does this in any way reduce the severity of that economic decline. Nor is population decline a real cause of economic decline and thus something that ought to be controlled for when measuring the economy. In fact, given the poverty of Ukraine, it could probably triple its GDP in the coming decades even while continuing to shrink in population. I mean, that’s not going to happen, but it is what Ukrainians should strive for, rather than using their demographic crisis to hide the scope of their economic crisis.

    So, in the case of Ukraine, we really ought to be looking at overall GDP, not GDP per capita. (Assuming that one actually wants there to be Ukrainians in Ukraine. The policies of Ukraine’s pro-western governments suggest that this may not always be a safe assumption.) And when we do this, the results are not great.

    Based on the Ukrainian government’s data on annual GDP growth
    (http://www.ukrstat.gov.ua),
    we can calculate that the country’s GDP relative to 2013 is:

    2013 100.0%
    2014 93.4
    2015 84.2
    2016 86.3
    2017 88.4
    2018 91.4
    2019 94.4

    GRAPH:
    https://yadi.sk/i/Yogz-0m6TRd3vw

    Note that these figures discount the lost territories. That is, territorial losses are not causing any of the decline.

    These numbers are also nearly identical to those of the World Bank, which are presumably from the Ukrainian government and evidently also discount the territorial losses.

    This isn’t quite catastrophic, but it’s pretty damn bad. The country’s economy is still smaller than it was prior to the Maidan. And, given the already awful position it was in then, that means that the country remains trapped in poverty, unable to resolve its demographic problems, unable to employ its population, etc. (While most of humanity, it should be noted, continues to advance. India will soon overtake Ukraine in GDPpc, and China did so in 2015.)

    AP has compared the Ukrainian figures to Russia’s. Obviously, given that Russia’s GDP has (very slowly) grown relative to 2013, making this comparison just makes things worse for Ukraine:

    Using the above Ukraine data, Russian government GDP growth data
    (https://showdata.gks.ru/report/277382/?filter_2_0=2018-07-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-55%2C2018-10-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-55%2C2019-01-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-55%2C2019-04-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-55%2C2019-07-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-55%2C2019-10-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-55%2C2020-01-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-55%2C2013-01-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-52%2C2014-01-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-52%2C2015-01-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-52%2C2016-01-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-52%2C2017-01-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-52%2C2018-01-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-52%2C2019-01-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-52&filter_3_0=120421&rp_submit=t),
    and World Bank data that puts Ukraine’s GDP at 15.1% of Russia’s in 2013
    (https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.MKTP.PP.KD?locations=RU-UA),
    Ukraine’s GDP as a % of Russia’s is:

    2013 15.1%
    2014 14.0
    2015 12.9
    2016 13.2
    2017 13.3
    2018 13.4
    2019 13.6

    GRAPH:
    https://yadi.sk/i/Sjjb7jNRQewQxw

    This is decidedly not good.

    And, again, these figures are DISCOUNTING Ukraine’s territorial losses. (That’s why I just took the WB data as a 2013 baseline for the size of Ukraine’s GDP vs. Russia’s. Because I’m not entirely confident in how the WB is dealing with the territorial changes. While Ukraine’s official statistics explicitly discount them.) The numbers would be worse if those changes were incorporated.

    2. INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION

    But, whether GDP is taken as a whole or per capita, it’s masking most of Ukraine’s decline.

    GDP is a really abstract thing, and there’s nothing that mandates it as the one economic measure to rule them all. To the contrary, elements of it can be quite dubious. It includes a lot of things – namely government services – whose ‘price’ is not set by the market and which therefore might be over- or under-valued. It also includes a lot of services that serve only to facilitate the production and distribution of other things – such services are most prominently represented, in the US, by the FIRE (finance, insurance, real estate) sector. So, if GDP starts diverging from more specific and concrete measurements of economic output, one should at least question whether it’s reflecting the true volume or value of production.

    Such a divergence is present in Ukraine. While the country’s GDP has been stagnant, overall, since 2013, its industrial production has sort of collapsed.

    You have to do a bit of math to get the annualized change for Ukraine, but using
    (https://index.minfin.com.ua/economy/index/industrial/2018/,
    https://rosstat.gov.ru/storage/mediabank/ind_prom_okved.xls,
    https://rosstat.gov.ru/storage/mediabank/ind_god.xlsx),
    we get the following data for Ukrainian industrial production, Russian industrial production, and the ratio of the former to the latter (with 2011 as the baseline):

    UKR RU UKR:RU ratio as % of 2013 UKR:RU ratio
    2013 100% 100 100
    2014 89 102 87
    2015 77 98 79
    2016 78 99 79
    2017 77 101 76
    2018 76 104 73
    2019 74 107 69

    GRAPH:
    https://yadi.sk/i/YEjnA8hMR0CwFw

    Again, the Ukrainian figures explicitly discount territorial changes.

    (Also note that the source for the Ukrainian data has figures “за год”, but they did the math wrong and they end up with numbers worse for Ukraine than the correct ones that I calculated.)

    To be clear, industrial production consists of (1) mining and other natural resource extraction, (2) manufacturing, including of food, (3) repair of manufactured goods, and (4) the production and distribution of electricity and gas. In short, it encompasses most of what people rely upon, and is a necessary prerequisite for all other essential sectors. One could say that industrial production encompasses most of the ‘real’ economy, with the (partial) exception of agriculture and construction. It’s certainly hard to see how economic development could be positive, or even stagnant, with industrial production in the sort of freefall that we see in Ukraine.

    Ostensibly, some sector(s) of the economy are booming to such a degree that the thing as a whole is shrinking only moderately, despite the rapid disappearance of industry. Maybe there will be a lot more STALKERs coming out in the near future. But we should, at the very least, be skeptical. IMF loans and gastarbeiter remittances may mask reality and float incomes for a while, but the Ukrainian government’s own statistics depict a real collapse of its real economy.

    TL;DR: Ukraine’s GDP per capita is being propped up by its demographic disaster, which is partly itself a consequence of its economic crisis. Its overall GDP figures are pretty bad. And its industrial production, which represents almost all of its real economy, is in outright collapse:

    https://yadi.sk/i/YEjnA8hMR0CwFw

    P.S. Anatoly, if you’re interested, I’m happy to send you the actual data by email or something.

    • Agree: Denis
    • Thanks: Anatoly Karlin, AltanBakshi, JL
    • Replies: @FactCheckUkraine
    @FactCheckUkraine

    P.P.S. Christopher Porritt also makes a good point. Even if one does decide that GDPpc is for some reason the best indicator to focus on, the version of it that AP's been citing (in current dollars) makes Ukraine look like it's doing better than it actually is.

    , @Anatoly Karlin
    @FactCheckUkraine

    Will look into this, perhaps needs separate post. Maybe need to fact check AP more.

    Replies: @FactCheckUkraine

    , @AP
    @FactCheckUkraine

    Am on vacation, but will certainly address these issues when I have time.

    Briefly - territorial losses occurred in mid 2014. So how do you compare 2013, adjusting for territory differences? National figures with current territory begin with 2015.

    Exodus isn’t only about desperation, it is about opportunity. Poland has seen an exodus- do you suggest this reflects poverty there? And that Poland’s per capita GDP is therefore also misleading?

  52. @FactCheckUkraine
    Long-time reader; first-time poster. Writing here because I think that you (Anatoly) are accidentally downplaying the economic crisis that Ukraine is in.

    I hope that, if you find my argument convincing, you'll shift or reverse your position on this issue, and – ideally – correct the statements that you’ve been making on the matter. Because I do think that your current position is not only incorrect, but also harmful to your own objectives – as well as harmful to Ukrainians, and potentially Belarusians, insofar as they buy into it and similar arguments.

    The reality is that Ukraine's economy, while not totally collapsing, was already in serious decline prior to the Maidan, and since then has entered into even more rapid decline. I will cite two measures that clearly demonstrate this.

    But if you read nothing else, look at this graph:

    https://yadi.sk/i/YEjnA8hMR0CwFw





    1. TOTAL GDP

    The commenter AP has repeatedly pointed to GDP per capita as evidence that Ukraine has recovered from the Maidan.

    Now, it's true that, in many contexts, GDPpc as a measure is preferable to GDP. In Ukraine, using GDPpc would make sense, for instance, if population shrinkage were the cause of economic shrinkage and you wanted to show that productivity and quality of life were not receding despite the decline in overall economic activity. But we all know that that's not what's happening. If anything, it's the opposite: economic decline is suppressing fertility and driving labor emigration. (Hence the endless mass exodus of Ukrainians, despite the consistent, rapid decline of the Ukrainian population.) So, in this case, insisting upon GDPpc actually amounts to saying that one of the consequences of economic decline (no money -> no kids, no jobs -> emigration) somehow makes up for that decline, or somehow makes it less serious. (To the contrary, it seems to me that a demographic crisis being partially caused by an economic crisis only adds to the severity and urgency of the latter.)

    Ultimately, people are going to choose either GDP or GDPpc based on which satisfies their own preferred narratives. But I think that Ukrainians who opt for the latter are just deluding themselves to their own detriment. Fundamentally, it's not a good thing that Ukraine's population is declining even faster than its economy is, nor does this in any way reduce the severity of that economic decline. Nor is population decline a real cause of economic decline and thus something that ought to be controlled for when measuring the economy. In fact, given the poverty of Ukraine, it could probably triple its GDP in the coming decades even while continuing to shrink in population. I mean, that's not going to happen, but it is what Ukrainians should strive for, rather than using their demographic crisis to hide the scope of their economic crisis.

    So, in the case of Ukraine, we really ought to be looking at overall GDP, not GDP per capita. (Assuming that one actually wants there to be Ukrainians in Ukraine. The policies of Ukraine's pro-western governments suggest that this may not always be a safe assumption.) And when we do this, the results are not great.

    Based on the Ukrainian government's data on annual GDP growth
    (http://www.ukrstat.gov.ua),
    we can calculate that the country's GDP relative to 2013 is:

    2013 100.0%
    2014 93.4
    2015 84.2
    2016 86.3
    2017 88.4
    2018 91.4
    2019 94.4

    GRAPH:
    https://yadi.sk/i/Yogz-0m6TRd3vw

    Note that these figures discount the lost territories. That is, territorial losses are not causing any of the decline.

    These numbers are also nearly identical to those of the World Bank, which are presumably from the Ukrainian government and evidently also discount the territorial losses.

    This isn't quite catastrophic, but it's pretty damn bad. The country's economy is still smaller than it was prior to the Maidan. And, given the already awful position it was in then, that means that the country remains trapped in poverty, unable to resolve its demographic problems, unable to employ its population, etc. (While most of humanity, it should be noted, continues to advance. India will soon overtake Ukraine in GDPpc, and China did so in 2015.)

    AP has compared the Ukrainian figures to Russia's. Obviously, given that Russia's GDP has (very slowly) grown relative to 2013, making this comparison just makes things worse for Ukraine:

    Using the above Ukraine data, Russian government GDP growth data
    (https://showdata.gks.ru/report/277382/?filter_2_0=2018-07-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-55%2C2018-10-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-55%2C2019-01-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-55%2C2019-04-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-55%2C2019-07-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-55%2C2019-10-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-55%2C2020-01-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-55%2C2013-01-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-52%2C2014-01-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-52%2C2015-01-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-52%2C2016-01-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-52%2C2017-01-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-52%2C2018-01-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-52%2C2019-01-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-52&filter_3_0=120421&rp_submit=t),
    and World Bank data that puts Ukraine's GDP at 15.1% of Russia's in 2013
    (https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.MKTP.PP.KD?locations=RU-UA),
    Ukraine's GDP as a % of Russia's is:

    2013 15.1%
    2014 14.0
    2015 12.9
    2016 13.2
    2017 13.3
    2018 13.4
    2019 13.6

    GRAPH:
    https://yadi.sk/i/Sjjb7jNRQewQxw

    This is decidedly not good.

    And, again, these figures are DISCOUNTING Ukraine's territorial losses. (That's why I just took the WB data as a 2013 baseline for the size of Ukraine's GDP vs. Russia's. Because I'm not entirely confident in how the WB is dealing with the territorial changes. While Ukraine's official statistics explicitly discount them.) The numbers would be worse if those changes were incorporated.





    2. INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION

    But, whether GDP is taken as a whole or per capita, it's masking most of Ukraine's decline.

    GDP is a really abstract thing, and there's nothing that mandates it as the one economic measure to rule them all. To the contrary, elements of it can be quite dubious. It includes a lot of things – namely government services – whose 'price' is not set by the market and which therefore might be over- or under-valued. It also includes a lot of services that serve only to facilitate the production and distribution of other things – such services are most prominently represented, in the US, by the FIRE (finance, insurance, real estate) sector. So, if GDP starts diverging from more specific and concrete measurements of economic output, one should at least question whether it's reflecting the true volume or value of production.

    Such a divergence is present in Ukraine. While the country's GDP has been stagnant, overall, since 2013, its industrial production has sort of collapsed.

    You have to do a bit of math to get the annualized change for Ukraine, but using
    (https://index.minfin.com.ua/economy/index/industrial/2018/,
    https://rosstat.gov.ru/storage/mediabank/ind_prom_okved.xls,
    https://rosstat.gov.ru/storage/mediabank/ind_god.xlsx),
    we get the following data for Ukrainian industrial production, Russian industrial production, and the ratio of the former to the latter (with 2011 as the baseline):

    UKR RU UKR:RU ratio as % of 2013 UKR:RU ratio
    2013 100% 100 100
    2014 89 102 87
    2015 77 98 79
    2016 78 99 79
    2017 77 101 76
    2018 76 104 73
    2019 74 107 69

    GRAPH:
    https://yadi.sk/i/YEjnA8hMR0CwFw

    Again, the Ukrainian figures explicitly discount territorial changes.

    (Also note that the source for the Ukrainian data has figures "за год", but they did the math wrong and they end up with numbers worse for Ukraine than the correct ones that I calculated.)

    To be clear, industrial production consists of (1) mining and other natural resource extraction, (2) manufacturing, including of food, (3) repair of manufactured goods, and (4) the production and distribution of electricity and gas. In short, it encompasses most of what people rely upon, and is a necessary prerequisite for all other essential sectors. One could say that industrial production encompasses most of the 'real' economy, with the (partial) exception of agriculture and construction. It's certainly hard to see how economic development could be positive, or even stagnant, with industrial production in the sort of freefall that we see in Ukraine.

    Ostensibly, some sector(s) of the economy are booming to such a degree that the thing as a whole is shrinking only moderately, despite the rapid disappearance of industry. Maybe there will be a lot more STALKERs coming out in the near future. But we should, at the very least, be skeptical. IMF loans and gastarbeiter remittances may mask reality and float incomes for a while, but the Ukrainian government's own statistics depict a real collapse of its real economy.





    TL;DR: Ukraine's GDP per capita is being propped up by its demographic disaster, which is partly itself a consequence of its economic crisis. Its overall GDP figures are pretty bad. And its industrial production, which represents almost all of its real economy, is in outright collapse:

    https://yadi.sk/i/YEjnA8hMR0CwFw




    P.S. Anatoly, if you're interested, I'm happy to send you the actual data by email or something.

    Replies: @FactCheckUkraine, @Anatoly Karlin, @AP

    P.P.S. Christopher Porritt also makes a good point. Even if one does decide that GDPpc is for some reason the best indicator to focus on, the version of it that AP’s been citing (in current dollars) makes Ukraine look like it’s doing better than it actually is.

  53. @FactCheckUkraine
    Long-time reader; first-time poster. Writing here because I think that you (Anatoly) are accidentally downplaying the economic crisis that Ukraine is in.

    I hope that, if you find my argument convincing, you'll shift or reverse your position on this issue, and – ideally – correct the statements that you’ve been making on the matter. Because I do think that your current position is not only incorrect, but also harmful to your own objectives – as well as harmful to Ukrainians, and potentially Belarusians, insofar as they buy into it and similar arguments.

    The reality is that Ukraine's economy, while not totally collapsing, was already in serious decline prior to the Maidan, and since then has entered into even more rapid decline. I will cite two measures that clearly demonstrate this.

    But if you read nothing else, look at this graph:

    https://yadi.sk/i/YEjnA8hMR0CwFw





    1. TOTAL GDP

    The commenter AP has repeatedly pointed to GDP per capita as evidence that Ukraine has recovered from the Maidan.

    Now, it's true that, in many contexts, GDPpc as a measure is preferable to GDP. In Ukraine, using GDPpc would make sense, for instance, if population shrinkage were the cause of economic shrinkage and you wanted to show that productivity and quality of life were not receding despite the decline in overall economic activity. But we all know that that's not what's happening. If anything, it's the opposite: economic decline is suppressing fertility and driving labor emigration. (Hence the endless mass exodus of Ukrainians, despite the consistent, rapid decline of the Ukrainian population.) So, in this case, insisting upon GDPpc actually amounts to saying that one of the consequences of economic decline (no money -> no kids, no jobs -> emigration) somehow makes up for that decline, or somehow makes it less serious. (To the contrary, it seems to me that a demographic crisis being partially caused by an economic crisis only adds to the severity and urgency of the latter.)

    Ultimately, people are going to choose either GDP or GDPpc based on which satisfies their own preferred narratives. But I think that Ukrainians who opt for the latter are just deluding themselves to their own detriment. Fundamentally, it's not a good thing that Ukraine's population is declining even faster than its economy is, nor does this in any way reduce the severity of that economic decline. Nor is population decline a real cause of economic decline and thus something that ought to be controlled for when measuring the economy. In fact, given the poverty of Ukraine, it could probably triple its GDP in the coming decades even while continuing to shrink in population. I mean, that's not going to happen, but it is what Ukrainians should strive for, rather than using their demographic crisis to hide the scope of their economic crisis.

    So, in the case of Ukraine, we really ought to be looking at overall GDP, not GDP per capita. (Assuming that one actually wants there to be Ukrainians in Ukraine. The policies of Ukraine's pro-western governments suggest that this may not always be a safe assumption.) And when we do this, the results are not great.

    Based on the Ukrainian government's data on annual GDP growth
    (http://www.ukrstat.gov.ua),
    we can calculate that the country's GDP relative to 2013 is:

    2013 100.0%
    2014 93.4
    2015 84.2
    2016 86.3
    2017 88.4
    2018 91.4
    2019 94.4

    GRAPH:
    https://yadi.sk/i/Yogz-0m6TRd3vw

    Note that these figures discount the lost territories. That is, territorial losses are not causing any of the decline.

    These numbers are also nearly identical to those of the World Bank, which are presumably from the Ukrainian government and evidently also discount the territorial losses.

    This isn't quite catastrophic, but it's pretty damn bad. The country's economy is still smaller than it was prior to the Maidan. And, given the already awful position it was in then, that means that the country remains trapped in poverty, unable to resolve its demographic problems, unable to employ its population, etc. (While most of humanity, it should be noted, continues to advance. India will soon overtake Ukraine in GDPpc, and China did so in 2015.)

    AP has compared the Ukrainian figures to Russia's. Obviously, given that Russia's GDP has (very slowly) grown relative to 2013, making this comparison just makes things worse for Ukraine:

    Using the above Ukraine data, Russian government GDP growth data
    (https://showdata.gks.ru/report/277382/?filter_2_0=2018-07-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-55%2C2018-10-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-55%2C2019-01-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-55%2C2019-04-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-55%2C2019-07-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-55%2C2019-10-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-55%2C2020-01-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-55%2C2013-01-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-52%2C2014-01-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-52%2C2015-01-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-52%2C2016-01-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-52%2C2017-01-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-52%2C2018-01-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-52%2C2019-01-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-52&filter_3_0=120421&rp_submit=t),
    and World Bank data that puts Ukraine's GDP at 15.1% of Russia's in 2013
    (https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.MKTP.PP.KD?locations=RU-UA),
    Ukraine's GDP as a % of Russia's is:

    2013 15.1%
    2014 14.0
    2015 12.9
    2016 13.2
    2017 13.3
    2018 13.4
    2019 13.6

    GRAPH:
    https://yadi.sk/i/Sjjb7jNRQewQxw

    This is decidedly not good.

    And, again, these figures are DISCOUNTING Ukraine's territorial losses. (That's why I just took the WB data as a 2013 baseline for the size of Ukraine's GDP vs. Russia's. Because I'm not entirely confident in how the WB is dealing with the territorial changes. While Ukraine's official statistics explicitly discount them.) The numbers would be worse if those changes were incorporated.





    2. INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION

    But, whether GDP is taken as a whole or per capita, it's masking most of Ukraine's decline.

    GDP is a really abstract thing, and there's nothing that mandates it as the one economic measure to rule them all. To the contrary, elements of it can be quite dubious. It includes a lot of things – namely government services – whose 'price' is not set by the market and which therefore might be over- or under-valued. It also includes a lot of services that serve only to facilitate the production and distribution of other things – such services are most prominently represented, in the US, by the FIRE (finance, insurance, real estate) sector. So, if GDP starts diverging from more specific and concrete measurements of economic output, one should at least question whether it's reflecting the true volume or value of production.

    Such a divergence is present in Ukraine. While the country's GDP has been stagnant, overall, since 2013, its industrial production has sort of collapsed.

    You have to do a bit of math to get the annualized change for Ukraine, but using
    (https://index.minfin.com.ua/economy/index/industrial/2018/,
    https://rosstat.gov.ru/storage/mediabank/ind_prom_okved.xls,
    https://rosstat.gov.ru/storage/mediabank/ind_god.xlsx),
    we get the following data for Ukrainian industrial production, Russian industrial production, and the ratio of the former to the latter (with 2011 as the baseline):

    UKR RU UKR:RU ratio as % of 2013 UKR:RU ratio
    2013 100% 100 100
    2014 89 102 87
    2015 77 98 79
    2016 78 99 79
    2017 77 101 76
    2018 76 104 73
    2019 74 107 69

    GRAPH:
    https://yadi.sk/i/YEjnA8hMR0CwFw

    Again, the Ukrainian figures explicitly discount territorial changes.

    (Also note that the source for the Ukrainian data has figures "за год", but they did the math wrong and they end up with numbers worse for Ukraine than the correct ones that I calculated.)

    To be clear, industrial production consists of (1) mining and other natural resource extraction, (2) manufacturing, including of food, (3) repair of manufactured goods, and (4) the production and distribution of electricity and gas. In short, it encompasses most of what people rely upon, and is a necessary prerequisite for all other essential sectors. One could say that industrial production encompasses most of the 'real' economy, with the (partial) exception of agriculture and construction. It's certainly hard to see how economic development could be positive, or even stagnant, with industrial production in the sort of freefall that we see in Ukraine.

    Ostensibly, some sector(s) of the economy are booming to such a degree that the thing as a whole is shrinking only moderately, despite the rapid disappearance of industry. Maybe there will be a lot more STALKERs coming out in the near future. But we should, at the very least, be skeptical. IMF loans and gastarbeiter remittances may mask reality and float incomes for a while, but the Ukrainian government's own statistics depict a real collapse of its real economy.





    TL;DR: Ukraine's GDP per capita is being propped up by its demographic disaster, which is partly itself a consequence of its economic crisis. Its overall GDP figures are pretty bad. And its industrial production, which represents almost all of its real economy, is in outright collapse:

    https://yadi.sk/i/YEjnA8hMR0CwFw




    P.S. Anatoly, if you're interested, I'm happy to send you the actual data by email or something.

    Replies: @FactCheckUkraine, @Anatoly Karlin, @AP

    Will look into this, perhaps needs separate post. Maybe need to fact check AP more.

    • Replies: @FactCheckUkraine
    @Anatoly Karlin

    I would greatly appreciate that.

    I have no reason to believe that AP is being deliberately misleading.

    All of the statistics that he's provided appear to be legitimate -- they're just, for whatever reason, those that put things in the best light possible for Ukraine. Change the calculation from current to constant dollars, or from per capita to sum total, or (I would argue, most importantly) the measure from GDP to an industrial index, and things start to look somewhat worse. Or much worse.

    Replies: @FactCheckUkraine

  54. @AP
    @AltanBakshi


    Although protecting Cantonese or Hakka would be a million times more culturally important than protecting hohol bydlos
     
    Such attitudes are a great reason why Ukraine should not unite with Russia. Thank you for the open demonstration.

    Replies: @AltanBakshi, @Gerard-Mandela

    Such attitudes are a great reason why Ukraine should not unite with Russia. Thank you for the open demonstration.

    LOL

    1. You are sure as f*ck not in any position to comment on what a mass of Ukrainians want to do, or what they should and shouldn’t do because:

    i. You have never been to Ukraine and don’t even know BASIC things about it you dimwit
    ii. you cant speak Ukrainian or Russian

    AK: Can I remind you the deal that that we agreed upon? This is factually incorrect, anyway. AP speaks Russian.

    [MORE]

    iii. you are descended from ( or rather, claim to be, LOL) the worst sub-Roma, sadist, eye-gouging, cursed-forever in hell sect of people commonly known as the Banderetards of western Ukraine – who the aim is not to make a success of the country but to decapitate it because Russian world annihilated you cursed, sub-Roma , zero-talent lowlifes.

    2. Amusingly ( well, tragically) in “disuniting” from Russia, they are still far more connected to Russia then they are to EU or the west in general – trade, investment, remittances, citizenship, gas deal and many other things prove it

    3. – things are so embarrassing that if Putin were to run as Ukrop President…..he would easily walk into the second round. Things are that bad that if Putin didn’t run but Yanukovich was allowed to run….then even he would also make it into the second round……..even Zhirik

    4. In fair circumstances, the country is measured to still have huge pro-Russian sentiment. I think last time they were asked, it was a complete non-contest if Ukrainians preferred to refer to it as Great Patriotic war instead of calling it the Second World War, same thing on languages, same thing on resuming direct flights and many other things – of course in a prostitute, authoritarian failed state it is impossible to act on these democratic wishes

    5. At this moment in time, not only are newborn names for people in Kiev and Moscow identical – there may be even more Russians ruling the country than Galicians – incredible if you reflect on it. Now add to that list the top Banker of the country ( Russian, Lugansk – raised) and this farce becomes even more extreme

    6. It should be impossible for any intelligent person to link , quote or believe your demented nonsense on economy of Ukraine or anything else. That Karlin ridiculously indulges in this freakshow again makes me think there is a Norman Bates/mother situation here

    7. Congratulations on the recession ( seriously Karlin, how can you quote this clown’s ludicrously BS “data”, just s0 you provoke other people to respond, as if the drivel was a serious claim, knowing that this clown will respond to EVERYTHING and make the number of comments look bigger)……..also congratulations on coronavirus out of control now relative to its “peak” and the real and only sucess of Galicia in the last 1000 years……having deaths 5 times more than Novorossiya despite less population

    • LOL: Yevardian
    • Replies: @Gerard-Mandela
    @Gerard-Mandela


    Can I remind you the deal that that we agreed upon?
     
    OK. allow me the one more insulting comment I have done on another Belarus post of yours before I read your, very kind, final warning- just to get it out of my system because it is difficult to write masterpiece comment after masterpiece comment if my creativity is being repressed.

    This is factually incorrect, anyway. AP speaks Russian
     
    hmmmmmmm??? Well, you are the master of the blog so I won't mention this issue in the near future

    N.B. "Sub-Roma" , as a reference to the community, not neccesarily him as a human, is non-negotiable. If sub-roma not allowed then I should be banned.

    Replies: @FactCheckUkraine

  55. @Anatoly Karlin
    @FactCheckUkraine

    Will look into this, perhaps needs separate post. Maybe need to fact check AP more.

    Replies: @FactCheckUkraine

    I would greatly appreciate that.

    I have no reason to believe that AP is being deliberately misleading.

    All of the statistics that he’s provided appear to be legitimate — they’re just, for whatever reason, those that put things in the best light possible for Ukraine. Change the calculation from current to constant dollars, or from per capita to sum total, or (I would argue, most importantly) the measure from GDP to an industrial index, and things start to look somewhat worse. Or much worse.

    • Replies: @FactCheckUkraine
    @FactCheckUkraine

    Also, I noticed that AP did at one point address the 'industrial issue'. But he did so through a combination of misunderstood statistics and various anecdotes:


    In reality, prior to Covid Ukraine’s industrial production has seen mild decline, much of which can be attributed to fall in steel prices:


    tradingeconomics.com/ukraine/industrial-production

    VARIOUS ANECDOTES HERE


     

    (https://www.unz.com/akarlin/why-belarus-isnt-ukraine/#comment-4089171)

    I'm going to ignore the anecdotes, because they don't matter.

    As for the overall statistics, AP tries to excuse the collapse in industrial output by saying that it's due to falling steel prices. Besides being obviously implausible, it's also outright incorrect. The Ukrainian government (like the Russian) calculates industrial indices by comparing the volume of goods produced in a given period to the volume in the previous period. The market value of those goods is irrelevant. World steel prices could have gone to $0.00 and it wouldn't have affected the statistics.

    (Also, if someone is still somehow not convinced, here is Ukraine's steel production in tonnes: tradingeconomics.com/ukraine/steel-production. It's falling.)

    So the fact remains that Ukraine's industrial output is basically in freefall. Anyone can see this for themselves from the TradingEconomics link that AP posted. Just keep in mind that what you're seeing is real. Don't let anyone tell you that it's somehow the product of changes in the price of goods, or the loss of territory. It's not. It's caused by precisely what it depicts: industrial collapse.

    Replies: @AltanBakshi, @Anatoly Karlin, @AP

  56. @FactCheckUkraine
    @Anatoly Karlin

    I would greatly appreciate that.

    I have no reason to believe that AP is being deliberately misleading.

    All of the statistics that he's provided appear to be legitimate -- they're just, for whatever reason, those that put things in the best light possible for Ukraine. Change the calculation from current to constant dollars, or from per capita to sum total, or (I would argue, most importantly) the measure from GDP to an industrial index, and things start to look somewhat worse. Or much worse.

    Replies: @FactCheckUkraine

    Also, I noticed that AP did at one point address the ‘industrial issue’. But he did so through a combination of misunderstood statistics and various anecdotes:

    In reality, prior to Covid Ukraine’s industrial production has seen mild decline, much of which can be attributed to fall in steel prices:

    tradingeconomics.com/ukraine/industrial-production

    VARIOUS ANECDOTES HERE

    (https://www.unz.com/akarlin/why-belarus-isnt-ukraine/#comment-4089171)

    I’m going to ignore the anecdotes, because they don’t matter.

    As for the overall statistics, AP tries to excuse the collapse in industrial output by saying that it’s due to falling steel prices. Besides being obviously implausible, it’s also outright incorrect. The Ukrainian government (like the Russian) calculates industrial indices by comparing the volume of goods produced in a given period to the volume in the previous period. The market value of those goods is irrelevant. World steel prices could have gone to $0.00 and it wouldn’t have affected the statistics.

    (Also, if someone is still somehow not convinced, here is Ukraine’s steel production in tonnes: tradingeconomics.com/ukraine/steel-production. It’s falling.)

    So the fact remains that Ukraine’s industrial output is basically in freefall. Anyone can see this for themselves from the TradingEconomics link that AP posted. Just keep in mind that what you’re seeing is real. Don’t let anyone tell you that it’s somehow the product of changes in the price of goods, or the loss of territory. It’s not. It’s caused by precisely what it depicts: industrial collapse.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
    @FactCheckUkraine

    Thank you for your well researched and interesting posts. In economic matters my knowledge and understanding is very limited, but I have always understood that increased government spending is included in GDP growth, even if funding for that spending comes from borrowing and last years governmental debt has arisen vastly in Ukraine, so how much of GDP growth in Ukraine is because of borrowing of government? And isnt there then a qualitative difference between Ukraines and Russias GDP growth, when the other one is based on increasing debt?

    Replies: @FactCheckUkraine

    , @Anatoly Karlin
    @FactCheckUkraine

    In fairness, steel isn't that important, and can be explained by Donbass.

    Cars. People need cars. AP likes cars.

    Ukraine went from producing ~50k cars in 2013 (down from 400k in 2008!) to essentially zero (<50k) since the Maidan.

    Sales are no better, at 100k new cars sold in 2019: http://www.oica.net/wp-content/uploads/total_sales_2019.pdf

    Down from 230k of last year of Yanukovych regime. Safe to say LDNR and Crimea never accounted for >50% of car sales. (Though, in fairness, acquiring евробляхи might have become easier after EU association).

    Replies: @AltanBakshi, @AP

    , @AP
    @FactCheckUkraine


    . The market value of those goods is irrelevant. World steel prices could have gone to $0.00 and it wouldn’t have affected the statistics.
     
    But wouldn’t collapsed steel price result in decreased production? That is, production decreased due to low demand and prices, not “Maidan.” Compensated for in part by more production in new plants in the west and center.

    The graph from trading economics shows ups and downs but overall modest decline until Covid-era 2020 when it became steep:

    https://tradingeconomics.com/ukraine/industrial-production

    Replies: @FactCheckUkraine

  57. @Christopher Porritt
    The figures you quote about Ukraine GDP per capita PPP compared to Russia appear to be taken from the World Bank Databank. The figures are based on current prices not constant prices. The constant price figures take into account the higher rate of inflation Ukraine has had since 2014 compared to Russia. The constant price figures show that Ukraine has not closed the gap with Russia compared

    Replies: @AP

    It compares year to year.

    • Replies: @FactCheckUkraine
    @AP

    No, _constant_ compares year-to-year. That is precisely the difference between it and current. Constant keeps things measured in international dollars of a certain year, which facilitates comparisons from one year to another. Current measures things in international dollars of the current year, which makes it suboptimal for over-time comparisons.

    Replies: @AP

  58. @FactCheckUkraine
    Long-time reader; first-time poster. Writing here because I think that you (Anatoly) are accidentally downplaying the economic crisis that Ukraine is in.

    I hope that, if you find my argument convincing, you'll shift or reverse your position on this issue, and – ideally – correct the statements that you’ve been making on the matter. Because I do think that your current position is not only incorrect, but also harmful to your own objectives – as well as harmful to Ukrainians, and potentially Belarusians, insofar as they buy into it and similar arguments.

    The reality is that Ukraine's economy, while not totally collapsing, was already in serious decline prior to the Maidan, and since then has entered into even more rapid decline. I will cite two measures that clearly demonstrate this.

    But if you read nothing else, look at this graph:

    https://yadi.sk/i/YEjnA8hMR0CwFw





    1. TOTAL GDP

    The commenter AP has repeatedly pointed to GDP per capita as evidence that Ukraine has recovered from the Maidan.

    Now, it's true that, in many contexts, GDPpc as a measure is preferable to GDP. In Ukraine, using GDPpc would make sense, for instance, if population shrinkage were the cause of economic shrinkage and you wanted to show that productivity and quality of life were not receding despite the decline in overall economic activity. But we all know that that's not what's happening. If anything, it's the opposite: economic decline is suppressing fertility and driving labor emigration. (Hence the endless mass exodus of Ukrainians, despite the consistent, rapid decline of the Ukrainian population.) So, in this case, insisting upon GDPpc actually amounts to saying that one of the consequences of economic decline (no money -> no kids, no jobs -> emigration) somehow makes up for that decline, or somehow makes it less serious. (To the contrary, it seems to me that a demographic crisis being partially caused by an economic crisis only adds to the severity and urgency of the latter.)

    Ultimately, people are going to choose either GDP or GDPpc based on which satisfies their own preferred narratives. But I think that Ukrainians who opt for the latter are just deluding themselves to their own detriment. Fundamentally, it's not a good thing that Ukraine's population is declining even faster than its economy is, nor does this in any way reduce the severity of that economic decline. Nor is population decline a real cause of economic decline and thus something that ought to be controlled for when measuring the economy. In fact, given the poverty of Ukraine, it could probably triple its GDP in the coming decades even while continuing to shrink in population. I mean, that's not going to happen, but it is what Ukrainians should strive for, rather than using their demographic crisis to hide the scope of their economic crisis.

    So, in the case of Ukraine, we really ought to be looking at overall GDP, not GDP per capita. (Assuming that one actually wants there to be Ukrainians in Ukraine. The policies of Ukraine's pro-western governments suggest that this may not always be a safe assumption.) And when we do this, the results are not great.

    Based on the Ukrainian government's data on annual GDP growth
    (http://www.ukrstat.gov.ua),
    we can calculate that the country's GDP relative to 2013 is:

    2013 100.0%
    2014 93.4
    2015 84.2
    2016 86.3
    2017 88.4
    2018 91.4
    2019 94.4

    GRAPH:
    https://yadi.sk/i/Yogz-0m6TRd3vw

    Note that these figures discount the lost territories. That is, territorial losses are not causing any of the decline.

    These numbers are also nearly identical to those of the World Bank, which are presumably from the Ukrainian government and evidently also discount the territorial losses.

    This isn't quite catastrophic, but it's pretty damn bad. The country's economy is still smaller than it was prior to the Maidan. And, given the already awful position it was in then, that means that the country remains trapped in poverty, unable to resolve its demographic problems, unable to employ its population, etc. (While most of humanity, it should be noted, continues to advance. India will soon overtake Ukraine in GDPpc, and China did so in 2015.)

    AP has compared the Ukrainian figures to Russia's. Obviously, given that Russia's GDP has (very slowly) grown relative to 2013, making this comparison just makes things worse for Ukraine:

    Using the above Ukraine data, Russian government GDP growth data
    (https://showdata.gks.ru/report/277382/?filter_2_0=2018-07-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-55%2C2018-10-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-55%2C2019-01-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-55%2C2019-04-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-55%2C2019-07-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-55%2C2019-10-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-55%2C2020-01-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-55%2C2013-01-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-52%2C2014-01-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-52%2C2015-01-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-52%2C2016-01-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-52%2C2017-01-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-52%2C2018-01-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-52%2C2019-01-01+00%3A00%3A00%7C-52&filter_3_0=120421&rp_submit=t),
    and World Bank data that puts Ukraine's GDP at 15.1% of Russia's in 2013
    (https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.MKTP.PP.KD?locations=RU-UA),
    Ukraine's GDP as a % of Russia's is:

    2013 15.1%
    2014 14.0
    2015 12.9
    2016 13.2
    2017 13.3
    2018 13.4
    2019 13.6

    GRAPH:
    https://yadi.sk/i/Sjjb7jNRQewQxw

    This is decidedly not good.

    And, again, these figures are DISCOUNTING Ukraine's territorial losses. (That's why I just took the WB data as a 2013 baseline for the size of Ukraine's GDP vs. Russia's. Because I'm not entirely confident in how the WB is dealing with the territorial changes. While Ukraine's official statistics explicitly discount them.) The numbers would be worse if those changes were incorporated.





    2. INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION

    But, whether GDP is taken as a whole or per capita, it's masking most of Ukraine's decline.

    GDP is a really abstract thing, and there's nothing that mandates it as the one economic measure to rule them all. To the contrary, elements of it can be quite dubious. It includes a lot of things – namely government services – whose 'price' is not set by the market and which therefore might be over- or under-valued. It also includes a lot of services that serve only to facilitate the production and distribution of other things – such services are most prominently represented, in the US, by the FIRE (finance, insurance, real estate) sector. So, if GDP starts diverging from more specific and concrete measurements of economic output, one should at least question whether it's reflecting the true volume or value of production.

    Such a divergence is present in Ukraine. While the country's GDP has been stagnant, overall, since 2013, its industrial production has sort of collapsed.

    You have to do a bit of math to get the annualized change for Ukraine, but using
    (https://index.minfin.com.ua/economy/index/industrial/2018/,
    https://rosstat.gov.ru/storage/mediabank/ind_prom_okved.xls,
    https://rosstat.gov.ru/storage/mediabank/ind_god.xlsx),
    we get the following data for Ukrainian industrial production, Russian industrial production, and the ratio of the former to the latter (with 2011 as the baseline):

    UKR RU UKR:RU ratio as % of 2013 UKR:RU ratio
    2013 100% 100 100
    2014 89 102 87
    2015 77 98 79
    2016 78 99 79
    2017 77 101 76
    2018 76 104 73
    2019 74 107 69

    GRAPH:
    https://yadi.sk/i/YEjnA8hMR0CwFw

    Again, the Ukrainian figures explicitly discount territorial changes.

    (Also note that the source for the Ukrainian data has figures "за год", but they did the math wrong and they end up with numbers worse for Ukraine than the correct ones that I calculated.)

    To be clear, industrial production consists of (1) mining and other natural resource extraction, (2) manufacturing, including of food, (3) repair of manufactured goods, and (4) the production and distribution of electricity and gas. In short, it encompasses most of what people rely upon, and is a necessary prerequisite for all other essential sectors. One could say that industrial production encompasses most of the 'real' economy, with the (partial) exception of agriculture and construction. It's certainly hard to see how economic development could be positive, or even stagnant, with industrial production in the sort of freefall that we see in Ukraine.

    Ostensibly, some sector(s) of the economy are booming to such a degree that the thing as a whole is shrinking only moderately, despite the rapid disappearance of industry. Maybe there will be a lot more STALKERs coming out in the near future. But we should, at the very least, be skeptical. IMF loans and gastarbeiter remittances may mask reality and float incomes for a while, but the Ukrainian government's own statistics depict a real collapse of its real economy.





    TL;DR: Ukraine's GDP per capita is being propped up by its demographic disaster, which is partly itself a consequence of its economic crisis. Its overall GDP figures are pretty bad. And its industrial production, which represents almost all of its real economy, is in outright collapse:

    https://yadi.sk/i/YEjnA8hMR0CwFw




    P.S. Anatoly, if you're interested, I'm happy to send you the actual data by email or something.

    Replies: @FactCheckUkraine, @Anatoly Karlin, @AP

    Am on vacation, but will certainly address these issues when I have time.

    Briefly – territorial losses occurred in mid 2014. So how do you compare 2013, adjusting for territory differences? National figures with current territory begin with 2015.

    Exodus isn’t only about desperation, it is about opportunity. Poland has seen an exodus- do you suggest this reflects poverty there? And that Poland’s per capita GDP is therefore also misleading?

  59. @AP
    @Christopher Porritt

    It compares year to year.

    Replies: @FactCheckUkraine

    No, _constant_ compares year-to-year. That is precisely the difference between it and current. Constant keeps things measured in international dollars of a certain year, which facilitates comparisons from one year to another. Current measures things in international dollars of the current year, which makes it suboptimal for over-time comparisons.

    • Replies: @AP
    @FactCheckUkraine

    But I wasn’t comparing one year to another but Russia to Ukraine in different years. What was the ratio of Ukraine to Russia in 2019 vs. 2013?

    Constant would be used to look at growth from year to year (compare Ukraine in 2019 vs. 2013, one year to another ).

    Replies: @FactCheckUkraine, @FactCheckUkraine

  60. @FactCheckUkraine
    @AP

    No, _constant_ compares year-to-year. That is precisely the difference between it and current. Constant keeps things measured in international dollars of a certain year, which facilitates comparisons from one year to another. Current measures things in international dollars of the current year, which makes it suboptimal for over-time comparisons.

    Replies: @AP

    But I wasn’t comparing one year to another but Russia to Ukraine in different years. What was the ratio of Ukraine to Russia in 2019 vs. 2013?

    Constant would be used to look at growth from year to year (compare Ukraine in 2019 vs. 2013, one year to another ).

    • Replies: @FactCheckUkraine
    @AP

    Yes, but you're comparing Ukraine:Russia in one year to Ukraine:Russia in other years. So, over time.

    Using constant dollars ensures that these ratios are not being distorted over time by divergence in the price of rubles in dollars and the price of hryvnia in dollars.

    This wouldn't be an issue if the World Bank recalculated PPP each year, but they're seemingly not doing that. If they were, then the Ukraine:Russia ratios would be the same whether expressed in current or constant dollars. So what's apparently happening is that, compared to the year in which the ruble's and hryvnia's PPP values were set, the ruble is losing value faster, which is causing Russia's "PPP" statistics to not actually reflect PPP. At least, that's my best guess.

    In any case, we can avoid this issue by just using constant dollars. Which is what one should always do, anyway.

    , @FactCheckUkraine
    @AP

    As for the territorial issue, it's a fair question.

    All the Ukrainian government data come with the disclaimer "Без урахування тимчасово окупованої території Автономної Республіки Крим, м.Севастополя та частини зони проведення антитерористичної операції" attached to them, either in general or attached specifically to figures for 2014 on. But it's not obvious what that means. After all, of course they aren't including data for areas that they don't control.

    I've gradually come to realize that what they mean is that they've discounted the data for those territories. That is, they've controlled for the losses. How do I know this? Well, here's a relatively simple demonstration from the 2015 statistical yearbook
    (http://www.ukrstat.gov.ua/druk/publicat/kat_u/2017/zb/02/zb_nru2015pdf.zip):

    According to p.13 of the 2015 yearbook, Ukraine's GDP per capita fell by 6.25% in 2014 and 9.44% in 2015.

    Now, if the country's statistics were not controlling for territorial losses, then total GDP should have fallen by much more than that in at least one of those years (depending on when they stopped including the economic activity of the lost territories). It would have gone down roughly by as much as GDPpc did, and then down by another 10-ish% due to the territorial losses.

    Instead, GDP fell by 6.55% and 9.77%. Virtually identical to the GDPpc declines, but ever so slightly larger thanks to the country's ongoing demographic decline.

    So, in short, Ukrainian government statistics, such as GDP and industrial output, do not reflect territorial losses. Any changes that they depict are changes within the subject of measurement, not changes in the scope of what is being measured.

    (I should note that the implications of this are pretty weird. It must be that the Ukrainians went into their data and retroactively removed from it the figures for Crimea and the LDNR. Even for years prior to 2014. The only alternative, if they are to control for / mask the territorial losses – which we know they are doing – would be to retain phantom data for those territories. I'm pretty sure that's not what they're doing.)

    Regardless, though, for our purposes this means that year-over-year changes are just reflecting economic losses not territorial ones.

    Replies: @AP

  61. @AP
    @FactCheckUkraine

    But I wasn’t comparing one year to another but Russia to Ukraine in different years. What was the ratio of Ukraine to Russia in 2019 vs. 2013?

    Constant would be used to look at growth from year to year (compare Ukraine in 2019 vs. 2013, one year to another ).

    Replies: @FactCheckUkraine, @FactCheckUkraine

    Yes, but you’re comparing Ukraine:Russia in one year to Ukraine:Russia in other years. So, over time.

    Using constant dollars ensures that these ratios are not being distorted over time by divergence in the price of rubles in dollars and the price of hryvnia in dollars.

    This wouldn’t be an issue if the World Bank recalculated PPP each year, but they’re seemingly not doing that. If they were, then the Ukraine:Russia ratios would be the same whether expressed in current or constant dollars. So what’s apparently happening is that, compared to the year in which the ruble’s and hryvnia’s PPP values were set, the ruble is losing value faster, which is causing Russia’s “PPP” statistics to not actually reflect PPP. At least, that’s my best guess.

    In any case, we can avoid this issue by just using constant dollars. Which is what one should always do, anyway.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Thanks: AP
  62. @FactCheckUkraine
    @FactCheckUkraine

    Also, I noticed that AP did at one point address the 'industrial issue'. But he did so through a combination of misunderstood statistics and various anecdotes:


    In reality, prior to Covid Ukraine’s industrial production has seen mild decline, much of which can be attributed to fall in steel prices:


    tradingeconomics.com/ukraine/industrial-production

    VARIOUS ANECDOTES HERE


     

    (https://www.unz.com/akarlin/why-belarus-isnt-ukraine/#comment-4089171)

    I'm going to ignore the anecdotes, because they don't matter.

    As for the overall statistics, AP tries to excuse the collapse in industrial output by saying that it's due to falling steel prices. Besides being obviously implausible, it's also outright incorrect. The Ukrainian government (like the Russian) calculates industrial indices by comparing the volume of goods produced in a given period to the volume in the previous period. The market value of those goods is irrelevant. World steel prices could have gone to $0.00 and it wouldn't have affected the statistics.

    (Also, if someone is still somehow not convinced, here is Ukraine's steel production in tonnes: tradingeconomics.com/ukraine/steel-production. It's falling.)

    So the fact remains that Ukraine's industrial output is basically in freefall. Anyone can see this for themselves from the TradingEconomics link that AP posted. Just keep in mind that what you're seeing is real. Don't let anyone tell you that it's somehow the product of changes in the price of goods, or the loss of territory. It's not. It's caused by precisely what it depicts: industrial collapse.

    Replies: @AltanBakshi, @Anatoly Karlin, @AP

    Thank you for your well researched and interesting posts. In economic matters my knowledge and understanding is very limited, but I have always understood that increased government spending is included in GDP growth, even if funding for that spending comes from borrowing and last years governmental debt has arisen vastly in Ukraine, so how much of GDP growth in Ukraine is because of borrowing of government? And isnt there then a qualitative difference between Ukraines and Russias GDP growth, when the other one is based on increasing debt?

    • Replies: @FactCheckUkraine
    @AltanBakshi

    Thanks!

    So, strictly speaking, you're right about GDP. It can be boosted in the present by the government spending money that it got through loans that it will pay back in the future. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing, if the money is put to good use and prevents a recession, facilitates growth, etc. But it does mean that if two countries are growing equally, but only one is taking on debt to do so, then the debt-free one can probably be said to be performing better.

    However, Ukraine's debt situation has actually stabilized. Its government debt rose rapidly in 2014-2016 or so, but it's now actually slowly going down. The same goes for the economy's overall external debt: https://www.ceicdata.com/en/indicator/ukraine/external-debt--of-nominal-gdp

    So, at this point, I would say that, whatever Ukraine and Russia are doing, both are doing it more or less without the help of loans.

    THAT said, you do bring up an interesting point, which is that the years (2016-2018) when Ukraine's industrial/real economy was only stagnating, rather than shrinking, were the years that immediately followed it taking on a huge amount of debt in 2014-2015. I suspect, though am not sure, that this temporary reprieve in its economic decline was a product of unsustainable debt accumulation. Hence the resumption of the decline as soon as the country started reducing, rather than further increasing, its debt. That is to say, this MAY be evidence that Ukraine's economy is stuck in secular decline that can be (temporarily) halted only by (unsustainable, short-term) foreign loans.

  63. @AP
    @FactCheckUkraine

    But I wasn’t comparing one year to another but Russia to Ukraine in different years. What was the ratio of Ukraine to Russia in 2019 vs. 2013?

    Constant would be used to look at growth from year to year (compare Ukraine in 2019 vs. 2013, one year to another ).

    Replies: @FactCheckUkraine, @FactCheckUkraine

    As for the territorial issue, it’s a fair question.

    All the Ukrainian government data come with the disclaimer “Без урахування тимчасово окупованої території Автономної Республіки Крим, м.Севастополя та частини зони проведення антитерористичної операції” attached to them, either in general or attached specifically to figures for 2014 on. But it’s not obvious what that means. After all, of course they aren’t including data for areas that they don’t control.

    I’ve gradually come to realize that what they mean is that they’ve discounted the data for those territories. That is, they’ve controlled for the losses. How do I know this? Well, here’s a relatively simple demonstration from the 2015 statistical yearbook
    (http://www.ukrstat.gov.ua/druk/publicat/kat_u/2017/zb/02/zb_nru2015pdf.zip):

    According to p.13 of the 2015 yearbook, Ukraine’s GDP per capita fell by 6.25% in 2014 and 9.44% in 2015.

    Now, if the country’s statistics were not controlling for territorial losses, then total GDP should have fallen by much more than that in at least one of those years (depending on when they stopped including the economic activity of the lost territories). It would have gone down roughly by as much as GDPpc did, and then down by another 10-ish% due to the territorial losses.

    Instead, GDP fell by 6.55% and 9.77%. Virtually identical to the GDPpc declines, but ever so slightly larger thanks to the country’s ongoing demographic decline.

    So, in short, Ukrainian government statistics, such as GDP and industrial output, do not reflect territorial losses. Any changes that they depict are changes within the subject of measurement, not changes in the scope of what is being measured.

    (I should note that the implications of this are pretty weird. It must be that the Ukrainians went into their data and retroactively removed from it the figures for Crimea and the LDNR. Even for years prior to 2014. The only alternative, if they are to control for / mask the territorial losses – which we know they are doing – would be to retain phantom data for those territories. I’m pretty sure that’s not what they’re doing.)

    Regardless, though, for our purposes this means that year-over-year changes are just reflecting economic losses not territorial ones.

    • Replies: @AP
    @FactCheckUkraine


    Now, if the country’s statistics were not controlling for territorial losses, then total GDP should have fallen by much more than that in at least one of those years (depending on when they stopped including the economic activity of the lost territories). It would have gone down roughly by as much as GDPpc did, and then down by another 10-ish% due to the territorial losses
     
    .

    I found a 2013 source listing per capita nominal GDP:

    https://www.usubc.org/site/files/UKR-MonthlyEcReport(October_2013).pdf

    It’s about the same as from the recent Worldbank source. If Worldbank/Ukraine had changed the retroactive figures one would expect the 2013 source to have a much higher figure than the modern “corrected” one has for 2013.

    Replies: @FactCheckUkraine

  64. @FactCheckUkraine
    @FactCheckUkraine

    Also, I noticed that AP did at one point address the 'industrial issue'. But he did so through a combination of misunderstood statistics and various anecdotes:


    In reality, prior to Covid Ukraine’s industrial production has seen mild decline, much of which can be attributed to fall in steel prices:


    tradingeconomics.com/ukraine/industrial-production

    VARIOUS ANECDOTES HERE


     

    (https://www.unz.com/akarlin/why-belarus-isnt-ukraine/#comment-4089171)

    I'm going to ignore the anecdotes, because they don't matter.

    As for the overall statistics, AP tries to excuse the collapse in industrial output by saying that it's due to falling steel prices. Besides being obviously implausible, it's also outright incorrect. The Ukrainian government (like the Russian) calculates industrial indices by comparing the volume of goods produced in a given period to the volume in the previous period. The market value of those goods is irrelevant. World steel prices could have gone to $0.00 and it wouldn't have affected the statistics.

    (Also, if someone is still somehow not convinced, here is Ukraine's steel production in tonnes: tradingeconomics.com/ukraine/steel-production. It's falling.)

    So the fact remains that Ukraine's industrial output is basically in freefall. Anyone can see this for themselves from the TradingEconomics link that AP posted. Just keep in mind that what you're seeing is real. Don't let anyone tell you that it's somehow the product of changes in the price of goods, or the loss of territory. It's not. It's caused by precisely what it depicts: industrial collapse.

    Replies: @AltanBakshi, @Anatoly Karlin, @AP

    In fairness, steel isn’t that important, and can be explained by Donbass.

    Cars. People need cars. AP likes cars.

    Ukraine went from producing ~50k cars in 2013 (down from 400k in 2008!) to essentially zero (<50k) since the Maidan.

    Sales are no better, at 100k new cars sold in 2019: http://www.oica.net/wp-content/uploads/total_sales_2019.pdf

    Down from 230k of last year of Yanukovych regime. Safe to say LDNR and Crimea never accounted for >50% of car sales. (Though, in fairness, acquiring евробляхи might have become easier after EU association).

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Ukrainian nationalists are similar to BLM movement. Both dont care lives of those who they claim to protect. But both like making of noise and being a vanguard for Globohomo. No wonder that Ukraines gdp per capita has fallen to African levels... Very sad indeed...

    , @AP
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Cars are very expensive, made abroad and thus new car sales are uniquely susceptible to currency devaluation in Ukraine.

    Production of complete cars has disappeared but there has been an increase in auto part production. I couldn’t find figures for this (as are easy to find for steel production), only news reports of many new factories in central and western Ukraine which were dismissed as “anecdotes.”

    An indicator of increased wealth in Ukraine is tourism. Ukrainian tourism to Turkey increased 52% in the last 4 years:

    https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/press-release/669100.html

    I’ve seen this among my own central Ukrainian relatives, who went abroad for the first time ( one cousin to Turkey with his family, another to Egypt).

    Replies: @AP

  65. @Anatoly Karlin
    @FactCheckUkraine

    In fairness, steel isn't that important, and can be explained by Donbass.

    Cars. People need cars. AP likes cars.

    Ukraine went from producing ~50k cars in 2013 (down from 400k in 2008!) to essentially zero (<50k) since the Maidan.

    Sales are no better, at 100k new cars sold in 2019: http://www.oica.net/wp-content/uploads/total_sales_2019.pdf

    Down from 230k of last year of Yanukovych regime. Safe to say LDNR and Crimea never accounted for >50% of car sales. (Though, in fairness, acquiring евробляхи might have become easier after EU association).

    Replies: @AltanBakshi, @AP

    Ukrainian nationalists are similar to BLM movement. Both dont care lives of those who they claim to protect. But both like making of noise and being a vanguard for Globohomo. No wonder that Ukraines gdp per capita has fallen to African levels… Very sad indeed…

  66. @FactCheckUkraine
    @AP

    As for the territorial issue, it's a fair question.

    All the Ukrainian government data come with the disclaimer "Без урахування тимчасово окупованої території Автономної Республіки Крим, м.Севастополя та частини зони проведення антитерористичної операції" attached to them, either in general or attached specifically to figures for 2014 on. But it's not obvious what that means. After all, of course they aren't including data for areas that they don't control.

    I've gradually come to realize that what they mean is that they've discounted the data for those territories. That is, they've controlled for the losses. How do I know this? Well, here's a relatively simple demonstration from the 2015 statistical yearbook
    (http://www.ukrstat.gov.ua/druk/publicat/kat_u/2017/zb/02/zb_nru2015pdf.zip):

    According to p.13 of the 2015 yearbook, Ukraine's GDP per capita fell by 6.25% in 2014 and 9.44% in 2015.

    Now, if the country's statistics were not controlling for territorial losses, then total GDP should have fallen by much more than that in at least one of those years (depending on when they stopped including the economic activity of the lost territories). It would have gone down roughly by as much as GDPpc did, and then down by another 10-ish% due to the territorial losses.

    Instead, GDP fell by 6.55% and 9.77%. Virtually identical to the GDPpc declines, but ever so slightly larger thanks to the country's ongoing demographic decline.

    So, in short, Ukrainian government statistics, such as GDP and industrial output, do not reflect territorial losses. Any changes that they depict are changes within the subject of measurement, not changes in the scope of what is being measured.

    (I should note that the implications of this are pretty weird. It must be that the Ukrainians went into their data and retroactively removed from it the figures for Crimea and the LDNR. Even for years prior to 2014. The only alternative, if they are to control for / mask the territorial losses – which we know they are doing – would be to retain phantom data for those territories. I'm pretty sure that's not what they're doing.)

    Regardless, though, for our purposes this means that year-over-year changes are just reflecting economic losses not territorial ones.

    Replies: @AP

    Now, if the country’s statistics were not controlling for territorial losses, then total GDP should have fallen by much more than that in at least one of those years (depending on when they stopped including the economic activity of the lost territories). It would have gone down roughly by as much as GDPpc did, and then down by another 10-ish% due to the territorial losses

    .

    I found a 2013 source listing per capita nominal GDP:

    https://www.usubc.org/site/files/UKR-MonthlyEcReport(October_2013).pdf

    It’s about the same as from the recent Worldbank source. If Worldbank/Ukraine had changed the retroactive figures one would expect the 2013 source to have a much higher figure than the modern “corrected” one has for 2013.

    • Replies: @FactCheckUkraine
    @AP

    It would be overall GDP, not GDP per capita, that I was suggesting the Ukrainians retroactively reduced. However, I've looked into it, and that actually appears to not be the case.

    But I realized that what they could be doing, rather than inventing statistics for places that they don't control, is just apply a multiplier to the areas that they do control that wipes out the losses. E.g. if the areas that now make up rump Ukraine made up 85% of GDP in 2013, they can just multiply the figures for rump Ukraine by 1.176 modifier going forward.

    This is all just speculation, though. What's certain is that the Ukrainian statistics are SOMEHOW negating the territorial losses, as demonstrated by the equal falls in GDP and GDPpc in 2014 and 2015.

  67. @Anatoly Karlin
    @FactCheckUkraine

    In fairness, steel isn't that important, and can be explained by Donbass.

    Cars. People need cars. AP likes cars.

    Ukraine went from producing ~50k cars in 2013 (down from 400k in 2008!) to essentially zero (<50k) since the Maidan.

    Sales are no better, at 100k new cars sold in 2019: http://www.oica.net/wp-content/uploads/total_sales_2019.pdf

    Down from 230k of last year of Yanukovych regime. Safe to say LDNR and Crimea never accounted for >50% of car sales. (Though, in fairness, acquiring евробляхи might have become easier after EU association).

    Replies: @AltanBakshi, @AP

    Cars are very expensive, made abroad and thus new car sales are uniquely susceptible to currency devaluation in Ukraine.

    Production of complete cars has disappeared but there has been an increase in auto part production. I couldn’t find figures for this (as are easy to find for steel production), only news reports of many new factories in central and western Ukraine which were dismissed as “anecdotes.”

    An indicator of increased wealth in Ukraine is tourism. Ukrainian tourism to Turkey increased 52% in the last 4 years:

    https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/press-release/669100.html

    I’ve seen this among my own central Ukrainian relatives, who went abroad for the first time ( one cousin to Turkey with his family, another to Egypt).

    • Replies: @AP
    @AP

    Overall consumer spending does not track auto sales:

    https://www.macrotrends.net/countries/UKR/ukraine/consumer-spending

  68. @FactCheckUkraine
    @FactCheckUkraine

    Also, I noticed that AP did at one point address the 'industrial issue'. But he did so through a combination of misunderstood statistics and various anecdotes:


    In reality, prior to Covid Ukraine’s industrial production has seen mild decline, much of which can be attributed to fall in steel prices:


    tradingeconomics.com/ukraine/industrial-production

    VARIOUS ANECDOTES HERE


     

    (https://www.unz.com/akarlin/why-belarus-isnt-ukraine/#comment-4089171)

    I'm going to ignore the anecdotes, because they don't matter.

    As for the overall statistics, AP tries to excuse the collapse in industrial output by saying that it's due to falling steel prices. Besides being obviously implausible, it's also outright incorrect. The Ukrainian government (like the Russian) calculates industrial indices by comparing the volume of goods produced in a given period to the volume in the previous period. The market value of those goods is irrelevant. World steel prices could have gone to $0.00 and it wouldn't have affected the statistics.

    (Also, if someone is still somehow not convinced, here is Ukraine's steel production in tonnes: tradingeconomics.com/ukraine/steel-production. It's falling.)

    So the fact remains that Ukraine's industrial output is basically in freefall. Anyone can see this for themselves from the TradingEconomics link that AP posted. Just keep in mind that what you're seeing is real. Don't let anyone tell you that it's somehow the product of changes in the price of goods, or the loss of territory. It's not. It's caused by precisely what it depicts: industrial collapse.

    Replies: @AltanBakshi, @Anatoly Karlin, @AP

    . The market value of those goods is irrelevant. World steel prices could have gone to $0.00 and it wouldn’t have affected the statistics.

    But wouldn’t collapsed steel price result in decreased production? That is, production decreased due to low demand and prices, not “Maidan.” Compensated for in part by more production in new plants in the west and center.

    The graph from trading economics shows ups and downs but overall modest decline until Covid-era 2020 when it became steep:

    https://tradingeconomics.com/ukraine/industrial-production

    • Replies: @FactCheckUkraine
    @AP

    As for issues of cars, steel, etc., I really don't think that focusing on any particular sub-sector like that is worthwhile. (Though, if you insist, I would note that Russian steel production has been growing, any possible price falls notwithstanding.)

    Just look at the overall industrial production. Insofar as problems are localized to a specific sub-sector like that -- as AP is claiming -- that will be reflected in industrial statistics that are still relatively healthy.

    But the industrial statistics are not healthy.

    https://yadi.sk/i/YEjnA8hMR0CwFw

    Replies: @AP

  69. @AP
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Cars are very expensive, made abroad and thus new car sales are uniquely susceptible to currency devaluation in Ukraine.

    Production of complete cars has disappeared but there has been an increase in auto part production. I couldn’t find figures for this (as are easy to find for steel production), only news reports of many new factories in central and western Ukraine which were dismissed as “anecdotes.”

    An indicator of increased wealth in Ukraine is tourism. Ukrainian tourism to Turkey increased 52% in the last 4 years:

    https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/press-release/669100.html

    I’ve seen this among my own central Ukrainian relatives, who went abroad for the first time ( one cousin to Turkey with his family, another to Egypt).

    Replies: @AP

    Overall consumer spending does not track auto sales:

    https://www.macrotrends.net/countries/UKR/ukraine/consumer-spending

  70. @AP
    @FactCheckUkraine


    Now, if the country’s statistics were not controlling for territorial losses, then total GDP should have fallen by much more than that in at least one of those years (depending on when they stopped including the economic activity of the lost territories). It would have gone down roughly by as much as GDPpc did, and then down by another 10-ish% due to the territorial losses
     
    .

    I found a 2013 source listing per capita nominal GDP:

    https://www.usubc.org/site/files/UKR-MonthlyEcReport(October_2013).pdf

    It’s about the same as from the recent Worldbank source. If Worldbank/Ukraine had changed the retroactive figures one would expect the 2013 source to have a much higher figure than the modern “corrected” one has for 2013.

    Replies: @FactCheckUkraine

    It would be overall GDP, not GDP per capita, that I was suggesting the Ukrainians retroactively reduced. However, I’ve looked into it, and that actually appears to not be the case.

    But I realized that what they could be doing, rather than inventing statistics for places that they don’t control, is just apply a multiplier to the areas that they do control that wipes out the losses. E.g. if the areas that now make up rump Ukraine made up 85% of GDP in 2013, they can just multiply the figures for rump Ukraine by 1.176 modifier going forward.

    This is all just speculation, though. What’s certain is that the Ukrainian statistics are SOMEHOW negating the territorial losses, as demonstrated by the equal falls in GDP and GDPpc in 2014 and 2015.

  71. @AP
    @FactCheckUkraine


    . The market value of those goods is irrelevant. World steel prices could have gone to $0.00 and it wouldn’t have affected the statistics.
     
    But wouldn’t collapsed steel price result in decreased production? That is, production decreased due to low demand and prices, not “Maidan.” Compensated for in part by more production in new plants in the west and center.

    The graph from trading economics shows ups and downs but overall modest decline until Covid-era 2020 when it became steep:

    https://tradingeconomics.com/ukraine/industrial-production

    Replies: @FactCheckUkraine

    As for issues of cars, steel, etc., I really don’t think that focusing on any particular sub-sector like that is worthwhile. (Though, if you insist, I would note that Russian steel production has been growing, any possible price falls notwithstanding.)

    Just look at the overall industrial production. Insofar as problems are localized to a specific sub-sector like that — as AP is claiming — that will be reflected in industrial statistics that are still relatively healthy.

    But the industrial statistics are not healthy.

    https://yadi.sk/i/YEjnA8hMR0CwFw

    • Replies: @AP
    @FactCheckUkraine

    Firstly, thank you for the detailed and thoughtful comments.

    The graph you posted shows initial heavy drop in industrial production in 2014-2015 corresponding to the loss of Donbas, followed by modest decline as I stated. The story behind the mild decline is serious decline in East (e.g., steel) and improvement in west and center that doesn’t quite compensate for loss in East (thus modest overall decline). It certainly isn’t an ongoing “freefall” as had been claimed.

    Also, in addition to industrial production there is also services (IT outsourcing, R & D) and agriculture that have been doing well.

    I have family in Lviv, Kiev and in an oblast bordering Kiev and their experiences track with what I have been posting. Claims that the country is in freefall might seem realistic in, say, rump Donbas or perhaps Kharkiv but are bizarre compared to what I have seen and heard. And what I have posted supports that.

  72. @Gerard-Mandela
    @AP


    Such attitudes are a great reason why Ukraine should not unite with Russia. Thank you for the open demonstration.
     
    LOL

    1. You are sure as f*ck not in any position to comment on what a mass of Ukrainians want to do, or what they should and shouldn't do because:

    i. You have never been to Ukraine and don't even know BASIC things about it you dimwit
    ii. you cant speak Ukrainian or Russian

    AK: Can I remind you the deal that that we agreed upon? This is factually incorrect, anyway. AP speaks Russian.



    iii. you are descended from ( or rather, claim to be, LOL) the worst sub-Roma, sadist, eye-gouging, cursed-forever in hell sect of people commonly known as the Banderetards of western Ukraine - who the aim is not to make a success of the country but to decapitate it because Russian world annihilated you cursed, sub-Roma , zero-talent lowlifes.

    2. Amusingly ( well, tragically) in "disuniting" from Russia, they are still far more connected to Russia then they are to EU or the west in general - trade, investment, remittances, citizenship, gas deal and many other things prove it

    3. - things are so embarrassing that if Putin were to run as Ukrop President.....he would easily walk into the second round. Things are that bad that if Putin didn't run but Yanukovich was allowed to run....then even he would also make it into the second round........even Zhirik

    4. In fair circumstances, the country is measured to still have huge pro-Russian sentiment. I think last time they were asked, it was a complete non-contest if Ukrainians preferred to refer to it as Great Patriotic war instead of calling it the Second World War, same thing on languages, same thing on resuming direct flights and many other things - of course in a prostitute, authoritarian failed state it is impossible to act on these democratic wishes

    5. At this moment in time, not only are newborn names for people in Kiev and Moscow identical - there may be even more Russians ruling the country than Galicians - incredible if you reflect on it. Now add to that list the top Banker of the country ( Russian, Lugansk - raised) and this farce becomes even more extreme

    6. It should be impossible for any intelligent person to link , quote or believe your demented nonsense on economy of Ukraine or anything else. That Karlin ridiculously indulges in this freakshow again makes me think there is a Norman Bates/mother situation here

    7. Congratulations on the recession ( seriously Karlin, how can you quote this clown's ludicrously BS "data", just s0 you provoke other people to respond, as if the drivel was a serious claim, knowing that this clown will respond to EVERYTHING and make the number of comments look bigger)........also congratulations on coronavirus out of control now relative to its "peak" and the real and only sucess of Galicia in the last 1000 years......having deaths 5 times more than Novorossiya despite less population

    Replies: @Gerard-Mandela

    Can I remind you the deal that that we agreed upon?

    OK. allow me the one more insulting comment I have done on another Belarus post of yours before I read your, very kind, final warning- just to get it out of my system because it is difficult to write masterpiece comment after masterpiece comment if my creativity is being repressed.

    This is factually incorrect, anyway. AP speaks Russian

    hmmmmmmm??? Well, you are the master of the blog so I won’t mention this issue in the near future

    N.B. “Sub-Roma” , as a reference to the community, not neccesarily him as a human, is non-negotiable. If sub-roma not allowed then I should be banned.

    • Replies: @FactCheckUkraine
    @Gerard-Mandela

    Please stop.

  73. @AltanBakshi
    @FactCheckUkraine

    Thank you for your well researched and interesting posts. In economic matters my knowledge and understanding is very limited, but I have always understood that increased government spending is included in GDP growth, even if funding for that spending comes from borrowing and last years governmental debt has arisen vastly in Ukraine, so how much of GDP growth in Ukraine is because of borrowing of government? And isnt there then a qualitative difference between Ukraines and Russias GDP growth, when the other one is based on increasing debt?

    Replies: @FactCheckUkraine

    Thanks!

    So, strictly speaking, you’re right about GDP. It can be boosted in the present by the government spending money that it got through loans that it will pay back in the future. Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing, if the money is put to good use and prevents a recession, facilitates growth, etc. But it does mean that if two countries are growing equally, but only one is taking on debt to do so, then the debt-free one can probably be said to be performing better.

    However, Ukraine’s debt situation has actually stabilized. Its government debt rose rapidly in 2014-2016 or so, but it’s now actually slowly going down. The same goes for the economy’s overall external debt: https://www.ceicdata.com/en/indicator/ukraine/external-debt–of-nominal-gdp

    So, at this point, I would say that, whatever Ukraine and Russia are doing, both are doing it more or less without the help of loans.

    THAT said, you do bring up an interesting point, which is that the years (2016-2018) when Ukraine’s industrial/real economy was only stagnating, rather than shrinking, were the years that immediately followed it taking on a huge amount of debt in 2014-2015. I suspect, though am not sure, that this temporary reprieve in its economic decline was a product of unsustainable debt accumulation. Hence the resumption of the decline as soon as the country started reducing, rather than further increasing, its debt. That is to say, this MAY be evidence that Ukraine’s economy is stuck in secular decline that can be (temporarily) halted only by (unsustainable, short-term) foreign loans.

    • Thanks: AltanBakshi
  74. @Gerard-Mandela
    @Gerard-Mandela


    Can I remind you the deal that that we agreed upon?
     
    OK. allow me the one more insulting comment I have done on another Belarus post of yours before I read your, very kind, final warning- just to get it out of my system because it is difficult to write masterpiece comment after masterpiece comment if my creativity is being repressed.

    This is factually incorrect, anyway. AP speaks Russian
     
    hmmmmmmm??? Well, you are the master of the blog so I won't mention this issue in the near future

    N.B. "Sub-Roma" , as a reference to the community, not neccesarily him as a human, is non-negotiable. If sub-roma not allowed then I should be banned.

    Replies: @FactCheckUkraine

    Please stop.

  75. @FactCheckUkraine
    @AP

    As for issues of cars, steel, etc., I really don't think that focusing on any particular sub-sector like that is worthwhile. (Though, if you insist, I would note that Russian steel production has been growing, any possible price falls notwithstanding.)

    Just look at the overall industrial production. Insofar as problems are localized to a specific sub-sector like that -- as AP is claiming -- that will be reflected in industrial statistics that are still relatively healthy.

    But the industrial statistics are not healthy.

    https://yadi.sk/i/YEjnA8hMR0CwFw

    Replies: @AP

    Firstly, thank you for the detailed and thoughtful comments.

    The graph you posted shows initial heavy drop in industrial production in 2014-2015 corresponding to the loss of Donbas, followed by modest decline as I stated. The story behind the mild decline is serious decline in East (e.g., steel) and improvement in west and center that doesn’t quite compensate for loss in East (thus modest overall decline). It certainly isn’t an ongoing “freefall” as had been claimed.

    Also, in addition to industrial production there is also services (IT outsourcing, R & D) and agriculture that have been doing well.

    I have family in Lviv, Kiev and in an oblast bordering Kiev and their experiences track with what I have been posting. Claims that the country is in freefall might seem realistic in, say, rump Donbas or perhaps Kharkiv but are bizarre compared to what I have seen and heard. And what I have posted supports that.

  76. I, too, appreciate that this conversation has been so constructive.

    Regarding the industrial production:

    First of all, I suppose it’s ultimately subjective, but I would in fact describe the current industrial decline as being more or less a collapse. First, there’s no recovery from a 20% decline. Second, there’s decline of multiple percentage points per year. Keep that up for another decade, and production will be less than half what it was in 2013 (not considering the territorial losses).

    The decline may have seemed smaller than it really is, because I put the graph that I linked on a y-axis that starts at 0. I don’t like y-axes that start higher than that. But this is an economic disaster.

    As for the territorial losses being responsible, again, the Ukrainian statistics are controlling for the territorial losses. So the drop is not due to the ‘loss’ of the Donbass.

    To be sure of this, I recalculated the industrial indices manually, by region. I took the 2013-2015 changes for each region’s industrial production, weighted them by the regions’ shares of industrial output as of 2013, and averaged them together. The results (2015 output at 77.5% of 2013’s) were almost identical to the government’s figure for the country as a whole (78.2%).

    You can do this yourself.

    Regions’ 2013 industrial production as a % of Crimea-less Ukraine’s total:

    Вінницька
    Волинська
    Дніпропетровська
    Донецька
    Житомирська
    Закарпатська
    Запорізька
    Івано-Франківська
    Київська
    Кіровоградська
    Луганська
    Львівська
    Миколаївська
    Одеська
    Полтавська
    Рівненська
    Сумська
    Тернопільська
    Харківська
    Херсонська
    Хмельницька
    Черкаська
    Чернівецька
    Чернігівська
    Kyiv

    1.9%
    0.8%
    16.4%
    16.7%
    1.2%
    0.8%
    6.0%
    1.7%
    4.2%
    1.4%
    5.5%
    2.6%
    1.7%
    2.1%
    5.4%
    1.2%
    1.8%
    0.6%
    5.9%
    0.8%
    1.3%
    2.3%
    0.3%
    1.4%
    15.9%

    Regions’ 2015 industrial production as a % of their 2013 production:

    110%
    102%
    85%
    45%
    118%
    85%
    92%
    88%
    94%
    84%
    20%
    96%
    92%
    96%
    89%
    104%
    87%
    107%
    84%
    95%
    94%
    86%
    91%
    89%
    81%

    Products of multiplying the first column by the second:

    2.1%
    0.8%
    14.0%
    7.5%
    1.5%
    0.6%
    5.5%
    1.5%
    4.0%
    1.2%
    1.1%
    2.5%
    1.6%
    2.0%
    4.8%
    1.2%
    1.6%
    0.7%
    4.9%
    0.8%
    1.2%
    2.0%
    0.3%
    1.3%
    12.9%

    Sum: 77.5%

    So it would appear that the Ukrainian government is taking the statistics that they have for the parts of Donetsk and Lugansk that are under their control, but using the pre-war statistics as a baseline. In practice, this means that the growth/decline of government-controlled Donetsk and Lugansk is being treated as if it represented all of Donetsk and Lugansk, and Donetsk and Lugansk were still entirely under governmental control.

    And, no, the declines in Donetsk and Lugansk production are not representing the territorial losses. This is clear in the case of Donetsk, which the statistics say suffers an industrial output decline of ‘only’ 31.5% in 2014 and another 34.6% in 2015. The numbers would be much larger, and concentrated in either one year or the other, if they were representing territory/economy lost in the war.

    Now, it is true that the gigantic recorded losses in Donetsk and Lugansk are surely mostly the result of war. If one wants to discount those, one can recalculate Ukraine’s industrial output, excluding the Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts entirely. In that case, it ends up in 2015 at 88.6% of its 2013 level, compared to the 78.2% official change for the country minus Crimea and Sevastopol.

    Of course, one can just as easily push things in the other direction. Why not, rather than discounting production declines linked to the war, actually account for the output lost due to territorial changes? The industrial output of government-controlled Ukraine in 2015 was 67% that of government-controlled Ukraine in 2013.

    (For those following along at home, multiply…

    Crimea
    Вінницька
    Волинська
    Дніпропетровська
    Донецька
    Житомирська
    Закарпатська
    Запорізька
    Івано-Франківська
    Київська
    Кіровоградська
    Луганська
    Львівська
    Миколаївська
    Одеська
    Полтавська
    Рівненська
    Сумська
    Тернопільська
    Харківська
    Херсонська
    Хмельницька
    Черкаська
    Чернівецька
    Чернігівська
    Kyiv
    Sevastopol’

    % total in 2013
    2%
    2%
    1%
    16%
    16%
    1%
    1%
    6%
    2%
    4%
    1%
    5%
    3%
    2%
    2%
    5%
    1%
    2%
    1%
    6%
    1%
    1%
    2%
    0%
    1%
    16%
    0%

    …by

    2015 as % 2013
    0 (no longer Ukraine)
    109.6
    102
    85
    0
    118
    85
    92
    88
    94
    84
    0
    96
    92
    96
    89
    104
    87
    107
    84
    95
    94
    86
    91
    89
    81
    0 (no longer Ukraine)

    and then add the results…

    0
    0.020644846
    0.008195466
    0.136934353
    0
    0.014278523
    0.006267143
    0.05371816
    0.014325852
    0.03878276
    0.011271617
    0
    0.024477972
    0.01544165
    0.019625714
    0.047191235
    0.012062439
    0.01535297
    0.006437647
    0.048348037
    0.007599105
    0.012131916
    0.019513944
    0.002764782
    0.012287083
    0.126267183
    0

    …together: 67.4%

    This treats Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts as entirely lost, when they obviously aren’t. But I don’t want to go through the trouble of trying to figure out exactly what proportion was. The real result is, therefore, a few points higher than 67%.)

    As for western Ukraine growing in more recent years, I haven’t yet been able to find data for 2018. However, for 2019, here are the industrial indices by region, according to ukrstat.gov.ua (you can find it, along wthi if you click on the little graph symbol just above the graph of “змiна реального ВВП” that is located in the top right corner of their front page (I really wish that their website had actual URLs)):

    Вінницька 114,7
    Одеська 107,4
    Рівненська 106,9
    Херсонська 104,4
    Кіровоградська 103,6
    Дніпропетровська 101,0
    Черкаська 101,3
    Донецька 100,6
    Чернівецька 100,3
    Київська 99,7
    Миколаївська 98,3
    Полтавська 98,8
    Сумська 98,3
    Тернопільська 98,3
    м.Київ 98,0
    Львівська 97,0
    Луганська 96,0
    Харківська 96,7
    Запорізька 95,5
    Івано-Франківська 95,6
    Волинська 94,9
    Житомирська 94,3
    Чернігівська 89,9
    Закарпатська 86,1
    Хмельницька 85,5

    So, at least for 2019, it actually appears that the southeast is doing marginally better than the west/center. In fact, the west-center features negative growth in almost every oblast (including the one with the largest industrial production, Kyiv city).

    As for non-industrial sectors, you are right.

    Agriculture is growing, about on par with Russia’s, actually. But it is (or was, anyway) only a third the size of the industrial sector, so its growth cannot compensate for industrial growth. It’s also worth noting that industry includes a lot of what we think of as agriculture. Yes, more food is being grown in Ukraine, but industry, which is declining, includes the production of fertilizers, the production of farm equipment, and the actual transformation of the food into something edible. I am not certain of this, but I would be inclined to see a growing agricultural sector, accompanied by a collapsing industrial sector, as an indication that the country is basically being turned into farmland for other economies that do most of the things that have large value-added. (Basically, make the equipment, fertilizers, etc., and send them in to Ukraine, then take the harvests out and reprocess them into actual food.)

    Services are also clearly growing, or otherwise GDP would be falling almost as fast as industry. (Because, again, agriculture is like 10% of GDP.) But, as I’ve said elsewhere, I’m not sure what this actually represents. It may be that there’s a giant amount of IT growth. If so, then some people are going to see that as a real problem. I do not believe that you can support a 35m person economy on IT. There’s also the fact that much or maybe most of it is bureaucrats. In 2012, 27% of employment in the country was from the government. I’m sure that the number is higher now, with the government being comparatively insulated from the economic collapse. Now, many of these jobs are probably useful and necessary. But they’re also by definition not subject to market forces, so we can’t really know to what degree their value, as calculated for the purposes of GDP, represents actual value.

    This is, however, where things get subjective. You could, in fact, be right, that the service sector is accurately valued, and that it’s perfectly fine for it to be replacing industry. Certainly most people in the US and Western Europe would agree with you.

    But we should be clear that that’s what’s happening: Ukraine is deindustrializing.

    And many people, myself included, are going to disagree with any argument that services are a real or acceptable substitute.

    • Replies: @FactCheckUkraine
    @FactCheckUkraine

    P.S. Realized that the second list of %2013 output should have a decimal place included:

    Crimea
    Вінницька
    Волинська
    Дніпропетровська
    Донецька
    Житомирська
    Закарпатська
    Запорізька
    Івано-Франківська
    Київська
    Кіровоградська
    Луганська
    Львівська
    Миколаївська
    Одеська
    Полтавська
    Рівненська
    Сумська
    Тернопільська
    Харківська
    Херсонська
    Хмельницька
    Черкаська
    Чернівецька
    Чернігівська
    Kyiv
    Sevastopol'

    2.0%
    1.9%
    0.8%
    16.1%
    16.3%
    1.2%
    0.7%
    5.8%
    1.6%
    4.1%
    1.3%
    5.4%
    2.6%
    1.7%
    2.0%
    5.3%
    1.2%
    1.8%
    0.6%
    5.8%
    0.8%
    1.3%
    2.3%
    0.3%
    1.4%
    15.5%
    0.3%

  77. @FactCheckUkraine
    I, too, appreciate that this conversation has been so constructive.

    Regarding the industrial production:

    First of all, I suppose it's ultimately subjective, but I would in fact describe the current industrial decline as being more or less a collapse. First, there's no recovery from a 20% decline. Second, there's decline of multiple percentage points per year. Keep that up for another decade, and production will be less than half what it was in 2013 (not considering the territorial losses).

    The decline may have seemed smaller than it really is, because I put the graph that I linked on a y-axis that starts at 0. I don't like y-axes that start higher than that. But this is an economic disaster.


    As for the territorial losses being responsible, again, the Ukrainian statistics are controlling for the territorial losses. So the drop is not due to the 'loss' of the Donbass.

    To be sure of this, I recalculated the industrial indices manually, by region. I took the 2013-2015 changes for each region's industrial production, weighted them by the regions' shares of industrial output as of 2013, and averaged them together. The results (2015 output at 77.5% of 2013's) were almost identical to the government's figure for the country as a whole (78.2%).

    You can do this yourself.

    Regions' 2013 industrial production as a % of Crimea-less Ukraine's total:

    Вінницька
    Волинська
    Дніпропетровська
    Донецька
    Житомирська
    Закарпатська
    Запорізька
    Івано-Франківська
    Київська
    Кіровоградська
    Луганська
    Львівська
    Миколаївська
    Одеська
    Полтавська
    Рівненська
    Сумська
    Тернопільська
    Харківська
    Херсонська
    Хмельницька
    Черкаська
    Чернівецька
    Чернігівська
    Kyiv

    1.9%
    0.8%
    16.4%
    16.7%
    1.2%
    0.8%
    6.0%
    1.7%
    4.2%
    1.4%
    5.5%
    2.6%
    1.7%
    2.1%
    5.4%
    1.2%
    1.8%
    0.6%
    5.9%
    0.8%
    1.3%
    2.3%
    0.3%
    1.4%
    15.9%


    Regions' 2015 industrial production as a % of their 2013 production:

    110%
    102%
    85%
    45%
    118%
    85%
    92%
    88%
    94%
    84%
    20%
    96%
    92%
    96%
    89%
    104%
    87%
    107%
    84%
    95%
    94%
    86%
    91%
    89%
    81%

    Products of multiplying the first column by the second:

    2.1%
    0.8%
    14.0%
    7.5%
    1.5%
    0.6%
    5.5%
    1.5%
    4.0%
    1.2%
    1.1%
    2.5%
    1.6%
    2.0%
    4.8%
    1.2%
    1.6%
    0.7%
    4.9%
    0.8%
    1.2%
    2.0%
    0.3%
    1.3%
    12.9%

    Sum: 77.5%

    So it would appear that the Ukrainian government is taking the statistics that they have for the parts of Donetsk and Lugansk that are under their control, but using the pre-war statistics as a baseline. In practice, this means that the growth/decline of government-controlled Donetsk and Lugansk is being treated as if it represented all of Donetsk and Lugansk, and Donetsk and Lugansk were still entirely under governmental control.

    And, no, the declines in Donetsk and Lugansk production are not representing the territorial losses. This is clear in the case of Donetsk, which the statistics say suffers an industrial output decline of 'only' 31.5% in 2014 and another 34.6% in 2015. The numbers would be much larger, and concentrated in either one year or the other, if they were representing territory/economy lost in the war.

    Now, it is true that the gigantic recorded losses in Donetsk and Lugansk are surely mostly the result of war. If one wants to discount those, one can recalculate Ukraine's industrial output, excluding the Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts entirely. In that case, it ends up in 2015 at 88.6% of its 2013 level, compared to the 78.2% official change for the country minus Crimea and Sevastopol.

    Of course, one can just as easily push things in the other direction. Why not, rather than discounting production declines linked to the war, actually account for the output lost due to territorial changes? The industrial output of government-controlled Ukraine in 2015 was 67% that of government-controlled Ukraine in 2013.

    (For those following along at home, multiply…

    Crimea
    Вінницька
    Волинська
    Дніпропетровська
    Донецька
    Житомирська
    Закарпатська
    Запорізька
    Івано-Франківська
    Київська
    Кіровоградська
    Луганська
    Львівська
    Миколаївська
    Одеська
    Полтавська
    Рівненська
    Сумська
    Тернопільська
    Харківська
    Херсонська
    Хмельницька
    Черкаська
    Чернівецька
    Чернігівська
    Kyiv
    Sevastopol'

    % total in 2013
    2%
    2%
    1%
    16%
    16%
    1%
    1%
    6%
    2%
    4%
    1%
    5%
    3%
    2%
    2%
    5%
    1%
    2%
    1%
    6%
    1%
    1%
    2%
    0%
    1%
    16%
    0%

    …by

    2015 as % 2013
    0 (no longer Ukraine)
    109.6
    102
    85
    0
    118
    85
    92
    88
    94
    84
    0
    96
    92
    96
    89
    104
    87
    107
    84
    95
    94
    86
    91
    89
    81
    0 (no longer Ukraine)

    and then add the results…

    0
    0.020644846
    0.008195466
    0.136934353
    0
    0.014278523
    0.006267143
    0.05371816
    0.014325852
    0.03878276
    0.011271617
    0
    0.024477972
    0.01544165
    0.019625714
    0.047191235
    0.012062439
    0.01535297
    0.006437647
    0.048348037
    0.007599105
    0.012131916
    0.019513944
    0.002764782
    0.012287083
    0.126267183
    0

    …together: 67.4%

    This treats Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts as entirely lost, when they obviously aren't. But I don't want to go through the trouble of trying to figure out exactly what proportion was. The real result is, therefore, a few points higher than 67%.)


    As for western Ukraine growing in more recent years, I haven't yet been able to find data for 2018. However, for 2019, here are the industrial indices by region, according to ukrstat.gov.ua (you can find it, along wthi if you click on the little graph symbol just above the graph of "змiна реального ВВП" that is located in the top right corner of their front page (I really wish that their website had actual URLs)):

    Вінницька 114,7
    Одеська 107,4
    Рівненська 106,9
    Херсонська 104,4
    Кіровоградська 103,6
    Дніпропетровська 101,0
    Черкаська 101,3
    Донецька 100,6
    Чернівецька 100,3
    Київська 99,7
    Миколаївська 98,3
    Полтавська 98,8
    Сумська 98,3
    Тернопільська 98,3
    м.Київ 98,0
    Львівська 97,0
    Луганська 96,0
    Харківська 96,7
    Запорізька 95,5
    Івано-Франківська 95,6
    Волинська 94,9
    Житомирська 94,3
    Чернігівська 89,9
    Закарпатська 86,1
    Хмельницька 85,5

    So, at least for 2019, it actually appears that the southeast is doing marginally better than the west/center. In fact, the west-center features negative growth in almost every oblast (including the one with the largest industrial production, Kyiv city).

    As for non-industrial sectors, you are right.

    Agriculture is growing, about on par with Russia's, actually. But it is (or was, anyway) only a third the size of the industrial sector, so its growth cannot compensate for industrial growth. It's also worth noting that industry includes a lot of what we think of as agriculture. Yes, more food is being grown in Ukraine, but industry, which is declining, includes the production of fertilizers, the production of farm equipment, and the actual transformation of the food into something edible. I am not certain of this, but I would be inclined to see a growing agricultural sector, accompanied by a collapsing industrial sector, as an indication that the country is basically being turned into farmland for other economies that do most of the things that have large value-added. (Basically, make the equipment, fertilizers, etc., and send them in to Ukraine, then take the harvests out and reprocess them into actual food.)

    Services are also clearly growing, or otherwise GDP would be falling almost as fast as industry. (Because, again, agriculture is like 10% of GDP.) But, as I've said elsewhere, I'm not sure what this actually represents. It may be that there's a giant amount of IT growth. If so, then some people are going to see that as a real problem. I do not believe that you can support a 35m person economy on IT. There's also the fact that much or maybe most of it is bureaucrats. In 2012, 27% of employment in the country was from the government. I'm sure that the number is higher now, with the government being comparatively insulated from the economic collapse. Now, many of these jobs are probably useful and necessary. But they're also by definition not subject to market forces, so we can't really know to what degree their value, as calculated for the purposes of GDP, represents actual value.

    This is, however, where things get subjective. You could, in fact, be right, that the service sector is accurately valued, and that it's perfectly fine for it to be replacing industry. Certainly most people in the US and Western Europe would agree with you.

    But we should be clear that that's what's happening: Ukraine is deindustrializing.

    And many people, myself included, are going to disagree with any argument that services are a real or acceptable substitute.

    Replies: @FactCheckUkraine

    P.S. Realized that the second list of %2013 output should have a decimal place included:

    Crimea
    Вінницька
    Волинська
    Дніпропетровська
    Донецька
    Житомирська
    Закарпатська
    Запорізька
    Івано-Франківська
    Київська
    Кіровоградська
    Луганська
    Львівська
    Миколаївська
    Одеська
    Полтавська
    Рівненська
    Сумська
    Тернопільська
    Харківська
    Херсонська
    Хмельницька
    Черкаська
    Чернівецька
    Чернігівська
    Kyiv
    Sevastopol’

    2.0%
    1.9%
    0.8%
    16.1%
    16.3%
    1.2%
    0.7%
    5.8%
    1.6%
    4.1%
    1.3%
    5.4%
    2.6%
    1.7%
    2.0%
    5.3%
    1.2%
    1.8%
    0.6%
    5.8%
    0.8%
    1.3%
    2.3%
    0.3%
    1.4%
    15.5%
    0.3%

  78. So, at least for 2019, it actually appears that the southeast is doing marginally better than the west/center. In fact, the west-center features negative growth in almost every oblast (including the one with the largest industrial production, Kyiv city

    The oblast with the highest industrial growth in 2019, Vynnytsia (14.7%), is in central Ukraine, it borders Kiev oblast to the west. One of the “anecdotes” was of a new refrigerator factory being built there. This oblast had 10% growth 2013-2015; it’s been booming since Maidan. Next-door Zhytomir oblast had 18% growth in industrial production 2014-2015 but 5.7% decline in 2019. In balance, it has been doing well in terms of industrial growth after Maidan.

    In 2019 Rivenska oblast had 6.9% growth. It is western Ukraine (borders Zhyomir oblast to the west). It too did fine immediately after Maidan (4% growth 2013-2015).

    But Transcarpathia in the west struggled in 2013-2915 and 2019.

    Anyways, shalyks are coming ..

    • Replies: @FactCheckUkraine
    @AP

    Oh, I'm aware of that. But you can't just pick the good and leave out the bad. Yes,

    Вінницька 114,7
    Рівненська 106,9
    Черкаська 101,3
    Чернівецька 100,3

    are growing. But

    Київська 99,7
    Полтавська 98,8
    Сумська 98,3
    Тернопільська 98,3
    м.Київ 98,0
    Львівська 97,0
    Івано-Франківська 95,6
    Волинська 94,9
    Житомирська 94,3
    Чернігівська 89,9
    Закарпатська 86,1
    Хмельницька 85,5

    are shrinking. Notably, this latter set includes Kyiv Oblast, Kyiv City, and Poltava, which collectively made up 25% of Ukraine's industrial output in 2013, compared to 19% from the entire remainder of the center-west. (Vinnytsia, I would note,

    Conversely, within the southeast,

    Одеська 107,4
    Херсонська 104,4
    Кіровоградська 103,6
    Дніпропетровська 101,0
    Донецька 100,6

    are growing while

    Миколаївська 98,3
    Луганська 96,0
    Харківська 96,7
    Запорізька 95,5

    are shrinking. Notably, the former category includes Donetsk and Dnepopetrovsk, which in 2013 made up more than have of the southeast's output.

    On the whole, the southeast performed better than the center-west in 2019.

    But all this is really irrelevant. With all respect, you're moving the goalposts. The question was "how is Ukraine's economy is doing?" And the answer is "bad".

    The fact that one can then follow that answer up with "but better in some places, and worse in others" is always going to be true, and it has no bearing on the overall state of things. Regardless of whether it's the center-west or southeast that is declining faster.

    Sidenote: I forgot to include the source for the regional statistics. Here it is:

    http://ukrstat.gov.ua/druk/publicat/kat_u/2016/zb/12/zb_pu2015pdf.zip

    Replies: @AP

  79. @AP

    So, at least for 2019, it actually appears that the southeast is doing marginally better than the west/center. In fact, the west-center features negative growth in almost every oblast (including the one with the largest industrial production, Kyiv city
     
    The oblast with the highest industrial growth in 2019, Vynnytsia (14.7%), is in central Ukraine, it borders Kiev oblast to the west. One of the “anecdotes” was of a new refrigerator factory being built there. This oblast had 10% growth 2013-2015; it’s been booming since Maidan. Next-door Zhytomir oblast had 18% growth in industrial production 2014-2015 but 5.7% decline in 2019. In balance, it has been doing well in terms of industrial growth after Maidan.

    In 2019 Rivenska oblast had 6.9% growth. It is western Ukraine (borders Zhyomir oblast to the west). It too did fine immediately after Maidan (4% growth 2013-2015).

    But Transcarpathia in the west struggled in 2013-2915 and 2019.

    Anyways, shalyks are coming ..

    Replies: @FactCheckUkraine

    Oh, I’m aware of that. But you can’t just pick the good and leave out the bad. Yes,

    Вінницька 114,7
    Рівненська 106,9
    Черкаська 101,3
    Чернівецька 100,3

    are growing. But

    Київська 99,7
    Полтавська 98,8
    Сумська 98,3
    Тернопільська 98,3
    м.Київ 98,0
    Львівська 97,0
    Івано-Франківська 95,6
    Волинська 94,9
    Житомирська 94,3
    Чернігівська 89,9
    Закарпатська 86,1
    Хмельницька 85,5

    are shrinking. Notably, this latter set includes Kyiv Oblast, Kyiv City, and Poltava, which collectively made up 25% of Ukraine’s industrial output in 2013, compared to 19% from the entire remainder of the center-west. (Vinnytsia, I would note,

    Conversely, within the southeast,

    Одеська 107,4
    Херсонська 104,4
    Кіровоградська 103,6
    Дніпропетровська 101,0
    Донецька 100,6

    are growing while

    Миколаївська 98,3
    Луганська 96,0
    Харківська 96,7
    Запорізька 95,5

    are shrinking. Notably, the former category includes Donetsk and Dnepopetrovsk, which in 2013 made up more than have of the southeast’s output.

    On the whole, the southeast performed better than the center-west in 2019.

    But all this is really irrelevant. With all respect, you’re moving the goalposts. The question was “how is Ukraine’s economy is doing?” And the answer is “bad”.

    The fact that one can then follow that answer up with “but better in some places, and worse in others” is always going to be true, and it has no bearing on the overall state of things. Regardless of whether it’s the center-west or southeast that is declining faster.

    Sidenote: I forgot to include the source for the regional statistics. Here it is:

    http://ukrstat.gov.ua/druk/publicat/kat_u/2016/zb/12/zb_pu2015pdf.zip

    • Replies: @AP
    @FactCheckUkraine


    But you can’t just pick the good and leave out the bad
     
    No one is leaving anything out, but for the sake of accuracy you can and should note if performance differs markedly by region.

    are shrinking. Notably, this latter set includes Kyiv Oblast, Kyiv City, and Poltava, which collectively made up 25% of Ukraine’s industrial output in 2013
     
    They shrank by .3%, 2%, and 1.2% in terms of industrial production respectively which is not much and may be compensated by improvement in service industry (particularly Kiev) construction and agriculture, for overall GRP growth.

    But all this is really irrelevant. With all respect, you’re moving the goalposts. The question was “how is Ukraine’s economy is doing?” And the answer is “bad”.
     
    1. GDP improved 3.2% in 2019 (3.8% per capita). So in terms if growth overall, the economy was not doing bad. Focusing only on industrial production may be a shifting of the goal posts. However, it is important to note if different sectors perform differently. Agriculture, construction and services do well, industry does poorly. That is notable. But:

    2. Industrial performance is uneven. Since 2014, the western part of the Center (Vynnytsia, Zhytomir, Rivne) have done great consistently. These regions have been industrialising. Zhytomir declined in 2019 but this was after very strong previous growth (18% in 2013-2015).

    3. Data for regions for 2016-2018 would be good to see a fuller picture. Overall Ukraine’s industrial production improved 4% in 2016, 1.1% in 2017, 3% in 2018, and declined .5% in 2019. Trading economics shows ups and downs in terms of overall industrial growth during these years.

    The fact that one can then follow that answer up with “but better in some places, and worse in others” is always going to be true, and it has no bearing on the overall state of things
     
    Markedly different performance between regions is notable and renders general conclusions to be of somewhat questionable utility. For example American school kids have overall mediocre performance on standardised tests but it’s whites and Asians outperform most Europeans and people from Asian countries, while its blacks have extremely low scores. So the general conclusion (Americans, on average, are mediocre) while technically correct is sort of misleading. Or, if a medication is 80% effective for males but 0% effective for females, simply concluding that it is “only 40% effective” is not very informative.

    The overall state of things is that Ukraine’s economy has seen consistent growth starting in the last quarter of 2015, until 2020. This has been driven by good performance in agriculture, construction and service industries and despite decline in industrial production. With respect to the latter, there has been considerable consistent growth in the historical Right Bank, immediately to the west of Kiev (Zhytomir and Vynnytsia oblasts), and different degrees of decline elsewhere with East doing the worst despite some recovery in 2019. Idea of ongoing overall economic collapse is just wrong.

    You have shown that I have underestimated the degree of industrial decline but the overall picture of worse economic performance in the east vs center-west since Maidan seems to be accurate, despite 2019.

    Here are monthly salaries in July 2019 by oblast; they all increased significantly by the end of the year:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Ukrainian_oblasts_and_territories_by_average_monthly_gross_salary#/media/File%3AAverageMonthlySalary2019.png

    In 2015 with percentages indicating 2013:

    https://blogs.elenasmodels.com/en/salaries-and-costs-of-living-in-ukraine/

    Salaries in the East overall remain higher than in the West but there has been significant catching up (I.e., salaries in Lviv oblast Have surpassed than in Kharkiv oblast). Improvement since 2015 has been enormous. Due to currency devaluation July 2019 wages while higher than 2013 were lower in constant dollars when adjusted for inflation, but were getting close.
  80. @FactCheckUkraine
    @AP

    Oh, I'm aware of that. But you can't just pick the good and leave out the bad. Yes,

    Вінницька 114,7
    Рівненська 106,9
    Черкаська 101,3
    Чернівецька 100,3

    are growing. But

    Київська 99,7
    Полтавська 98,8
    Сумська 98,3
    Тернопільська 98,3
    м.Київ 98,0
    Львівська 97,0
    Івано-Франківська 95,6
    Волинська 94,9
    Житомирська 94,3
    Чернігівська 89,9
    Закарпатська 86,1
    Хмельницька 85,5

    are shrinking. Notably, this latter set includes Kyiv Oblast, Kyiv City, and Poltava, which collectively made up 25% of Ukraine's industrial output in 2013, compared to 19% from the entire remainder of the center-west. (Vinnytsia, I would note,

    Conversely, within the southeast,

    Одеська 107,4
    Херсонська 104,4
    Кіровоградська 103,6
    Дніпропетровська 101,0
    Донецька 100,6

    are growing while

    Миколаївська 98,3
    Луганська 96,0
    Харківська 96,7
    Запорізька 95,5

    are shrinking. Notably, the former category includes Donetsk and Dnepopetrovsk, which in 2013 made up more than have of the southeast's output.

    On the whole, the southeast performed better than the center-west in 2019.

    But all this is really irrelevant. With all respect, you're moving the goalposts. The question was "how is Ukraine's economy is doing?" And the answer is "bad".

    The fact that one can then follow that answer up with "but better in some places, and worse in others" is always going to be true, and it has no bearing on the overall state of things. Regardless of whether it's the center-west or southeast that is declining faster.

    Sidenote: I forgot to include the source for the regional statistics. Here it is:

    http://ukrstat.gov.ua/druk/publicat/kat_u/2016/zb/12/zb_pu2015pdf.zip

    Replies: @AP

    But you can’t just pick the good and leave out the bad

    No one is leaving anything out, but for the sake of accuracy you can and should note if performance differs markedly by region.

    are shrinking. Notably, this latter set includes Kyiv Oblast, Kyiv City, and Poltava, which collectively made up 25% of Ukraine’s industrial output in 2013

    They shrank by .3%, 2%, and 1.2% in terms of industrial production respectively which is not much and may be compensated by improvement in service industry (particularly Kiev) construction and agriculture, for overall GRP growth.

    But all this is really irrelevant. With all respect, you’re moving the goalposts. The question was “how is Ukraine’s economy is doing?” And the answer is “bad”.

    1. GDP improved 3.2% in 2019 (3.8% per capita). So in terms if growth overall, the economy was not doing bad. Focusing only on industrial production may be a shifting of the goal posts. However, it is important to note if different sectors perform differently. Agriculture, construction and services do well, industry does poorly. That is notable. But:

    2. Industrial performance is uneven. Since 2014, the western part of the Center (Vynnytsia, Zhytomir, Rivne) have done great consistently. These regions have been industrialising. Zhytomir declined in 2019 but this was after very strong previous growth (18% in 2013-2015).

    3. Data for regions for 2016-2018 would be good to see a fuller picture. Overall Ukraine’s industrial production improved 4% in 2016, 1.1% in 2017, 3% in 2018, and declined .5% in 2019. Trading economics shows ups and downs in terms of overall industrial growth during these years.

    The fact that one can then follow that answer up with “but better in some places, and worse in others” is always going to be true, and it has no bearing on the overall state of things

    Markedly different performance between regions is notable and renders general conclusions to be of somewhat questionable utility. For example American school kids have overall mediocre performance on standardised tests but it’s whites and Asians outperform most Europeans and people from Asian countries, while its blacks have extremely low scores. So the general conclusion (Americans, on average, are mediocre) while technically correct is sort of misleading. Or, if a medication is 80% effective for males but 0% effective for females, simply concluding that it is “only 40% effective” is not very informative.

    The overall state of things is that Ukraine’s economy has seen consistent growth starting in the last quarter of 2015, until 2020. This has been driven by good performance in agriculture, construction and service industries and despite decline in industrial production. With respect to the latter, there has been considerable consistent growth in the historical Right Bank, immediately to the west of Kiev (Zhytomir and Vynnytsia oblasts), and different degrees of decline elsewhere with East doing the worst despite some recovery in 2019. Idea of ongoing overall economic collapse is just wrong.

    You have shown that I have underestimated the degree of industrial decline but the overall picture of worse economic performance in the east vs center-west since Maidan seems to be accurate, despite 2019.

    Here are monthly salaries in July 2019 by oblast; they all increased significantly by the end of the year:

    In 2015 with percentages indicating 2013:

    https://blogs.elenasmodels.com/en/salaries-and-costs-of-living-in-ukraine/

    Salaries in the East overall remain higher than in the West but there has been significant catching up (I.e., salaries in Lviv oblast Have surpassed than in Kharkiv oblast). Improvement since 2015 has been enormous. Due to currency devaluation July 2019 wages while higher than 2013 were lower in constant dollars when adjusted for inflation, but were getting close.

  81. They shrank by .3%, 2%, and 1.2% in terms of industrial production respectively which is not much and may be compensated by improvement in service industry (particularly Kiev) construction and agriculture, for overall GRP growth.

    This is precisely why it’s generally a bad idea to focus on particular regions, though. The industrial output of these three regions is so much larger than that of the other western-central oblasts that even such ‘small’ declines are more than sufficient to wipe out 14% growth in Vinnytsia. An approach that tries to consider each region individually will lead to nothing but massive complication, confusion, and an inaccurate picture of the overall situation.

    Speaking of confusion,

    Overall Ukraine’s industrial production improved 4% in 2016, 1.1% in 2017, 3% in 2018, and declined .5% in 2019.

    Contrary to this, minfin.com.ua/economy/index/industrial indicates growth as follows:

    2014 -11.1%
    2015 -13.0%
    2016 1.4%
    2017 -2.2%
    2018 -0.7%
    2019 -2.8%

    Hence the overall numbers relative to 2013:

    2014 89%
    2015 77%
    2016 78%
    2017 77%
    2018 76%
    2019 74%

    Again, you have to do a bit of math to actually get the annualized results from the webpage’s statistics, but here they are.

    To be clear, the way to calculate the annual results is to take a given month (I chose December 2009) as a baseline, then calculate every month relative to that, and then sum the monthly outputs for each year.

    So you go from month-over-month growth rates of

    январь февраль март апрель май июнь июль август сентябрь октябрь ноябрь декабрь

    2010 0.892 1.004 1.148 0.975 0.972 1.019 1.013 1.006 1.038 1.063 0.982 1.023
    2011 0.871 1.011 1.132 0.946 1.003 1.009 1.026 1.017 1.017 1.057 0.970 0.996
    2012 0.862 1.017 1.101 0.956 1.020 0.979 1.043 0.977 1.001 1.071 0.973 0.964
    2013 0.889 0.994 1.110 0.985 0.944 1.016 1.051 0.975 0.996 1.074 0.974 1.001
    2014 0.846 1.005 1.080 0.989 0.986 0.985 0.978 0.881 1.054 1.073 0.980 0.983
    2015 0.816 0.988 1.098 0.979 0.997 1.017 1.035 0.960 1.058 1.070 0.984 1.012
    2016 0.814 1.082 1.068 0.966 0.963 0.979 1.070 0.992 1.044 1.057 1.008 1.019
    2017 0.825 0.978 1.089 0.931 1.034 1.001 1.003 1.030 1.025 1.069 1.003 1.010
    2018 0.861 0.965 1.076 0.950 1.031 1.002 1.014 0.995 1.017 1.100 0.979 0.983
    2019 0.862 0.981 1.120 0.982 0.995 0.963 1.036 0.986 1.017 1.056 0.954 0.983

    To monthly-output-relative-to-December-2009 of:

    январь февраль март апрель май июнь июль август сентябрь октябрь ноябрь декабрь
    100
    2010 89 90 103 100 97 99 101 101 105 112 110 112
    2011 98 99 112 106 106 107 110 112 114 120 116 116
    2012 100 102 112 107 109 107 111 109 109 117 114 110
    2013 97 97 107 106 100 101 107 104 104 111 108 108
    2014 92 92 100 98 97 96 94 82 87 93 91 90
    2015 73 72 79 78 78 79 82 78 83 89 87 88
    2016 72 78 83 80 77 76 81 80 84 89 89 91
    2017 75 73 80 75 77 77 77 80 82 87 88 88
    2018 76 73 79 75 77 78 79 78 80 88 86 84
    2019 73 71 80 78 78 75 78 77 78 82 79 77

    To annual outputs of:

    2010 1219
    2011 1315
    2012 1306
    2013 1251
    2014 1112
    2015 967
    2016 981
    2017 959
    2018 953
    2019 926

    To output relative to 2013 of

    2010 97%
    2011 105%
    2012 104%
    2013 100%
    2014 89%
    2015 77%
    2016 78%
    2017 77%
    2018 76%
    2019 74%

    And annualized growth rates of

    2014 -11.1%
    2015 -13.0%
    2016 1.4%
    2017 -2.2%
    2018 -0.7%
    2019 -2.8%

    That being said, I see where you’re getting your numbers from. Frankly, I’m not sure what to say. There appear to be two sets of statistics, one of which has far better January-versus-December-of-the-previous-year results, and more or less entirely for that reason, the better overall figures, which are the ones that you’re using.

    The ‘better’ statistics (e.g. here http://ukrstat.gov.ua/operativ/operativ2014/pr/ipp/ipp_u/ipp2015-2020xls_u.xls ) say, for instance, that January 2016 had 90.1% of December 2015’s output.

    However, the Ministry of Finance (https://index.minfin.com.ua/economy/index/industrial/2016/), TradingEconomics (https://tradingeconomics.com/ukraine/industrial-production-mom ) (whose source is, according to them, the State Statistics Service that also provided the ‘better’ statistics listed above), Ukrainian business media (https://bin.ua/top/184937-padenie-promproizvodstva-v-ukraine-v-yanvare-2016.html), and other portions of the State Statistics Service itself (https://ukrstat.org/uk/operativ/operativ2016/pr/ipp_vd_m/ipp_vd_m_u/ipp_vdm0116_u.htm) all report declines of between 18.4 and 18.6%.

    So this may be a case of ‘choose your own statistics’. But I will note that the worse ones are what is presented by the news and by international/non-Ukrainian sources, while the only agency that is presenting the better ones also itself, elsewhere, presents the worse ones.

    As for the salary issue, the source that you referenced appears to be, um…a dating website. Or a mail-order-bride source. In any case, I’m not confident in its accuracy.

    That being said, it is true that incomes in Ukraine, like overall GDP, are doing better than industrial production. The question is the degree to which this is due to real growth in production, rather than growth in remittances, lending, and non-market-determined prices such as government salaries. This is one of the main reasons that I think that focusing exclusively on industry (and agriculture) is not only defensible, but probably preferable. If production of real things that people actually need and whose prices are set by the market is declining, then that at least puts in question what it means if salaries and the overall economy are ostensibly growing.

    The main point here being that industrial production is declining quite rapidly (except according to some, but not all, ДержКомСтат sources, which no-one appears to be citing), regardless of regional variation that may or may not exist. (Obviously there is regional variation, but what I mean is that the notion that western-central Ukraine is doing better is questionable. It’s wrong in the case of 2019. Despite certain western-central oblasts doing well, overall production for the center-west declined faster in 2019 than it did in the southeast.)

    • Thanks: AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @FactCheckUkraine
    @FactCheckUkraine

    New plan.

    Since Ukrainian statistics now appear to be whatever one wants them to be, external indicators may be the only reliable ones available.

    I would propose

    https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/TX.QTY.MRCH.XD.WD?locations=UA-RU

    which, because it is a volume- rather than value-based index, shouldn't be subject to market fluctuations.

    Replies: @AP

  82. @FactCheckUkraine

    They shrank by .3%, 2%, and 1.2% in terms of industrial production respectively which is not much and may be compensated by improvement in service industry (particularly Kiev) construction and agriculture, for overall GRP growth.
     
    This is precisely why it's generally a bad idea to focus on particular regions, though. The industrial output of these three regions is so much larger than that of the other western-central oblasts that even such 'small' declines are more than sufficient to wipe out 14% growth in Vinnytsia. An approach that tries to consider each region individually will lead to nothing but massive complication, confusion, and an inaccurate picture of the overall situation.

    Speaking of confusion,

    Overall Ukraine’s industrial production improved 4% in 2016, 1.1% in 2017, 3% in 2018, and declined .5% in 2019.
     
    Contrary to this, minfin.com.ua/economy/index/industrial indicates growth as follows:

    2014 -11.1%
    2015 -13.0%
    2016 1.4%
    2017 -2.2%
    2018 -0.7%
    2019 -2.8%

    Hence the overall numbers relative to 2013:

    2014 89%
    2015 77%
    2016 78%
    2017 77%
    2018 76%
    2019 74%

    Again, you have to do a bit of math to actually get the annualized results from the webpage's statistics, but here they are.

    To be clear, the way to calculate the annual results is to take a given month (I chose December 2009) as a baseline, then calculate every month relative to that, and then sum the monthly outputs for each year.

    So you go from month-over-month growth rates of

    январь февраль март апрель май июнь июль август сентябрь октябрь ноябрь декабрь

    2010 0.892 1.004 1.148 0.975 0.972 1.019 1.013 1.006 1.038 1.063 0.982 1.023
    2011 0.871 1.011 1.132 0.946 1.003 1.009 1.026 1.017 1.017 1.057 0.970 0.996
    2012 0.862 1.017 1.101 0.956 1.020 0.979 1.043 0.977 1.001 1.071 0.973 0.964
    2013 0.889 0.994 1.110 0.985 0.944 1.016 1.051 0.975 0.996 1.074 0.974 1.001
    2014 0.846 1.005 1.080 0.989 0.986 0.985 0.978 0.881 1.054 1.073 0.980 0.983
    2015 0.816 0.988 1.098 0.979 0.997 1.017 1.035 0.960 1.058 1.070 0.984 1.012
    2016 0.814 1.082 1.068 0.966 0.963 0.979 1.070 0.992 1.044 1.057 1.008 1.019
    2017 0.825 0.978 1.089 0.931 1.034 1.001 1.003 1.030 1.025 1.069 1.003 1.010
    2018 0.861 0.965 1.076 0.950 1.031 1.002 1.014 0.995 1.017 1.100 0.979 0.983
    2019 0.862 0.981 1.120 0.982 0.995 0.963 1.036 0.986 1.017 1.056 0.954 0.983


    To monthly-output-relative-to-December-2009 of:

    январь февраль март апрель май июнь июль август сентябрь октябрь ноябрь декабрь
    100
    2010 89 90 103 100 97 99 101 101 105 112 110 112
    2011 98 99 112 106 106 107 110 112 114 120 116 116
    2012 100 102 112 107 109 107 111 109 109 117 114 110
    2013 97 97 107 106 100 101 107 104 104 111 108 108
    2014 92 92 100 98 97 96 94 82 87 93 91 90
    2015 73 72 79 78 78 79 82 78 83 89 87 88
    2016 72 78 83 80 77 76 81 80 84 89 89 91
    2017 75 73 80 75 77 77 77 80 82 87 88 88
    2018 76 73 79 75 77 78 79 78 80 88 86 84
    2019 73 71 80 78 78 75 78 77 78 82 79 77

    To annual outputs of:

    2010 1219
    2011 1315
    2012 1306
    2013 1251
    2014 1112
    2015 967
    2016 981
    2017 959
    2018 953
    2019 926

    To output relative to 2013 of

    2010 97%
    2011 105%
    2012 104%
    2013 100%
    2014 89%
    2015 77%
    2016 78%
    2017 77%
    2018 76%
    2019 74%

    And annualized growth rates of

    2014 -11.1%
    2015 -13.0%
    2016 1.4%
    2017 -2.2%
    2018 -0.7%
    2019 -2.8%



    That being said, I see where you're getting your numbers from. Frankly, I'm not sure what to say. There appear to be two sets of statistics, one of which has far better January-versus-December-of-the-previous-year results, and more or less entirely for that reason, the better overall figures, which are the ones that you're using.

    The 'better' statistics (e.g. here http://ukrstat.gov.ua/operativ/operativ2014/pr/ipp/ipp_u/ipp2015-2020xls_u.xls ) say, for instance, that January 2016 had 90.1% of December 2015's output.

    However, the Ministry of Finance (https://index.minfin.com.ua/economy/index/industrial/2016/), TradingEconomics (https://tradingeconomics.com/ukraine/industrial-production-mom ) (whose source is, according to them, the State Statistics Service that also provided the 'better' statistics listed above), Ukrainian business media (https://bin.ua/top/184937-padenie-promproizvodstva-v-ukraine-v-yanvare-2016.html), and other portions of the State Statistics Service itself (https://ukrstat.org/uk/operativ/operativ2016/pr/ipp_vd_m/ipp_vd_m_u/ipp_vdm0116_u.htm) all report declines of between 18.4 and 18.6%.

    So this may be a case of 'choose your own statistics'. But I will note that the worse ones are what is presented by the news and by international/non-Ukrainian sources, while the only agency that is presenting the better ones also itself, elsewhere, presents the worse ones.


    As for the salary issue, the source that you referenced appears to be, um…a dating website. Or a mail-order-bride source. In any case, I'm not confident in its accuracy.

    That being said, it is true that incomes in Ukraine, like overall GDP, are doing better than industrial production. The question is the degree to which this is due to real growth in production, rather than growth in remittances, lending, and non-market-determined prices such as government salaries. This is one of the main reasons that I think that focusing exclusively on industry (and agriculture) is not only defensible, but probably preferable. If production of real things that people actually need and whose prices are set by the market is declining, then that at least puts in question what it means if salaries and the overall economy are ostensibly growing.

    The main point here being that industrial production is declining quite rapidly (except according to some, but not all, ДержКомСтат sources, which no-one appears to be citing), regardless of regional variation that may or may not exist. (Obviously there is regional variation, but what I mean is that the notion that western-central Ukraine is doing better is questionable. It's wrong in the case of 2019. Despite certain western-central oblasts doing well, overall production for the center-west declined faster in 2019 than it did in the southeast.)

    Replies: @FactCheckUkraine

    New plan.

    Since Ukrainian statistics now appear to be whatever one wants them to be, external indicators may be the only reliable ones available.

    I would propose

    https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/TX.QTY.MRCH.XD.WD?locations=UA-RU

    which, because it is a volume- rather than value-based index, shouldn’t be subject to market fluctuations.

    • Replies: @AP
    @FactCheckUkraine

    Firstly, I apologise for the brief responses, my time is less free here at the beach. I will have more substantive ones in a few weeks.

    Export volume of goods (the chart does not include services, which have been increasing significantly in the IT sector benefiting Lviv and Kiev) is about the same in 2018 as in 2015. Would be interesting to get data by oblast for those years.

    Also the wage data I posted was not from the dating website; that site simply made nice maps by oblast. First map was from wiki. Wiki has wages by country:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_European_countries_by_average_wage

    In terms of gross monthly salaries Ukraine surpasses Belarus (but both have lower ones than Moldova now). Adjusted for cost of living Ukraine is behind Belarus, but about 25% ahead of Moldova and now is a little ahead of Armenia. In the chart it shows that in 2019 Ukrainian gross monthly wages are the highest they have been in the country’s history. This does not match the narrative of ongoing collapse.

  83. @FactCheckUkraine
    @FactCheckUkraine

    New plan.

    Since Ukrainian statistics now appear to be whatever one wants them to be, external indicators may be the only reliable ones available.

    I would propose

    https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/TX.QTY.MRCH.XD.WD?locations=UA-RU

    which, because it is a volume- rather than value-based index, shouldn't be subject to market fluctuations.

    Replies: @AP

    Firstly, I apologise for the brief responses, my time is less free here at the beach. I will have more substantive ones in a few weeks.

    Export volume of goods (the chart does not include services, which have been increasing significantly in the IT sector benefiting Lviv and Kiev) is about the same in 2018 as in 2015. Would be interesting to get data by oblast for those years.

    Also the wage data I posted was not from the dating website; that site simply made nice maps by oblast. First map was from wiki. Wiki has wages by country:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_European_countries_by_average_wage

    In terms of gross monthly salaries Ukraine surpasses Belarus (but both have lower ones than Moldova now). Adjusted for cost of living Ukraine is behind Belarus, but about 25% ahead of Moldova and now is a little ahead of Armenia. In the chart it shows that in 2019 Ukrainian gross monthly wages are the highest they have been in the country’s history. This does not match the narrative of ongoing collapse.

  84. Export volume of goods (the chart does not include services, which have been increasing significantly in the IT sector benefiting Lviv and Kiev) is about the same in 2018 as in 2015. Would be interesting to get data by oblast for those years.

    Yes, I’m aware. It’s just that there was a 1/3 collapse in 2014-2015, and no change in either direction since then. Now, this could actually be compatible with some degree of either growth or decline in actual production. It’s too indirect a measure to say. The issue is just that I’m increasingly unsure that Ukrainian statistics can be relied upon, given that there are versions of the industrial production figures that support both your and my arguments.

    As for the income, though, well, for one, as I’ve said, I’m aware that incomes in Ukraine are doing better than industrial output. My concern is with the degree to which this is the result of gastarbeit, remittances, and government salaries, as opposed to sustained by actual growth. (That’s not to say that the former is necessarily the case, but the question certainly has to be raised when this sort of divergence between production and income occurs.)

    That being said, Ukrainian incomes definitely do not look good in international comparison. When set to PPP, as they must be, the Wikipedia statistics give Ukraine an average after-tax PPP income of $915 as of 2020, vs. $1588 in Belarus in 2020.

    As for the over-time change, the table on Wikipedia is, I would say, completely unusable, because it’s not in PPP (thus changes in currency value will matter far more than actual changes in real value, hence the supposed nearly 50% drop in Ukrainian wages in 2014-2015), it’s in current rather than constant Euros (thus everyone’s going to be going up due to Euro inflation), and it’s in gross rather than net income (thus exaggerating incomes in countries with higher tax burdens).

    However, based on the figures at https://index.minfin.com.ua/labour/salary/index/, it is possible to calculate Ukraine’s average income over time. With 2013 as the baseline, it is as follows:

    2010 74%
    2011 81%
    2012 92%
    2013 100%
    2014 94%
    2015 75%
    2016 78%
    2017 93%
    2018 104%
    2019 115%

    Thus, assuming that these statistics are more reliable than the industrial output ones, it would seem that Ukraine has just surpassed its pre-Maidan income levels.

    However, again, I don’t know to what degree these incomes are the product of real production and are thus sustainable. I also don’t know to what degree they’re the result of unemployed/poor people leaving the country. I also don’t know how the Ukrainian government is actually calculating these, given that it doesn’t even know how many people are in the country. It could work off of salaries that are reported to the government, but then that would be omitting the huge number of people who are unofficially employed, probably with the result of greatly inflating the average income. Of course, other countries have the same (latter) issue, but they have the advantage of actually knowing how large their workforce is and, therefore, being able to guess when people are unofficially employed and/or to divide known income/production amongst a known population. Whereas the Ukrainian government might be altogether unaware of many of its citizens’ existences.

    I can say for sure that, to some extent, people are being removed from the official labor force. The number of officially employed Ukrainians has fallen to 15.8m from a pre-Maidan level of 19m. This puts the number of employed Ukrainians at, for instance, 22% of employed Russians. Despite the fact that Ukraine’s population is ostensibly 29% as large.

    This suggests some combination of mass emigration and mass unemployment, that together have to account for a full quarter of Ukraine’s population. (To get from 29% to 22%.) Despite the number of employed Ukrainians remaining more or less constant since then (https://tradingeconomics.com/ukraine/employed-persons), the government also claims that its employment rate has risen from 64% to 68% (https://tradingeconomics.com/ukraine/employment-rate). If this is true, it is possible only if the number of working-age Ukrainians fell by 4% between roughly January 2017 and January 2020, or roughly 1.3% per year. (If the numerator’s not going up, the denominator must be going down.)

    Tying back to my original argument against GDP per capita, this suggests that much of any ‘improvement’ in GDPpc or income may be not the result of the salary going up in any particular job, but rather the product of Ukraine shedding its ‘excess’ population like the good IMF colony that it wishes to be, allowing the survivors to cluster into the remaining, relatively high-paying positions.

    • Replies: @AP
    @FactCheckUkraine


    The issue is just that I’m increasingly unsure that Ukrainian statistics can be relied upon, given that there are versions of the industrial production figures that support both your and my arguments.
     
    I’m arguing in good faith (thank you for not assuming otherwise). When statistics are inconsistent I tend to prefer those that match what I have seen and that reflect the experiences of people I know. I have no contact with eastern Ukraine so for all I know things are very bad there. But based on regular visits and contact with the west and center, it appears that the “positive” statistics are more realistic. 2014-2015 were rough years, followed by recovery, with 2019 being the first year when people in the center lived better than before Maidan. My approach is similar towards Russia where the Western narrative doesn’t match what I have seen. Indeed, there appear to be certain parallels between ow Russia is written about in the West and how Ukraine is written about in Russia or by Russophiles.

    However, based on the figures at https://index.minfin.com.ua/labour/salary/index/, it is possible to calculate Ukraine’s average income over time. With 2013 as the baseline, it is as follows:

    2010 74%
    2011 81%
    2012 92%
    2013 100%
    2014 94%
    2015 75%
    2016 78%
    2017 93%
    2018 104%
    2019 115%
     

    This suggests that current incomes are 15% higher than before Maidan. It’s more than I expected, though possible. I assume this is in terms of PPP not nominal dollars?

    Tying back to my original argument against GDP per capita, this suggests that much of any ‘improvement’ in GDPpc or income may be not the result of the salary going up in any particular job, but rather the product of Ukraine shedding its ‘excess’ population like the good IMF colony that it wishes to be, allowing the survivors to cluster into the remaining, relatively high-paying positions
     
    It’s a combination of both, plus improvement in Hryvnia value outpacing inflation of prices. That is, unemployed people can easily find well-paid legal work just a few hours drive away in Poland if they are desperate and need to do so (I have cousins who did this); some (such as some of my cousins) have returned when economy got better. Conversely, employers in Ukraine have had to raise wages a bit in order to compete with foreign employers. Even with, say, a 10% improvement, wages are still much lower than in Poland, but they can’t be so low that nobody will work in Ukraine. There is a point at which enough people will be willing to stay rather than uproot themselves. Wages improve in order to meet that point. This also helps explain the large improvement in industrial production in Vynnytsia and Zhytomir oblasts. These areas are far enough from Poland that employers can ask for relatively lower salaries than in, say, Lviv oblast which borders Poland.

    Another factor you didn’t mention is large scale expansion of IT sector that is well-paid (entry-level jobs are IIRC around $1,000 per month which is very good in Ukraine with its low cost of living). IT outsourcing, R &D etc. has had a 20-fold increase in the last few years and is now over 3% of Ukraine’s GDP.

    https://www.daxx.com/blog/outsourcing-ukraine/why-ukraine-best-it-outsourcing-destination

    200,000+ IT Professionals

    Ukrainian IT industry is expected to reach $10 billion in value by 2020. The local software development community has grown by 27% in 2017 and currently employs over 200,000 IT specialists. Ukraine ranks 4th in the world by the number of tech workers after the United States, India, and Russia

    Replies: @AltanBakshi

  85. @FactCheckUkraine

    Export volume of goods (the chart does not include services, which have been increasing significantly in the IT sector benefiting Lviv and Kiev) is about the same in 2018 as in 2015. Would be interesting to get data by oblast for those years.
     
    Yes, I'm aware. It's just that there was a 1/3 collapse in 2014-2015, and no change in either direction since then. Now, this could actually be compatible with some degree of either growth or decline in actual production. It's too indirect a measure to say. The issue is just that I'm increasingly unsure that Ukrainian statistics can be relied upon, given that there are versions of the industrial production figures that support both your and my arguments.

    As for the income, though, well, for one, as I've said, I'm aware that incomes in Ukraine are doing better than industrial output. My concern is with the degree to which this is the result of gastarbeit, remittances, and government salaries, as opposed to sustained by actual growth. (That's not to say that the former is necessarily the case, but the question certainly has to be raised when this sort of divergence between production and income occurs.)

    That being said, Ukrainian incomes definitely do not look good in international comparison. When set to PPP, as they must be, the Wikipedia statistics give Ukraine an average after-tax PPP income of $915 as of 2020, vs. $1588 in Belarus in 2020.

    As for the over-time change, the table on Wikipedia is, I would say, completely unusable, because it's not in PPP (thus changes in currency value will matter far more than actual changes in real value, hence the supposed nearly 50% drop in Ukrainian wages in 2014-2015), it's in current rather than constant Euros (thus everyone's going to be going up due to Euro inflation), and it's in gross rather than net income (thus exaggerating incomes in countries with higher tax burdens).

    However, based on the figures at https://index.minfin.com.ua/labour/salary/index/, it is possible to calculate Ukraine's average income over time. With 2013 as the baseline, it is as follows:

    2010 74%
    2011 81%
    2012 92%
    2013 100%
    2014 94%
    2015 75%
    2016 78%
    2017 93%
    2018 104%
    2019 115%

    Thus, assuming that these statistics are more reliable than the industrial output ones, it would seem that Ukraine has just surpassed its pre-Maidan income levels.

    However, again, I don't know to what degree these incomes are the product of real production and are thus sustainable. I also don't know to what degree they're the result of unemployed/poor people leaving the country. I also don't know how the Ukrainian government is actually calculating these, given that it doesn't even know how many people are in the country. It could work off of salaries that are reported to the government, but then that would be omitting the huge number of people who are unofficially employed, probably with the result of greatly inflating the average income. Of course, other countries have the same (latter) issue, but they have the advantage of actually knowing how large their workforce is and, therefore, being able to guess when people are unofficially employed and/or to divide known income/production amongst a known population. Whereas the Ukrainian government might be altogether unaware of many of its citizens' existences.

    I can say for sure that, to some extent, people are being removed from the official labor force. The number of officially employed Ukrainians has fallen to 15.8m from a pre-Maidan level of 19m. This puts the number of employed Ukrainians at, for instance, 22% of employed Russians. Despite the fact that Ukraine's population is ostensibly 29% as large.

    This suggests some combination of mass emigration and mass unemployment, that together have to account for a full quarter of Ukraine's population. (To get from 29% to 22%.) Despite the number of employed Ukrainians remaining more or less constant since then (https://tradingeconomics.com/ukraine/employed-persons), the government also claims that its employment rate has risen from 64% to 68% (https://tradingeconomics.com/ukraine/employment-rate). If this is true, it is possible only if the number of working-age Ukrainians fell by 4% between roughly January 2017 and January 2020, or roughly 1.3% per year. (If the numerator's not going up, the denominator must be going down.)

    Tying back to my original argument against GDP per capita, this suggests that much of any 'improvement' in GDPpc or income may be not the result of the salary going up in any particular job, but rather the product of Ukraine shedding its 'excess' population like the good IMF colony that it wishes to be, allowing the survivors to cluster into the remaining, relatively high-paying positions.

    Replies: @AP

    The issue is just that I’m increasingly unsure that Ukrainian statistics can be relied upon, given that there are versions of the industrial production figures that support both your and my arguments.

    I’m arguing in good faith (thank you for not assuming otherwise). When statistics are inconsistent I tend to prefer those that match what I have seen and that reflect the experiences of people I know. I have no contact with eastern Ukraine so for all I know things are very bad there. But based on regular visits and contact with the west and center, it appears that the “positive” statistics are more realistic. 2014-2015 were rough years, followed by recovery, with 2019 being the first year when people in the center lived better than before Maidan. My approach is similar towards Russia where the Western narrative doesn’t match what I have seen. Indeed, there appear to be certain parallels between ow Russia is written about in the West and how Ukraine is written about in Russia or by Russophiles.

    However, based on the figures at https://index.minfin.com.ua/labour/salary/index/, it is possible to calculate Ukraine’s average income over time. With 2013 as the baseline, it is as follows:

    2010 74%
    2011 81%
    2012 92%
    2013 100%
    2014 94%
    2015 75%
    2016 78%
    2017 93%
    2018 104%
    2019 115%

    This suggests that current incomes are 15% higher than before Maidan. It’s more than I expected, though possible. I assume this is in terms of PPP not nominal dollars?

    Tying back to my original argument against GDP per capita, this suggests that much of any ‘improvement’ in GDPpc or income may be not the result of the salary going up in any particular job, but rather the product of Ukraine shedding its ‘excess’ population like the good IMF colony that it wishes to be, allowing the survivors to cluster into the remaining, relatively high-paying positions

    It’s a combination of both, plus improvement in Hryvnia value outpacing inflation of prices. That is, unemployed people can easily find well-paid legal work just a few hours drive away in Poland if they are desperate and need to do so (I have cousins who did this); some (such as some of my cousins) have returned when economy got better. Conversely, employers in Ukraine have had to raise wages a bit in order to compete with foreign employers. Even with, say, a 10% improvement, wages are still much lower than in Poland, but they can’t be so low that nobody will work in Ukraine. There is a point at which enough people will be willing to stay rather than uproot themselves. Wages improve in order to meet that point. This also helps explain the large improvement in industrial production in Vynnytsia and Zhytomir oblasts. These areas are far enough from Poland that employers can ask for relatively lower salaries than in, say, Lviv oblast which borders Poland.

    Another factor you didn’t mention is large scale expansion of IT sector that is well-paid (entry-level jobs are IIRC around $1,000 per month which is very good in Ukraine with its low cost of living). IT outsourcing, R &D etc. has had a 20-fold increase in the last few years and is now over 3% of Ukraine’s GDP.

    https://www.daxx.com/blog/outsourcing-ukraine/why-ukraine-best-it-outsourcing-destination

    200,000+ IT Professionals

    Ukrainian IT industry is expected to reach $10 billion in value by 2020. The local software development community has grown by 27% in 2017 and currently employs over 200,000 IT specialists. Ukraine ranks 4th in the world by the number of tech workers after the United States, India, and Russia

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
    @AP

    So China and South Korea have less tech workers than Ukraine? Sounds unbelievable to me.

  86. @AP
    @FactCheckUkraine


    The issue is just that I’m increasingly unsure that Ukrainian statistics can be relied upon, given that there are versions of the industrial production figures that support both your and my arguments.
     
    I’m arguing in good faith (thank you for not assuming otherwise). When statistics are inconsistent I tend to prefer those that match what I have seen and that reflect the experiences of people I know. I have no contact with eastern Ukraine so for all I know things are very bad there. But based on regular visits and contact with the west and center, it appears that the “positive” statistics are more realistic. 2014-2015 were rough years, followed by recovery, with 2019 being the first year when people in the center lived better than before Maidan. My approach is similar towards Russia where the Western narrative doesn’t match what I have seen. Indeed, there appear to be certain parallels between ow Russia is written about in the West and how Ukraine is written about in Russia or by Russophiles.

    However, based on the figures at https://index.minfin.com.ua/labour/salary/index/, it is possible to calculate Ukraine’s average income over time. With 2013 as the baseline, it is as follows:

    2010 74%
    2011 81%
    2012 92%
    2013 100%
    2014 94%
    2015 75%
    2016 78%
    2017 93%
    2018 104%
    2019 115%
     

    This suggests that current incomes are 15% higher than before Maidan. It’s more than I expected, though possible. I assume this is in terms of PPP not nominal dollars?

    Tying back to my original argument against GDP per capita, this suggests that much of any ‘improvement’ in GDPpc or income may be not the result of the salary going up in any particular job, but rather the product of Ukraine shedding its ‘excess’ population like the good IMF colony that it wishes to be, allowing the survivors to cluster into the remaining, relatively high-paying positions
     
    It’s a combination of both, plus improvement in Hryvnia value outpacing inflation of prices. That is, unemployed people can easily find well-paid legal work just a few hours drive away in Poland if they are desperate and need to do so (I have cousins who did this); some (such as some of my cousins) have returned when economy got better. Conversely, employers in Ukraine have had to raise wages a bit in order to compete with foreign employers. Even with, say, a 10% improvement, wages are still much lower than in Poland, but they can’t be so low that nobody will work in Ukraine. There is a point at which enough people will be willing to stay rather than uproot themselves. Wages improve in order to meet that point. This also helps explain the large improvement in industrial production in Vynnytsia and Zhytomir oblasts. These areas are far enough from Poland that employers can ask for relatively lower salaries than in, say, Lviv oblast which borders Poland.

    Another factor you didn’t mention is large scale expansion of IT sector that is well-paid (entry-level jobs are IIRC around $1,000 per month which is very good in Ukraine with its low cost of living). IT outsourcing, R &D etc. has had a 20-fold increase in the last few years and is now over 3% of Ukraine’s GDP.

    https://www.daxx.com/blog/outsourcing-ukraine/why-ukraine-best-it-outsourcing-destination

    200,000+ IT Professionals

    Ukrainian IT industry is expected to reach $10 billion in value by 2020. The local software development community has grown by 27% in 2017 and currently employs over 200,000 IT specialists. Ukraine ranks 4th in the world by the number of tech workers after the United States, India, and Russia

    Replies: @AltanBakshi

    So China and South Korea have less tech workers than Ukraine? Sounds unbelievable to me.

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