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Ukraine "Census" Finds 37 Million People
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New census finds that there are 37.3M people in the Ukraine, down by almost 30% relative to their Soviet era peak of 52M. This means that at least semi-officially, the Ukraine now has a lower population than Poland for the first time in recorded history.

In reality, even this is probably a significant overestimate:

  • Official pop (Dec 2019): 41.9Mofficial LDNR pop: (2.29M) + (1.46) ≈ 3.8M = 38.1M in Ukraine (de facto)
  • This new census: 37.3M
  • Difference between the two figures, both of which exclude Crimea and the LDNR: 0.8M

So either pretty much the entire LDNR migrated to Ukraine, or there’s just ~1-1.5M Ukrainian Gastarbeiters. Neither are very plausible. Life in the LDNR isn’t great, but it beats homelessness elsewhere. And it is estimated that there is at least one million Ukrainians in Poland alone – something that can be anecdotally confirmed by a few Uber trips in Warszawa.

There’s a reason I put apostrophes around Census. It is nothing of the sort: Actual censuses in the Ukraine have been postponed ever since 2001, with the next one tentatively planned for this year (assuming it isn’t canceled again). This is just an estimate based on the number of cell phones, taxpayer records, and the pensions/social registry. Without delving into methodology: People can have multiple SIM cards; you don’t get auto-deleted from taxpayer and pensions registries when you live (especially if it’s for seasonal Gastarbeiter work like most Ukrainian emigration is).

So I maintain my position that the number of people in the Ukraine at any one time would be ~33.5M plus minus a couple of million.

***

The quasi-census also helpfully provides regional numbers, which can be compared to official statistics (as of November 2019):

Official E-Census % Dif
Lugansk (-LNR)* 677,181 1,127,500 166%
Kiev oblast 1,779,704 2,286,400 128%
KIEV 2,966,278 3,703,100 125%
Donetsk (-DNR)* 1,844,399 1,981,200 107%
Kharkov 2,659,937 2,795,000 105%
Dnepropetrovsk 3,179,008 3,230,000 102%
Odessa 2,377,037 2,347,900 99%
Zaporozhye 1,688,829 1,656,700 98%
Poltava 1,388,184 1,337,000 96%
Nikolaev 1,120,789 1,053,000 94%
Chernihiv 992,468 912,600 92%
Cherkasy 1,193,275 1,088,100 91%
Lvov 2,513,007 2,290,100 91%
UKRAINE 41,922,670 37,289,400 89%
Kherson 1,028,830 913,700 89%
Kirovohrad 934,021 826,800 89%
Zhytomyr 1,209,272 1,062,600 88%
Volyn 1,031,821 903,600 88%
Sumy 1,069,138 932,500 87%
Vinnytsia 1,546,620 1,331,400 86%
Ivano-Frankivsk 1,368,440 1,125,700 82%
Rivne 1,153,514 943,600 82%
Khmelnytsky 1,255,522 1,024,700 82%
Chernivtsi 901,910 727,600 81%
Transcarpathian 1,254,267 924,700 74%
Ternopilska 1,039,219 736,600 71%

* Adjusting official figures.

  • Donetsk: 4,134,399 – 2,290,000 = 1,844,399.
  • Lugansk: 2,137,181 – 1,460,000 = 677,181.

This allows us to introduce more nuance to discussions about Ukrainian demographics beyond simplistic takes such as the greater fertility rates of the Far West and the “dying out” of the east.

Because those are long-term considerations. In the immediate present, Ukrainian demographics is dominated by differential migration rates.

(1) The poorer rural areas – and these are primarily the western ones – are emptying out at a rate that far exceeds their fertility advantage. Although it is true that all pretty much all Ukrainian regions now contribute Gastarbeiters to Visegrad, whereas once it was overwhelmingly westerners, the latter are still doing much more of it as a share of their population. 20-25% of the populations of those regions are missing, and as I argued above, that is probably an underestimate.

(2) The Novorossiya regions with the millionik industrial cities – Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, Odessa, even Zaporozhye – are declining to a much lesser extent, with strong immigration from within Ukraine largely balancing out the Gastarbeiters they spew out into Visegrad and Russia. So as far as future Ukraine-Russia relations go, the important question now becomes whether the Ukrainian immigrants to these cities impose their own culture on these regions, which are more Russophile than the Ukrainian average (esp. Kharkov and Odessa); or whether they assimilate to the existing values of the old residents. Historically, it’s usually the latter.

(3) As Cicerone points out, even as the Ukraine empties out, Kiev might have paradoxically become one of the fastest growing cities in Europe, with an estimated population of 3.7M vs. the official 3.0M: “This is more realistic as well, as by official figures, the TFR in Kiev is much higher than the national average, which doesn’t really make sense.

(4) Surprisingly, both Donetsk oblast and – especially – Lugansk oblasts have many more people than official statistics suggest (after subtracting official LDNR stats). Presumably, some of that reflects genuine LDNR emigration – primarily for economic reasons, since wages in the LDNR are now low relative to the Ukraine, whereas Donetsk’s were once second only to Kiev’s; but in a few cases for ideological reasons, too. However, I suspect a significant or majority part of this “migration” is fictive, driven by a combination of the need to maintain documentation within the Ukraine for banal bureaucratic reasons. At any rate, the huge discrepancy between Donetsk and Lugansk suggests something fishy afoot.

***

 
• Category: Economics • Tags: Demographics, Ukraine 
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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. Honestly

    Until the Ukrainian government conducts a proper census, we will never know. They are throwing different numbers around like in a casino in the hope that their guess will be a winning ticket.

    It’s ridiculous

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  3. Cicerone says:

    Another reason why I believe Kiev might be growing very fast since 2014: Kiev’s TFR has not only shot up since 2013 way above Ukraine’s average, but the number of deaths in Kiev has also increased suddently from 28,000 in 2013 to 32,000 in 2018, all the while deaths in Ukraine as a whole stagnated. It looks like most of the discrepance between the official 3.0 million and the now estimated 3.7 million built up after 2013. Based on that, Kiev must have gained more than 100,000 people per year since the outbreak of the war.

    A third reason: The Kiev area has around 10% of Ukraine’s population, but more than 25% of housing completions.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
    , @jony
    , @Alfred
  4. Pre war, 60% of the LDNR population were ethnic Ukrainian. About 2.2 m. The UNHCR has reported that Ukraine has about 1.5 m internally displaced persons. This is consistent with the bulk of ethnic Ukrainians leaving to collect their pensions or escaping unemployment and repression.

    As you note, many LDNR pensioners have given themselves a presence in the Ukrainian part of the oblasts. Those pensioners and some of the IDPs may have been double counted.

    Rural areas in the FSU are in decline everywhere. There was a surprisingly large fraction of the population in the countryside for a developed country. In Russia, villages are collapsing as the educated young move out for a better life. Also modernisation means less unskilled labour, less casual work (a vice of the Russian peasant) and less work for people in general. The same forces apply in Ukraine.

    A decline in population seems inevitable but I would put the Gastarbeiters in Russia (I seem to remember 350,000 some time ago). Those I know still think they are Ukrainian and intend to go home. It does happen. The Italians left Germany. The Easterners are leaving the UK.

    2 M in Poland seems excessive. There are/were 2m Poles in the UK. They are very visible because they move to growing towns, especially London, cf Warsaw and take visible jobs.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
    , @Alfred
  5. Yevardian says:

    Can’t wait for the comments on this one imao.

    • Agree: Dreadilk
  6. Mr. XYZ says:

    (2) The Novorossiya regions with the millionik industrial cities – Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, Odessa, even Zaporozhye – are declining to a much lesser extent, with strong immigration from within Ukraine largely balancing out the Gastarbeiters they spew out into Visegrad and Russia. So as far as future Ukraine-Russia relations go, the important question now becomes whether the Ukrainian immigrants to these cities impose their own culture on these regions, which are more Russophile than the Ukrainian average (esp. Kharkov and Odessa); or whether they assimilate to the existing values of the old residents. Historically, it’s usually the latter.

    For what it’s worth, in the US context, when liberals (white liberals and/or minority liberals) have moved into conservative US states in large numbers (either from other parts of the US or from abroad), the conservative US states that experienced this liberal influx actually became more liberal. This is certainly true for US states such as Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Texas, Colorado, Arizona, and Nevada. This is why some of these US states have already become blue (meaning Democratic) while others are well on their way to becoming blue even if the process won’t actually be completed for another 10 or 20 or 30 years.

    • Replies: @Dreadilk
  7. Mr. XYZ says:
    @Cicerone

    Out of curiosity–when do you think that Kiev’s population is actually going to peak?

    • Replies: @Cicerone
  8. Cicerone says:
    @Mr. XYZ

    This is just too hard to guess, as there are so many different variables. It doesn’t only depend on the fertility and migration trends in the Ukraine itself (which are very hard to predict in the first place), but also on how the country and its regions will develop economically.

    At this point, I don’t see the population of Kiev peaking at any point in the foreseeable future. Its lead over the rest of the country in living standards, opportunities etc. is just too great. While it is not a primate city like Paris is in France, it is quickly heading in that direction. And an economic boom in the Ukraine will only let this process continue. So even if the Ukraine shrinks to, say, 25 million, it is entirely possible that Kiev grows to 5 million in the same time.

  9. @Insomniac Resurrected

    That was a travesty of census taking. If Russia used SIM card counting, the population would be north of 200 million. But I guess that’s the best ham-handed intellectually challenged “government” can do.

  10. Mitleser says:
    @Philip Owen

    It does happen. The Italians left Germany.

    There are still almost one million people with Italian background in the FRG.
    They did not left.

  11. AP says:

    So either pretty much the entire LDNR migrated to Ukraine, or there’s just ~1-1.5M Ukrainian Gastarbeiters. Neither are very plausible. Life in the LDNR isn’t great, but it beats homelessness elsewhere. And it is estimated that there is at least one million Ukrainians in Poland alone – something that can be anecdotally confirmed by a few Uber trips in Warszawa.

    Poland has the largest number of Ukrainians working abroad so if there are a million Ukrainians in Poland, a total of 1.5 million abroad would not be implausible.

    However likely there are many more Ukrainians in Poland and in other countries.

    Because many migrants visit home regularly (Poland is not far from Ukraine) they may be registered in Ukraine despite working in Poland. So the number counted may not reflect how many people are physically in the country at a given time, but the number of people who are regularly or often in the country. So Ukraine may have 33.5 to 35 million people at any given moment, with another 2 million being close by and visiting frequently.

    The poorer rural areas – and these are primarily the western ones – are emptying out at a rate that far exceeds their fertility advantage. Although it is true that all pretty much all Ukrainian regions now contribute Gastarbeiters to Visegrad, whereas once it was overwhelmingly westerners, the latter are still doing much more of it as a share of their population. 20-25% of the populations of those regions are missing, and as I argued above, that is probably an underestimate.

    Or, some people in deep villages in the Carpathians or the Volhynian swamplands are simply off the grid.

    In 2018, Ukraine’s smartphone penetration was 48%, compared to Russia’s 64%.

    Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, Odessa, even Zaporozhye – are declining to a much lesser extent, with strong immigration from within Ukraine largely balancing out the Gastarbeiters they spew out into Visegrad and Russia

    These areas have also gotten a lot of Donbas refugees. They also have some of the “pensioner registered with relatives” effect of people living in LDNR.

    Not many people are moving here from Ukraine’s western regions. Wages in Lviv are now higher than in Kharkiv and Odessa (though the steel mills in Mariupol and Dniproptrovsk still pay well):

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  12. @AP

    Or, some people in deep villages in the Carpathians or the Volhynian swamplands are simply off the grid.

    Although they weren’t only using cell phones to estimate the population.

    Wages in Lviv are now higher than in Kharkiv and Odessa…

    If the depopulation is as severe as those numbers suggest, then that could constitute a floor on wages due to simple labor scarcity.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Maïkl Makfaïl
  13. Low 30 million – this has long been my opinion.

    Annual number of births in the Ukraine is currently at 20% of Russia’s level. It was 35% in 1991…

  14. Mr. Hack says:

    As Karlin is comparing figures take presumably in 1991 when Ukraine was still a soviet republic (52m), and the Ukraine of today (37.3 m), one would need to also subtract the population of the Crimea, that dejure is now a part of Russia (2.24 m). It seems to me that from about 1960 -1980 (like for a long, long time) the population of Ukraine seemed to hover around 45m. Nobody complained back then that it was underpopulated. Aren’t most European countries also experiencing declines in their population levels too? A lot of those that are emigrants in other countries will undoubtedly go back to Ukraine, once they save up a decent nest egg. They realize that America (or whatever country that they find themselves in) just isn’t for them.

    • Replies: @for-the-record
    , @Dreadilk
  15. This would also imply that Ukraine’s GDP per capita is considerably higher, assuming their nominal GDP is not fake too. Should allow for wages to rise closer to Belarussian levels over the coming years if Ukraine maintains their growth premium over them.

    The key question for Ukraine is at what point does emigration stop due to rising wages. Where is the floor? This is their central remaining challenge: to put an end to the emigration drain. I do not consider an economic crisis likely for them. The macro numbers around debt sustainability look much better than they did in 2014. But what debt cannot do, continuous emigration can in terms of economic damage.

  16. AP says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Or, some people in deep villages in the Carpathians or the Volhynian swamplands are simply off the grid.

    Although they weren’t only using cell phones to estimate the population.

    Correct, but this probably accounts for some of the loss/undercount.

    Wages in Lviv are now higher than in Kharkiv and Odessa…

    If the depopulation is as severe as those numbers suggest, then that could constitute a floor on wages due to simple labor scarcity.

    Well, Ternopil oblast is the most depopulated compared to the official figure, and also has the lowest wages. So depopulation isn’t necessarily the reason for higher wages.

    ::::::::::::::::::::

    As for the implied demographic shift of Ukraine’s center of gravity to the East – not realistic at all.

    1. Numbers in the East are almost certainly artificially boosted by LNDR people registered there (i.e., to collect pensions). This probably accounts for much of the overestimate, not only in Donetsk and Luhansk but also in neighboring Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk.

    2. Poland with much higher salaries is actually closer to Western Ukraine than are Kharkiv or Dnipropetrovsk. Ternopil is 300 km closer to Warsaw than it is to Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk.

    3. Kiev, which is closer to western Ukraine than is the East, has much higher wages than the East.
    If you are from Ternopil and don’t want to go abroad to Poland, you’ll move to Kiev. Internal migration isn’t going to be to the steel mills in Mariupol, but rather to Kiev.

    I haven’t heard or read about any significant migration to Kharkiv from western Ukraine.

    So in terms of internal migration – more western Ukrainians in Kiev, making that city even more nationalistic and even more demographically dominant.

  17. utu says:

    “Soviet era peak of 52M” – Is it prudent to believe Soviet era numbers?

    • Replies: @AltSerrice
  18. @Mr. Hack

    one would need to also subtract the population of the Crimea, that dejure is now a part of Russia (2.24 m).

    I suspect, given your point of view, you probably meant de facto.

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  19. AP says:

    I thought I’d corroborate this with election data. Ukrainian wiki is referenced from the government election website:

    2019 election

    2014 election

    It provides the raw number for the entire country, but by oblast only gives turnout.

    In terms of raw numbers:

    2019: 18 893 864

    2014: 18 019 504

    More voters in 2019 than in 2014 obviously indicates greater enthusiasm and higher turnout, not population growth (even officially, population has declined). Nevertheless, a population collapse on the scale many here propose would probably not see growth in number of voters between 2014 and 2019.

    In terms of oblast turnout, there has indeed been a drop in the western regions and growth in the eastern regions. But a lot of other factors may be involved:

    1. It hasn’t been on the scale of the e-census vs. official population count. Ternopil’s e-census population is only 71% of its official total. But turnout in 2019 was 12% lower than in 2014. Kharkiv showed turnout improved from 47% to 64% but e-census was only 5% higher than the official figure.

    2. Enthusiasm probably accounts for a lot of the difference. Poroshenko was unpopular in 2019. Conversely, in the East, in 2014 neither Poroshenko nor Tymoshenko were particularly popular. But in 2019, Easterners were eager to vote against Poroshenko. Many who had sat out the 2014 election voted in 2019.

    • Replies: @Cicerone
  20. Dreadilk says:
    @Mr. XYZ

    It’s has more to do with growing post 1965 demographic.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
  21. Cicerone says:
    @AP

    Since people who live abroad can vote as well, I don’t think one can use election data for determining how many people still live in the Ukraine.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @AP
  22. @Cicerone

    There is a Ukrainian joke about elections.
    A guy comes to the voting place, votes, and then asks:
    – Did my wife vote already?
    – Sure, here is her signature.
    – Dash it, I am late again. See, she died 10 years ago, but votes every time, so I was hoping to meet her here.

  23. Dreadilk says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Yeah you witnessing depopulation in ex Soviet countries that turned hostile to Russia. Baltics plus Ukraine.

    Also people immigrating out if the country rarely comeback. If they are gastrabaiters it’s different story but has its own downsides.

  24. jony says:
    @Cicerone

    That’s not good if they had to cut gas and hot water to many buildings in the city. They can’t afford the infrastructure.

    52 million is a number that seems to come up a lot. I think that’s supposed to be the present population of Poland as predicted in the 1980s. Neolibs do a better job at exterminating countries than many others.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  25. OT. CIA posted documents where Bandera is called what he really was, Nazi and Hitler collaborator (https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/search/site/bandera). Looks like even main sponsors are sick and tired of Banderastan.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  26. @jony

    Libtards share the blame, but Ukraine committed suicide, just like Hong Kong is doing now. A pity, both could have been decent places.

  27. AP says:
    @Cicerone

    Yes but the number voting abroad is small. For example:

    https://112.international/ukraine-top-news/huge-lines-of-ukrainian-voters-occur-in-polish-cities-38351.html

    The “huge” number was 17,000 in Warsaw. There were a few other cities but the total wouldn’t be much higher than 50,000, I think. And Poland is the country with the most Ukrainians. Out of 18.9 million votes it’s a drop in the bucket.

  28. @Anatoly Karlin

    Is this ukrainian depopulation driven mainly by (very)low birth rates or emigration?

    And what is the percentage of Russian language users amongst Ukrainian youngs ( first and second language) ?

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    , @Dmitry
  29. Mr. Hack says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Just goes to show that the CIA never was a sponsor of the Banderivtsi – that only further goes to show that you sovok cheerleaders are usually full of you know what. 🙂

  30. @Maïkl Makfaïl

    1. Both.

    2. Estimates, without looking up: Native – probably no more than 20% now, with loss of Crimea and LDNR. Speaking language – Russian should remain a solid majority, even in Kiev (though influx of Westerners means Ukrainian is now heard much more frequently there).

    AP should have accurate stats closer to hand.

    • Replies: @AP
  31. @for-the-record

    The Russian State Statistics Service does use the term De Jure to describe the population.

    • Replies: @for-the-record
  32. @Philip Owen

    The Russian State Statistics Service does use the term De Jure to describe the population.

    I would have been surprised if it were otherwise. What did surprise me was Mr. Hack’s use of the term, which I assumed (correctly, he confirms) must have been a mistake.

  33. AP says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    There are two stats: percentage of “native” speakers and percentage of actual daily speakers.

    When Donbas and Crimea were still part of Ukraine, about 68% of the population declared Ukrainian to be their native language and about 30% declared Russian to be their native language. It is now closer to 80/20.

    However many people who declare Ukrainian to be their native language actually prefer speaking Russian in day to day life. In some respects native language declaration is a sort of self-identity claim.

    In terms of language of daily use, KIIS made a huge study wwith 10,000s of participants across the entire country:

    http://www.kiis.com.ua/materials/articles_HVE/16_linguaethnical.pdf

    The people were asked which language they prefer to take the survey in. In 2003, 40.5 preferred Ukrainian, 43.1% preferred Russian, the rest expressed no preference.

    Without Crimea or LNDR, Ukrainian is probably at around the upper 40%s or around 50%.

    The general pattern is that about 95% of the western part of Ukraine, annexed in 1939, is Ukrainian-speaking. This includes Lviv, the only large Ukrainian-speaking city in Ukraine (Lviv is probably 10%-15% Russian-speaking). This Ukrainian-speaking area accounts for about 25% of the country.

    In central Ukraine, Ukrainian is spoken in villages, small towns, and to an extent in oblast centers. But the largest city, Kiev, was generally only about 10% Ukrainian-speaking but this number has probably gone up as Westerners moved in (I didn’t notice much change last time I was there in spring 2017 but others have noted this). Village ladies who sell fruits and vegetables in Kiev markets tend to speak Ukrainian.

    In Eastern Ukraine, Ukrainian is only spoken in some very small villages. I once met someone in Moscow who spoke decent Ukrainian. His grandparents were from a village deep in Kharkiv oblast and he spent summers there as a child, in the 1970s. So there are some Ukrainian-speakers even in the far east of Ukraine.

    Of course, almost all Ukrainian-speakers know Russian and vice versa in the Center and East. For Russian-speakers in places like Kiev, Ukrainian is the language of their country cousins or grandparents. Some younger westerners might not be able to speak Russian, however.

  34. Dmitry says:
    @Maïkl Makfaïl

    Ukraine is a typical example of “low state capacity”. So, Ukrainian government is not carefully monitoring its numbers or movement of people.

    However, we can know about Ukrainians living outside Ukraine, as other countries with “high state capacity” are providing information that can determine this.

    Poland is tracking Ukrainians movement and provides a number (Ukrainians have restrictive paperwork in Poland and have renew this to continue to work). In Russia, you can infer with a time delay, from the number of applications for Russian citizenship.

    Turkey also has some information provided on the size of the Ukrainian community in Turkey.

    While in general Western Europe, you do not see such huge numbers of Ukrainians.

  35. Mr. XYZ says:
    @Dreadilk

    Yes, I specifically mentioned minority liberals here. Most minorities in the US vote for the Democrats.

  36. The open thread is dead and this is related to Ukraine so I am posting here.

    Surkov apparently now believes in “Putinsliv” and has resigned over a coming change of policy wrt Ukraine, probably due to Dmitry Kozak being assigned as a deputy head of the presidential administration.

    In the past, Surkov has said about Kozak that he only looks at the Donbass from an economic perspective, like something that needs to be given to Ukraine so that it does not generate expenses for Russia.

    https://www.bbc.com/russian/news-51248694

  37. @Spisarevski

    I doubt that Donbass will be forced to join Ukraine. First, locals would be vehemently against it. Second, Russian public would disapprove, so Putin’s support would go below the pathetic (for Russia) low forties level of 2014. As Putin wants to remain popular, this is simply impossible. To the best of my knowledge, Surkov only cares about himself, likely same as Kozak, so any meaningful decisions can be made exclusively by Putin himself.

    • Replies: @Denis
    , @AP
  38. @Spisarevski

    Yet another demonstration that every peremoga is inevitably followed by a zrada.

    I suppose we’ll have to wait and see. Putinsliv has been called too many times now for it to signify much.

  39. Denis says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Actually, I strongly suspect that that is precisely what Putin wants, given that Russia did not ever recognize the rebels officially. They seem to be trying to force Ukraine to come to an accord that will result in federalization and autonomy for the republics, thereby giving Russia a political foothold in the Ukraine as a whole.

    Ftr I don’t think this is a good idea at all.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  40. @Denis

    If that’s the plan, I agree that it is a bad one. Ukraine was a deadly bad luck charm for everyone who allied himself with it or any part of it: Swedish Karl XII, Austro-Hungary, Hitler, the USSR. If I were Russian president, I’d avoid Ukraine like a plague. Putin seems smarter than this plan implies. Anyway, I believe in experimental evidence. So, we’ll see in due time.

  41. AP says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Polls consistently show that people in Donbas would be willing to join Ukriane on conditons that are unacceptable to Ukraine: wide-ranging autonomy going far beyond normal federalism, such as freedom to avoid EU Association in their region, essentially veto-party over national policies, perhaps having their own militia, etc. This option is even more popular than annexation to and integration with Russia. I suspect it is the option of choice for local oligarchs or militiamen who don’t want Moscow’s central authority breathing down their necks, while the Sovok population goes along with what it’s told by its elites. It’s what Sovoks do.

    Total, normal integration with Ukraine is of course unpopular.

    Putin would love to hang this kind of anchor on Ukraine’s neck.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @jony
  42. @AP

    I suspect that Putin has much bigger fish to fry than pandering to Donbass oligarchs. He is not pathetic Yanuk. I also suspect that in his calculations, just like in the calculations of the Empire, Ukraine, with or without Donbass, has very low value. Both see it as a bunch of disposable sometimes useful idiots. Ukraine missed its chance to become a subject of history, and now serves as an object of limited importance.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  43. jony says:
    @AP

    Everyone is capable of groupthink. In the US we are seeing it live on camera in both political parties. It is just endless repeat of talking points, plus the accusation that the other guys are not xenophobic enough.

    There is no reason for the residents of the Donbas to trust armed Ukrainians. In 2014 a Ukrainian bomber strafed civilian people in the middle of Lugansk, and that same year they burned 100 people alive in the Trade Union building. Not a single perpetrator has been arrested in either case. They would be wise to keep their weapons nearby.

    • Replies: @AP
  44. AP says:
    @jony

    In 2014 a Ukrainian bomber strafed civilian people in the middle of Lugansk

    It was aiming for a building where rebel military leaders were meeting, missed, and killed 8 civilians next to that building.

    and that same year they burned 100 people alive in the Trade Union building

    Both sides were throwing Molotov cocktails at each other. The pro-Russians were inside a building, that ignited. Number of victims was not 100 but 42.

  45. Beckow says:
    @AnonFromTN

    You are right that Ukraine has historically been a burden. But it has a value: it has some of the best arable land and a good location. Somebody will always want it. Russia can’t really annex Donbas, it is a bridge too far – unlike Crimea there is a lot less historical-demographic-strategic justification. Donbas might just be stuck as an un-claimable territory. Large parts of Ukraine in the past ended up that way and were basically ‘wild fields’ with disputed or unclear authority.

    What puzzles me is the extreme f..k-up that Western meddlers have achieved so far. The loss of Crimea was predictable and predicted (after Kosovo), the dysfunctional Kiev government is also something they had to expect. All they have managed is to create an irritant on Russia’s border – but that irritant also irritates EU and V4 and is very expensive. And Russia can live with low-level irritation.

    There was (and probably still is) a radical plan to escalate and go for Russia’s jugular – but in every measurable way that plan is less likely to succeed than before Maidan. With 37 million cynical and often desperate people left in Ukraine, there are more problems than gains in the future. And Washington-Brussels own it now. What happens when next economic crisis hits? What happens when the ever-angry population in Ukraine explodes again? What happens if there is an accidental (or false flag) escalation? West is in no position to win, all they can do is create more chaos. If that’s the goal, they have succeeded, but there is usually a hell to pay when intentionally creating chaos in other societies. People don’t forgive.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  46. @Beckow

    Ukraine has potential value, but local population invariably ruins it and makes Ukraine’s overall impact negative.

    I am pretty sure the Empire did exactly what it wanted. It always finds the lowliest scum in every country, puts it in power, and creates chaos. In this case the chaos (like the sanctions) was intended to irritate Russia and harm the EU at the same time. Europeans did not see the trap and eagerly stepped into it. In the end, there are only two sides that will pay the price and possibly help restore some semblance of civilized order in the rump of Ukraine: Europeans and Russia. If Putin’s policies are continued, EU will pay for Russian efforts. Some EU leaders are already tumbling to this and squirming uncomfortably.

    The plans to escalate are doomed. I think even degenerate imperial elites figured that you cannot use a rotten log as a battering ram. If they didn’t, they are even dumber than I think.

    The parties hurt the most will be neighbors, and that includes Russia: there is a stream of refugees (many start as gastarbeiters, but do their best to avoid returning) in all directions, and that stream will gradually increase. For now the economic benefits for Poland and Russia are probably greater than the expense, but with increasing numbers that’s going to change. Anyway, Ukraine has already passed the point of no return, so its neighbors can only brace themselves and prepare for the worst, which won’t fail to come.

    A pity, Ukraine had a chance to become a decent country, and blew it miserably.

    • Agree: Alfred
    • LOL: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Beckow
  47. doesn’t this mean the per capita GDP in Ukraine is higher than the official numbers?

    i always see numbers between $3000 to $3500 nominal. meaning productivity in Ukraine is totally pathetic and life is terrible. Ukraine is the worst place in Europe, minus small backwater countries.

    how could it be that low? yet, the numbers are the numbers. Ukraine must have practically zero human capital, even allowing for the long lasting negative effects of the Soviet era.

    well, what if it’s 34 million per Anatoly’s figures, instead of 42 million per the decades long official figures?

    2019 GDP is about $150 billion, into 34 million citizens = $4400. still terrible, but not as terrible.

  48. Beckow says:
    @AnonFromTN

    …Empire did exactly what it wanted. It always finds the lowliest scum in every country, puts it in power, and creates chaos.

    Creating chaos is always plan B, the fall-back position, from Libya to Ukraine, from Georgia to Syria…but in a way it’s an admission of failure. The chaos is done out of spite and because it has short-term benefits, like irritating Russia and EU.

    There was a simple plan: get Russia out of its Crimean bases, get Ukraine into Nato, turn Crimea into a Nato base, and privatize land and resources for Western investors. That was the plan. They will pretend today that the goal was to “get Ukraine into EU, fight corruption, maybe plant more trees…” – whatever, people lie when their plans go awry.

    Anyone who believes that Washington think-tankers actually care about where an average Ukrainian works, how much he makes, whether they can visit Florence at will, is not living in a rational world. Those were all inducements, bribes and promises, but no Washington power-broker gives a fl..ing f..k about minutia like that. They saw an opportunity since at least 1991 to create a new strategic reality, of course they went for it.

    It failed because Maidanistas were too inept and Moscow too quick. What was left after that was living with the consequences – thus the chaos. I still maintain that Washington was mostly rational (although overly optimistic), who was naive beyond belief were the local Maidanistas, the crowds, not the leaders. They will pay for that naïveté for the rest of their lives. It is called consequences management.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @AnonFromTN
  49. Mr. Hack says:
    @Beckow

    Creating chaos is always plan B, the fall-back position, from Libya to Ukraine, from Georgia to Syria…but in a way it’s an admission of failure. The chaos is done out of spite and because it has short-term benefits, like irritating Russia and EU.

    Russia started this game of seeding chaos in Ukraine by illegally annexing the Crimea and by being behind and supporting the chaos in Ukraine. If both Russia and the US were to butt out of Ukraine’s affairs, it could pursue a Findlandization course of political neutrality for itself.

    • Replies: @Dreadilk
    , @Beckow
  50. Dreadilk says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Ukraine needs to be unified and strong enough to force US and Russia out. If it didn’t happen the first 23 years it’s not going to happen now that it was fractured.

  51. Beckow says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Who started it is a chicken-and-egg discussion. We can argue that Maidan started it, or that Yanuk’s policies started it…pointless, it happened, who cares who moved first? Intuitively it is less in Russia’s interest to have a chaos in Ukraine, they are neighbours.

    One thing we know for sure: without Maidan there would be no annexation of Crimea. Joining Nato was an explicit and often stated plan of most leaders on Maidan. Nato formally stated that Ukraine ‘will become a member‘ – it doesn’t get any clearer. The plan was to get Ukraine into Nato, and that automatically meant that Russia would have to leave its bases in Crimea. So they moved first. This is a simple story, the only reason people try to muddy it up is because truth is very uncomfortable for the West. So they lie about what the plan was.

    You can’t have ‘Finlandization’ now, things have gone too far.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @AP
  52. Mr. Hack says:
    @Beckow

    Before 2014, sure there were some in the hierarchy that wanted NATO integration, but certainly not a mojority. Bear in mind that NATO doesn’t extend its membership easily and always takes into consideration the feelings of the citizenship of the country that is being considered for membership. During this period of time, the Ukrainian populace showed little interest in having Ukraine become a member country, and no more than 15% of Ukrainians felt that NATO membership was necessary. Since Russia’s clumsy moves in Ukraine, including annexation and support of separatism in Donbas, these figures have now moved up dramatically up to 69% representing Ukrainians preference for inclusion into NATO. Because of Russia’s unfriendly moves towards Ukraine, its citizenry has now become much more open to NATO membership. Russia also had extended it lease in Crimea for 40 years, and there was no serious movement afoot to abrogate this contractual agreement. Russia only has itself to blame for this sorry state of affairs due to its heavy handed actions in Ukraine. 🙁

    • Replies: @Beckow
    , @Anatoly Karlin
  53. @Beckow

    If you are right about imperial intensions, then the optimism of imperial elites borders on clinical stupidity. Of course, they never gave a hoot about Ukraine or Ukrainians. But if they really expected Putin to watch humbly NATO grabbing naval base in Sevastopol, they are retards. On the other hand, a lot of qualified people who ran out of CIA after it was forced to “confirm” a blatant lie that Iraq had WMDs say that CIA now has only dumb careerist yes-men left. As Russian joke puts it, Ukraine without Crimea is like a purebred stallion without balls. That’s what the Empire got. It is now trying to use that cripple, but half-heartedly, without much hope. It is still good for stealing and laundering stolen money, as rampant corruption of Biden and his ilk shows.

  54. Beckow says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Your narrative doesn’t add up. There are four indisputable facts:

    – Nato said repeatedly that Ukraine will be a member – they still say it
    – The leaders of Maidan and their party programs said that they wanted to join Nato
    – Joining Nato has been a de facto prerequisite for joining EU – definitely for all eastern European countries
    – It is literally impossible to have Russian military bases in Crimea if Ukraine is in Nato. Nato is an alliance against Russia (no matter what some try to say) – so no ‘lease‘ would be honoured.

    People’s preferences are secondary, in many central and eastern European countries joining Nato was not very popular, people were lukewarm about it. Once the government said it has to be done, it was done. In any case, how could Russia take a chance? Would any other major country?

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  55. Mr. Hack says:
    @Beckow

    The leaders of Maidan weren’t in a position to dictate Ukraine’s policies. Policy changes, including NATO accession would require parliamentary deliberation and also public approval conducted through polling processes. Ukraine was far from unanimous in its desire to join NATO before 2014 and the invasion of Crimea, Donbas.

    NATO did not say that Ukraine would become a member, they were hesitant because public opinion was mostly against any such membership.

    It is literally impossible to have Russian military bases in Crimea if Ukraine is in Nato.

    All the more reason that NATO was in no big hurry to incorporate Ukraine into its structures. Now, thanks to Russia’s annexation of Crimea, Ukraine is in a much better position to enter its ranks. Like I said, and I’ll continue to say: “Russia only has itself to blame for this sorry state of affairs due to its heavy handed actions in Ukraine. 🙁”

    • Replies: @Dreadilk
    , @Beckow
    , @Alfred
  56. Dreadilk says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Are you going to play the obtuse game? In that case no country with border dispute was accepted to NATO.

  57. Dreadilk says:

    https://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/5598213.html

    Light trolling by Cassad showing Ukranians prefer to Google in Russian by a large margin.

  58. Beckow says:
    @Mr. Hack

    …The leaders of Maidan weren’t in a position to dictate Ukraine’s policies.

    Of course they were, they became the government. That’s what being a government means – look up the meaning of ‘govern’.

    NATO did not say that Ukraine would become a member

    They did, they said that Ukraine would become a member in 2008 and at every single NATO plenary meeting since then. Look up the NATO website.Why lie so blatantly?

    Ukraine is in a much better position to enter its ranks.

    No, it has an ongoing border dispute and a low level civil war, and it no longer has Crimea (the main prize for NATO), so it is in a much worse position to join. This is not about what you or people want, this is about what rulers want. It is too risky now, so they put in on hold. Joining EU would be too expensive for EU, so that has been put on hold too. Ukraine is stuck.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  59. Mr. Hack says:
    @Beckow

    Part of Zelensky’s platform was to hold a national referendum regarding whether or not it would be to Ukraine’s advantage to join NATO. Once this occurs, and a high enough majority exhibit a preference, things could change within NATO’s criteria of accepting it to their club. Or the relationship may widen, and Ukraine becomes more and more a silent partner, where it obtains more and more weapons and training, as it takes on more and more assignments around the globe (as its’ doing now, on NATO’s behalf). This would be similar to Ukraine’s involvement with the EU, where it’s not an official member, yet it takes advantage of lucrative trading with the EU economy (without having to put up with all of the globo-homo nonsense affecting genuine members). I remember when everybody at websites like this said that the EU would not open up its borders to Ukrainian tourists and workers. It doesn’t seem that unreal today.

    • Replies: @Dreadilk
  60. AP says:
    @Beckow

    without Maidan there would be no annexation of Crimea.

    Already a win for Ukraine. 1 million + fewer Russian voters who care about Russia more than about Ukraine.

  61. Dreadilk says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Ukraine is not getting that much benefit from trade with EU. It’s best benefit short term is IMF hand outs. Long term it will continue to degrade as a country. Ukraine now and Ukraine pre coup is a midget to a normal man.

    The best way to force Russia’s hand is to declare Ukraine joining NATO. Even that may not be enough since Russia is well aware of what a festering boil that is Ukraine.

  62. Dreadilk says:

    Guys AP had a gender change in his recent trip to Ukraine.

    Quick summary. Nastya the “Confederate”(she announces her self like that) was riding on a bus going from some Western region to somewhere else. She did not like that the bus driver was playing a Russian TV show or in Russian language. So she demanded that he turn it off. In European democratic tradition he asked the bus what they wanted to do. Bus passengers told Nastya the “Confederate” to go fuck her self. In clear Russian I may add. Nastya(she is also wearing dreads btw) not discouraged by such turn of events continues to demand for show to be turned off or she will leave the bus. Eventually after she was ignored five times she proceeded to point out she and her best pal were veterans of ATO and that she wants to be let off the bus this minute in the middle of the road. Not disuadded by the driver, that she should at least wait until they reach a population center, she got her wish.

    The story of Nastya the Confederate is not over. She proceeds to make the post online with the video and claim that she was thrown off the bus by the evil driver. She calls on her fellow Ukranians to find this evil man and to punish him. From the commentary it seems her audience is split and further more according to Sharij it seems like her pals are on the case.

    Now Sharij adds his own commentary saying that he is sure that once they get to the driver he will convert to loving Nastya’s Ukraine with all of his heart. According to Sharij as a premier Ukraine expert this sort of thing is happening all the time in Ukraine and people are tired of this shit.

    I have a new theory for why STD rate appears to be lower in West Ukraine. I think it has something to do with their women.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  63. Mr. Hack says:
    @Dreadilk

    Obviously, you don’t know AP very well. He’s an open minded guy who actually has a great fondness for Russian culture. He’s married to a Russian lady and their children are fluent in both Russian and Ukrainian (as is he). He regularly visits his wife’s family in Moscow and feels that it’s one of the greatest cities in the world. He continues to amaze both Karlin and myself by showing the world that one can still appreciate Russian culture while being a Ukrainian patriot. Trying to compare him with the woman in the video is ludicrous! As he’s perfectly comfortable carrying on a conversation with his children in Ukrainian publicly on a Moscow street, I’m sure that if he were on a bus ride from Luhansk to Kyiv, he’d be able to handle a TV show in Russian without freaking out.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Dreadilk
  64. AP says:
    @Mr. Hack

    We actually speak often Russian while in Lviv (my wife doesn’t speak Ukrainian, my uncle married a Russian lady and speaks Russian fluently, but no English). We’ve rarely gotten some dirty looks when addressing a waitress in Russian but tbh it’s worse for an English-speaker in Quebec City.

    Sharij is of course a fool. I usually don’t watch videos (waste of time, reading is much quicker) but sat through 10 minutes of one of his videos once. It’s the sort of crap that some idiot not from Ukraine and who had never been to Ukraine, would think is real about Ukraine. That’s his target audience. Only an idiot would take him seriously.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  65. Mr. Hack says:
    @AP

    As a kid I had the opportunity to interact with a mixed ethnic family where the father was Ukrainian and his wife was Austrian. The father spoke to the children in Ukrainian, whereas the mother spoke to them in German. The kids often spoke amongst themselves in Portugese, because they had spent their early childhood in Brazil. Now that they lived in America, the English language became the lingua-franca. This kind of stuff is becoming more and more the norm in the world. I’m curious, how good is your Polish and do you speak any other languages? My father conversed in eight languages. He would joke that when traveling throughout Europe during the WWII era, he would often be questioned “what nationality are you?” to which he would reply, “what nationality do you prefer?” His knowledge of languages was highly respected by the Germans, and once even saved his life…

  66. Dreadilk says:
    @Mr. Hack

    I was poking fun of him.

    It’s good that both of you not going to defend this lady. I was hoping you would bite.

    To AP it’s good you don’t like Sharij I am going to translate some more Sharij on Ukraine comments. I think he is the best disinfectant for your bs.

    Lastly I find it funny how both of you deepthroat multiculturalism and yet reject Russian imperialism.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @AP
  67. OT – Just to give Hitler fanboys/girls some joy. Recently in Ivano-Frankivsk (regional capital in Western Ukraine) was official funeral of former soldier of Waffen SS division Galitchina (1st Galician; in German – SS-Freiwilligen Division “Galizien”) Mihailo Murik. He was an honorary citizen of Ivano-Frankivsk. All city dignitaries were present and eulogized him. The mayor Ruslan Martsinkiv promised to name a street for Mulik. I don’t think any further comments are necessary. Except that Ukrainian writer Ivan Franko, for whom the city was named, would have been disgusted.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  68. Mr. Hack says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Maybe Murik took down a few Commies (nobody is totally bad), you know, the bad guys that you supposedly hate?

  69. Mr. Hack says:
    @Dreadilk

    Russia’s long term goals are to totally Russify everybody within their empire. The little leeway that they occasionally display for public consumption is just window dressing to cover their chauvinistic designs. Although I must admit that they’ve screwed up big time with their programs in Tatarstan. So,I don’t know about what Russian deepthroat imperial multiculturalism you’re writing about?..

  70. AP says:
    @Dreadilk

    To AP it’s good you don’t like Sharij I am going to translate some more Sharij on Ukraine comments.

    Please do demonstrate your gullibility again.

  71. Dreadilk says:

    More goodies from Sharij. Three part investigation. He obtained investigation files from the murder of Buzina.

    The investigation conclusively proves who the murderers are (nazy gang surprise surprise). Once they are arrested interesting things start to happen. There is pressure on courts and police from “nationalist” crowd. All of a sudden the people who are arrested are allowed to go under home arrest by the court. The court grants them motion to retest DNA. The accused and their relatives stop cooperation. Stop showing up to court and will not give DNA samples. Police keeps filing requests for arrest and warrants for taking DNA by force. Courts deny multiple times.

    I stopped listening at this point because I heard enough. The final part Sharij promised to show who is behind these people in government right now. Right now our killers are employed in the Ministry of Veteran affairs and are in charge of budgets where they can get a cut for them selves and their nazy friends.

    My question is how can there be a future for Ukraine under such blatant degradation of state.

    • LOL: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Dreadilk
    , @AP
  72. @Mr. Hack

    Bear in mind that NATO doesn’t extend its membership easily and always takes into consideration the feelings of the citizenship of the country that is being considered for membership.

    LOL, no, this is a complete inversion of reality.

    (1) I am pretty sure there was no majority support for NATO accession in Bulgaria, and suspect it might also have been the case in Slovakia and Czechia.

    (2) In practice, EU integration after 1991 has come “bundled” with NATO.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  73. Mr. Hack says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    This wouldn’t seem to be a problem for most Ukrainians, as I pointed out earlier, as of 2017, 69% of Ukrainians were open to NATO involvement, the percentage is probably even higher today as Russia’s support of separatism hasn’t diminished. Also, in 1995 Finland became a member of the EU and is not a member of NATO. Russia should never have stuck with Yanukovych, and should have let Ukrainians fool around with EU membership (that was not to be granted for a long period of time, or ever, anyway).

    Up until 2014, Russia was looked upon favorably by most Ukrainians, and its soft power position within Ukraine was incredibly large and robust. If it hadn’t invaded Ukraine and ripped off the Crimea, it could have used these “pluses” to its advantage and very realistically pulled Ukraine back into it orbit. But these advantages have been now negated, and Ukraine is far away from coming “back into the fold”. And for what? So that Putin could raise his popularity within Russia? These ploys would have made more sense if the leasing agreement for the naval base in Crimea was certainly in any real danger of being torn up (but it wasn’t). I hope it was worth it – to me it perfectly encapsulates Putin’s inept handling of long term strategies.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @Dreadilk
  74. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mr. Hack

    To this day, it amazes me that Yanukovych lives comfortably within Russia. He was, after all, Putin’s boy in Ukraine, however, he went rogue and seriously entertained and pursued EU advances and membership. He gave every indication that he was on board for a EU choice for a whole year before the Maidan. He’s the one that helped a majority of Ukrainians to seriously consider EU membership, and then at the very last moment tried to take this choice away from them. And for this, he’s allowed to idle away his retirement years in Russia as a protected guest? He’s the guy who blew it for Russia and is greatly responsible for the mess in Ukraine today.

    • Replies: @Alfred
  75. Dreadilk says:
    @Mr. Hack

    What were you smoking? Russia is better off with Crimea and hostile Ukraine. Ukraine was drifting from Russia while getting preferential treatment. They save money on subsidising Ukraine and get to cover their exposed strategic base.

    Ukraine has been playground of Empires for hundreds of years, a generation from now Russia will get a go at it again.

    • LOL: Mr. Hack
  76. Dreadilk says:
    @Dreadilk

    Update on this. After this investigation court trial started moving again. Sharij says there is still a lot of people who threatened the courts that got away from consequences though.

  77. Alfred says:
    @Cicerone

    Kiev has a property boom. Not the same anywhere else. There is a massive number of tall new residential buildings between the airport and the city for example.

    Some lines of the Metro are incredibly overcrowded at times – e.g line M1.

    I have been told that 1m people have moved to Kiev from the war-torn east. Salaries are a lot higher than in provincial cities.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Anatoly Karlin
  78. Alfred says:
    @Mr. Hack

    What do you propose that the Russians do to Yanukovych? cut of his balls? 🙂

    His mansion to the north of Kiev is now a public spectacle.

    Mezhyhirya Residence Museum

    By the standards of old English country houses, it is no big deal. But it impresses a lot of Ukrainians.

    Stowe House

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  79. Mr. Hack says:
    @Alfred

    Russia should never have rewarded this coward with safe haven. He failed to bring Ukraine into the Russian orbit, and was consumed with his own avarice. They should have immediately found a new horse to back in Ukraine, and cut Yanukovych free to become an international vagabond. Now, it’s too late, but I’m sure nobody would shed a tear for the bastard if he were to somehow recede into the background totally from the public sphere. A reward for his Russian duplicity and Ukrainian perfidy.

    • Replies: @Alfred
  80. Alfred says:
    @Philip Owen

    I would put the Gastarbeiters in Russia (I seem to remember 350,000 some time ago)

    At least 2,500,000 Ukrainian refugees had settled in Russia as of 2015. There are almost 5-6(-8) million Ukrainian refugees and workers in Russia

    Ukrainians in Russia (Jewpedia)

    I think this is much more realistic. I also read that the Ukrainian refugees in Russia are bringing their families. They are no longer planning to return to Ukraine one day.

    If you wish to know how Russia has been able to develop those amazing weapons so quickly, the answer is because the best talent of the Ukrainian armaments and engineering industries moved to Russia. 🤣

    Essentially, Russia is taking over Ukraine by stealth. They are taking the talented people and leaving the Nazis behind. The Jews and Nazis are trying to sell the agricultural land for a fraction of its value so that the Ukrainians become serfs as was the case 100 years ago.

    • Agree: Dreadilk
  81. Alfred says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Russia only has itself to blame for this sorry state of affairs due to its heavy handed actions in Ukraine.

    The idea that Russia is to be blamed for the USA trying to install missiles along all its borders is ridiculous. Let’s not forget that the ostensible reason for these missiles was to protect Europe from Iranian attack. 🙂

    All the countries that used to be part of the Warsaw Pact and that have switched sides are failures and losing their productive populations – the Baltic States, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia. That is not an accident. It is by design. Like the destruction of Libya, Iraq, Yemen and Syria.

    The intention of the NeoCons all along was to damage Russia by damaging its neighbours. The damaging of its neighbours has been successful. But Russia has made itself impregnable by pivoting east.

    The USA is being thrashed all the way down the line. 3 weeks ago, the Iranians proved that the Emperor has no clothes. Even the British have refused to ban Huawei. Because of all these failures and its economic impotence, the Americans have resorted to biological warfare.

    Coronavirus: the Dark Side by Godfree Roberts (UNZ.com)

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @AP
  82. Mr. Hack says:
    @Alfred

    Because of all these failures and its economic impotence, the Americans have resorted to biological warfare.

    What economic failures? The US economy is humming along just fine, unemployment is down, market figures are at all time highs – you should stop sniffing glue for a living!

    Our scientific host has written extensively about the Corona virus over the last week, 4-5 pieces recently (a little too much for my tastes), and nowhere has he mentioned that the US is behind this outbreak – perhaps you need to inform him? Anatoly, apparently you’re missing the whole picture here! 🙂

  83. AP says:
    @Alfred

    All the countries that used to be part of the Warsaw Pact and that have switched sides are failures

    Poland has seen immense economic growth since the fall of the Warsaw Pact. It is now significantly superior to Russia with respect to per capita GDP, wages, etc. Romania was once much poorer than Russia but has now been coming very close.

    Ukraine didn’t really switch sides until 2014. It tried to play one side aganst another, committing to neither. Until 2014 it was a disaster. It is finally recovering.

    losing their productive populations – the Baltic States, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia.

    All of Europe and Russia, and probably the entire First World, are losing their productive populations, some at a faster or slower pace than others. This is bad, but singling out the former Warsaw Pact when it comes to this is meaningless.

    Even worse than losing productive population, is gaining unproductive population. Here the former Warsaw Pact is in much better shape than both the Western EU and Russia which is a member of the Eurasian Economics Union with Central Asia and which has a large indigenous Muslim population.

    Percentage Muslims (Ukraine would be all white without Crimea):

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/25/Islam_in_Europe-2010.svg

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  84. AP says:
    @Dreadilk

    LOL, you believe Shariy.

    • Replies: @Dreadilk
  85. AP says:
    @Alfred

    Kiev has a property boom. Not the same anywhere else.

    Are you trying to fool the Westerners, yourself, or both?

    https://open4business.com.ua/new-residential-construction-in-ukraine-doubles-in-q1-2019/

    The total area of new residential buildings at the beginning of construction in Kyiv grew 3.3-fold in Q1 2019, to 1.1 million square meters, while in Kyiv region the growth was small, to 220,000 square meters (212,000 square meters in 2018).

    According to statistical data, the growth in the volume of new housing construction was also recorded in Lviv (3.2 times, to 377,900 square meters), Odesa (1.7 times, to 376,400 square meters), Kharkiv (1.6 times, to 231,300 square meters) and other regions.

    :::::::::::::

    Lviv has more new housing construction than Kharkiv or Odessa. Per capita, Lviv has more new housing construction than Kiev. (Lviv has about 1/4 the population of Kiev but has 1/3 the new housing). I would hate to own a home near this new building outside Lviv though:

  86. @AP

    As we’ve discussed, Russia is functionally 5% Muslim – so long as we’re associated the term with “unproductive population” – the North Caucasian ones (mostly DICh) being the only problematic Muslims. (Tatars are if anything more functional than the Russian average, Bashkirs – median level).

    Few Central Asian Gastarbeiters are settling. They are the functional equivalents of Ukrainians in Poland.

    Are you trying to fool the Westerners, yourself, or both?

    As you note yourself, though, this is a recent development (2019). And it comes after a long fallow period, and is up from a low base.

    In 2014, for instance, Krasnodar krai (population: 5-6M) had almost as much construction as all of Ukraine.

    • Thanks: Alfred
    • Replies: @AP
  87. @Alfred

    Some lines of the Metro are incredibly overcrowded at times – e.g line M1.

    Looks like Metro construction stopped around 2013…

    … while the population increased by 25%.

    So that makes sense.

    • Replies: @AP
  88. Alfred says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Russia should never have rewarded this coward with safe haven

    I heartily disagree.

    Yanukovych was never supposed to be working for Russia. The fact that he has chosen to reside in Russia is useful to the Russians. He was illegitimately deposed as Ukraine’s president in an American-organised coup. The Russians can always use his presence as a potential threat to the clique currently ruling Ukraine.

    As for being a coward, that is quite understandable. Just look at what happened to Soleimani who displeased them. It seems the Russians rescued Yanukovych from certain death. I am sure that Putin is no longer eating or drinking anything prepared by his hosts when travelling.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  89. Mr. Hack says:
    @Alfred

    What a joke. Who’s Yanukovich going to return to when he comes behind a Russian tank brigade to “liberate” Ukraine from the Nazis? His own party (PoR) all turned on him in the end (likes rats jumping off of a sinking ship) and denounced him as a Ukrainian traitor and a criminal too. Get over it Alfred, you guys need to find a new hero, Yanukovich is all washed up.

    • Replies: @Dreadilk
  90. Dreadilk says:
    @AP

    You keep saying that I will keep sticking your nose right into all the embrassment that is Ukraine like a bad dog with the help of Sharij.

    • Replies: @AP
  91. AP says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    As we’ve discussed, Russia is functionally 5% Muslim – so long as we’re associated the term with “unproductive population” – the North Caucasian ones (mostly DICh) being the only problematic Muslims.

    Turks are not really problematic either, but one includes them when considering the large numbers of Muslims in Germany.

    Few Central Asian Gastarbeiters are settling. They are the functional equivalents of Ukrainians in Poland.

    And unlike Ukrainians in Poland, Central Asians are obviously not Europeans and do occasionally engage in terror acts (though they are not nearly as troublesome as Caucasians).

    Are you trying to fool the Westerners, yourself, or both?

    As you note yourself, though, this is a recent development (2019). And it comes after a long fallow period, and is up from a low base.

    Correct but that’s besides the point. Alfred made a big lie when he wrote “Kiev has a property boom. Not the same anywhere else..”

    As we see, new housing boom in relative terms to Kiev is just as great in Lviv (which suggests new census claiming Lviv is depopulated is wrong, unless Lviv people are so rich they are building all these new houses despite losing population).

    In 2014, for instance, Krasnodar krai (population: 5-6M) had almost as much construction as all of Ukraine.

    Also correct, but irrelevant to Alfred’s point. One thing that people who lie about Ukraine do, is pretend it is always 2014 and 2015. Alfred was making claims about the present Ukraine.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  92. AP says:
    @Dreadilk

    Yes, believing Shariy is like a dog sticking its nose in another dog’s anus. You made a good analogy for once 🙂

    • Replies: @Dreadilk
  93. Dreadilk says:
    @Mr. Hack

    You really do believe this bs.

    None of the things you mentioned matter. Conquered populations don’t get to decide who rules them. I doubt this would ever happen but if Russian tanks ever did role in with Yanuk behind them. Everyone who proclaimed hatred of him will be declaring for liberator. Look how many Ukranian pols jump parties every election. Ukranians as most people are lax on the loyalty.

    More likely outcome Ukraine will either disintegrate politically or will change sides again.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  94. Dreadilk says:
    @AP

    You have bad reading comprehension.

    • Replies: @AP
  95. AP says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    It should be noted that with 52 stations Kiev has a rather dense number of metro stations. St. Petersburg has 72 stations. Kiev “officially” has about 3 million people to St. Petersburg’s 5.3 million. According to wiki, in 2015 Kiev had 1.3 million passengers daily while St.Petersburg’s metro has 2 million daily. So there was not a desperate need for new stations in Kiev, until perhaps the last 2 years, due to the very recent population boom; coming up with entirely new stations and lines takes years of planning and work, they can’t appear overnight.

  96. AP says:
    @Dreadilk

    LOL, think of it as correcting your comment

  97. @AP

    Turks are not really problematic either, but one includes them when considering the large numbers of Muslims in Germany.

    I’m not sure that’s a productive comparison either. Turkey is low 90 IQ; perhaps a Greek-like 95 in the west, but weighed down by Kurds – who make up a large proportion of the actual “Turks” in Germany.

    Tatarstan is above the Russian average at 101.0, even Bashkortostan is at 100.1. https://www.unz.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/sugonyev-2018-russian-iq.pdf

    As we see, new housing boom in relative terms to Kiev is just as great in Lviv (which suggests new census claiming Lviv is depopulated is wrong, unless Lviv people are so rich they are building all these new houses despite losing population).

    OK, good point, but I am not sure that’s really how to it works. For instance, I was in Torzhok last November (writeup soonish), a small Russian town of 50,000. Depopulating, of course. But even it had some bright new apartments being constructed that are not dissimilar from the photograph you posted. I assume that with more money, more people want to upgrade their living space, even if overall population is stagnant or even outright decline.

    Alfred was making claims about the present Ukraine.

    It would be interesting to see current comparative data. I think this turnaround has been very recent, since it was stagnant up to until at least 2018. https://genby.livejournal.com/775053.html

    It should be noted that with 52 stations Kiev has a rather dense number of metro stations. St. Petersburg has 72 stations.

    I think SPB needs many more stations, the rush hour there is no better than in Moscow (perhaps even worse).

  98. Mr. Hack says:
    @Dreadilk

    “bs…Conquered popululations”…Ukraine will either disintegrate politically or will change sides again”.

    Keep on sniffing the glue. And now (thanks to Yanukovych leaving) Ukraine has a strong military too:

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