Latest Stories: Ukraine in Crisis
Ukraine in Crisis
Many people expected Ukraine would become a more democratic country with more opportunities of freedom and development, after the Orange Revolution – a series of protests and political events that took place in the country from late November 2004 to January 2005. In fact for the last several years, the emerging middle class has occurred.
The US-started financial crisis, however, has severely hit the country. Ukraine became one of the recent three countries that without IMF aids, it would face its default. Although one may still be able to see the rich, or the emerging middle class, in Kiev or other cities, at the same time, he or she can see the homeless, beggars, vendors just dealing tiny street business, or very elder laborers working on hard manual jobs at so many areas in the country.
The economic turmoil would be worse in the Eastern parts, or the industrial regions of Ukraine. A large number of the Eastern populations depend on the factory jobs, like those of Donetsk. However, many factories are started to lay off workers and to face the closures. For an example, a coalmine factory called as Kuybyshev is expected the closure this coming February. More than 70 % of the 2,000 workers are already fired, and most of the current workers still in Kuybyshev factory have not been paid for the last two months or so.
This economic situation would also help deteriorate or split the Ukrainian political landscape. After the Russia –Georgia War, or the 2008 South Ossetia War, the coalition of Prime Minister Tymoshenko's Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko and President Viktor Yushchenko's Our Ukraine–People's Self-Defense Bloc was already put at risk due to the differing opinions on the war, then later collapsed: Yulia Tymoshenko disagreed with Yushchenko's condemnation of Russia, and since then, she has taken rather pro-Russian stance. Now the country is facing the severe economic crisis. The more people feel their hardship, the more they have the tendency for pro Russia, or the more they feel the nostalgia of the Russian Empire, especially in Crimea or the Eastern parts of the country where many people are Russians or most people are naturally pro-Russia. In addition, the vast majority of energy of Ukraine, since its independence, depends on Russia. With these realities, even in Kiev, some large anti government, yet pro-Russian, protests has been occurring, reflecting the polarization of the country’s views.