Ukraine spirals into chaos: Poroshenko becomes billionaire while Ukraine's per capita GDP drops 75%. And there is no coal.
When we look at the convergence of events taking place in Ukraine, we see chaos constantly growing inexorably, like wildfire spreading in a totally unpredictable way.
It is this unpredictable side of events unfolding in Ukraine that makes any prediction or anticipation of future developments very difficult. What we thought yesterday would take a few weeks, may finally take months, and conversely, depending on whether more gasoline gets poured on the already burgeoning flames. But the overall trend remains the same: a constant increase in the entropy of the system called "Ukraine."
The winter promises to be particularly hard for Ukrainians this year for lack of coal.
a) the city of Mariupol is still without hot water or heat and has been for six months, on account of Mariupol's unpaid gas bills, and
b) Ukraine has to count more and more on its ill-maintained nuclear power stations, to compensate for having to shut down most of its coal-fired power plants for lack of fuel.
Three of the four million tons of coal that are currently lacking in Ukraine must absolutely be anthracite. Now, apart from the Donetsk and Lugansk Peoples Republics (DPR and LPR) which are now under total commercial blockade, the only other country that can supply this quality of coal is Russia! And this is where we see that the Russophobic policy of the current Ukrainian authorities verges on collective suicide.
The coal deficit is such that the expert Valentin Zemlyansk said that Ukraine has never experienced such a catastrophic situation, even in the 90s, after the fall of the USSR. For him, Ukraine is likely to run out of coal by the middle of winter, around January. Without coal, Ukrainians risk maximizing the use of electric heaters to compensate and not to die of cold.
Knowing that without sufficient coal deliveries, Ukraine can only rely on its poorly maintained and antediluvian nuclear power plants, it is easy to imagine the level of risk of a new Chernobyl that this situation could cause.
Can the Ukrainians can keep paying their electricity bills? Nothing is less certain, given the vertiginous fall that the Ukrainian standard of living since Euromaïdan. It was Yulia Tymoshenko herself who declared it on the set of the Ukrainian TV channel 112.
"Unfortunately, Ukraine is ranked last of all former Soviet countries in terms of GDP per capita. [...] In 2008, the nominal GDP per capita, that is, when I was Prime Minister, was $8,000 per capita. And it was one of the first in the CIS countries. And today it's $2,000 per capita ... GDP per capita has been divided by four, and in fact, that is the people's standard of living," she said.
A standard of living divided by four, there is nothing more to say: the outcome of the previous Maidan (the revolution of dignity as they call it) was a great success ...
In Kiev, meanwhile, Saakashvili continues to sow chaos, giving the Ukrainian authorities until November 7 to vote to lift parliamentary immunity, create an anti-corruption court and change the electoral system. Or else, Saakashvili promises, a new demonstration will take place in front of the Rada with 40,000 people.
The tent village stands in front of the Rada, thanks to generous funding, which pays each protester 150 hryvnias for two hours (and the food is provided), plus a travel allowance of 800 hryvnias for those who come from Mariupol, while the transport is paid for them too.
The obvious goal of Saakashvili is to remove Poroshenko, and his statements amply demonstrate it, such as the one in which he is already proposing future candidates for the post of Ukrainian President: Victor Tshoumak, Yulia Tymoshenko, and Anatolyy Grytsenko. If the former Georgian president has already foreseen possible replacements for Poroshenko, it is because the plan provides that Poroshenko will not remain at his post. QED.
And when we look at the important involvement of ultra-nationalists in this Maidan 3.0, and the provocations and attacks that hit two of them (a battalion commander and a deputy) a few days apart, we say that Kiev is a powder keg that may well soon go off.
Whether these acts were Poroshenko's failed attempts to get rid of ultra-nationalist leaders who had become dangerous to him, or provocations purposely orchestrated to excite the ultra-nationalists against Poroshenko, the end result may well be the same for the one who currently occupies the post of president.
Moreover, we can already see the beginnings, with Ukrainian radicals blockading the Roshen factory in Vinnitsa (which belongs to Poroshenko) since Saturday evening. On the same day, they announced they also wanted to block the logistics center of the company near Kiev, and said that the Roshen Candy company should be nationalized.
It must be said that the fact that Poroshenko still has not sold his company even though his position as president made the sale mandatory, and that it allowed him to continue to increase his wealth by 7% in 2016 to reach a billion dollars, while the Ukrainian population has seen its standard of living divided by four in a few year s --, this is enough to incite not just the ultra-nationalists but the rest of the population as well.
And what's better in such a situation than diverting the attention of the disaffected population towards a good war? Especially when your boss, sorry, American partner, gives you the green light ... Because this is how one should interpret the authorization that Kurt Volker (US representative in Ukraine) gave Kiev to officially call Russia the "Aggressor state." This is tantamount to a blank check to restart large-scale war in Donbass.
A fear expressed by Alexander Hug, the deputy head of the OSCE MSS in Ukraine, in view of the increasing number of cease-fire violations in a month:
"All these violations are nothing but a smoldering conflict, and nobody knows at what stage [of the conflict] we are now. We can not ignore the facts and hope that the situation will remain the same. The gradual increase in the number of violations coupled with the presence of prohibited weapons, and the close deployment of forces and facilities are a wake-up call that we must seriously consider," said Hug at a meeting in Kiev.
The OSCE now fears a resumption of hostilities that will be extremely rapid, brutal and totally unpredictable.
However, given the state of the Ukrainian army, this would amount to a pure and simple collective military suicide. Never has a modern army had losses out of combat (10,103 in three years!) Almost as high as its official combat losses (10,710)! Only the Ukrainian army has achieved this feat.
Of course the Ukrainian staff is challenging the figures of the military prosecutor general to try to save face. But Matios has a much higher credibility capital than the Ukrainian General Staff since he repeatedly unveiled the corpses the genstaff was trying to hide in its closets (like the Tornado Battalion for example).
These alarming figures have led Franz Klintsevich, Vice-Chairman of the Defense and Security Committee of the Council of the Russian Federation, to say that "the Ukrainian army has embarked on a spiral of self-destruction." Unfortunately for Ukraine, it is not only its army that has embarked on such a spiral, it is the whole country that is heading straight for annihilation.
Translated from French by Tom Winter for Fort Russ