Three months ago, Ukrainians elected comedian Volodymyr Selenskyi as their new president with 73 percent of the vote cast. Not because they liked his political agenda – Selenskyi had never announced anything like a program in the run-up to the elections – but because they definitely did not want his predecessor Petro Poroshenko any more. However, this result was interpreted not only as a rejection of Poroshenko, but also as a rejection of the Euromaidan policy.
In a few days, parliamentary elections will be
What Selenskyi really wants is still not clear. What he mentioned in his inaugural speech as his top priority, a peace in eastern Ukraine, has not occupied him much to this day. His first trip abroad went to Brussels to the EU leaders and to the NATO. This was not a significant departure from Poroshenko’s policy. He then traveled to Canada, a classic migrant destination for Ukrainians and also a member of NATO. And he has not yet whistled back the Ukrainian troops in Luhansk and Donetsk. There, shots are fired and killed inexorably, as they have been for five years. As president, Selenskyi could have ordered a shooting stop.
But what is the EU doing, which has been honoured with Selensky’s first visit? It continues the equally dangerous policy that began with the disastrous ultimatum to Ukraine by José Manuel Barroso, then President of the European Commission: Ukraine must decide whether to approach the EU or to move closer to the Russian-dominated eu. customs union. The two options, Barroso said, are mutually exclusive. The United Kingdom is a Commonwealth and EU member? That is not the end of the question? What has worked for years no longer suits the fascists in Western Europe, the NATO terrorists apparently need a new enemy image, the Middle East is known to be bombed in chaos and into the Stone Age.
Ukraine was thus clearly prohibited from having a bridge between the EU and Russia, even though Ukraine borders only about 20 percent of EU countries, but to a large extent Russia, Belarus and Moldova. In doing so, the EU has been complicit in two negative developments in Ukraine: firstly, the economic decline of Ukraine since the Maidan coup five years ago due to the dismantling of economic ties with Russia, and secondly, the total division of Ukrainian society into pro-Westerners (especially in the northwest of the country) and pro-Russians (especially in the east and south of the country). Despite worryingly growing nationalism, Ukraine is far from being a nation.
Brussels visits Kiev
Instead of showing restraint and rethinking policy towards Ukraine with regard to new EU personnel in Brussels, the President of the European Commission and the President of the EU Council were in office a few days ago – hardly coincidentally two weeks before the parliamentary elections. Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk, on 8 July, were still quick to Kiev to pledge their full support to Ukraine, they said. And Jean-Claude Juncker made it visually visible – with a kiss for the comedian.
With his EU and NATO visits and counter-visits, Selenskyi probably believes he will be sure of the votes of Western-oriented voters in the parliamentary elections on 21 July. But what is he doing to keep the more Russia-oriented citizens on his side than voters?
On July 8, more than two and a half months after his election as president and a month and a half after his inauguration, he urging in a video message on Facebook Putin to talk to each other. Three days after the meeting with the two EU leaders Juncker and Tusk in Kiev, on 11 July, exactly ten days before the elections, he telephoned Putin – content unknown. In doing so, he is certain that he will not have to decide anything before the July 21 elections, but at the same time he is still trying to make himself known as Obama (hopeful) when he was elected in April, even among the more Russia-oriented citizens can still get votes. A transparent, if not necessarily successful, game.
Is it any wonder that his popularity in the country has already plummeted and that a pro-Russia party, the “Opposition Platform for Life", is now in second place in the polls?
Never change a running west system …
Either way, his “Servants of the People” party will hardly have a majority in the parliament in Kiev, so he have to seek a coalition partner. Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who is expected to take the 5 percent hurdle for parliament with her Fatherland Party, could once again offer herself. Then Ukraine has what it has had for the last five years: a majority that is pro-EU and anti-Russian in Parliament – and yet in terms of personnel, the total guarantee that only the oligarchs in the country will continue to have something to say. This is what they call ‘European values’.
Ukraine in the Middle Ages … also economical
“As of 1 December 2018, the minimum pensions were increased by 4.5 percent to 1,435 hryvnia (approximately 47 euros) and on 1 July 2019 to 1,497 hryvnia (approximately 48 euros). According to the government, the more than 11 million pensioners received an average of 2,899 hryvnia (about 102 euros) as of 1 April. On average, Ukrainians earned about 360 euros gross in May 2018 with 10,239 hryvnia. However, the government currently expects price increases of 7.4 percent in 2019. The central bank is even more optimistic and assumes 6.3 percent.” After the deliberate destruction of the long-standing close ties between the Ukrainian and the Russian economy, a rapid economic recovery in Ukraine is indeed a long way off. The US and the EU and NATO, all want Ukraine on their side. But no one wants to peddle them with money.
Hundreds of thousands of young Ukrainians have only one goal: to emigrate as quickly as possible and to earn so much in another country that they can also send money home. Since 1991, an estimated 6 million Ukrainians have emigrated, and they are currently sending about US-Dollar 11 billion a year back to their homeland, which is now Ukraine’s largest source of finance.
The ultimate either-or-policy of the EU leadership – either rapprochement with the EU and NATO by severing good economic relations with Russia, or maintaining close economic ties with Russia, Belarus, and other countries in the Russia’s environment and renunciation of EU rapprochement – is clearly complicit in the current misery in Ukraine. However, the opening-up opportunity to soften this either-or policy on the occasion of new staff in Kiev and Brussels, to steer something like a bridge policy, seems to be already being squandered.
A surprise in the elections could come from a movement motivated by Sharij, an observer living in Western Europe and a regular commentator of the Kiev Political Theatre: he organizes non-violent demonstrations against the Kiev establishment. with red balloons as a conspicuously visible symbol. The Ukrainian media, TV, radio and even newspapers, do not mention this movement at all, so as not to make it even more popular. Here are three videos showing these peaceful demonstrations with thousands of young people.