War Room Facebook Against the Russians

Ukrinform reports…

Ukraine should not allow division of the society during elections because it will be used by the Russians.

This was said on a press conference, by the president of the National Democratic Institute (NDI, USA). Derek Mitchell, while analysing the pre-election environment in Ukraine.

“Social divisions, we have to be careful about those… The Russian will take advantage of any element of social division. They are opportunists… they will find those divisions and they will exploit them. So one way to prevent it, or to inoculate one self against it, is to allow for the natural political debate, political contest to go on. But ensure that political contest does not bleed into use of techniques or messages that exacerbate social division. We make that point in the statement. Once you do that, once you play on some of the foundational issues of the country, then the Russians can much more easily play indirectly but also through digital platforms like Facebook or others. So that’s why we call for Facebook explicitly to leave the office in Moscow and come to… they can maybe have it in Moscow…  but have also an office in Kiev. With Ukrainian speakers. The folks, who are focused 24/7, in a war room environment, they had this for our election, recent mid-term election. For others, if they test it, kind of 24/7 war room to ensure their platform is not misused for misinformation, for hate, to exacerbate social divisions that create instability, to really undermine a society… in a country. So, I think there are responsibilities by those on the outside not to create problems, there is certainly more need for more digital literacy in internally, so people know what they are seeing and identify when they are being exploited potentially by Russian disinformation. You can for instance, we talked about advertisements on TV, which should be marked, who are the funders of that. So there is… more transparency the better. The more that society is working together during the electoral period and there is confidence in the process. Then the Russians have less ability to exploit those divisions for their own ends. So there are things that can be done, even if they try through other methods to hurt the stability, security and unity of the country.”

That’s enough…

Fashy Camp for Children

Number of western outlets (see Daily Mail, and this major Czech newspaper) reprinted an Associated Press story about a camp organised by Svoboda party that teaches kids to kill Russians, and about the toxicity of West European leftism…

It begs a question, why suddenly does the American press see fashiks in Ukraine? I thought they were rather cool with that in Washington.

I quote from the AP story:

“We never aim guns at people,” instructor Yuri “Chornota” Cherkashin tells them. “But we don’t count separatists, little green men, occupiers from Moscow, as people. So we can and should aim at them.”

It is important, he says, to inculcate the nation’s youth with nationalist thought, so they can battle Vladimir Putin’s Russia as well as “challenges that could completely destroy” European civilization.

Among those challenges: LGBT rights, which lecturers denounce as a sign of Western decadence.

“You need to be aware of all that,” said instructor Ruslan Andreiko. “All those gender things, all those perversions of modern Bolsheviks who have come to power in Europe and now try to make all those LGBT things like gay pride parades part of the education system.”

During a break in training, a teenager played a nationalist march on his guitar. It was decorated with a sticker showing white bombs hitting a mosque, under the motto, “White Europe is Our Goal.”

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Yuri “Chornota” Cherkashin

Does This All Mean the Future of Donbass is With Russia?

I was recently watching a recent podcast of Egor Prosvirnin of Sputnik & Pogrom fame…

In it, Prosvirnin regrets (much like I do) the recent elections in Donbass, which could have been used to legitimise local governments, were instead planned in a classically Putinist way to have a predictable outcome, which would result in the victory of a candidate easily manipulable by Moscow’s curators.

Nevertheless, Prosvirnin brings attention to the words of Alexey Chesnakov, the director of Centre for Political Conjuncture, who according to Prosvirnin is a mouthpiece used for communication with the public of Vladislav Surkov, the person Kremlin made responsible for Donbass. According to Chesnakov:

“…the electoral campaign, and unprecedented voter turnout have shown high support of the citizens to a course chosen by the government of the republics in 2014. It is a definitive victory of pro-Russian electorate, and pro-Russian forces.”

This is an unprecedented acknowledgement of the interests of the Donbass peoples from somebody purportedly a spokesman for the Kremlin. Of course, the system does not imply annexation by Russia but it is a confirmation of the situation in which the two republics are dependent territories of Russia. Does it mean abandonment of the failed effort to impose federalisation upon Ukraine? I can’t say!

Meanwhile recently, on the other side in Kiev, the Foreign Minister of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin, or whoever writes posts on his Twitter, has once again demonstrated the unwillingness and inability of Kiev to integrate Donbass.

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The occupied Donbass, as a Russian colony, cannot be artificially embedded into civilised and democratic Ukraine. We can discuss transitional period, various approaches and modalities but not this fundamental principle. There will be free, Ukrainian, European Donbass in Ukraine!

The idea that Donbass, with its current consciousness is somehow unfitting for Ukraine is not new. Klimkin’s above Tweet is just a sanitised repeat of the street version. Klimkin however acknowledges Donbass’ dependence upon Russia in the wake of Donbass elections, much in tune with what Chesnakov said.

And finally, check out a new video that I posted on my youtube channel, it allegedly comes from Lugansk on election day. It suggests a lot…

Ukraine’s Outflow of Workers: Why The Crisis is Only Deepening

Deutsche Welle Ukrainian service reports…

Even though Ukrainian firms are trying to keep their workers, they are filling the ranks of labour migrants. And higher salaries are not the only impulse that drives them.

Not even favourable location, where there aren’t any other large firms, not even increase in salary, not even bonuses for workers saved a firm with German investment ,the Private limited company “Elektrokontakt Ukrayina”, in the Lvov region, from the lack of workers. The factory of 2.5 thousand workers makes electrical equipment for German cars. The number of orders the firm receives is constantly growing but the number of workers, especially with the beginning of spring, is on the contrary dropping.

The director of HR of the company Roman Kuybida explains:

“Abroad, seasonal works begin and workers often go there to make money. After the season is over they come back, and the majority wants to work for our firm. Their main argument is usually salary, which is higher over there than in Ukraine.”

To keep workers, the factory constantly improves upon the conditions of work, in particular they increase the salary. The median salary is now 9.5 thousand HRN for the manufacturing personnel. Apart from that, the workers are being offered opportunity for career growth, official employment, free healthcare, transport to work, cheap meals, and so on.

Kuybida continues:

“The shift is eight hours in our factory, safe conditions for work. In Poland, to receive a decent salary, for instance twice that as in Ukraine, one ought to work 12 hours per day.”

Why Ukrainians are leaving for abroad

Millions of Ukrainians are working abroad. We do not have exact statistics as to the number of Ukrainians who became labour migrants. The counting is complicated by the fact that many people work illegally, or on seasonal basis. But this trend continues even now. In September, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pavlo Klimkin estimated the volume of labour migration out of Ukraine could be million persons per year.

The fact of significant outflow of workers from Ukrainian firms was also mentioned at the Federation of Ukrainian employers. The director of the federation, Ruslan Illichov says:

“The staff shortage crisis caused by the outflow of workers abroad is the result of a badly thought out policy which was conducted in the country for years. Ukraine was built up as a resource exporting country. In such countries where industries with low added value are developed, there cannot be high salaries.”

According to him, Ukrainian employers no longer have the reserves to further increase salaries. The reason he says is the increase of financial burden on business, in particular the growth of tariffs, by 30% the tariff on gas in September-October.

Ruslan Illichov asks rhetorically:

“We are now calculating a yearly plan of production. We are including the cost of wages, energy, and other expenses. And suddenly the state increases the tariff by 30%. What should as entrepreneur do? How can I plan to increase the salary under these conditions?” 

The experience of the Lvov region

In Lvov region they hoped that the increase in wages by employers would be stimulated by the arrival of new investors.

The head of Lvov Region State Administration, Oleh Synyotka said:

“Competition between firms would automatically lead to increases in salary.”

In 2017, the Lvov region even took sixth place in Ukraine as to the amount of investments received. But а jump in salaries hasn’t been felt. The median salary in the region is 8415 HRN, slightly lower than median Ukrainian salary.

The government of the Lvov region has recently decided to complicate life to agencies that search employment for Ukrainians abroad. According to the politicians, the activity of these agencies is one of the main reasons behind outflow of workers abroad.

In September, the head of administration suggested at a meeting to restrict advertisement to such businesses but has rejected this idea in an interview with DW.

“We cannot prohibit a company, which does not break the law from advertising. That’s illegal. I am just saying that we shouldn’t support activity which is detrimental to the state. Moreover, if there are violations in this business, the state ought to react to such violations. There cannot be cases that a company which engages in the export of people has no license. That’s why we have directed a submission to Ministry of Social Policy to inspect these companies.”  

The head of All Ukrainian Association of International Employment Companies Basil’ Voskoboinyk doubts that such an initiative can influence the flow of labour.

“According to data of a sociological research which we have ordered from the sociological group “Rating”, 59 percent of Ukrainians look for job abroad through relatives, friends or colleagues. It is therefore overstated that taking down work agencies would decrease the flow of migrants abroad.” 

Although, he acknowledges that plenty of scammers without a license work on the market. In his opinion, if as the result of inspections only legal recruiting agencies remain, this will be of benefit because people will travel to real employers.

The salary is not the only impulse

However, Ukrainians are leaving not only for higher salaries as we were reminder in the Federation of Employers. According to a study which they ordered last year, 40% of labour migrants polled that apart from salary they have other reasons to leave the country, that is instability in the country, lack of fair social policy, [lack of] security, poorly developed healthcare.

Ruslan Illichov expalins:

“Today there are cases where absolutely competitive salary, comparable to Polish is offered. But the people are still leaving because they do not see a future here. It’s politics, which does not depend upon employers.”

Oleh Synyutka also admits that it is not just the salary which is the reason behind migration of Ukrainians. However he gives also different arguments:

“Very often, the people are fleeing their personal problems, from [their] responsibilities. They find it easier to be far away, to once per month send money to [their] families, and to think that they have done their duty to [their] families this way. Therefore it is necessary to instill family values. And that is a collective task of family, church and society.” 

***

Earlier this website published the words of Olga Pishchulina from the Razumkov centre, who said Ukraine is fast losing her human capital.

“Azov” Nazis Erected an Idol of Veles

In one of the villages of the Chernigov region Ukrainian Nazis, militants from the punitive “Azov” battalion, established a pagan “place of power” and also installed a wooden idol for the purpose of carrying out ceremonies there. This was reported by the head of the Kiev branch of the radical National Corpus organisation, which was founded on the basis of the neo-Nazi “Azov” regiment, Sergey Filimonov on his Facebook page.

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“An idol of Veles which we have, together with friends set up in the village of Kachanovka. [It is] a place of power with incredible nature and very hospitable people. The perfect place for agro-tourism.”
Reprinted from Stalker

Ghouls As Anti-Post-Soviet Archetypes

I would like to talk about the stark similarities between the rehabilitation of Stalin and the USSR in Russia and the rehabilitation of Bandera and UPA in Ukraine…

As the two countries came out of the shadow of Communism and gained sovereignty, the cults of Bandera, Shukhevych, the UPA on one hand, and Stalin and the USSR on the other were rather marginal. As Levada polling shows the popularity of Stalin in the early nineties was rather marginal. It is something that steadily grew steadily over the nineteen nineties. Before the second Maidan, Russian Stalinophilia even spilled over to Russian speaking regions of Ukraine at one point. In 2010, Communists in Zaporozhie set up a bust of Stalin, which stood there for 7 months. It was first decapitated and then blow up on Bandera’s birthday on 1st January 2011.

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LEVADA: Please name 10 most outstanding individuals of all time and out of all nations? 1.Stalin, 2.Putin, 3.Pushkin, 4.Lenin, 5. Peter I.

In 1997, the British researcher Andrew Wilson claimed the appeal of “narrow ethnonationalism” is limited by “historical, ethnic, linguistic factors”. Wilson noted however that Ukrainian nationalism had “images-2.jpga strong emotive appeal to a minority, who may thus undermine Ukraine’s attempts to construct an open civic state.”

Fast forward 20 years and the nationalist agenda seems to have gained the upper hand over the civic and multiethnic alternative. Not only the nationalist agenda for the linguistic sphere, that is affirmative action for the Ukrainian language been implemented, the state accepts the nationalist point of view on historical events. The secession of Crimea and Donbass has removed much of the Russian element which previously formed a formidable opposition to Ukrainisation attempts and other aspects of the Ukrainian nationalist agenda. What remains of the Russian element in the South and East of the country is now seriously weakened as an opposition force.

This arguably is the biggest difference the cult of Bandera in Ukraine has with the Russian cult of Stalin. In Russia, while many influential people are engaged in popularising Stalin, the state itself has not endorsed Stalin. And there are even instances, when the state opposes monuments to Stalin. Recently in Novosibirsk, local Art’s Council rejected a bust of Stalin that was to be installed in the city on the initiative of the Communist Party. Putin himself said in interview to Oliver Stone that Stalin was a controversial figure which ought to be seen in it historical context. The Gulag Archipelago by Solzhenitsyn is included in literature programme in Russian schools.

This is a qualitatively different attitude from Ukraine. Due to differing historical circumstances (two Maidans, secession, and civil war), the rehabilitation of Bandera has been much more endorsed by the state. There is “Prospect of Stepan Bandera” in Kiev now but Moscow still waits for its Stalin Street. It appears most Stalin streets in Russia are in the republics of North Caucasus. Certainly, Moscow and the majority of big cities is still untouched, perhaps in the future the Russian Stalinophiles will get enough influence to immortalise their moustached idol in the capital.

While there definitely is a qualitative difference between the two phenomena, there is a similarity when it comes to motivation. The growth of both of these appears to be a reaction to the failed transformation from planned economy to capitalism, and from the rule of one party to pluralism. High levels of poverty, political instability, rule by robber barons, in both countries has caused some people to look up to these rather ghoulish figures. You often hear the Ukrainian nationalists shout at their marches: “Bandera, priyde, poryadok navede!”, which means “Bandera will come, he will establish order!” They want a new order, not the current one established in the nineties. Surprisingly, or rather not, the Stalinophiles think in the exactly same way.

Enjoy videos of the troglodytes below:

The Americans Urge Ukraine not to Give Preference to Ukrainian Coal

You can’t make this up…

Strana.ua reports

US Embassy has voiced its opposition to preferences to Ukrainian coal

The Americans are unhappy about the government measures directed towards the support of the coal industry, which the Ukrainian government plans to enact.

Strana learned that the US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch wrote a letter to the Prime Minister Volodymyr Hroysman, in which she asked [the government] to “reject the idea of the Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry regarding the priority of purchasing electrical energy that was created using domestic coal (of the gaseous group) over that which was created using imported (anthracite coal).”

The ambassador puts forward the argument that last year the Anti-Monopoly Committee of Ukraine already blocked a similar project as a discriminatory and deterring competition on the market.

It says in the letter:

“We think that this suggested decision would in fact restrict the country’s access to diversified sources of energy, and that’s why it will weaken [her] energy security.” 

It is apparent that [the letter] talks about imports of coal from the US, which has already acquired a name in Ukraine: “Pennsylvania plus.”

In the letter it is, in fact, clearly suggested that “Pennsylvania plus” can, just in case, be cut off.

“Last year we celebrated Ukrainian purchase of coal from the US as a step towards energy security of your country. And the measures, that are currently being looked at, are seen as restricting Ukraine’s access to global markets.”

By the way, in 7 months of the current year, the share of anthracite from the US was 31% out of all coal imports. According to the scheme, “Pennsylvania plus”, [the Americans] have delivered 0.5 billion worth of coal.

It is also said in the letter that [giving] priority to the use of Ukrainian coal could cause the electrical energy to be more expensive, and would force the companies using electrical energy to limit their production of energy. This would lower the attractiveness of the Ukrainian energy market and could abort the privatisation of “Centrenergo”.

The authenticity of the letter was confirmed to us by the president of the Independent Union of Miners, Mikhail Volynets, who also posses an identical copy of the letter.

Interestingly, on 26 October there was a government meeting the topic of which was coal industry. According to Volynets, the protocol decision of this meeting  has emerged, the copy of which is also in possession of Strana.

The document contains the recommendation of the Prime Minister Volodymyr Hroysman to the Minister of Energy Nasalyk to take immediate measures to correct the situation until the end of this year.

Among the measures, the Ministry of Energy would within a week (which in fact ended last week) prepare a project of an act about the definition of priority of Ukrainian coal for the production of electrical energy.

The president of the Union of workers of the coal industry, Victor Turmanov who was presented at the meeting on 26 October confirmed to Strana they were promised money for modernisation of the shafts.

“We have asked for 4.8 billion hryvnia for the next year. In the projected budget there is only 650 million for liquidation of the shafts (the reform plans to close unpromising shafts) and 1.6 billion for everything else” 

According to his words if the money is received, in seven months we can expect increase in production from 11 thousand tons per day to 30 thousand tons.

“It will not happen sooner because we need to buy machines and go through modernisation.”

According to Turmanov the purchase of domestic coal is more lucrative because the imported coal is more expensive (currently the price is 110 dollars for a ton, and the price will only grow). But in order to switch to gaseous coal of the “G”mark, which is being mined in Ukraine, from the imported anthracite, the boilers would have to be refitted.

The situation at shafts is very tense. People did not receive their salary for several months.

***

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Get a hold of this: “The US Ambassador to Ukraine told Hroysman that Ukraine must reject prioritising domestic coal over imported because it damages market competition. She threatened restricting Ukraine’s access to global markets in case [of adoption].
Source

Earlier this blog reported Ukraine plans to buy 72% of her imported coal from Russia in 2019.