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From Stability to Nowhere

From Stability to Nowhere
Kalashnikov Maxim 24.10.2012

Private impressions from the capital of Novorossiya about today’s Ukrainian elections. If not for the Kremlin idiots, Ukraine can be taken back

“From stability – to wellbeing!” - pre-election posters of Party of Regions (analog of "United Russia") in Ukraine say. All to elections on October, 24th.

But having spent in native Odessa reallythe capital of Novorossiya) a month, I was once again convinced: Ukraine – is really in the deadlock. It fluctuates between the variant of following the Russian variant with Putin (with Yanukovych's face) and full brothel.

ODESSA, 2012 …

Who told that Odessa is the central Ukraine? Nonsense. Odessa – Novorossiya's capital, capital of a strip lining across Northern Black Sea Coast. From Transdniestria in the west – to Kuban in the east. People in Odessa never spoke Ukrainian, they speak the great Russian language, though in a special form. There were practically no Banderovites in Odessa.

Here am I again in the native city. It’s the eighth time after death of the Soviet Union. I am met by Gleb - businessman in the field of high technologies.

- Do you know, Maxim, that not 45 million people actually live in Ukraine, as they say officially, but already 37 million? – he asks. – Number is inflated artificially. Certainly, not all died out, a part simply went in search of better lot. But they are not "written out", they are registered as though living in Ukraine …

- Yes, - I answer, - big progress. Especially if to consider that over 50 million people lived in 1991 in the USSR. Ukraine is simply getting devastated. The number of pensioners already equals to number of payers into pension fund ….

- You are right! – my interlocutor nods. – You write that it’s bad in Russia. Believe me: you are living simply in paradise in comparison with Ukraine. Here – full poverty. Salaries are several times less. Not a bloody thing remained from industry. I drove 94 kilometers from Pervomaisk of Nikolaev region to Kirovograd. Not a booth or shop along the road. Full desolation …

- I know, - I sigh in reply. – While I went here I heard in Vinnytsia the Russian cop talking to his Ukrainian colleague on the platform. It appeared that the Ukrainian policeman has five times less salary than his Russian colleague. Here many consider Putin almost the god. I know that the center of Ukraine is getting obsolete. Kirovograd is in general planned to deprive of the status of the regional center. People from there run to earn their living to Odessa. While salaries in Odessa – is at most the third of the Moscow ones…

Gleb is living well. His firms work from outsourcing of the rich western companies.

Oh, how little remains from that developed Odessa of 1985 where I lived! There is no more BLASCO - largest in Europe. Seamen are engaged in "crewing" – they get employed on foreign vessels. My school friend Oleg Bondarenko works on a rotation basis on chisel vessel near the coasts of Brazil, he works for "Petrobraz". His son also followed his way. Though whether it will last long? After all it’s getting more and more difficult to train seamen: there is no steam navigation - smithies of the staff. Oleg became the ship officer in the USSR. While where should young generation study? Where should they get experience?

The list of closed since 1991 factories in Odessa – as martyrology. Well-known crane plant Yanvarskoe Vosstanie ("Krayan") – on the back. There are no more well-known precision machines from Odessa going in the early eighties for export. "Holodmash", "Epsilon" – all on the back. The port of Odessa hasn’t reached the Soviet indicators of goods turnover.

I again see there Rabbit – my other school friend. Now he is – the customs broker and the importer of household electronics. Things are going badly. The stream of cargoes leaves to Romania, to Constance. There services of port are better and cheaper. Ukraine didn’t recovered from a blow of crisis in 2008 and joining the WTO. Trade is sharply cunning down: people have no money for new household goods. The salary in one thousand dollars a month is considered being a big shot.

Odessa itself, as always, is magnificent and cordially. There are signs of restaurants and entertaining institutions here. But the city can't have only them! It also needs merchant marine fleet, industry and science. Where are they? Remained in the Soviet Union. Here you start noticing that Odessa is trying to hold on – there’s let beautiful and picturesque but poverty there. There are always no change in dining rooms and cafe. Five people can eat a lot in the dining place "Fry and Steam" for two hundred hryvnias (800 rubles), but attempt to pay off with a piece of paper in 500 hryvnias afflicts the cashier. “It’s big money for us…” - she sadly says looking at my suntanned family. This story repeats in other places.

All over they posters of Party of Regions. “From stability – to wellbeing”. Only to whose?

IMPERIAL CITY

Odessa was and remains imperial city. It’s, sea gate of the Russian Empire and the USSR, it reminds now the triumphal arch attached to the provincial Ukrainian farm. The arch, still keeping former beauty, is getting scattered.

Odessa needs uniform country, not provincial Ukrainian independence. Signs and advertisement in Odessa are following old law – in the Ukrainian adverb. But in the city all speak a little modified great Russian language and are proud of Pushkin. These days they implemented (85% voices of the City Council) law on the regional status of the Russian language. It is obvious that soon signs and advertisements in Odessa will be replaced, violent Ukrainization will recede at least in this part. What excellent TV channel "Academy" (odessa36.tv) works in Odessa! The Russian, great-power, it all the time kicks followers of "the Ukrainian independent". Stalin is being much respected there, they compare there achievements of the USSR during 20 years since 1917 and shattering "achievements" of Ukraine for the same period from 1991.

But my friends don't have illusions here. Eases on language – only concession, attempt to distract attention. “It was easier when "orange" governed there, they were glad to each kopek, they accept small bribes. Then Donbass "mobsters" came and took simply everything under their control, they took the best property. They monopolized everything that brings money. The same import: its revenues. Dissatisfied are being elementary pressed. Yanykovich simply copies Putin …”

PROJECT CRISIS

You especially distinctly understand in Odessa: Ukraine is nearing its end – as it earlier happened to the Russian Federation. Both here and there – hopelessness. Followers of the idea of independent Ukraine continue chatting about “eurointegration of Ukraine”, but it’s clear to all now: Ukraine will never be in Europe. It will get rid of a number of countries as from a ballast, it has a lot of problems and it has no enough means. Unless it needs one more poor, endangered, de-industrialized Ukraine? Consequently depression and crisis is in the former Ukrainian SSR. Where to go further? After all we dangle between the Russian Federation and Europe. Neither this way, nor that. To reunite with the Russian Federation? But there – the same ugliness, domination of "mobsters", corruption, deindustrialization and poverty. Only one way out remains: to go to ear Poland, where average salary per month is one thousand dollars. Almost as in the Russian Federation.

I speak with old workers. There are no people to work! Qualification of youth – zero.

I read local business publications. Legions of jobless lawyers, economists, office clerks and advertisers in the employment bureau. While it’s a big problem to find the lathe hand, the serviceman, the milling-machine operator. The highways are bad and there is no money for their construction. Acquaintances add: they steal in the independent Ukraine the same way as in the Russian Federation.

The most important thing: well, you win elections – and what further? Beautiful conversations about freedom and democracy? But how to provide good income to your citizens? How to construct the modern industry instead of destroyed Soviet for the sake of it and at the expense of what? Where could appear money and the most important – people? What to produce at these new plants (even if they will appear) if the world is already flooded with the goods from Asia? There – new industry and five times cheaper credits, there people to work and birth rate is high. Both in China and in Turkey. Even in Poland – things are going on better, but for the demography.

Here you understand: if there would be the Russian power now in the Russian Federation - honest and hard-working, pursuing reasonable economic policy – and Ukraine could be taken almost barehanded. For Russia which lifted its real sector and gave its citizens both human life and high earnings could recover enterprises in Ukraine, having restored cooperation chains. Having given full-time job to the same port in Odessa. Having reanimated shipyards in Nikolaev.

No, these elections in Ukraine won't solve anything, It will all the same fluctuate between the power of criminals and brothel. Which again will lead to the next variant of criminal oligarchy. In passing Ukraine will continue growing old and obsolete. At complete crisis of a goal-setting in “the young state”.

You especially clear understand in Odessa that the destiny of the former Ukraine will all the same solved in the Russian Federation. If we ourselves will get rid of nasty things and will come to the Development trajectory – we will rescue Ukraine, we will draw it to ourselves. If the Russian Federation is destined to die in fetid puke of theft and degradation, no one will rescue Ukraine. For we, no matter what followers of “independent Ukraine” say, are one country and one people.

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