Maidan’s Tragic Aftermath: Ukraine Slides Into ‘Staggering’ Poverty

Two years after the US-backed Maidan revolution, Ukraine is worse off than it was before – the country is sliding into poverty, Germany’s daily newspaper Junge Welt reported, describing the life of ordinary Ukrainians as “staggering.”

“Since the end of the Yanukovych era, the average income has decreased by 50 percent,” the media outlet noted.

In addition, consumers in Ukraine have lost half of their purchasing power. Inflation reached 25 percent in 2014 and spiked to 44 percent last year, according to the data released by Ukraine’s Central Bank in late December.

Last October, the World Bank updated its forecast for Ukraine, saying that the country’s GDP was expected to contract by 12 percent in 2015, instead of a projected 7.5 percent decline.

The average pension in Ukraine is 80 euros, Junge Welt noted. Those pensioners, who continued to work, received 15 percent less last year. It is not surprising then that in these conditions “more and more” Ukrainians rely on food grown in dacha gardens, which belong to them or their relatives.

Ukraine’s dire economic state has had a negative impact on the president’s popularity. Earlier this month, Ukrainian TV Channel Novin 24 reported that approximately 17 percent of respondents supported Petro Poroshenko. This makes the current Ukrainian president less popular than his predecessor Viktor Yanukovych was shortly before the February 2014 coup.

Ukraine could well face complete economic failure. Its economy has been plagued by corruption, inefficient reforms and civil war. Billions of dollars in foreign financial assistance have also been unable to help it recover.

Ukrainian leadership blames the country’s poor economic state primarily on the ongoing civil war, but Western investors, according to the newspaper, see these claims as an excuse. “What matters is that Kiev authorities have done little or nothing to prevent corruption and insider trading,” Junge Welt noted.

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