The VoxUkraine Brief: Ukraine Needs To Sue Russia For War Damage
#VoxUkraine weekly selection of best articles on Ukraine.
by Oleksandr Zholud and Volodymyr Bilotkach, VoxUkraine Editorial Board
produced by Maxim Eristavi
For the last two weeks, the main news from Ukraine came from the battlefield. First, Donetsk airport has been all but obliterated as the result of the fresh offensive by the Russian and local illegal militia forces. After being constantly shelled and attacked, Ukrainian forces had to withdraw from what remained of the airport terminal buildings, and the “DNR” militia jointly with the Russian armed forces are rumored to be in control of most of the airport’s territory. While the strategic importance of the airport is negligible, because it is destroyed to an extent that it cannot be used for its main purpose i.e. receiving planes, it became a symbol for both sides of the conflict, often compared to Stalingrad or Verden. In held for 242 days.
Donetsk Airport has become a dystopian ruin, with its runways so cratered, only a helicopter could land. Yet both sides…www.bloombergview.com
Then, on January 24th, the border city of Mariupol was shelled, which caused 30 deaths and over 100 injuries among civilians, the largest one day death toll of non-combatants (excluding MH17 catastrophe). Even the usually neutral OSCE stated that the DNR militia was responsible for the tragedy.
President Obama took a foreign-policy bow during his State of the Union speech last week, boasting that "we're…www.wsj.com
The situation is currently in a flux. There is, as one can imagine, no shortage of short-term forecasts, with the general consensus leaning towards continued fighting and deepening problems within the Russian economy. Alexander Motyl, professor of political science at Rutgers University-Newark, for instance, suggests that Putin’s regime might in fact disintegrate as a result of the combined effect of economic sanctions and the civil unrest.
What should we expect from Ukraine and Russia in 2015? My guess is: more of the same. And that's both the good news and…www.worldaffairsjournal.org
While majority of politicians both in Ukraine and in the West agrees that Russia is responsible for the current situation, there is no formal attempt to sue it. VoxUkraine published a piece by Sasha Borovik, a London attorney, who proposes just that:
Mr. Dirken, an American politician from 60s, once said: “A billion here, a billion there, sooner or later it adds up to real money”, writes in his VoxUkraine op-ed Sasha Borovik, a London attorney. Time is now for Ukraine to go for that real money, he suggests.
Mr. Dirken, an American politician from 60s, once said: "A billion here, a billion there, sooner or later it adds up to…voxukraine.org
Anders Aslund of the Peterson Institute for International Economics is also not very optimistic about the prospects of Russian economy.
Russia's Output Will Slump Sharply in 2015 Russia's GDP is likely to plunge in 2015. Indeed, it would be prudent to…www.the-american-interest.com
VoxUkraine’s Tim Mylovanov and Samuel Sharap, however, urge Kyiv to neither overestimate the West’s perception of Ukraine’s strategic importance, nor underestimate the Moscow’s resolve.
If Kyiv assumes that Western leaders consider Ukraine too strategically important to let fail, then they will likely be in for an unpleasant surprise. It must clearly make its present difficulties an asset — not a weakness.
By Samuel Charap, Senior Fellow for Russia and Eurasia at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and…voxukraine.org
Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko has made appearance in Davos at World Economic Forum 2015, and delivered a lecture in Zurich to defend and further Ukraine’s cause.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko holds a part of a damaged commuter bus hit by a rocket strike near Volnovakha that…www.kyivpost.com
VoxUkraine analysed the content of the Ukrainian President speeches, showing that word ‘reforms’ is not used as often as ‘war’ or ‘Europe’ or ‘corruption’, which may suggest that while goals are set, the path to them is still in shadows.
By the Editorial Board of VoxUkraine Since the Inauguration on June 7, 2014 Petro Poroshenko has spoken publicly 44…voxukraine.org
Also, this week on #VoxUkraine
The Ukrainian budget and its huge deficit remains in the focus. There is a VoxUkraine piece by Ivan Miklos, former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Slovakia on the urgency of reforms, including the need of much better communication between the MPs and the Cabinet
There are some good news on Ukraine’sbudget as well, for example Oleg Nivievskyi from Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting in his VoxUkraine op-ed argues that the cancellation of agricultural subsidies will have no adverse effect on the sector:
The Ukrainian budget needs additional funds without increasing tax rates. Luc Vancraen, a Kyiv entrepreneur in his VoxUkraine op-ed proposes to organise privatization agency akin to German Treuhandanstalt in order to actively decrease the share of state involvement in the economy.
Historically, Ukraine’s proceeds from privatization have been much lower than expected because the best enterprises were sold at low prices to oligarchs close to the government. Creating an independent foreign-managed privatization body will raise confidence of investors and attract capital while at the same time reducing government sector and thus raising efficiency of the economy.
Ukraine’s largest fully state owned oil and gas extraction and transportation company Naftogaz plans to significantly increase gas tariffs for population and in order to better defend the hike, it published its new calculations of its costs. While making Naftogaz self-sufficient is important, the presented calculations are strange to say the least. VoxUkraine has published several pieces on this hot topic this week.
Aleksandr Mertens, Professor of Finance at National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy argues that the real issue is not even in the calculations per se but in the inefficiency of Ukrainian public policy:
Despite the fact that Ukrainian population pays for gas less than in even gas-rich Russia, if we account for all the actual costs, the gas price is much higher:
While multiple gas prices create distortions and encourage corruption in Ukraine, it is wrong to rush with equalizing them prior to establishing the technical capability for users to control their demand, due to de facto monopolization of the market by state oil and gas company Naftogaz:
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Author: Tetiana Montian, laywer, blogger This post discusses the terrible state of affairs in Housing and Public…voxukraine.org
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