VoxUkraine Blog


Political, Economic And Institutional Aspects Of Making Cuts To The Ukrainian Budget

It seems like there are no further arguments needed to be advanced for the urgent necessity of cutting budgetary expenditures: obviously, considering the severity of the external threats the country faces, if we do not cope with this issue Ukraine can simply disappear altogether – writes Vladimir Dubrovskiy in his column for VoxUkraine.org. So if we want to save our country and at the same time the inheritance of the Revolution of Dignity, we have to consider a number of political, economic and institutional factors that are usually underestimated by both the government and the IMF.


War and Freedom of Speech in Ukraine

While most people think that freedom of speech is a great good in a democratic society, there is much more disagreement on how much one should be allowed to say in times of war. The recent detainment of journalist Kotsaba he declares that the war in eastern Ukraine is a civil war and calls for sabotaging draft into the Ukrainian army—underscores the importance of this debate in the current Ukrainian context. An open discussion about what constitutes treason when it comes to expression of views will protect the new but fragile Ukrainian democracy. It will also defend Ukraine against accusations that the country is turning into a police state.


Ukraine’s Proxy War Against The Soviet Union

The fact that there is considerable support for the “people’s republics” among many groups calls for some deeper reflection as to its underlying causes. What complicates the matter is that the Donbas hosts a significant population that carries a “cosmopolitan” Soviet identity. Thus, rather than being divided between Ukrainians and Russians, the Donbas is divided between people who believe in the concept of Ukrainian sovereign statehood and those who are nostalgic of the Soviet past.


Pros And Cons Of The Ukrainian Government Proposal To Hike Gas Tariffs For The Population

Gas price issue is sensitive. We need to have proper and transparent discussion about it, in which all arguments should be presented and weighed. Ideally, arguments should be economically sound and non-populist (“we will all starve/freeze to death”). The goal is not to argue for or against hike in gas tariffs, but for everyone to fully understand pros and cons of this step. The decision will still be after the policymakers, whom we pay from our taxes. If policymakers decide not to hike, they should be ready to explain to the public why and how they will tackle consequences of this decision. If they decide to hike, they also should be ready to explain why and how they will tackle consequences of this decision.


Restructuring Ukraine’s Electricity Sector: What Are We Trying to Accomplish?

The Ukrainian electricity sector will require a great deal of investment if it is to support robust national economic growth going forward. Many of the generation plants and a great deal of the long-distance transmission infrastructure are badly depreciated and quite inefficient; this is one reason that the Ukrainian economy is one of the most energy-intensive (per volume of output) in the world.


The Budapest Memorandum Revisited

The Budapest Memorandum provides the legal and moral basis for the US to provide Ukraine with military assistance. In light of renewed peace efforts by Germany and France, such assistance will be part of the solution and will safeguard any potential peace deal.


Why Kyiv And The West Should Be Pressing For A Stable Frozen Conflict In The Donbas

When the Minsk Protocol and its follow-on Memorandum were signed last September, I believed there was almost no chance that they would be fully implemented – writes Edward Walker in the blog. Full implementation is even less likely now. There is, however, at least some chance that a ceasefire could take hold that would allow for a genuine “freezing” of the conflict. The real choice for Kyiv now is whether to push for a stable frozen conflict along a new line of demarcation or to fight hard for every inch of ground, which increases the risk that we will see an unstable war of attrition and more Ukrainian human, material, and territorial losses in the months to come.