Wednesday, July 26, 2023

"The demographic implosion of Ukraine: Women fleeing Ukraine and finding new partners while men find death at the front"

It may be as serious a demographic situation as that which faced Britain after World War I.

By 1917 - 1918 it was becoming apparent that the death toll of the war was skewing the female/male ratio of young adults. In 2007 the Daily Mail did a book review headlined "Condemned to be virgins: The two million women robbed by the war" which was of course hyperbole, those girls and young women were having sex but the point of the book being reviewed was that, for good or bad, for bettor or worse, those girls became women who had a very different set of life options open to them than the generation that preceded theirs. 

And of course the same hard reality was being experienced in Germany and Russia and France and the rest of the countries that lost their young men in their hundreds of thousands and millions.

Demography is very, very hard reality.

And from ReMix News, the headline story, July 20:

“We initially thought the European reception policy (for Ukrainian refugees) was a miracle of generosity, but it has turned out to be a curse”

With empty towns and villages, families torn apart, soldiers on the frontline with wives and children abroad who will never return, and birth rates at a record low, Ukraine’s demographic picture is imploding, Italian daily Corriere della Sera reports.

“The population collapse will soon cause very serious economic and social problems. Putin may lose the war, but he could still win the challenge for the future of a stable and independent Ukraine,” the Italian newspaper writes, citing a variety of experts.

The issue is not being addressed by the government either, as it is clear they are unsure what to do about it while fighting Russia has taken precedence over everything else.

“When the house burns, first you have to put out the fire, and only later will you think about what furniture to buy,” Ukrainian government officials said in response to the crisis.

Corriere della Sera, however, argues that the issue should indeed take precedence, as the entire future of the country is at stake. The paper says the demographic collapse goes all the way back to the time of independence in 1991, after the collapse of the Soviet Union. At that time, Ukraine’s population stood at 52 million. By 2001, it had dropped to 48.5 million, and right before the invasion, it stood at only 42 million, a fall of 10 million since 1991.

“These figures are consistent with population declines in all former Soviet republics, but the biggest blow came in the opening weeks of the war, which caused women and children to flee abroad en masse, given that the government had immediately banned the departures of men between the ages of 18 and 65. And today, the resident population is estimated at between 28 and 31 million,” writes the Italian newspaper.

“From 52 million to less than 30 in three decades: a very serious loss for the country, undermining its chances of reconstruction after the end of the war, penalizing economic normalization, and drowning the pension system,” says Alexander Demenchuk, rector of the Faculty of Political Science in Kyiv.

“There is a lack of children, therefore a lack of future. Young women from the upper middle classes with excellent rates of schooling have left. And what is even more serious is that well over half of them do not intend to return to Ukraine. The children study in German, Polish, Austrian, French or Dutch schools. The mothers immediately found jobs,” writes the paper, adding: “We initially thought the European reception policy (for Ukrainian refugees) was a miracle of generosity, but it has turned out to be a curse.”

According to Ella Libanova, a respected demographer at the National Academy of Sciences, all of this affects the fertility rate, which has plummeted to 0.7 percent, one of the lowest in the world.

All urban centers located near Donbass are semi-deserted; only the elderly, sick and poor remain. But the problem is national....


November 2022
"The wicked weaponization of Ukrainian refugees "

"How you gonna keep 'em down on the farm after they've seen Wroclaw?"

That's me, quoting myself from the introduction to: "Are Ukrainian Farmers an Endangered Species?": 


There are a few things going on that point in that direction. First you have the country's total fertility rate at 1.4, only two-thirds of the 2.1 replacement rate, tied with poster child Japan in the who's-going-extinct competition. And lower even than famously-low-birthrate-Russia, which at 1.8 has a comparative population boom. So there will literally not be enough people to take up the job.

Second, compounding the lack of births is the Ukrainian diaspora, starting with the Bandera crowd heading for Canada after WWII and which really got rolling after the collapse of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in '91, picked up even more steam after the U.S. backed coup and Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014 and added another five or six million souls after the Russian invasion in February. 
Poland alone has taken in over three million and with a GDP per capita of triple (PPP) or quadruple (nominal) Ukraine's, is now wondering how to encourage the refugees to go home when the hostilities stop. As the old song says: "How you going to keep them down on the farm after they've seen Wroclaw?" 
Or something like that.

Third, a lot of people have coveted that thick black soil and not just Imperial Germany and then the Nazis with the whole lebensraum thing. One of the reasons for the 2014 coup was to get hold of that dirt, which is priced at a fifth to a quarter of the equivalent in Illinois. In furtherance of  the project the IMF made opening up land sales to foreigners a condition of one of their multi-billion dollar loan packages....

July 1, 2023

The war seems to come down to the question of who runs out first. Does Russia run out of money or does Ukraine run out of soldiers?

The ruble was approaching 90 to the dollar last I saw, an indication that there are deep changes going on in the Russian economy.

Ukraine is on its third army, the first two having been destroyed, and they are press-ganging 50-year-old insurance salesmen to fill the gaps left by the dead and wounded.

And the U.S. powers-that-be, through their media mouthpieces have dramatically shifted the story arc they wish to convey....

July 21, 2023
"Ukraine may be running out of people"