Like many countries, Ukraine has been placed in a state of emergency regarding the Covid-19 epidemic. All cinemas, theaters, cafes, bars, restaurants and shopping centers have been closed, as have schools. And the three fronts facing the country are in danger of collapsing Ukraine.
Today many Ukrainians do not hide their disappointment at the lack of action by President Zelensky, an actor elected a year ago, but whose inability to govern is today glaring for a country which is on the verge of ‘an economic collapse. For the time being, the Ukrainian authorities are counting on IMF assistance in order to be able to fight the Covid-19, an expenditure of $ 4 billion. The proof is that neither the government nor the institutions are able to cope with the epidemic, to wonder if the Ukrainian state still exists.
Because the country is divided, the Ukrainian state faces the Lugansk People’s Republic and the Donetsk People’s Republic, both separatists and pro-Russia. And the Donbass conflict continues, without any knowledge of the repercussions of the epidemic in this region.
What is more, the division is found in the churches of Ukraine. The Orthodox are divided between the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate, recognized in 2019 by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church attached to the Moscow Patriarchate, and among other religions, the Ukrainian Greco-Catholic Church and the Eastern Catholic Churches or so-called Uniate Churches. Ukraine also includes a very specific ethnic group: the Zaporogue Cossacks, and two languages, Ukrainian and Russian.
With the Covid-19 crisis, Ukrainian President Zelensky is appealing to the West and the IMF because his fears of collapse of the country are emerging, admitting that the country is on the verge of bankruptcy.
Here the Ukrainian president no longer knows which table to play on, the EU, the IMF or Moscow, but we are not there yet with Moscow, even if the cloth burns in Kiev. Listening to this plea, the IMF has promised an envelope of 10 billion dollars, but on condition that an agrarian reform see the light of day, also desired by the EU. So this land reform would be the door open to the greediest appetites on Ukrainian lands. A solution for Zelensky to please the IMF and the EU, in order to save the country.
This is why the Ukrainian parliament, the Rada, lifted the moratorium on the sale of agricultural land. And god knows who will buy these lands, for what uses, some investors are waiting for the end of the epidemic to melt on Ukraine. This will not settle anything regarding the Donbass conflict. Finally, Ukraine did not recognize the Armenian genocide, on the one hand, because Armenia is a “friend” country with Russia, on the other hand, one suspects, to please the Turkish president , who could perhaps also put his hand in the pocket for Zelensky.
34 years after the explosion of the plant, Chernobyl was talked about during the Covid-19 crisis. Today the Chernobyl region has been ravaged by huge forest fires for the past three weeks and they are not yet under control. These fires are very worrying, and more than a thousand firefighters are still mobilized with radioactivity 16 times above the normal threshold, data also disputed by the Ukrainian disaster management cell. In the midst of an epidemic, Kiev was overwhelmed by a harsh cloud and the fallout from these fires has also been reported in many European countries.
Despite the epidemic, France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine met by videoconference for a new summit on the Minsk agreements, with the heads of diplomacy of these four countries, on Thursday, April 30.
These agreements, concluded in 2015 to settle the conflict between Ukraine and the secessionist territories, had hardly advanced until 2019, when there was an exchange of 70 prisoners. Last Thursday, on the occasion of this “meeting”, the German Minister for Foreign Affairs, Heiko Maas, noted that the coronavirus epidemic cannot be an excuse for Ukraine to obstruct the work of the international observers in charge to enforce the cease-fire in eastern Ukraine. The three foreign ministers, France, Germany and Russia, highlighted the need for prisoner exchanges between Ukraine and the secessionist territories.
Another point raised is the question of pensioners from eastern Ukraine, living in secessionist territory, who for the moment are not receiving their Ukrainian pensions. Finally, it was requested in Kiev, concerning the 5 existing crossing points between the two territories, that new crossing points be created.
Thus, even if Ukraine is not on the European enlargement calendar, we note here the consequences of Maidan in 2013, 2014, where once again the candid Western Europeans went there with unrealistic speeches, without suspecting that Maidan was only the beginning of an inextricable situation for Ukraine, now close to the abyss.