“Project Ukraine”. Decade Summary
© T.Voznyak, 2000
1. “State Ukraine” Appearance Preconditions.
1.1. Crisis And the USSR Disintegration.
A deep crisis of the Soviet society and the failure of the USSR and Warsaw Pact countries in “Cold War”, or “World War III”, as they name it now, in the struggle with the USA and their allies, were indubitable preconditions of the appearance of a new state, named “Ukraine”. And the reasons are various, starting from ineffective society organisation to the inevitable technological backlog. It caused deep erosion of even remaining pieces of communist ideology, total social cynicism which overwhelmed almost all layers of social structure. The USSR disintegration was unavoidable. But ruling elites and people itself faced the problem of further organisation of the society or societies. Besides that, the party nomenclature was confronted with the problem of saving their power, economy control, management forms transformation and maintaining a certain status quo. The discussion for the Soviet nomenclature was limited to a few questions only:
- to go out from the crisis by the change of social organization of the society (revolutionary project);
- to go out from the crisis by the cardinal social changes like “shock therapy”;
- to go out from the crisis by constant long-term changes (evolutionary project);
- to go out from the crisis separately by regions of a single country like “Chinese way of two systems in one country” (integration project);
- to disintegrate and go out from the crisis by independent states and territories (disintegration project).
The opposing anti-Soviet forces, which weren't so numerous, consisted of two main fluctuations: of those who demanded the widest democratisation of the society (conditional “democrats”) and of those who were fighting for the national liberation of Soviet nations or their self-identification, how it happened in the case of Ukrainians or Russians (conditional “nationalists”), though the views of those people on the future of political organization fill in the full ideological spectrum between democracy and totalitarism.
By that time communist “orthodoxes” were the main opposing force to the planned society transformation, but they were frustrated and not ready enough either to the effective transformation, or to the effective opposing of the coming changes.
These are the main political forces, that realised somehow the need for and urgency of changes and were looking for a possible way of transformation or at least for their place in this process.
M.Gorbachev represented the project of evolutionary social and political transformation in the frames of single state (evolutionary-integrative project).
On the contrary, the national nomenclature leaders incl. B.Yeltsyn rushed towards power and independence and represented evolutionary (L.Kravchuk) or revolutionary (early D.Yeltsyn) social transformation projects in the frames of comparably or completely independent territories, where they could be able to control the whole process (evolutionary/revolutionary disintegrative projects).
“Democrats” tried to defend utopic projects of the USSR reformation (A.Sakharov) in the frames of either a single state or not (evolutionary/revolutionary integration/disintegration projects). They did not want to emphasize the disintegration problems, paying more attention to a deep society democratisation. A little more attention was paid to the economic transformation. Practically, nothing was said about administrative transformation. So, democratisation and economic reform became the main goals, and the ways of power obtaining and keeping were left out of stream.
Some of radicals opposed the state itself preparing ground for their staying outside the political transformation process. It became clear soon that single struggle for human rights is not enough for a full-size transformation. It was important in transition period to form modern kinds of social relations, modern social mechanism, which had to constitute itself in a new Ukrainian stateship. Ignoring these challenges of time soon caused practical elimination from the political process of those whom some differently minded named “democrats”.
“Nationalists”, on the contrary, naturally supported the USSR disintegration project, being not so interested in other aspects of transformation, like problems of widest democratisation or social and economic organization as the base for constructing a new and effective society (evolutionary/revolutionary disintegrative projects). Those problems were not so urgent for them because they were either considered as the means of achievement of national independence, or simply ignored. Such nihilism soon caused the failure of those fluctuations. Nearly whole attention in their projects was paid to the problem of how to get power, but not to the transformation of national society into a modern, politically and economically effective one. In fact, they were ready to obtain power in presently existing socium and constructed an exclusively etatistic project. Following the only aim of creating an independent Ukrainian state by all possible means they very soon found a consensus with old nomenclature suggesting they would win playing according to its rules and on its field.
Communist “orthodoxes” proposed nothing better but putsch, accelerating the USSR disintegration process and crash of Gorbachev’s intermediate project of evolution in the framework of single state and economics.
What were the projects elaborated in Ukraine and did they have any connections with other projects existing by that time?
There obviously existed (or were being born) two nomenclature projects in Ukraine – an integrational and a very moderate disintegrational ones. It is possible that the second one was not considered at once as a complete doctrine and appeared on a situational basis. Integrative nomenclature projects, on the contrary, existed in both – evolutionary (official) and “orthodox” communist forms, as an alternative to the official Gorbachev’s project. Holding power – weaker than ever, yet existing – was the distinctive feature of those projects’ creators. They had a possibility to implement (though very carefully) their great universal social and political projects. They had a possibility and administrational resources to prepare themselves for cardinal power and property redistribution, to test first free enterpreneurship ordnance yards on the basis of different co-operatives and to transfer financial and material resources to their accounts. That was the way post-Soviet nomenclature prepared the basis for embodying its projects.
The conservative-integration nomenclature project was cancelled by GKChP putsch. That is why Ukrainian nomenclature had no other way but to try to embody evolutionary-disintegrative project. Besides the sluggish declarations of some economic reforms there never was any revolutionary economic project developed by Ukrainian nomenclature. Certainly, because it did not need such a project. Timely and constant implementation of free market economy could eliminate the possibility of property redistribution to its favour just as it did it.
There were few pure “democrats” in Ukraine. At the very first stage of transformation they were shadowed by more numerous “nationalists”.
“Nationalists” took power for a short period just after the GKChP putsch. For that time their disintegrative project temporarily coincided with the disintegrative project of nomenclature, which changed mind due to the circumstances. But they had no administrative resources, paid no serious attention to the problem of creation of economic base for future power through redistribution of property, resources and finances, to implementing the most active forms of economic activities (even in those few regions they won the elections).
“Nationalists” hurried to adopt a secret agreement with nomenclature in order to create the state named “Ukraine”, creating and providing no real roles for themselves, supported by solid economic and political basis. Hereby they simply gave the nomenclature, recently imperial and openly anti-Ukrainian, “the sacres of independence”. Soon it gave a chance to nomenclature to usurp the idea of independence, cut down the political tension inside the society and to discharge the failures of its permanent ruling in the independent Ukraine during the last decade to the “democrats” and “nationalists” removing them finally from the political stage and keeping far from the great redistribution of the property and power.
1.2. Base For Forming “the State of Ukraine”
One of the state-constructing preconditions is self-identification of a certain group of people as an entity. The feeling of unity could be formed on different grounds, but it always needs some time. Ethnic unity must not necessarily be the consolidative element, but unity construct during some period of time and long-term natural assimilatory processes can cause new or renovated ethnos appearance. The same process could as well be provoked by primitive conquest of one ethnos by another with further voluntary or obligatory assimilation.
What was the situation in Ukraine from this point of view? Due to strict ideological limits in the USSR there was no long-term forming process of renovated consolidative unity feeling before the adoption of independence. Furthermore, Soviet propaganda provoked split even in Ukrainian ethnos, to say nothing about the rest of the population of UkrSSR. Image constructs of “westerners”, “banderas”, “easterns”, “khokhols”, “moskals” were formed in social consciousness. Openly and secretly on the state level the intolerance to Crimea Tatars and Jews was implanted. In fact, there was nothing even similar to the finally conformed community which could be named conditionally as a Ukrainian political nation in Ukraine on the eve of its independence. Mostly, its population was united only by territory having different mentality, belonging to different political constructs and cultural worlds.
The illusion of possible rapid exit from stagnation and crisis by separation from the unliftable USSR was the only comparatively consolidative element besides the territorial one. But the future of this new community was differently seen by each group of population, though, having the same sign name “Independent Ukraine”. That was the matter of great illusion born by the referendum for independence in 1991. All seemed to vote for the same. Formally – yes, but as a matter of fact – no. Post-communist nomenclature realized it and oriented itself at once and supported the plebiscite with powerful propaganda, which was different in each region and promised everything wanted to each one. The result was achieved, though the political nation did not appear.
Simultaneously the basis for those manipulations, which reached their peak in constitutional referendum in 2000 was installed. The same bi- or tri-standard technologies were used during all next presidential election; it continued to fix the heterogeneity of the Ukrainian population, did not provide real consensus or compromise in the realization of nation-forming tasks, helping to solve situative problems only.
In this way, heterogeneity not only became a fact but continued to grow in independent Ukraine. Different regions show no initiative to rapprochement or mutual interest. It concerns both cultural and economic sense. Due to the crisis conditions in economics and lack of any forming structure because of various privileges a single economic organism has not been created yet. Finally, regional nomenclatures even opposed the centre for interfering with the property redistribution in their regions.
Western region did not accept nearly complete and irreversible russification of South and East. There was no social discussion organized on that theme, society did not reflect the real way of things. Furthermore, it even did not elaborate any mutual strategy, acceptable for all components of the society (or majority of them), what to do with declared independence and political union and community implicated by that action.
No one knows what could serve as a basis for this unity: mutual fate? Economical interest? But is there any mutual all-Ukrainian economic interest? Some form of consensus? But there is no mechanism of all-national discussion, which can elaborate that consensus. Ukrainian society remains separated. Language? But what – that, used by the majority? Even official Kyiv did not manage to understand the consolidative role of the Ukrainian language, it is treated by the capital too formally and cold, to say nothing about nearly completely Russian – or, better, Soviet-speaking Kyivan petty bourgeoisie. The fundamental thesis of a Russian political scientist Sergey Tchernyshov, that Russia is the Russian language first of all, not territory, polyethnic and polycultural population, or, moreover, any administrative structure – does not exist for them. For administration of “gosudarstvo (Rus. / Soviet -state) Ukraine” only one thesis is topical: the state is administration itself.
At the same time no identification with that state is formed within such heterogeneous population, which has no mutual language space (practical division into Russian-slang- and Ukrainian-slang-speaking population), no mutual informational space (mostly it is surrendered to Russian mass-media, and the majority of our citizens live in Russian media- and informational space being occupied by problems of Russian state and, being more “Russians” than “Ukrainians” in the informational sense of the term). For a long period of time the status connected with the independence even in its formal sense either was not realized by the great part of the society (it includes certain duties and limitations), or treated as some transitive state or imitation of independence, met unfriendly. The state project did not become important for the vast part of population. Even more – neither administration nor society itself elaborated the “Project Ukraine”, acceptable by majority, it is simply absent. A certain “lack of state instinct” could be discussed, if such terminology is acceptable by the majority of Ukrainian population.
That is why it is extremely important to adopt civil society mechanisms in Ukraine in order to construct its mutual basis. It might be a society which realizes the actual state, elaborates a new vision of the future, can voice its discussion, has real political and civic mechanisms for embodying elaborated consensus into life. Unfortunately, the rate of civil society construction in Ukraine decreases, if not stagnates. The significant lag to oligarchy model of power construction is observed with strict dominating of one power branch, implicated to the president institution.
Certainly, economics is the platform on which the state could be constructed. Ukraine inherited from the USSR not autonomous self-sufficient organism or economics, which could be effectively incorporated into other economic systems. The collapse of economy in post-Soviet countries, practical liquidation of co-operation with former Council for Mutual Economic Co-operation countries, a declared but never fulfilled conversion of military-industrial complex fragmented Ukrainian economy. It stopped not only because of unnecessary or incompatible production, but because only parts of formerly integral technological cycles were left in Ukraine. It was impossible to compose full cycles inside Ukraine as well.
At the same time, active process of real deindustrialization of the country is taking place in the last years. It coincided with the world economics transition into post-industrial phase and forming of new informational economies and societies. Raw material branches and heavy industries highly developed in Ukraine have no exporting potential. At the same time, hi-tech branches oriented mostly to weapons production, transport aviation, space technologies etc., faced various export/import limits and political priorities.
It seems that in fact all the “strategic partners” of Ukraine have no interest in its hi-tech renovation both from strategic (fear of restoration of military potential, which could be used by enemy) and competitive (creation of serious competitor on the world market, not only of goods but of labour as well ) point of view.
“Geopolitically intermediate” situation could become not a bad basis for the creation of economy of an effective state. While in military sense Ukraine finds itself between two counterstanding camps in Central Eastern Europe – NATO and Tashkent pact, what is a source of threats, in economic sense it is between the EU and Russia with satellites (Russia+) as huge markets as well as industrial and raw materials bases. The main transportation East-West (the EU – Russia+ – Central Asia – Far East) and North-South (the EU – Caucasus – Central Asia) routes are crossing (or would cross) Ukrainian territory. Projects dealing with oil and gas transportation from Caspian region, North Europe or Persian Gulf are also possible resources. Both super-regions are interested in control or, at least, in participating in this transport cross-road of Europe, which has the most attractive perspectives on the continent due to its geopolitical transport situation. According to Rendall Institute estimates, the transit transportation rating of Ukraine is the highest in Europe – 3.11 points. To compare, the same index in neighbouring Poland is only 2.72 points. The transit rating of a country territory takes into consideration the development of its transportation systems and the level and condition of their infrastructure.
1.3. Opposing Forces
One of the factors influencing the creation of modern Ukrainian society and “Project Ukraine” is the structure of the opposing forces. This structure is not only the system of opposition, but also reflects possible future redistributions of power or splits in a society or state. Redistributions of power in the centre or regions happen when the demands of a certain part of the society or political fluctuation are not satisfied. Moreover, when dissatisfaction is located in some geographical regions, it may cause regional autonomic or even separatist tendencies.
The process of extreme power concentration is going on in Ukraine now. State administration with the President at the head made conclusions from the previous bi-power period of all years of Ukrainian stateship – presidential and parliamentary branches of power. Unfortunately, judicial power did not manage to liberate itself from the state wardship and to develop into a separate branch. After creating the parliamentary majority in Verkhovna Rada (winter 2000) the source of communist opposition there was suppressed. Hence, there are symptoms, that not only communist, but whole opposition was eliminated. Presidential administration firmly established itself and there are threats that it not only spoils its image in the eyes of western partners, but also creates preconditions of it’s own instability. It does not represent the whole spectrum of regional elites.
Presidential administration mostly represents the old/new Kyivan bureaucracy, Dnipropetrovsk group and some representatives of the regional elites loyal to both. Furthermore, power and business elites formation in the regions, which still have no representation in this administration takes place under its severe supervision. The system of big capital formation itself in the regions excludes the possibility of their independence from the central power. On the one hand, “oligarchs” try to get the power both in the centre and regions, but on the other they cannot do without sanctions and links with power.
Such practically complete dependence on the administration and Kyiv cannot eventually avoid confrontation with regional elites interests, which grew out from regional nomenclatures. From time to time President has to suppress local nomenclature separatism and to appoint his proteges to the regions. By now this process is almost finished. With the aim of supporting it, a legal reform was performed (constitutional basis was made for the institution of heads of regional administrations), special staff policy was carried out, strict presidential vertical was built.
In this way oligarchic form of power was created in Ukraine, which hampers the process of formation of civil society and deprives Ukrainian economy of a prospect of effective reforms. Oligarchs of different levels block civilized involvement of Ukrainian economy to the world market.
No doubt, the dissidents of the Soviet times, after short flirtation with the existing structure of power, formed opposition to it, however weak and powerless. It concerns both “nationalists” and “democrats”. Finally, there is no space for them in the new state. From the post-Soviet nomenclature’s point of view, they have played their role already. Flirtations of Kravtchuk epoch are finished. Nomenclature transformed successfully and does not need any “cover” anymore.
Western Ukraine has obvious opposition potential. At this moment deep frustration of the population does not allow this dissatisfaction to be embodied into something concrete, but it exists and grows. For a long time the administrations tried to play on the hyperpatriotic moods to lower the tension and to create illusion that the new appearing political organism is the embodiment of the ideal that has been cherished in Western Ukraine for one hundred years. Now it becomes obvious, that it is not so, that the role of this region is not only negligible, but is minimized artificially at the state level in general.
The same processes take place in other regions as well. Dissatisfaction suppressed by frustration and other administrative methods, dominates in the Crimea and Odessa.
Mainly Russian-/slang-speaking regions, ethnic enclaves – Tatar, Hungarian, Romanian – also contain opposition potential.
2. “Stolen Ukraine”
The independence of the state of Ukraine became reality thanks to mutual efforts of post-Soviet communist nomenclature, which first in a low voice, than louder and louder declared its exclusive demands on the “Ukrainian region”, and to conservative or traditional Ukrainian patriots.
The references to the referendum and its results became one of the present independence banalities. But remembering the methods of counting the votes, which were the same almost everywhere, let us think: what were we really voting for? Nearly everyone voted. But, as it always happens during the revolution, not for what they wanted and what obtained.
One traditionally voted for hyperpopulistic slogans like “Nomenclature, get away from the trough!”, having no positive project except ideology of Bulgakov’s Sharikov, the simplest maxima of which sounds: “Divide everything!”.Well, it was one more attempt to implement “Paradise on the Earth”, but not in the frames of failed USSR project, though in the modest frames of the “territory of Ukraine”.
The others were voting for the same, but in a more archaic or conservative form of “Paradise on the separate land named Ukraine”, where, according to the Deutsche Bank predictions, flourishing had to start at once. In this case they voted for one more utopia suggesting that the paradise on the earth and still during their lives could be achieved by simple voting, without any work or blood.
At the same time a modern “imaginary community” (according to Benedict Andersson) was not formed in Ukraine. Different groups and region did not manage to find a single consolidative and completely acceptable subject.
3. “Gosudarstvo ”Ukraine”
Having intercepted national slogans from “patriots” and “democrats” the nomenclature keeps the real power in Ukraine. By this action it got time-out for regrouping forces, transferring capitals, privatisation of former state property. It holds the whole economy. There are few of the “old cadres” in the state power structures, mostly they moved to business. But they are difficult to separate: they still remain as one unity. Administration itself serves as a link, simultaneously controlling everything in the so-called privatized economy sector.
Mostly in some Western Ukrainian regions infantile and weakly developed democratic power was adopted for a short transitional period, which more or less was similar to the absence of power. It was ruled by Ukrainian conservative patriots.
During the first years of independence Kyiv avoided the interference to the regional matters. The main struggle by that time was for the capital and, correspondingly, for the whole state. But after structuring of power, concentration of main capitals and marginalization of regional elites it came to the loss of power by Ukrainian conservative patriots even in Western Ukraine. Nearly the whole power nowadays is controlled by state administration directly from Kyiv. It could be eventually considered as a kind of benefit because the situation could be much worse if the authority did not have any control over the situation at all, as it recently was in Albania, what caused complete destruction of the society and state in this country. The question is: how much power has to be delegated to the centre, to the regions and to each branch of power? Can the usurpation of the whole plenitude of power by one of its branches, e.g. presidential, lead to autoritarism, or can it be harmful in this case for that very branch and for the state in general? Cannot this power centralization cause amplifying of regionalistic or separatistic tendencies in regions?
Kyiv is not the only problem. Usually the capital acts in methodic and pragmatic way, exclusively to its favour. “National patriots” themselves could not manage to hold the power. From the very beginning of the state appearance a silent war began between dissident-patriotic and dissident-democratic wings of a formerly single opposition movement. Appealing to the urgent needs of maintaining the state in any possible form the dissident-democratic wing, which made emphasis on human rights and general norms of democracy, was removed from the political arena. “National patriots” were ready not only to sacrifice democracy, but started to collaborate with nomenclature. It caused their complete degeneration and, finally, loss of power, in which they started to play mostly decorative role.
Criminalization of almost all spheres of life, material especially, became a general phenomenon in all post-Soviet space. It was a mutual creation of nomenclature, which managed to organize unprecedented and out-of-control distribution of all-national property, and of traditional criminals, used as an instrument by nomenclature. It also declared its own rights for the property redistribution. Pauperization of vast layers of society, left without its part of property, passively supported this process. Certificate privatisation became the form of ransom for the people and deprived them of the formal ground for demanding their share during the redistribution of the so-called all-national property. That is why poverized population transformed into the field for recruiting more and more members of the society to the criminal circles.
Reduced control of the state property, especially in traditionally profitable spheres, led to its mass misappropriation all over the post-Soviet space. As a result, we have the situation in Ukraine when nearly “two dozen families (clans) got hold of 4/5 of the so-called all-national property, leaving the rest only 1/5 of that property just for the personal survival fight”. And there is no guarantee, that even this property would not be redistributed again in favour of those two dozen clans. It is a mistake to consider that certificate privatisation did not pay its way and brought no results. Vice versa, for the majority of Ukrainian population, who allegedly became “owners”, it deprived them of the desire to participate in such actions. In fact, those people practically gave their property certificates for free. The population was paid ransom obtaining nothing, and the time came to distribute the rest of the undistributed. These were the most attractive branches, e.g. energetics.
But in that fuss of nomenclature robbing the whole branches of Ukrainian economy were destroyed or sold for free. What can be said about cannibalising for ephemeral debts or in fact destroying Black Sea Shipping Company? Hi-tech branches, including military industries, no longer exist. It caused practical deindustrialization of the country.
“Deintellectualization” of Ukraine is directly connected with that process. While the great part of industry was stopped and after decade of robbing and physical and moral destroying it can not be restored no more, engineers and technical staff were either disqualificated or settled on the wide-spread bazaars. The same happened to the science deprived of finances and orders. Young and perspective scientists have found their job places abroad long time ago. Moreover, some friendly states and strategic partners purposefully wash out remaining Ukrainian intellectual potential through different aid and immigration programs (supposedly as a special aid ). There are certainly some achievements, but mostly in humanitarian sphere. In fundamental research and new technologies Ukraine belongs neither to the number of countries which develop and hold hi-tech, nor to those, which simply introduce them receiving from highly developed states. Ukraine rather belongs to the group of countries which are outside technological progress.
Social instability causes negative demographic processes. Weakness or simply absence of social support system even at the former Soviet level led to the rapid decrease of life expectancy, birth rate and to mass migration of population. Mostly economic factors were the main reasons for migration, as well as impossibility of self-realization in Ukraine. Some migration flows have distinctive ethnic colours (e.g. Jewish from Ukraine or Crimean Tatars to the Crimea), but it is not a result of any xenophobia in the country. The fact that almost 400,000 women of reproductive age left Ukraine looking for their fate somewhere abroad became a frightening summary of the last decade. Depopulation became reality in Ukraine. According to different evaluations the population in Ukraine decreased by at least two million inhabitants.
A complete support of the development of the Ukrainian ethnos and other national minorities or guarantees of their rights was expected as the aim of the creation of an independent Ukrainian state. But active process of denationalization of Ukrainians as well as other nations continues very rapidly and with wide use of new technical and media means, in spite of formal assertions of interested and not very competent clerks that nothing like that takes place here. It is often named “russification”. It is so, yet it is not the whole truth. It is enough just to have a walk along the street, even in the capital, not necessarily in Sebastopol or Donetsk. In the tenth year of independence we have almost completely Russian-speaking business (of the 1% of 4/5 former national property holders Ukrainian-speaking are in incredible minority), Russian-speaking army (the majority of the officers commonly use Russian), Russian-speaking media (TV-programs are transmitted either in Russian, or simply retransmitted from Russia; Ukrainian government does not control the strategic informational space of Ukraine), and Russian-speaking authorities.
This threatening way of things could not be accepted even from the state security point of view. I would not give the name of “russification” to the process of assimilation of the best elements of the Russian language, of high culture elements in its pure meaning. And quite opposite thing is practical domination of Russian electronic and traditional media. Russia does its best not only to keep the status quo ante, but to deepen this process as much as possible. The sense of “Russia Project” concept is often focused on maximisation of wide-spread sphere of the Russian language and Russian media common existence, what is in fact an official policy of the Russian Federation. Making his report at the Russian Federation Council of Defence conference, Sergey Tchernyshov defined the strategy of Russian self-determination with the following words: a future Russia would become a “transnational world corporation of Russia”, not a territory of actual Russia-RF, which “proceeds from the trivial thesis that the Russian language should be revived”, and only afterwards it could be possible to start with the national security concept.
In parallel direction, following some inertia (even unnoticed) the process of sovietization goes on, expressed in endless reproduction of homo sovieticus. The process of destroying the Ukrainian and other languages including Russian is clearly seen. We can not only find new terms for description of new spheres of human life (new technologies, new phenomena), – we even manage to lose our incorporation to the old world described in Ukrainian terms. That is the way of appearance of certain blind-deaf-mute zones in the Ukrainian and Russian world/language we live: there is a couple of important phenomena in modern world, which we do not see, do not hear or have no words to discuss them. So dissolves the last shelter of self-determination – the native language. All ethnic groups are affected by crawling sovietization. And the disaster is amplified by the lowest-range americanization propaganda performed by mass-media.
Right after independence in Ukraine there was no stratification of different kinds of elites. The structure of old Soviet economy did not allow to form elite groups and boundaries inside them and among them according to the territorial principle. The industrial principle of elite formation and extra-territorial links among them were rather referred to. That is why the severe fight on the regional level started just after socialist economics and corresponding super-national boundaries failed. Kyiv was too far and too weak at that time. Several territorial clans appeared – in Dnipropetrovsk, Donbass, Kharkiv, Odessa. Some regions did not manage to create their own clan groups. But this process is finished by now. Some bigger groups remained, but Kyiv controls the situation in general, being occupied by Dnipropetrovsk clan and old Kyivan nomenclature. Today we can talk about certain consolidation of clans and oligarchs under the President’s protectorate. Certainly, it does not exclude permanent conflicts between them for more or less close approach to the President and his administration in general.
The links between administration, bureaucracy and the so-called free business is a very essential moment of elite formation process. But in reality almost each businessman depends firmly on power. The most powerful oligarchs can lose their property with the interference of suppressive mechanism of administration. And P.Lazarenko is not the only example of this dependence. Nearly each more or less attractive and effective enterprise which has no patron in state structures could be repressed by administration. In this way the property and industrial potential are redistributed and further monopolized. Absolutely prospectless model of state capitalism is formed in the country, based on the administrative resources and powerfully enforced monopoly.
Evaluating the oligarchy role in an extremely differentiated Ukrainian society, it is possibl to say that on this stage it became an effective slow-down mechanism for free-market relations and civil society development in Ukraine and, in general, is dangerous for the state existence. It is an extremely reactionary group which causes slow but constant crawling of Ukrainian society to the state capitalism in conditions of complete economy monopolization. That is why we can dub those few oligarchs who are close to the highest power stagnarchs, and the form of their ruling could be called stagnarchy.
4. National Project of A Far-Reaching Effect.
Symptomatically sounds the phrase, permanently repeated by Leonid Kuchma during his first and second presidential term: “So, what exactly are we constructing?”. Obviously, this question is directed not only to himself, but to the society as well. And he is right, for who knows the correct answer today in Ukraine? What really are we building? Naked declaration of independence is not enough at all. Short-term clan games of stagnarchs (what is modern politics in Ukraine) have no relation to the perspective plans suggested to be fulfilled by us, as well as there was no real prospect to ephemeral plans of national-democrates, who did not move further than the simplest slogans.
It is necessary first to define the aims which should be attained in order to create some plan or project. Is there any single aim acceptable for the majority of Ukrainian citizens? Inconsolidation of that group of people for sure hinders the process of realizing their aims and following instruments of their destination. For the first period achievement of consensus in the most general questions could become a possible aim. But this agreement has to be elaborated and accepted by all participants of the “Project Ukraine”. If the all-national consensus is not achieved, own “subprojects Ukraine” will appear in each region being controversial to one another. It is exactly what we have today. The authorities have learned already how to use that, talking in each region its “signal” language and promising to embody just their “subproject Ukraine”. It helps to prevent the consolidation of the population of different regions into the single political organism, political nation with the single aim and will for its embodiment, and in such a way – to solve its own problems in the existing situation.
4.1. Russian Vision Of “Project Ukraine”
It would be strange if there were no Russian “Project Ukraine”. In the first post-Byelovezhian period of “sedition” there was no idea in Russia what to do with Ukraine. It was not yet the time for revenge projects, Russia was in a shock condition. Moreover, Boris Yeltsyn had certain leniency towards Ukraine, because it was Ukrainian independence that acted as a main factor which brought him to power in Russia.
But already in “late-Yeltsyn” period of exit from democratisational fog (not real democracy) Russia reversed itself to the neo-imperial revenge projects and new expansional encroachments towards Ukraine. Russia started to elaborate its own “Project Ukraine”, which had to become a natural national interest of RF. It started to pursue a more aggressive economic and informational policy, which shortly resulted in almost complete loss of Ukrainian informational and cultural independence, partial waste of economic independence due to tight links to Russian energy sources, supported by pro-Russian oil-and-gas lobbies in Ukraine and nourished by Russia itself.
It is not necessary to preview a primitive absorption of Ukraine by Russia in Russian “Project Ukraine”, as it is considered by Russian empire revenge-seekers. Russia sees its sphere of interests and influence in Ukraine. It makes attempts for maximum dependence of Ukraine on RF in economical, political, security, even self-identification sphere. It spread widely the influence groups on different levels and in different areas – from mass-media to economics – in order to realize its plans. It can block measures opposing those ties, if needed. The example of Odessa oil terminal is more than sufficient. Practical Russian monopoly on energy carriers is not less articulative.
4.2. American Vision Of “Project Ukraine”
At the same time American “Project Ukraine” becomes clearer. The USA are surely interested in Ukraine as in a buffer state between NATO and Russia+. They understand quite clearly, that it is not worth strengthening Russia by way of Ukraine annexation. Furthermore, they suggest that Russia had a chance to become a democratic (predictable and safe for the USA ) country if it gets rid of its imperial ambitions.
It is no use talking about mutual position of the West, because there is no common position due to the contradictions between the USA and the EU, inside the EU and inside NATO. The possible way for Ukraine suggested by the USA is in tight co-operation and further future membership in NATO, rapprochement with the EU (perhaps the US support is not excluded). Certainly nobody talks about the EU membership, but the movement in this direction is suggested. This US position is very useful for Ukraine while it can embody “European” or “Euro-Atlantic” way.
4.3. The EU Vision Of “Project Ukraine”
One can talk about the complete absence of the EU “Project Ukraine”. The EU has so many home problems connected with enlargement perspectives, that “Ukrainian question” could be hardly seen. It does not mean, certainly, that the problem disappears when the eyes are closed.
Only now they started to seek for a space for Ukraine in the substance recently named “common house”. It became clear, that the offered place is not inside comfortable EU, but “close to” or rather between EU and RF. EU stands strictly on this position in spite of Ukrainian pro-European motions. And it is right, because it is impossible to build in such a state-monopolistic and stagnating in authoritarian direction “Project Ukraine” into “European House”. But one question remains open: is it possible to deprive Ukraine in general, and not “Gosudarstvo” Ukraine/ parallel Russia/ crypto-Russia” of European prospect? That is why the official EU position has no restrictions as to the European future of Ukraine, but only after two waves of EU enlargement and changes in Ukraine itself.
4.4. Oligarchy-Nomenclatural Vision Of “Project “Gosudarstvo” Ukraine”
It was already mentioned above, that there is no single “Project Ukraine”, based on all-national consensus, as well as there is no consensus itself. Instead, there are several different proposals to the “Project Ukraine”, not only distant but even quite opposite to one another. But it does not mean that at least one of them is implemented.
The real way of things in Ukraine could be described as a finished oligarchy-nomenclatural “Project Ukraine” in the form of “Gosudarstvo ”Ukraine”. Stagnarchy has practically embodied this project and is almost happy about that. It saved power, consolidated itself around state monopoly as political integrity, overcame successfully the transition from planned to state-capitalistic economy, carried out and finishes now the redistribution of property. It is not interested principally either in destroying of state monopoly or in introducing “civic society”, which can cause threats to it. At the same time stagnarchy did its best to deprive Ukraine of the EU prospect , which could finish the “Project “Gosudarstvo ”Ukraine”. Stagnarchy has no interest in civilizing economic policy in Ukraine, so the declaration of its “European choice” could not be considered seriously.
Non-admittance of such way of things by the West is the only discomfort for stagnarchy, though a healthy political cynicism of strategic partners helps them to watch the small drawbacks of “Gosudarstvo ”Ukraine” turning blind eye to them. That is the reason for particular US support of “Gosudarstvo ”Ukraine” project due to some anti-Russian or anti-EU considerations. EU does not understand and does not accept this project. Poland is the only close neighbour, which delicately makes no barriers to that project, as Czechia does, having its own concrete geopolitical interests in Ukraine.
The same particular support is received by “Gosudarstvo ”Ukraine” project from Russian side while it promotes the way to Russia+ reintegration. Some other tendencies, certainly, could be noticed. Part of Ukrainian stagnarchs are not interested in redistribution of property and power in Ukraine in favour of more mighty Russian oligarchs, so they can sabotage reintegration to Russia+ as effectively as the EU approach. There could not be final orientation – in Eastern or Western direction – in the frames of “Gosudarstvo ”Ukraine” project. The great sense of that project consists in moving nowhere, because otherwise the rules of the game for power elites are to be changed, the property and, therefore, the power – to be redistributed. Big Western or Russian capitals would at once swallow weak capitals of Ukrainian “new Russians”.
4.5.Proposals to “Project Ukraine”
In spite of everything, Ukraine remains a problem. The problem for itself, because the present way of things is not acceptable for the majority of its citizens. Common silence does not mean common agreement. If society is going only to survive, not to change itself, it is condemned to sink to the very bottom sooner or later. It is important therefore to think at least conceptionally what to do next, for it is really impossible to live in such a way any longer.
4.5.1. European Project
For such an average state in world scale as Ukraine the European project could become the most attractive. Taking into account that the membership of Ukraine in the EU is impossible this project may consist in maximum homogenisation of all social and state life spheres with the standards adopted in EU. Recently Ukraine adopted a 7-year program for EU integration, where practical co-ordination with EU standards of economics, legislation etc. are previewed. It has to approach the EU with the maximum of the US support, and in further perspective – supported by the FRG and Poland (in technical aspect). The time frames of the project would be determined by the EU effectiveness after two waves of its enlargement and by possible political collisions, which can accelerate or slow down this process.
4.5.2. Black Sea-Mediterranean Project
In case of blocking the EU-directed project and complications with its development in Russian direction “Project Ukraine” can choose Black Sea-Mediterranean area as a possible direction for further development of its relationships. GUUAM (the political union of Georgia, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova) is a considerable prolegomenon of that project. This project has good economic prospects: oil and gas transportation from Caspian, Caucasus and (what is not excluded) Gulf regions with their possible processing. There is no basis for discussion of the democratisation resources of that region. Ukraine is an actual leader of this political-economical union and can occupy good position in the Black Sea Co-operative Organization.
4.5.3. Russia-Centered Project
The “Russia-centered project” could not be ignored, but not the one, formed by Russia, but a purely Ukrainian one. Ukraine itself can attempt to build its relations with Russia according to personal “Russia-centric project”. This project could be very effective in certain but almost impossible circumstances, when real consensus were found. Hence, Russia and Ukraine have to change themselves for that. Russia first of all has to refuse from its imperial syndrome and to seek strategical, not tactical, profitable co-operation with friendly Ukraine. At the same time Ukraine has to forget its fears associated with Russian imperialism and to go out from the stagnarchial dead point.
4.5.4. Buffer Project
The mixture of stagnarchial and American “buffer projects”, timidly planned in Washington as well as in Kyiv, is being partly implemented now in Ukraine. Strategic partnership with the USA and Russia allows Ukrainian stagnarchs to realize their buffer state policy, which moves nowhere and does not develop as a social organism. The form of a regime dominating in their partner-state is less interesting for the USA than its faithfulness to political and military obligations undertaken by Ukraine as a political partner. Kyiv uses that successfully. It parasites on its geopolitical resources, preserving the present state of things. At the same time Kyiv does not approach Russia+ too close, leaving a space for stagnation in this direction as well.
4.5.5. Baltic Sea – Black Sea Project
This project is almost impossible or lost due to Russia and Byelarus reunion and definite EU direction of Baltic countries. Byelarus was neutralized by this reunion as a natural strategic partner of Ukraine. It is a pity that practically everybody forgot about that. About Poland, however, it is talked much more, though it is distinctly and incomparatively different to Ukraine. Nevertheless, despite everything what is going on in Byelarus, its resources could be sooner or later activated.
4.5.6. Temporal “Project Ukraine”
Awaiting the coming of new generations could become a possible project, when the old way of thinking and, therefore, decision-making would go away together with old nomenclature. The youth should have a more developed “state” and “enterpreneurship” experience. Finally, it has to declare inevitably its right to power. Is this youth being brought up now? The majority tries to make ends meet in the problems of stagnating society. At the same time the stagnarchs invented the system of their reproduction. Soviet nomenclature delivered oligarchy and stagnarchy, and those, respectively, are “bringing up” their new generation, which, certainly, is not interested in the loss of its position and in construction of civil society. And this can stop the development of Ukraine in general.
4.5.7. Language “Project Ukraine” / “Project Ukraine-Language”
Even in the case of complete prospectlessness of this project in “Gosudarstvo ”Ukraine” conditions, it has to be declared. The Ukrainian language as a consolidative element of potential Ukrainian political nation has a great prospect. But nevertheless, it is suppressed severely in already independent Ukraine in its post-colonial, in fact neo-colonial period of history. That is why the society has a task to compose its enlarged self-identification with the Ukrainian language, creating Ukrainian world outlook. It is impossible to build an effective and independent identity on the basis of actual bilinguism of Ukrainian population (in conditions of rigid Russian neoimperialistic discourse pressing and neo-Russian / Russian-speaking identity).
The only thing left is to work on those and, perhaps, some other directions of “Project Ukraine” development.
Not a single drop of blood was shed for independence of a new state of Ukraine and for the “Project Ukraine” embodiment. That is why it is price-less indeed. It has no price, it was not paid for and, therefore, is not valued by anybody. Stagnarchy lives with what it manages to “grab” today. For nine years of “Gosudarstvo ”Ukraine” existence it has kept all its capitals abroad. Those are compradors, every moment ready to leave the sinking ship. “Gosudarstvo ”Ukraine” project almost gave nothing to the pauperized masses, whose percentage in the society is constantly growing, so any sentiments towards it could be hardly expected. And the so-called middle class cannot be born in nomenclature-oligarchic society.