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Ukraine Faces an Unhappy Ending Even If It Wins the War with Russia

March 10, 2023
South China Morning Post

Alex Lo

By now, it’s worth thinking about what kind of life awaits the ordinary citizens of Ukraine. Most of us probably assume it will depend on whether they win or lose the war against Russia. But if you “follow the money”, always a good idea, from big-time Western investors, private equities and Ukrainian oligarchs, you may conclude that win or lose, it won’t be a happy ending for most Ukrainians.

Being recolonised by Russia will be hell for many. But being taken over by Western, especially US commercial interests won’t be a picnic either. The mainstream news media have created the impression that there will be some kind of a Marshall Plan to rebuild the country.

But if a new study by the California-based Oakland Institute is anything to go by, the end of the war, assuming it resembles something like victory, will be more like Russia after the Soviet Union collapse.

A drastic structural adjustment programme awaits, thanks to Western lending conditions. That means rapid privatisation and unrestricted foreign investment that get away with being charged pennies on the dollar for the most valuable assets, for those with the right connections to pick up the business. Meanwhile, social welfare and safety nets go out the window.