Valeriy Pekar, UP
Some journalists have already started talking about “refugees from hot spots.” We think in words, and many of our military problems are rooted in the fact that we have spent too much time calling the occupants “green men,” and the terrorists “the militia” etc.
There are no “hot spots” and no “refugees” in Ukraine.
Therefore lets not talk about “refugees from hot spots,” but about refugees from the zone of terrorist organisation activities. The influx of refugees has already become quite strong, and their number will only continue to grow further. It is dangerous to remain in the area. What is more: without the possibility of using live shields from local citizens, the terrorist would have been defeated a long time ago.
First almost all the citizens of the area, hypnotised by Russian TV, were afraid of leaving because of the scary Banderites and Right Sector, which are killing everyone who speaks Russian. However later more and more people started to grasp what the PRD and PRL really are.
A mass of independent field commanders.
War against everyone.
Stealing and violence.
Caricature characters and real deaths.
A total destruction of the economy.
Looting and desperation.
And a constant stream of those who want to escape this nightmare.
The same will happen in Crimea. Gradually the situation will become tenser, and the people will start fleeing the peninsula. Ukrainians, Russians, Crimean Tatars. Russia will close the border sooner or later – the logic of empires is always the same, – but hundreds of thousands of people will manage to escape to continental Ukraine.
The third group of refugees will be Russian Ukrainians.
The logic of xenophobic ideology is unshakeable. Ukrainians living in Russia will soon end up at gunpoint. They will be accused of being the “fifth column.” They will be baited and rid of certain rights. Their neighbours will stop greeting them. They will begin changing their last names from “-ko” to “-ov.”
If you think this is a joke or an exaggeration, you are deeply mistaken.
Remind yourselves of the Balkan story, German Jews or the American Japanese – though the last example deals with a democratic state, history proved that democracy does not obstruct xenophobia.
In the end, Ukrainians will start escaping to Ukraine. Where else would they go?
Finally, there is a fourth group. In contrast to the first three, they can be deemed “refugees,” and this stream is already gaining power. It is Russian intelligentsia, which is moving to Ukraine. Almost every day we receive some new petitions from Russians regarding possibilities of finding a job at a new location.
The motivation is very simple: the people that want to engage in some form of creativity in their lives, business or civil activity, understand that they de facto have no chance of doing it in Russia. The readiness to learn Ukrainian and ask for citizenship is becoming a mass phenomenon.
And here we approach that which motivated me to write this text.
Ukraine is not ready for the influx of refugees and emigrants.
We don’t have a well developed migration policy. Or migration service does not have a sufficient amount of qualified people, it does not have procedures, it does not have typical developed processes. The lack of trust my Russian friends have in various institutions is a different story. What is more, we don’t have an internal migration policy, our internal affairs bodies are not prepared for this.
But papers are only a fraction of the problem. Accommodation, work, schools and kindergartens. The problem of imported criminals and the ghetto problem.
Let’s examine this in more detail.
Accommodation. Refugees cannot live in camps forever. All right, the war in the East will end soon, however not all of them will want to return to destroyed cities with no employment.
The restoration of these cities will be a big problem. However, a bigger problem will be the lack of cheap accommodation and mortgages. In order to solve this problem, it is necessary to seriously engage with the issue of regulation policies in construction, regulation policies in the bank sphere, legislation regarding the rights of loan-givers, the problem of corruption during land distribution and construction.
Work. We need to immediately increase the employment of the populations several times over. Here we touch on the tax reform, and the problems of the difficulty of opening/closing businesses, and issues of firemen-sanitary services-inspectors from various inspections. We need to simplify the creation of new jobs. And this means a significant decrease of fiscal pressure on the salary fund and tax investment stimulation.
A separate issue are cheap loans for business development, and here western financial organisations will help. A temporary solution for the problem of employment will be the involvement of able refugees in big infrastructure projects which are being financed with international loans.
Schools and kindergartens. The average quality of education in our country is already quite low. And without a reform of the educational system we will get a refugee ghetto, which an uneducated generation will turn into a source of criminals within several years. A small Donbas will exist in every city. Just imagine that.
And, finally, we need to find a balanced cultural-spiritual solution.
People from various ethnic backgrounds and religions will arrive. Propaganda of tolerance, a social rejection of xenophobia are impervious for the country not to turn into a battlefield for constant ethnic conflicts.
And meanwhile we need to hold common cultural and spiritual ground. We need to support the Ukrainian language and Ukrainian culture as an instrument for assimilation – this word is generally used in the negative sense, but here the context for us is positive, which means finding oneself in new social conditions.
The problem of assimilation does not exist for educated and developed individuals, they have a complex national identity which combines the natural ethnic heritage with patriotism and loyalty to the country and political nation.
Meanwhile underdeveloped and uneducated people create ghettos and China-towns. European multicultural policies have not been successfully, and a new models has not been developed yet.
But Ukraine has no time to lose. So we need our own model. And it can only be built on a single language and the multicoloured culture of the political nation.
This way, the refugee and emigrant problem are very complex. They touch on all spheres of the country’s life.
We have a change to get an addition of high quality human capital if we create according conditions and solve numerous problems. At the same time hesitation and ignoring, conservation of the old system create a horrible threat for us, which ay rip the country apart worse than civil war, as the problems will bread in every corner.
Finally, at a certain moment Russia will explode, and the influx of refugees from there will count in millions.
We have to carry our all necessary preparations beforehand.
Ukraine may become the most powerful European country if we take advantage of this chance.
The impossibility of taking it up will be the end of Ukraine. We will simply be crushed under the pieces of the falling last empire of the world.
A wall will not help. We have to be strong on the inside, and not protect ourselves with eggshells. A reform of the economy, social system and state government is becoming an issue of the nation’s survival.
So, when you see several tired people with suitcases, know this: they are the first birds, the harbingers of a storm.
There is still time. But we have to start tomorrow morning.
Translated by Mariya Shcherbinina