A new horror story from Russian media: lustration in Ukraine



Translated by: Mariya Shcherbinina

Russia considers lustration in Ukraine a way to crash the economy, and they claim that the law on lustration will be used in order to fully remove the people who sympathize with Russia from power. 

“Lustration in Ukraine will lead to an economic collapse in 2016,” is the title of the report on Russian TV channel LifeNews this Thursday.

“The lustration law has come into effect in Ukraine. The document is published in the official Verkhovna Rada publication. It prescribes mass ‘cleanses’ within the ranks of state officials, including representatives of local governments who worked during Viktor Yanukovych’s rule,” says the LifeNews report.

The main theses of this reports is the fact that lustration in Ukraine will lead to an economic collapse in 2016. “Everything will fall,” claim Russian experts and evidence it with the fact that by firing so-called ‘over-professionals,’ who, for example, engaged with governing agriculture, it is possible to kill the entire industry.

Director of Interfax Ukraine agency Oleksandr Martynenko commented on the connection between the lustration process and the state of the economy to Radio Liberty. First, he noted that in LifeNews’ report, it is unclear where they got the year 2016 from; there can be no time frame. According to Martynenko, the lustration process will be very complex, he thinks that the problems in the functioning of the state apparatus will arise, in particular, there will be an insufficient number of professional employees.

Oleksandr Martynenko called the conclusions drawn by Russian media regarding the fall of the economy a definite overstatement. “The process of lustration has nothing to do with the economy collapsing, because the economy is influenced by a significantly bigger number of factors, which have more weight than the employees of the Cabinet of Ministers and institutions, although it definitely also has an influence on it,” he stated.

The LifeNews report also claims lustration is an effective law in order to reconstruct Ukraine into an “anti-Russian machine.” The law on lustration says nothing about “sympathies” towards Russia. Those subject to the law on lustration are those who held high posts in judicial and executive governments during Viktor Yanukovych’s presidency, the separatists and leaders of military institutions during Maidan. The law has no power over the people who hold elected posts: the President, the members of the Parliament, judges in the Constitutional Court of Ukraine.

LifeNews journalists write that lustration in any shape for Ukraine is a means to create a Russia-unfriendly regime. They explain their conclusion with the fact that Ukrainians will probably not vote for Oppositional Block, the Communist Party and Strong Ukraine. In their interpretation these parties are not nationalist and therefore do not carry “anti-Russian attitudes.”

Social psychologist Viktor Pushkar calls lustration yet another excuse to accuse Ukraine of Russia-phobia. He emphasizes that there are many excuses for this: one of the recent ones was the abolition of the February 23 celebrations. “Such false alarms will lead to the fact that there, where there really is some form of Russia-phobia and violation of Russian rights, nobody will hear such alarms anymore,” he stated. According to the social psychologist, such messages have a significant effect on the Russian public.

Translated by: Mariya Shcherbinina

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