Article by: Yana Polyanska
The mercenaries on the occupied territories of Donbas will no longer steal the money the government is sending to Ukrainians, promised Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk. As such, part of the region will not receive money from the budget: the occupied territories in Donetsk oblast require almost 20 billion UAH in subsidies, and the requirement for Luhansk oblast is almost 15 billion UAH.
Besides, the Ukrainians on these territories will not receive their subsidies and pensions until this region is returned fully under the control of the Ukrainian army.
“While the territories of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts are under the control of various impostors, the central budget will not send money there. The government will not finance terrorists,” stated Arseniy Yatseniuk.
“All the pensions, all social payment, subsidies, are calculated for everyone. As soon as the terrorists get out of Donetsk and Luhansk territory, we will immediately take them under control and personally pay to each individual the social dues they have a right to,” noted the Prime Minister.
It will be warm in winter on the territories of Donbas controlled by the mercenaries
At the same time, Arseniy Yatseniuk reported that the government decided not to cut off gas and electricity supplies to the territories to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe. According to him, though the mercenaries are not paying money for the gas they consume to the Ukrainian state budget, the Cabinet of Ministers decided to demand this money from the region after the territories are freed.
“As soon as we regain control over these territories, the sum of money which is accumulated in the budget for social subsidies and payments will be decreased by the value of electricity and gas we currently supply to the territories of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, which are not under the control of the central government now. I think it is fair,” stated Mr. Yatseniuk.
The war is detrimental to the economy and investment climate in both Donbas and all of Ukraine
According to economist Volodymyr Lanovy, the war is detrimental to both the Ukrainian economy in general and the local budget of the territories the mercenaries have occupied. However, Lanovy emphasizes, the self-declared republics will have it harder in the future: they are artificially detached from the rest of Ukraine, have a destroyed infrastructure and a lack of income sources for the budget.
“Trade is an internal system, both parts have to be present. If trade and supplies from and to Donbas are disrupted, both side lose, naturally. We are now losing coal, there is less export revenue in general,” says Lanovy.
The expert notes that the investment climate in Ukraine is more detrimental to the budget, and not the fact that the occupied territories do not pay for gas. Investors are afraid of investing into a country with active combat or a frozen conflict. As such, Lanovy concluded, Putin is gradually ruining the Ukrainian economy by scaring off economic allies.
The mercenaries will use the suspension of pensions as a propaganda argument
The government stops financing the territories occupied by the mercenaries, and the leaders of the gangs will use this as an instrument of manipulation, says social psychologist Viktor Pushkar. At the same time, the expert adds, the vulnerable classes will be the ones who will be easiest to influence: those who “equate themselves with the aggressor” and determines their welfare by the presence or lack of subsidies.
“It will be used as an argument for propaganda, that Ukraine refuses to pay your pensions or social dues,” emphasizes Pushkar.
Overall Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, the liberated and out-of-control territories require almost 57 billion UAH in subsidies.