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    Three Years After Euromaidan: Life in Ukraine 'Has Become Considerably Worse'

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    The Ukrainian leadership has failed to salvage the economy, tackle corruption and improve the lives of the people two and a half years after the protests in central Kiev, which became known as Euromaidan, led to a coup, activist and blogger Dennis Schedrivy told Radio Sputnik, painting a grim picture of what life is like in Ukraine these days.

    The situation in Ukraine "has become considerably worse because the cost of living has become much higher. People are paying more for services like electricity, water and heating. The job market is almost dead. It's very hard to find work. Even if you can, it will not pay well. Every reform and every attempted reform, proposed last year, has failed," he said.

    Schedrivy described the situation as "a failure in general."

    The activist also mentioned that corruption remains one of key malaises of Ukraine's political and economic system. He insisted that it has become worse.

    For instance, those who have received access to power since the February 2014 coup have become incredibly rich, he noted, citing the mandatory income and property declarations. These documents have been made publicly available at the insistence of the European Union. These declarations have shocked ordinary Ukrainians.

    "There are a lot of people who were so-called activists and patriots, who had no property in 2013. It turned out that they had become very rich in two and a half years. They now have trouble explaining" the source of their assets, he said.

    Schedrivy mentioned one case of Ukrainian authorities delivering on their promise given to those who gathered on Kiev's central Independence Square, known as Maidan, in late 2013 – early 2014. However, implications of greater economic cooperation with Europe and the free-trade area established as a result have not been positive for Ukraine.

    "Three years ago many experts were saying that political step was not good for Ukraine and its economy because we opened our markets to Europeans but received nothing in return. The lumber industry is a good example. Europe is openly blackmailing Ukraine seeking deliveries of cheap wood in exchange for promises to provide loans. This demand has been met, but it has not been very good," he explained.

    The activist further said that Ukraine's economic situation will likely become more complicated since the incoming US administration will be less intent on bankrolling the country. Kiev "will have less financial support from the US," he said.

    In late 2013, then President Viktor Yanukovych announced his decision to postpone signing the Ukraine–EU Association Agreement over unfavorable terms, sparking protests. He was removed from power in February 2014 following deadly clashes in central Kiev. These events led to the ongoing civil war in the country, involving government forces and Donbass independence supporters.

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    Tags:
    Ukrainian economy, economy, income, reforms, corruption, Euromaidan, Ukraine
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