The situation of Ukraine in terms of social progress


Although it is often portrayed as part of western civilization, the social progress index and its certain performance in terms of basic human needs, foundations of wellbeing, and opportunity are not as high as most of the European countries.

The Bottom Billion Traps

Paul Collier, the author of the bottom Billion, describes mainly four traps which stops a country from developing: conflict, natural resource, landlocked with bad neighbours, and bad governance in a small country.

Conflict Trap

As the picture of election of 2004 in Ukraine in the link shows, there is a significant conflict between the eastern and the western parts of Ukraine. As the recent Ukrainian issue shows, the eastern part tends to be more Russian than European, while the western part is more friendly to Europe than Russia. This political conflict between east and west could be a serious barrier for country to develop as a whole.

Natural resource

Eastern Ukraine relies overwhelmingly on Russia for natural gas. With this particular reason, it's closely connected with Russia and is reluctant to join the European Union. In fact, most of Europe relies on Russia for natural gas, which gives Russia a huge advantage in world affairs. The Russian dominance also leads to another conflict: bad neighbors.

Landlocked with bad neighbors

With Russia to its east and Europe to the west, Ukrainians are politically separated geographically. Russia which used to be Soviet Union still remains some Dominance over the countries that became independent after the dissolution of Soviet Union. With an ambition to keep being one of the most powerful forces in the world, Putin firmly takes many actions against both Europe and America. With a location in between Europe and Russia, two big forces in the globe, Ukraine is landlocked in terms of politics because of the neighbors' stance.

Bad Governance

With widespread corruption and secrecy in terms of public policy making, the Ukraine government induces much poverty in the country because of its irresponsibility in taking actions. What's more, it used to prevent public from participating in political affairs which resulted in the Orange Revolution.
Meeting all four traps described in the bottom billion, Ukraine seems hopeless. However, no matter how bad things get, remember, there is always hope...

Advocates for human rights in a non-violent manner

The Soros Foundations, founded by Philanthropist George Soros, have been working for many years to foster a transition to democracy in the post-Soviet sphere. Through the Open Society Institute, they are noted for their close relationships with several of the color revolutions, particularly in Ukraine. Their work may possibly solve the problem of conflict, bad governance and neighbors, were there to be true democracy in the country.

Political parties such as the Unity party and the People's movement of Ukraine for Unity call for unity in the country. However, they never received more than 2% of the popular vote in elections. More popular are the parties which seem clearly biased to serve certain communities' interests.