While Ukraine’s oligarchic elite aspires to become a ruling class in its own right, it is also the object of an ongoing competition between Russia and the west to draw it into their respective transnational capitalist classes, writes Marko Bojcun
As the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Ukraine’s communist leaders and their loyal opposition both held out the same rosy prospect to the Ukrainian people – that on becoming independent they had the best chance of all the peoples of the Soviet Union ‘to return to the west’. In other words, they would quickly be integrated into western-led institutions and the global market and recover the economic prosperity they had enjoyed before the Soviet collapse.
After all, Ukraine held a quarter of the Soviet Union’s productive capacity, including some of its most advanced industrial sectors: aeronautical, aerospace, ship building, armaments and heavy engineering. It had extensive and rich farmland. Its scientists ran some 170 advanced research institutes. And its people were as well educated as any in Europe.
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