Monday, 7 November 2022 — The Van Says…
This has become a familiar picture over the last year, yet is the Ukrainian political establishment now attempting to flood Europe with its populace?
The last month has seen Russian forces take the Ukrainian electricity system offline piece by piece, power stations as well as substations being destroyed in a series of devastating strikes. This has prompted the mayor of Kiev to propose evacuating the entire population from the city as well as its environs due to the increasingly untenable situation that the population faces as normal life slowly grinds to a halt and the cold of winter starts to bite. With things being as they are across the whole country today, it can be guaranteed that these displaced people will not stay in-country and will be sent to Europe. This article examines what this may mean for both the Ukraine as a country and those states who would be playing host to as many as four million more Ukrainian people.
Power but no Power
In spite of the country going through what it is whilst Zelenskiy refuses to even talk of negotiations, little by little, life is being brought to a standstill. With the electricity grid suffering not-so-infrequent outages and it being impossible to repair the damages caused by Geran drone strikes, everyday business gets harder all the while. With the power infrastructure suffering the woes it is, water and sewage systems are also being affected. This not only creates immeasurable difficulties for individuals and industry alike, but should the sewage system grind to a halt, the risk of disease becomes a very real danger.
With affairs in the Ukraine being how they are and the possibility of a Republican win in the midterms tomorrow meaning that US assistance may suddenly be slashed, Zelenskiy is in a very tight spot indeed. Not only that, with Kiev stonewalling any opportunity to call a halt to happenings, the conditions for the civilian population are becoming more precarious by the day. With international favor potentially failing and public suffering increasing by the day, the Ukrainian leadership needs a new ploy and it needs it fast. Should Zelenskiy order an evacuation, this would not only reduce the population and therefore public pressure for a truce, it would also bring the consequences of the current conflict onto Western European streets. This may (or not) allow him to blackmail European governments into giving him even more handouts than they already do, but waves of new migrants may even turn the tide of western public opinion against their leaders.
Whenever there is an evacuation, a multitude of problems arise. This can be from roads choked with traffic to broken down buses to families which are split up. The evacuation of the Donbass Republics went very smoothly indeed, yet in this case, it was effectively Russians being temporarily moved to another part of Russia, prior plans already having been made from territory that was not being ravaged by war.
Additionally in the case of Ukrainians being evacuated by rail, with the electricity supply being as patchy as it is, the very few diesel locomotives that it possesses are very hard pressed to cover for the enforced absence of their electric counterparts as well as the additional fuel they use being increasingly hard to obtain.
A Numbers Game
There have been very few mass evacuations in the modern era, the best known being the evacuation of British cities during the Second World War. Those evacuated were principally children who had just one suitcase and were only a train journey away from their destination. Whilst it is surprising that no exact figures exist of those displaced, the total number of evacuees from Britain’s cities totaled around three million. The population of the city of Kiev is officially around this same figure, with a further 1.8 million living in the oblast (province) of Kiev which surrounds the city itself. What has to be remembered is that many on the electoral register may already have left or be in the armed services. What cannot be forgotten however is that many Ukrainians will travel with more than just one suitcase and have needs very different from those of British kids in the 1940s.
In the Dark
The reason being cited for the evacuation is due to Kiev being in the dark, yet the populations of host nations will almost certainly be just as much in the dark as to the changes that a mass of immigrants such as these could bring. We have already seen some very uncivil behavior from Ukrainian migrants in Poland, yet should the population of the whole Kiev region suddenly foist itself upon an unsuspecting Europe, things will be very different.
A World away from Today
When children from Britain’s cities were torn away from their homes, their childhoods were changed forever. That said, they were English speakers, had no vices, no attitude and made every attempt not to burden their hosts. Furthermore, the older children were to a degree able to help with agricultural work, albeit in a very simple manner, they willingly doing all they could for the war effort. Today’s scenario could not be more different.
A Different World, a Different People
It would not be fair to paint all the migrants with the same brush, but the attitude of many Ukrainians who have already left their country leaves a lot to be desired. In spite of being given benefits, housing and all the opportunities that their hosts can provide, many just don’t want to know. There are some underlying reasons for this, yet everything from mindset to morals comes into play.
It’s a Different World
The first thing that any migrant has to understand is that if you want a new life to work for you, you have to work for that new life. In simple terms, that for the Ukrainians means shutting up, knuckling down and making every effort to fit in. This would be a logical conclusion to reach were it not for the multitude of problems that are already being seen. Everyone from businessman to bus driver and from hooker to hooligan is whining on TikTok and other platforms about benefits, housing, the jobs that they are being given as well as a relating a myriad of other complaints. In short, those who have already journeyed to their dream land are finding their dreams are being cut short by the ‘inconveniences’ of everyday life in Western Europe.
When we consider that over the last eight months, some eight million migrants have left the Ukraine, another four million are going to place already hard-pressed economies into dire straits, the effects of a pandemic now giving way to the worst recession in nearly a century. Moreover, if Russia attacks other Western Ukrainian cities in the same manner as it has Kiev, a trend may begin, many more than four million making their way westwards.
Even though host nations are busting their butts to accommodate the flood of refugees, those migrants are making some very trying demands indeed on those who are trying to help them. Many arrived with children, and are asking that their kids be taught in the Ukrainian language. If these youngsters are to integrate into the new societies in which they live, they need to master the native languages of that country. On top of that, if the curriculum is being conducted in Ukrainian, who knows what they are being taught? We are very aware of the indoctrination that has happened in schools back in the Ukraine, but do hosts in Western Europe want the same brainwashing to be exercised on their home turf?
It is only to be expected that once housed, the new arrivals will begin to earn their keep by getting a job. In spite of all they’ve been through, Ukrainian immigrants have been irking Germans and Poles by being very choosy about the employment they take. Whilst the native populace has to grab what it can, often at the minimum wage, many Ukrainians believe they are something special and will only cherry-pick the best jobs going.
This may all be about to change, with the Western Europeans increasingly at odds with their new guests; some governments are finally cutting much of the assistance that had previously been provided and requiring the immigrants to stand on their own two feet. On the face of things, this is a good thing. Those who have received the charity of others must now repay the favor, yet in doing so, they are flooding the labor markets with cheap workers at the same time as industry is facing the stiffest challenges since the Second World War. It is well-known that it is the unskilled who are laid off first when things turn sour, yet with so many European outfits suddenly closing their doors forever, this means that not only will this cause unemployment, as well as greater competition at the lower end of the wage spectrum, but it may also mean that minimum wage workers see scant pay rises just as inflation is soaring. This in turn may lead to even greater hostility against those who have left the hostilities of their homeland behind.
Fighting from Afar
The government in Kiev has called the vast majority of the adult Ukrainian population to arms, yet looking at some of the stories and videos coming from Europe, it appears that many of those required to fight are elsewhere. Quite how many envelopes with draft papers ‘got lost in the post’ is unclear, yet many who should be in barracks are presently costing their host governments a fortune in benefits. With another potential tsunami of migrants on the horizon, it will be interesting to see how many of the new refugees have escaped the clutches of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, but some are now questioning why western governments are fighting for Kiev whilst so many Ukrainians are not.
Rogue Wave of Rogues
Two matters that the western media have missed is both the possible entry of Ukrainian war criminals into the EU under the guise of refugees as well as that of prostitution rings being run by Ukrainian gangs in their new domains. Europe already had more than enough problems with gangs, drugs and street crime before a tsunami of immigrants hit them; neighborhoods are hardly likely to be improved with somebody else’s hoodlums turning up to do more of the same. Another matter that has been kept scrupulously under the radar is that every Nazi nutjob will also be on his way to fresh pastures. At a time when society has become so sensitive to the slightest slight, a bunch of fascist idiots arriving on Europe’s doorstep is just going to cause more mayhem. If that was not bad enough, although again largely stifled, a number of reports are now surfacing that indicate that not all the weapons that were sent to the Ukraine are remaining there. Just as sanctions have boomeranged back on those who placed them, many of the arms that left European armories may well be returning, a bunch of unknowns having their fingers on the trigger of who knows what.
European states were the first to support America’s war in Europe, yet eight months after it started, just as with sanctions, the whole affair is starting to turn really sour. In spite of all the money and aid that Brussels and its entourage have given to Kiev, soon the Ukrainian government might giving the EU a good proportion of what is left of its population. This would not be so bad if more of the migrants wanted to work for a living at a time when labor markets just aren’t working.
This would bring the number of Ukrainian refugees to around twelve million, this being on top of those that have moved to Russia both before and after the current conflict. With the Ukrainian people possibly moving out of their country whilst others may well be moving in, both in Europe and the Ukraine, the dynamics of this upheaval may become increasingly damaging in so many ways…