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Wealth and Democracy in Ukraine II

In my previous blog I came to the conclusion that during its post-Soviet history Ukraine has become a Kevin Philips nightmare. No matter who gets elected there, they are either oligarchs, or oligarch stooges. It appears that the oligarchs not only control the parties that compete against each other during the elections, the Ukrainian billionaires have also been the key players, behind the scenes, during the violent overthrow of the Yanukovich government (see The Power of Ukraine’s Billionaires).

And what has the oligarchic rule yielded for the well-being of the common Ukrainians? Let’s take a look at the Ukrainian GDP per capita, a flawed and limited indicator, but good enough as a starting point. According to the CIA World Factbook, the Ukrainian GDP per capita (PPP) in 2013 was $7,400. That’s far below Hungary’s (19,800), Poland’s (21,100), or Slovakia’s (24,700). It’s also far below that of Russia (18,100). Russia’s GDP per cap is 2.5 times larger than Ukraine’s??

Russia may not be a good comparison because of its vast mineral wealth in oil and gas. Worse, in some ways, Russia is even more oligarchic than Ukraine – it has a truly remarkable number of billionaires, for a medium-wealth country (I tried to count them in the Forbes’ list, but lost count after 100). Still, there is one important difference between Russia and Ukraine.

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The Russian oligarchs, although they came very close to seizing power during the 1990s, ultimately failed to become the ruling class, as it happened in Ukraine. Following a struggle between the economic elites and administrative elites (the ‘State Nobility’), the latter won decisively, thus reverting to the historical pattern that characterized power relations in Russia since at least the fifteenth century. What we have now in Russia is the rule by fairly corrupt state officials working closely with their business cronies. Politically the business elites, unlike in Ukraine, are thoroughly subordinated to the bureaucrats. While the governance of the country is far from optimal, we should also note that, unlike in Ukraine, the Russian system does deliver better results for common people. This is based not only on the comparison between GDP per capita (a flawed measure of ‘per capita income’), but also on comparing average salaries and pensions (corresponding to Social Security benefits in the US).

Perhaps a better comparison is the one with Belarus, a country that lacks not only the mineral wealth of Russia, but also the excellent climate and rich “black soils” of Ukraine. Nevertheless, Belarus manages a very respectable GDP per capita of $16,100, more than twice as good as the one in Ukraine. Furthermore, Belarus doesn’t sport even a single billionaire in the Forbes list. This means that the median Belorussian income is way above that of Ukraine, and probably better than in Russia (a more equitable division of wealth elevates the median). It’s a remarkable achievement for a country that lacks any oil and gas, and is located in a rather unproductive ecological zone.

 

Of course, the ruler of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, is the “last European dictator.” But the political economists have known all along that democracy is not a necessary condition for rapid economic development. It’s enough to look at the history of Asian tigers to see this. Both Taiwan’s and South Korea’s economies grew very rapidly when they were dictatorships. Even Japan fits the pattern. We think of Japan as a democratic society, but until recently Japan was a one-party state. Between 1955 and 2009 (with the exception of 11 months in 1993–94), Japan has been ruled by the Liberal Democratic Party. And the greatest example of how an economic miracle can unfold in the absence of democracy is China, which doesn’t even bother holding elections.

Returning to our comparison of the three East Slavic countries, it is startling to observe that the least democratic, Belarus, is also the most egalitarian, while the people of the most democratic, Ukraine, are the poorest. And don’t forget, the GDP data were for 2013. Today, following the February 2014 Revolution, the GDP has likely declined even more.

To conclude, a structural-demographic analysis of the Ukrainian polity suggests that it is a failed state. All three conditions of a structural-demographic state collapse are present: population immiseration, elite overproduction, and the state fiscal crisis. Unfortunately, the IMF is planning to impose its typical program of ‘reforms,’ which will result in further immiseration of the population, as the subsidies on fuel and staples are eliminated and pensions and state employee salaries are slashed. As far as I can see, there is no effort to curb the power of the oligarchs. This means that the February revolution is not going to be the last one.

28 Comments

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28 Comments

  1. We are fade up with Corruption. You got problem in your country and here in India we too are victim of corrupt politicians and bureaucrats. Have a look on this article.
    link to topbullets.com

    • Peter Turchin says:

      Thanks for the link. I was actually thinking of India when I wrote the post, but did not include it for lack of space/time. But I recollect an article I read some time ago, which argued that democracies are particularly prone to becoming very economically unequal. The paper used India as an example. This question really could profit from a properly conducted statistical analysis – and perhaps someone has already done it.

      • Richard says:

        Interesting. This has held true for Taiwan, which, when it went from authoritarian rule (under martial law under the Chiangs) to a democracy, also jumped from having one of the lowest GINI coefficients in the world to one of the highest (corruption went up as well; the Chiangs wanted power but didn’t actually care much for amassing material wealth).

        Though a country can be both undemocratic and highly unequal. Just look at China. Though I wonder if that is due to the fact that there are always various factions jockeying for power in China while there really was only 1 source of power when the Chiangs ruled Taiwan (and I believe Belarus under Lukashenko).

        So China enjoys the “benefits” of both intra-elite competition and authoritarian rule.

        • Peter Turchin says:

          So what’s the degree of inequality in China, compared to India?

          • Richard says:

            link to en.wikipedia.org:

            China’s more unequal than India by GINI (and other measures). In fact, despite the corruption, India’s actually not all that unequal. The US, Japan, China, Brazil, Mexico, & Turkey are all more unequal.

            Looks like Taiwan isn’t extremely unequal either, but their GINI has increased.

          • Peter Turchin says:

            I don’t believe these numbers at all. According to the table, Ukraine is on par with Denmark and more equal than France??? No way.

          • Concom says:

            Actually, it is not surprising that countries with very high wealth inequality at the same time show high income equality. Huge gap between wealth inequality and income inequality means that the business elite avoid paying taxes within the country. In this sense, Ukraine and Denmark fall into the same category (unlike France).
            See below my comment on the globalization/nationalization of the elite.

          • Peter Turchin says:

            Aha! (Strikes himself on the forehead) Makes perfect sense. But, just as I thought, the income data are very misleading.

  2. Ross David H says:

    I am thinking of the work of Mancur Olson, who said that the longer it had been since a nation had experienced a natural catastrophe or defeat in war large enough to disrupt the political system, the slower it would tend to grow owing to an accumulation of well-organized special interests. So, for example, Germany and Japan grew faster after WWII than the U.K. and France, and then Germany got a second boost when the “eucatastrophe” of reunion disrupted the hold of the ruling elites while Japan had no such disruption, and thus fell into stagnation.

    So, if the Ukraine has been under the effective control of a small elite of oligarchs, then it would seem that only a disruption big enough to shake their fortunes would actually result in an improvement in their system of government. I’m not sure if the loss of the Crimea is, but perhaps an IMF-style reform debacle might be?

    • Peter Turchin says:

      But Ukraine has already experienced a great debacle during the 1990s. If we continue applying shock therapy to the patient, he may not survive it.

  3. radek says:

    This is a three way comparison so the question is who’s the “odd man” in the trio. Until 2000 or so that’d definitely be Belarus. Russia’s and Ukraine’s economic trajectories look very similar except one is an almost parallel “shift up” of the other. On the other hand Belarus during the period from 1990 to about 2000 had 1) much less of a “crash” in the early 90’s than the other two and 2) began growing in the mid 1990’s unlike Russia and Ukraine.

    After 2000 though it’s Ukraine which looks different. Both Belarus and Russia sustained their growth with Russia a bit faster (the difference probably did have to do with favorable oil prices but even without that, Russia would’ve grown). Ukraine stagnated.

    The main factor behind all of it appears to be simply “stability” rather than “democracy” or even “reforms”. Lukashenko is an authoritarian, there is corruption in Belarus and of course little political freedom, but Belarus has been stable. Likewise, what Putin brought to the Russian economy in place of Yeltsin was some kind of institutional stability. Even with corruption, as long as the way it operates is well understood by everyone, its nature is well defined and at least somewhat circumscribed, and its form is static, the cost to the economy is low. So you got to bribe somebody to get something done. As long as you know how much is expected, who to give it to, and that the bribe will actually deliver results, the economy will function, and lots of investments will still be made.

    Economists sometimes distinguish between a “level effect”, essentially a cost to your average income that you pay once and then you’re done, and a “growth effect” which affects the growth rate of your economy year to year. While some level effects can be considerable, over any significant amount of time the growth effect is much more important, even if the cut in the growth rate is just a fraction of a percentage point, because it operates like compound interest. “Stability” seems to have a growth effect while “democracy” at best has a level effect (although some research – Dani Rodrik’s – suggests that even though democracies don’t grow faster,they experience much less year to year fluctuation in incomes).

    Reforms, including some IMF type structural adjustment, tend – though it really depends on specific circumstances – to have a negative level effect (that’s the part which always makes them controversial) but a positive growth effect. That’s at least what they’re designed to do. And they do work in some cases, Poland in the 90’s being the obvious regional example, though west Africans countries like Ghana also being essentially success stories. China too, though they did on their own and in their own way (I think sometimes people underestimate how radical and “shock”ing some of the Chinese economic reforms were).

    • Peter Turchin says:

      There is little political freedom in Belarus, but is there a lot of corruption? Everybody I talked to says that unlike in Russia, it’s impossible to bribe a traffic cop in Belarus. Autocracies are actually better suited to rooting out corruption, if their elites decide to do so. The example of Singapore comes to mind.

      Your general point, about the close connection between political stability and economic growth, is one that I think is right.

  4. Peter Turchin says:

    I just saw the comment by Daron Acemoglu on Ukraine:

    link to theglobeandmail.com

    He puts Ukraine in the same group with Russia and Belarus, saying, in particular:

    “Ukraine has been firmly in the second camp. As a consequence, it now has about one-third of the GDP per capita of neighbouring Poland. The reason for this is in its extractive economic and political institutions.”

    I agree about “extractive institutions” in Ukraine, but if you look at the GDP per capita, Belarus and Russia are quite close to Poland, Slovakia, etc. On the other hand, Ukraine’s GDP is way below any of those countries.

  5. Concom says:

    There is little doubt that the dynamics of wealth/income inequality, “elite overproduction” and other structural-demographic “internal dimensions” are necessary for understanding the history of any country. However, it seems that only these “internal” dimensions are not sufficient to explain the recent events in Eastern Europe.
    Perhaps, the key driven process is not elite overproduction alone, but rather a globalization (or in contrary nationalization) of the elite.
    In Belarus, the elite have been “nationalized”, i.e. was under the complete control of the state (national elite has no significant assets and interests abroad). In Ukraine, the opposite process of globalization of the national elite took place. In fact, Ukrainian oligarchs, despite their ultra-nationalist rhetoric, deliberately destroyed state institutions for the sake of personal gain and place within the global elite.
    In the case of Russia, in the ’90s was a phase of rapid globalization of the elite. As Zbigniew Brzezinski quipped about the Russian oligarchs: Are you sure that this is your elite, not ours? Now, with the help of Western sanctions (what an irony!), the process of nationalization of the elite is gaining momentum.
    In general, the struggle between the processes of nationalization and globalization of the elites (or between government officials and the owners of big international corporations), it seems, this process is not only a feature of Eastern Europe, but the main “historical force” in Western countries too.

    • Peter Turchin says:

      Interestingly enough, the same point (how Western sanctions make the Russian elites more patriotic) was gleefully made by a number of Russian commentators.

  6. vdinets says:

    I’ve seen claims that Belarus had to switch to Lukashenko’s economic policies because it wasn’t going to survive IMF reforms. In Russia, these reforms had disastrous results, not as much in economy as in people’s attitudes towards democracy and its proponents.

    Anyway, what is Ukraine to do? I don’t see any practical way to get rid of the oligarchs, at least not until the elections. Saakashvili did manage to curb corruption in Georgia; could Ukraine use the same approach? One thing that is very obvious for me (and I have friends and relatives in Ukraine) is that asabiya there is growing at a crazy rate. People who didn’t care about anything outside the walls of their apartments now form long queues to join the newly-formed national guard; soccer fans from eastern and western Ukraine join each other to sing the national hymn (just three months ago, they hated each other more than any two groups of people I could think of). I wonder if this trend is sustainable.

    • Richard says:

      An external threat (perceived or real) definitely increases asabiyya. It will be interesting. The American elites during the Cold War were clearly solely on only one side of the conflict, which led to increased egalitarianism and asabiyya (if conformity) here. Is that true in Ukraine?

      • vdinets says:

        Someone joked that Putin should be awarded the Order of Stepan Bandera (a Ukrainian nationalist from pre-WWII era) for his contribution to creating a unified Ukrainian nation.

      • vdinets says:

        Remains to be seen. So far, most of the population is united, but no oligarch has given a cent to the army improvement fund.

    • Peter Turchin says:

      Elections are not going to work if the only choice is between Oligarch A and Oligarch B.

      • vdinets says:

        Unfortunately, the non-oigarchs on the list are not much better. I would prefer to see Andrei Parubei as the next president, but he isn’t even running.

  7. PETER WRITES:

    To conclude, a structural-demographic analysis of the Ukrainian polity suggests that it is a failed state. All three conditions of a structural-demographic state collapse are present: population immiseration, elite overproduction, and the state fiscal crisis. Unfortunately, the IMF is planning to impose its typical program of ‘reforms,’ which will result in further immiseration of the population, as the subsidies on fuel and staples are eliminated and pensions and state employee salaries are slashed. As far as I can see, there is no effort to curb the power of the oligarchs. This means that the February revolution is not going to be the last one.

    I FIND THE THESIS ON population immiseration NOT QUITE SUPPORTED EMPIRICALLY – AGAINST THE BACKGROUND OF 2.5 times INCREASE IN PER CAPITA GDP SINCE 1999, WHICH DOES NOT APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN APPROPRIATED BY THE ELITES ONLY AS IS INDICATED, E.G. BY THE GROWTH OF LIFE EXPECTANCY AFTER 2008 FROM 68 YEARS TO 71, DECREASE OF INFANT MORTALITY BY SEVERAL POINTS TO 9 PER THOUSAND (NOT SO FAR FROM THE AMERICAN 6 PER THOUSAND) AND SO ON. I BELIEVE – AGAINST THIS BACKGROUND – PETER SHOULD PROVIDE VERY STRONG EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE IN ORDER THAT THIS THESIS COULD BE ACCEPTED.

    • Peter Turchin says:

      This is a blog, not a scientific article, so I am allowed a certain degree of license. However, it is not clear to me how the robust economic growth in Ukraine squares away with their very low GDP per capita – a factor of 2.5 cannot be easily dismissed. Anecdotal evidence from Crimea suggests that transition to Russian control will at least double pensions and salaries of state employees. Somebody said that soldiers will get 5 times as much (?). This may explain why 90% of them defected to the Russian side…

      Health indicators are not as good measures of well-being in industrialized societies. Miners who lost jobs and are not digging coal but breathing fresh air and growing their own organic food, and have a lot of leisure, may be healthier, but they are still frustrated that they lack jobs.

      • Andrey, remember that a blog is not a scientific article.
        I AGREE. ACTUALLY THAT COMMENT OF MINE WAS NOT INTENDED AS A CRITICISM. THIS WAS RATHER AN INDICATION OF THE POINT THAT URGENTLY NEEDS A RATHER THOROUGH INVESTIGATION.

      • PT: This is a blog, not a scientific article, so I am allowed a certain degree of license. However, it is not clear to me how the robust economic growth in Ukraine squares away with their very low GDP per capita – a factor of 2.5 cannot be easily dismissed.

        YES, I BELIEVE IT MAKES SENSE TO COMPARE PER CAPITA GDP OF UKRAINE, RUSSIA, AND BELARUS IN DYNAMICS (SEE TABLE BELOW, DATA SOURCE IS THE WORLD BANK’S WORLD DEVELOPMENT INDICATORS DATABASE; FIGURES FOR 2013 HAVE BEEN CALCULATED ON THE BASIS OF THE “TOTAL ECONOMY DATABASE”DATA, INTERNATIONAL 2005 DOLLARS AT PURCHASING POWER PARITIES):
        Ukraine Russia Belarus
        2000 3 696 8 613 5 810
        2001 4 077 9 073 6 132
        2002 4 332 9 546 6 482
        2003 4 778 10 292 6 987
        2004 5 397 11 088 7 841
        2005 5 583 11 853 8 640
        2006 6 032 12 878 9 563
        2007 6 547 14 016 10 437
        2008 6 734 14 767 11 546
        2009 5 763 13 616 11 590
        2010 6 029 14 182 12 505
        2011 6 365 14 731 13 216
        2012 6 394 15 177 13 427
        2013 6 457 15 406 13 739

        TO FACILITATE THE COMPARISON I WOULD ALSO PRESENT DYNAMICS OF THE GAP BETWEEN RUSSIA AND UKRAINE, AND THE GAP BETWEEN BELARUS AND UKRAINE

        THE RATIO OF GDP PER CAPITA IN BELARUS TO GDP PER CAPITA IN UKRAINE (1.572 NEXT TO 2000 MEANS THAT IN 1998 THE GDP PER CAPITA IN BELARUS WAS 1.539 TIMES HIGHER THAN IN UKRAINE)
        2000 1.572
        2001 1.504
        2002 1.496
        2003 1.462
        2004 1.453
        2005 1.548
        2006 1.585
        2007 1.594
        2008 1.715
        2009 2.011
        2010 2.074
        2011 2.076
        2012 2.100
        2013 2.128

        THE RATIO OF GDP PER CAPITA IN RUSSIA TO GDP PER CAPITA IN UKRAINE (2.330 NEXT TO 2000 MEANS THAT IN 1998 THE GDP PER CAPITA IN RUSSIA WAS 2.137 TIMES HIGHER THAN IN UKRAINE)

        2000 2.330
        2001 2.225
        2002 2.204
        2003 2.154
        2004 2.055
        2005 2.123
        2006 2.135
        2007 2.141
        2008 2.193
        2009 2.363
        2010 2.352
        2011 2.314
        2012 2.374
        2013 2.386

        IN ADDITION – TO FACILITATE THE COMPARISON I WOULD ALSO PRESENT NORMALIZED DYNAMICS OF THE THREE COUNTRIES (TAKING 2000 LEVEL AS 100)

        Ukraine Russia Belarus World
        average
        2000 100,0 100,0 100,0 100,0
        2001 110,3 105,3 105,5 100,9
        2002 117,2 110,8 111,6 102,3
        2003 129,3 119,5 120,3 104,6
        2004 146,0 128,7 134,9 108,6
        2005 151,0 137,6 148,7 112,1
        2006 163,2 149,5 164,6 116,4
        2007 177,1 162,7 179,6 121,0
        2008 182,2 171,5 198,7 122,7
        2009 155,9 158,1 199,5 120,4
        2010 163,1 164,7 215,2 124,9
        2011 172,2 171,0 227,5 128,1
        2012 173,0 176,2 231,1 130,6
        2013 174,7 178,9 236,5

        THESE DATA ALLOW TO MAKE A FEW RELEVANT OBSERVATIONS:

        1) IN 2000–2013 THE UKRAINIAN ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE WAS NOT AS DISASTROUS AS HAS BECOME SO FASHIONABLE NOW TO BELIEVE. THE OVERALL PER CAPITA GDP GROWTH IN UKRAINE WAS 2.5 TIMES HIGHER THAN THE WORLD AVERAGE. IT WAS AS HIGH AS IN RESOURCE-RICH RUSSIA – WHICH FOR RESOURCE-POOR UKRAINE SHOULD BE CONSIDERED A SERIOUS ACHIEVEMENT BY ITSELF. YES, IT WAS SIGNIFICANTLY LOWER THAN IN BELARUS, BUT IN BELARUS IT WAS ONE OF THE HIGHEST IN THE WORLD – COMPARABLE ONLY WITH SUCH RECENT ECONOMIC MIRACLES AS CHINA. AND – YES – IF YOU COMPARE VIRTUALLY ANY COUNTRY WITH SUCH COUNTRIES AS CHINA, OR BELARUS – YES YOU WILL HAVE AN IMPRESSION THAT THIS COUNTRY DEVELOPES RATHER SLOWLY – BUT THIS IMPRESSION MAY WELL BE SQUARELY WRONG…

        2) THE DATA ABOVE SUPPORT THE IDEA THAT THE POPULATION IMMISERATION IS NOT A NECESSARY CONDITION FOR THE MOST RECENT GENERATION OF REVOLUTIONS. INDEED THE PREVIOUS UKRAINIAN REVOLUTION (THE “ORANGE REVOLUTION” OF 2004) HAPPENED AGAINST THE BACKGROUND OF A VERY FAST ECONOMIC GROWTH. IN FACT, IN 2000-2004 THE ECONOMIC GROWTH RATES IN UKRAINE WERE VERY HIGH. THEY WERE MUCH HIGHER THAN IN RUSSIA AND BELARUS (THAT WERE STILL GROWING VERY FAST AT THAT TIME). WHAT IS MORE, TWO YEARS BEFORE THE ORANGE REVOLUTION (2003 AND 2004) THE UKRAINIAN ECONOMY WAS ONE OF THE TREE FASTEST GROWING ECONOMIES OF THE WORLD (OMITTING SMALL COUNTRIES). IN THOSE YEARS UKRAINE ACHIEVED A SIGNIFICANT CATCH-UP WITH RUSSIA AND BELARUS (IN FACT, THE GAP BETWEEN UKRAINE AND RUSSIA/BELARES WAS THE SMALLEST JUST ON THE EVE OF THE ORANGE REVOLUTION). AND DO YOU KNOW WHO WAS THE HEAD (PRIME-MINISTER) OF THE UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT DURING THE TWO YEARS OF THE SHORT-LIVED “UKRAINIAN ECONOMIC MIRACLE”? YES – THIS WAS JUST THAT VERY DIRTY STUPID YANUKOVICH! AND ONE MAY EVEN HAVE AN IMPRESSION THAT THE ORANGE REVOLUTION ACTUALLY KILLED THE NASCENT UKRAINIAN ECONOMIC MIRACLE, LIKE THE EGYPTIAN 2011 REVOLUTION KILLED THE NASCENT EGYPTIAN ECONOMIC MIRACLE (PROMOTED BY ANOTHER “DIRTY STUPID BASTARD” – GAMAL MUBARAK).

        3) HAVING SAID ALL THESE, ONE MUST STILL NOTE THAT THE DATA ABOVE DOES NOT ALLOW TO REJECT PETER TURCHIN’S “POPULATION IMMISERATION” HYPOTHESIS WITH RESPECT TO THE MOST RECENT UKRAINIAN REVOLUTION (THOUGH THEY DO NOT ALLOW TO REJECT THE ALTERNATIVE HYPOTHESIS EITHER). STILL THERE ARE CERTAIN GROUNDS TO SUPPOSE THAT THERE WAS CERTAIN POPULATION IMMISERATION (LET ALONE POPULATION GRIEVANCES) IN UKRAINE PRIOR TO THE 2014 REVOLUTION. THIS WILL BE A SUBJECT OF MY NEXT COMMENT.

  8. I MYSELF AM NOT QUITE SURE THAT population immiseration (at least in the conventional sense of this term) IS A NECESSARY CONDITION FOR THE MOST RECENT GENERATION OF REVOLUTIONS. ACTUALLY, OUR RESEARCH ON THE EGYPTIAN REVOLUTION (link to cliodynamics.ru) SUGGESTED THAT THOUGH SOME POPULATION IMMISERATION (DUE TO THE SECOND AGFLATION WAVE) PLAYED SOME ROLE IN THE GENESIS OF THIS REVOLUTION, THAT ROLE DID NOT LOOK PARTICULARY IMPORTANT – SUGGESTING THAT SUCH A DESTABILIZATION MIGHT TAKE PLACE EVEN IN ABSENCE OF POPULATION IMMISERATION. WE HAVE ALSO SUGGESTED A MODEL OF THE “ESCAPE AT THE ESCAPE FROM THE TRAP” (link to escholarship.org) THAT ALSO DESCRIBED HOW VERY SIGNIFICANT POLITICAL UPHEAVALS MAY TAKE PLACE IN ABSENCE OF CONVENTIONAL POPULATION IMMISERATION (NOTE, HOWEVER, THAT THIS MODEL IS NOT QUITE APPLICABLE TO THOSE SOCIETIES THAT FINISHED DEMOGRAPHIC TRANSITION LONG AGO – INCLUDING UKRAINE).

  9. I WOULD POST HERE A MESSAGE FROM MY COLLEAGUE DARIA KHALTOURINA THAT SEEMS VERY RELEVANT FOR THIS DISCUSSION:

    There are two side of the issue:

    – why Ukraine had outstandingly long mass protests (especially for the cold climate)

    – why it turned violent and this succeeded, which is unusual for a quite aged and educated country.

    Regarding the last question, I checked a number of Maidan violence video, and it looks that most young men doing violence were dressed a soccer fans Ultras.

    link to youtube.com

    link to liveleak.com

    link to youtube.com

    link to youtube.com

    link to youtube.com

    link to youtube.com

    To compare clothing styles:

    Ultras in Odessa to check the style link to youtube.com

    Ultras in Minsk link to youtube.com

    Ultras in other regions

    Dnepropetrovsk

    link to youtube.com

    Crimea, they guys look dressed similar in the pro-Ukrainian protest

    link to youtube.com

    Ultras (and soccer fans in general) are one of very few groups courage and radical enough to be violent in the former USSR, willing to fight, to risk their lives and to kill sometimes. Please check video of a unauthorized protest of Ultras in Moscow when a

    link to youtube.com

    link to youtube.com

    Here is earlier soccer fan pogrom in Moscow after a soccer game were Russia lost link to youtube.com

    Ultras community are radical and mostly neo-nazi in Russia, and I expect it to be the same in Ukraine. It is hard to leave Ultras, I know personally a rick kid who went to the army volunarily to just get rid out this community.

    There were interesting things happening with Ultras community in the context of the Ukrainian revolution:

    Ultras in all regions, even in Crimea declared to be pro-Maidan (at least some groups)

    link to news.liga.net

    link to 0564.ua

    link to nazpat.livejournal.com

    Also, they declared peace agreement between each others

    link to vesti.ua

    So, we can definitly talk about some Ultras conspiracy. It is very plausible that without radical Ultras Maidan protest would calm down or be opressed like the opposition protests in Moscow. – Daria

    INCIDENTALLY, OUR DEMOGRAPHIC STRUCTURALIST COLLEAGUE FROM UKRAINE NICK POLEVOY EARLIER NOTICED THAT THE UKRAINIAN SOCCER CLUBS HAVE CERTAIN CONTROL OVER THEIR FANS, WHEREAS ALL THE MAJOR UKRAINIAN SOCCER CLUBS ARE EFFECTIVELY CONTROLLED BY THE UKRAINIAN OLIGARCHS. NOTE THAT NICK’S OBSERVATION, DARIA’S OBSERVATION, AND PETER’S DEMOGRAPHIC STRUCTURAL ANALYSIS OF THE UKRAINIAN REVOLUTION FIT EACH OTHER PERFECTLY.

    IN GENERAL, FOR ME THE UKRAINIAN REVOLUTION DOES NOT LOOK AS DIFFERENT FROM THE EGYPTIAN 2011 REVOLUTION AS IT LOOKED NOT LONG AGO. AS WE HAVE RECENTLY SHOWN, IN EGYPT IN 2011 ONE GROUP OF THE ELITES USED THE HANDS OF MAIDAN AT-TAHRIR PROTESTORS TO CRASH ANOTHER ELITE GROUP (THEIR MAIN ENEMIES). AS IS DEMONSTRATED BY PETER THIS WAS ESSENTIALLY THE CASE WITH MAIDAN OF KIEV. THOUGH IN UKRAINE THIS WAS NOT A CLASH BETWEEN MILITARY ELITE (“GENERALS”) AND ECONOMIC ELITE (“OLIGARCHS”) – BUT RATHER A CLASH BETWEEN THE YANUKOVICH CLAN AND WHAT SEEMS TO BE A WIDE COALITION OF THE OTHER OLIGARCH CLANS. AND THE ANTI-YANUKOVICH OLIGARCHS APPEAR TO HAVE USED ULTRAS OF THE SOCCER TEAMS CONTROLLED BY THEM AS THEIR STRIKING FORCE…

    ANDREY

  10. IN THIS COMMENT (AS I HAVE PROMISED EARLIER) I DEMONSTRATE THAT THERE IS SOME EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE SUPPORTING JACK’S “POPULATION GRIEVANCES” THESIS WITH RESPECT TO THE UKRAINIAN REVOLUTION. IT IS CONTINUATION OF THE PREVIOUS COMMENT AND IT CAN HARDLY BE UNDERSTOOD WITHOUT IT. SO I REPRODUCE THE NEW TEXT BELOW AFTER THE PREVIOUS COMMENT.

    PETER: However, it is not clear to me how the robust economic growth in Ukraine squares away with their very low GDP per capita – a factor of 2.5 cannot be easily dismissed.

    Andrey: YES, I BELIEVE IT MAKES SENSE TO COMPARE PER CAPITA GDP OF UKRAINE, RUSSIA, AND BELARUS IN DYNAMICS (SEE TABLE BELOW, DATA SOURCE IS THE WORLD BANK’S WORLD DEVELOPMENT INDICATORS DATABASE; FIGURES FOR 2013 HAVE BEEN CALCULATED ON THE BASIS OF THE “TOTAL ECONOMY DATABASE”DATA, INTERNATIONAL 2005 DOLLARS AT PURCHASING POWER PARITIES):
    TABLE 1
    Ukraine Russia Belarus
    2000 3 696 8 613 5 810
    2001 4 077 9 073 6 132
    2002 4 332 9 546 6 482
    2003 4 778 10 292 6 987
    2004 5 397 11 088 7 841
    2005 5 583 11 853 8 640
    2006 6 032 12 878 9 563
    2007 6 547 14 016 10 437
    2008 6 734 14 767 11 546
    2009 5 763 13 616 11 590
    2010 6 029 14 182 12 505
    2011 6 365 14 731 13 216
    2012 6 394 15 177 13 427
    2013 6 457 15 406 13 739

    TO FACILITATE THE COMPARISON I WOULD ALSO PRESENT DYNAMICS OF THE GAP BETWEEN RUSSIA AND UKRAINE, AND THE GAP BETWEEN BELARUS AND UKRAINE
    TABLE 2
    THE RATIO OF GDP PER CAPITA IN BELARUS TO GDP PER CAPITA IN UKRAINE (1.572 NEXT TO 2000 MEANS THAT IN 1998 THE GDP PER CAPITA IN BELARUS WAS 1.539 TIMES HIGHER THAN IN UKRAINE)
    2000 1.572
    2001 1.504
    2002 1.496
    2003 1.462
    2004 1.453
    2005 1.548
    2006 1.585
    2007 1.594
    2008 1.715
    2009 2.011
    2010 2.074
    2011 2.076
    2012 2.100
    2013 2.128

    THE RATIO OF GDP PER CAPITA IN RUSSIA TO GDP PER CAPITA IN UKRAINE (2.330 NEXT TO 2000 MEANS THAT IN 1998 THE GDP PER CAPITA IN RUSSIA WAS 2.137 TIMES HIGHER THAN IN UKRAINE)
    TABLE 3
    2000 2.330
    2001 2.225
    2002 2.204
    2003 2.154
    2004 2.055
    2005 2.123
    2006 2.135
    2007 2.141
    2008 2.193
    2009 2.363
    2010 2.352
    2011 2.314
    2012 2.374
    2013 2.386

    IN ADDITION – TO FACILITATE THE COMPARISON I WOULD ALSO PRESENT NORMALIZED DYNAMICS OF THE THREE COUNTRIES (TAKING 2000 LEVEL AS 100)

    TABLE 4

    Ukraine Russia Belarus World
    average
    2000 100,0 100,0 100,0 100,0
    2001 110,3 105,3 105,5 100,9
    2002 117,2 110,8 111,6 102,3
    2003 129,3 119,5 120,3 104,6
    2004 146,0 128,7 134,9 108,6
    2005 151,0 137,6 148,7 112,1
    2006 163,2 149,5 164,6 116,4
    2007 177,1 162,7 179,6 121,0
    2008 182,2 171,5 198,7 122,7
    2009 155,9 158,1 199,5 120,4
    2010 163,1 164,7 215,2 124,9
    2011 172,2 171,0 227,5 128,1
    2012 173,0 176,2 231,1 130,6
    2013 174,7 178,9 236,5

    THESE DATA ALLOW TO MAKE A FEW RELEVANT OBSERVATIONS:

    1) IN 2000–2013 THE UKRAINIAN ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE WAS NOT AS DISASTROUS AS HAS BECOME SO FASHIONABLE NOW TO BELIEVE. THE OVERALL PER CAPITA GDP GROWTH IN UKRAINE WAS 2.5 TIMES HIGHER THAN THE WORLD AVERAGE. IT WAS AS HIGH AS IN RESOURCE-RICH RUSSIA – WHICH FOR RESOURCE-POOR UKRAINE SHOULD BE CONSIDERED A SERIOUS ACHIEVEMENT BY ITSELF. YES, IT WAS SIGNIFICANTLY LOWER THAN IN BELARUS, BUT IN BELARUS IT WAS ONE OF THE HIGHEST IN THE WORLD – COMPARABLE ONLY WITH SUCH RECENT ECONOMIC MIRACLES AS CHINA. AND – YES – IF YOU COMPARE VIRTUALLY ANY COUNTRY WITH SUCH COUNTRIES AS CHINA, OR BELARUS – YES YOU WILL HAVE AN IMPRESSION THAT THIS COUNTRY DEVELOPES RATHER SLOWLY – BUT THIS IMPRESSION MAY WELL BE SQUARELY WRONG…
    2) THE DATA ABOVE SUPPORT THE IDEA THAT THE POPULATION IMMISERATION IS NOT A NECESSARY CONDITION FOR THE MOST RECENT GENERATION OF REVOLUTIONS. INDEED THE PREVIOUS UKRAINIAN REVOLUTION (THE “ORANGE REVOLUTION” OF 2004) HAPPENED AGAINST THE BACKGROUND OF A VERY FAST ECONOMIC GROWTH. IN FACT, IN 2000-2004 THE ECONOMIC GROWTH RATES IN UKRAINE WERE VERY HIGH. THEY WERE MUCH HIGHER THAN IN RUSSIA AND BELARUS (THAT WERE STILL GROWING VERY FAST AT THAT TIME). WHAT IS MORE, TWO YEARS BEFORE THE ORANGE REVOLUTION (2003 AND 2004) THE UKRAINIAN ECONOMY WAS ONE OF THE TREE FASTEST GROWING ECONOMIES OF THE WORLD (OMITTING SMALL COUNTRIES). IN THOSE YEARS UKRAINE ACHIEVED A SIGNIFICANT CATCH-UP WITH RUSSIA AND BELARUS (IN FACT, THE GAP BETWEEN UKRAINE AND RUSSIA/BELARES WAS THE SMALLEST JUST ON THE EVE OF THE ORANGE REVOLUTION). AND DO YOU KNOW WHO WAS THE HEAD (PRIME-MINISTER) OF THE UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT DURING THE TWO YEARS OF THE SHORT-LIVED “UKRAINIAN ECONOMIC MIRACLE”? YES – THIS WAS JUST THAT VERY DIRTY STUPID YANUKOVICH! AND ONE MAY EVEN HAVE AN IMPRESSION THAT THE ORANGE REVOLUTION ACTUALLY KILLED THE NASCENT UKRAINIAN ECONOMIC MIRACLE, LIKE THE EGYPTIAN 2011 REVOLUTION KILLED THE NASCENT EGYPTIAN ECONOMIC MIRACLE (PROMOTED BY ANOTHER “DIRTY STUPID BASTARD” – GAMAL MUBARAK).
    3) HAVING SAID ALL THESE, ONE MUST STILL NOTE THAT THE DATA ABOVE DOES NOT ALLOW TO REJECT PETER TURCHIN’S “POPULATION IMMISERATION” HYPOTHESIS WITH RESPECT TO THE MOST RECENT UKRAINIAN REVOLUTION (THOUGH THEY DO NOT ALLOW TO REJECT THE ALTERNATIVE HYPOTHESIS EITHER). YES, THE OVERALL ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE OF UKRAINE IN 2000-2013 WAS NOT DISASTROUS AT ALL. BUT IT WAS RATHER UNEVEN. IT ENJOYED VERY HIGH ECONOMIC GROWTH RATES BEFORE THE ORANGE REVOLUTION. AS WE REMEMBER THEY SLOWED DOWN CONSIDERABLY AFTER THE ORANGE REVOLUTION. BUT ACTUALLY, THIS WAS RATHER THE TRANSITION FROM EXTREMELY HIGH TO VERY HIGH GROWTH RATES (SEE TABLE BELOW):

    YEARS Per capita GDP growth rates
    2002 6,25%
    2003 10,29%
    2004 12,95%
    2005 3,46%
    2006 8,03%
    2007 8,55%
    2008 2,86%

    ACTUALLY, IN UKRAINE THE ECONOMIC GROWTH RATE IN THE PERIOD BETWEEN THE ORANGE REVOLUTION AND THE GLOBAL FINANCIAL-ECONOMIC CRISIS WAS REALLY HIGH JUST IN TWO YEARS – 2006 AND 2007. AND COULD YOU GUESS – WHO WAS THE UKRAINIAN PRIME MINISTER IN THOSE TWO YEARS? MY IMPRESSION THAT BY NOW EVEN THOSE WHO HAVE A RATHER VAGUE IDEA OF THE RECENT UKRAINIAN HISTORY WOULD GUESS – YES, THIS WAS AGAIN – DIRTY STUPID YANUKOVICH…
    THE GLOBAL FINANCIAL-ECONOMIC CRISIS HIT UKRAINE VERY HARD – EVEN HARDER THAN RUSSIA. SOME RECOVERY WAS OBSERVED IN 2010 – BUT IT WAS RATHER SLUGGISH. INCIDENTALLY, THAT WAS JUST THIS YEAR WHEN YANUKOVICH WON IN A RATHER FAIR WAY (WHICH SEEMS TO BE GENERALLY RECOGNIZED) THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS. AND AGAINST THE BACKGROUND OF WHAT HAS BEEN SPECIFIED ABOVE THIS COULD BE HARDLY SURPRIZING. INDEED BETWEEN 2000 AND 2007 UKRAINE GOT USED TO VERY HIGH ECONOMIC GROWTH RATES. AFTER THIS, IT WAS ESPECIALLY DIFFICULT FOR THE UKRAINIANS TO ACCEPT THE SLOWDOWN OF 2008, SHARP DECLINE OF 2009, AND A SLUGGISH RECOVERY OF 2010. THIS WAS A RATHER IMPORTANT FACTOR OF THE GROWING DISCONTENT WITH THE RULING “ORANGE” ADMINISTRATION. AND AGAINST THIS BACKGROUND THE POINT THAT THE HIGHEST ECONOMIC GROWTH RATES WERE OBSERVED IN UKRAINE BETWEEN 2002 AND 2010 JUST DURING THE YEARS OF YANUKOVICH’S PREMIERSHIP SEEMS TO HAVE PLAYED A SIGNIFICANT ROLE. MANY UKRAINIANS APPEAR TO HAVE VOTED FOR YANUKOVICH IN HOPE THAT HE WOULD BE ABLE TO RETURN THE UKRAINIAN ECONOMIC GROWTH TO THE RATES THAT WERE OBSERVED IN THIS COUNTRY IN 2003-2004 AND 2006-2007. HOWEVER, THOSE HOPES TURNED OUT TO BE SQUARELY VAIN (SEE THE TABLE BELOW).
    UKRAINIAN PER CAPITA GDP GROWTH RATES DURING THE YANUKOVICH PRESIDENTSHIP
    2010 4,61%
    2011 5,58%
    2012 0,45%
    2013 1,00%
    AS WE SEE, IN 2011 THE UKRAINIAN GROWTH RATES SLIGHTLY INCREASED, BUT IN 2012-2013 THEY DRAMATICALLY DECLINED DOWN TO ALMOST ZERO LEVELS. NOTE THAT YANUKOVICH ADMINISTRATION WAS NOT ENTIRELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS DROP. IN FACT, ONE OF ITS MAIN CAUSES APPEARS TO BE A VERY SIGNIFICANT SLOWDOWN IN THE GROWTH OF THE WESTERN EUROPEAN ECONOMIES WITH WHICH THE UKRAINIAN ECONOMY IS TIED IN A VERY TIGHT WAY.
    CONSIDER THE GDP PER CAPITA GROWTH RATES IN UKRAINE, RUSSIA, AND WEST EUROPE IN 2002–2013 (WEST EUROPEAN GROWTH RATES HAVE BEEN CALCULATED ON THE BASIS OF THE TOTAL ECONOMY DATABASE)
    Ukraine W.Europe Russia
    2002 6,25% 0,71% 5,21%
    2003 10,29% 0,82% 7,82%
    2004 12,95% 1,93% 7,73%
    2005 3,45% 1,53% 6,90%
    2006 8,03% 2,64% 8,65%
    2007 8,55% 2,45% 8,84%
    2008 2,86% -0,40% 5,36%
    2009 -14,42% -4,83% -7,79%
    2010 4,61% 1,64% 4,15%
    2011 5,58% 1,14% 3,87%
    2012 0,45% -0,77% 3,03%
    2013 1,00% -0,18% 1,51%
    IT IS VERY EASY TO SEE THAT THESE THREE SERIES ARE VERY HIGHLY CORRELATED. IN FACT, HERE FOR THE 1999–2013 PERIOD THE CORRELATION (MEASURED WITH PEARSON’S r COEFFICIENT) BETWEEN WEST EUROPE AND UKRAINE REACHES 0.8, AND THE ONE BETWEEN RUSSIA AND UKRAINE IS AS HIGH AS 0.86 (NOTE THAT ALL THESE CORRELATIONS ARE SIGNIFICANT AT WELL LESS THAN 0.001 LEVEL).
    THOSE CORRELATIONS WILL BE ESPECIALLY HIGH IF WE CONSIDER NOT JUST GDP GROWTH RATES, BUT RATHER PER CAPITA GDP GROWTH RATE DYNAMICS (THE TABLE BELOW PRESENT DATA ON THE CHANGE IN THE PER CAPITA GDP GROWTH RATES IN PER CENT POINTS; FOR EXAMPLE, IN UKRAINE IN 2004 THE GDP PER CAPITA GROWTH RATE WAS 12.95%, IN 2005 IT WAS 3.45%. HENCE, IN 2005 IT WAS LOWER THAT IN 2004 BY 9.5%. THUS, IN TABLE BELOW ONE WILL FIND NEXT TO 2006 THE NUMBER
    “-9.5%” [AS 3.45% – 12.95% = -9.5%]):
    PER CAPITA GDP GROWTH RATE DYNAMICS IN UKRAINE, WEST EUROPE, AND RUSSIA IN 2000-2013 (YEARLY CHANGES IN THE ANNUAL PER CAPITA GDP GROWTH RATES IN PER CENT POINTS)
    Ukraine W. Europe Russia
    2000 6.23% 0.90% 3.18%
    2001 3.33% -1.98% -4.66%
    2002 -4.05% -0.82% -0.13%
    2003 4.04% 0.11% 2.60%
    2004 2.66% 1.11% -0.08%
    2005 -9.50% -0.41% -0.84%
    2006 4.57% 1.11% 1.75%
    2007 0.52% -0.19% 0.19%
    2008 -5.69% -2.85% -3.48%
    2009 -17.28% -4.43% -13.15%
    2010 19.04% 6.47% 11.95%
    2011 0.96% -0.49% -0.28%
    2012 -5.13% -1.91% -0.85%
    2013 0.55% 0.59% -1.52%
    HERE THE CORRELATIONS ARE ESPECIALLY HIGH: THE CORRELATION STRENGTH REACHES 0.88 AS REGARDS THE ONE BETWEEN WESTERN EUROPE AND UKRAINE, AND IT IS AS HIGH AS 0.92 AS REGARDS THE CORRELATION BETWEEN RUSSIA AND UKRAINE (NOTE THAT AGAIN ALL THESE CORRELATIONS ARE SIGNIFICANT AT WELL LESS THAN 0.001 LEVEL).
    NOTE, HOWEVER, THAT WE OBSERVE RATHER DIFFFERENT CORRELATION PICTURES BEFORE AND AFTER THE START OF THE GLOBAL FINANCIAL-ECONOMIC CRISIS. THE STRENGTH OF THE CORRELATIONS IN QUESTION GROWS SIGNIFICANTLY AFTER THE START OF THE CRISIS; AND IT BECOMES EQUAL BOTH FOR WEST EUROPE AND RUSSIA (r = 0.98, p = 0.001). IN THE YEARS OF YANUKOVICH PRESIDENTSHIP THE CORRELATION BETWEEN WESTERN EUROPEAN AND UKRAINIAN ECONOMIC GROWTH DYNAMICS REACHED THE LEVEL OF ALMOST FUCTIONAL DEPENDENCE (r = 0.991; R^2 = 0.982; NOTE THAT EVEN WITH FOUR DATAPOINTS THIS RELATIONSHIP IS STILL HIGHLY STATISTICALLY SIGNIFICANT [p = 0.009]), WHEREAS THE RUSSIAN – UKRAINIAN CORRELATION STRENGTH DECREASED.
    AS WE SEE, THIS ANALYSIS SUPPORTS THE HYPOTHESIS THAT THE SHARP DECLINE OF THE UKRAINIAN GDP GROWTH RATES IN 2011-2013 WAS CAUSED PRIMARILY BY THE SECOND RECESSION WAVE IN WEST EUROPE. IN THIS RESPECT, ONE WOULD CONSIDER AS THE MAIN ECONOMIC FAULT OF THE YANUKOVICH ADMINISTRATION THE POINT THAT IT DID NOT MAKE ENOUGH EFFORT TO DECREASE ITS DEPENDENCE ON THE WEST EUROPEAN ECONOMY. HOWEVER, NOTE THAT THE FIRST SERIOUS ATTEMPTS OF YANUKOVICH TO ACHIEVE THIS AIM UNDERTAKEN IN 2013 SERVED AS THE MAIN PRETEXT FOR HIS VIOLENT OVERTHROW IN LATE 2013 – EARLY 2014.
    IRRESPECTIVE OF THE ANSWER TO THE QUESTION WHO WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SLOWDOWN OF THE UKRAINIAN ECONOMIC GROWTH RATES DURING THE YANUKOVICH PRESIDENTSHIP, THIS SLOWDOWN SEEMS TO WAS BOUND TO PRODUCE THE DAVIES J-CURVE EFFECT. THE PERIOD OF THE VERY FAST ECONOMIC GROWTH OBSERVED IN UKRAINE IN 2000-2008 WAS BOUND TO PRODUCE INFLATED EXPECTATIONS FOR THE FURTHER FAST IMPROVEMENT OF THE LEVEL OF LIFE FOR THE MAJORITY OF THE POPULATION. AMONG A LARGE PART OF THE UKRAINIANS THIS TREND APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN EMPLIFIED BE THE ELECTION OF YANUKOVICH WHICH GAVE SOME HOPE OF THE RETURN TO THE VERY FAST GROWTH RATES OBSERVED IN 2003-2004 OR 2006-2007. THE CONTINUING GROWTH OF EXPECTATIONS WAS BOUND TO LEAD AGAINST THE BACKGROUND OF THE STAGNANT PER CAPITA OUTPUT WAS BOUND TO LEAD TO THE GROWTH OF THE GAP BETWEEN WHAT IS EXPECTED AND WHAT IS AVAILABLE (WHICH ACCORDING TO DAVIES MODEL WOULD TEND TO LEAD TO MASS FRUSTRATIONS AND POSSIBLE SOCIOPOLITICAL DESTABILIZATION).
    NOTE THAT IT APPEARS TO BE POSSIBLE TO FIND EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE SUPPORTING THE DAVIES J-CURVE MODEL EXPLANATION AS REGARDS THE MOST RECENT UKRAINIAN REVOLUTION – ACTUALLY IT CAN BE FOUND AT PAGE 93 OF THE ESTEEMED UKRAINIAN ACADEMIC JOURNAL “EKONOMIKA UKRAINY” VOL. 22 ISSUE 8 (2012), BUT I HAVE NO WAY TO REPRODUCE THE RESPECTIVE GRAPH HERE.
    THUS, THERE ARE SUFFICIENT GROUNDS TO MAINTAIN THAT THERE IS SUBSTANTIVE EVIDENCE SUPPORTING JACK GOLDSTONE’S HYPOTHESIS THAT WE SHOULD EXPECT THE GROWTH OF THE UKRAINIAN POPULATION’S “GRIEVENCES” IN THE PERIOD PRESEEDING THE SECOND UKRAINIAN REVOLUTION.

    ON THE OTHER HAND, THERE SEEMS TO BE SOME EVIDENCE SUGGESTING THAT THIS IS NOT ONLY A SOFTER GOLDSTONE “POPULATION GRIEVANCES” HYPOTHESIS THAT APPEARS TO BE RELEVANT FOR THE ACCOUNTING FOR THE UKRAINIAN REVOLUTION. AS I WILL TRY TO DEMONSTRATE IN MY NEXT COMMENT, A STRONGER TURCHIN “POPULATION IMMISERATION” HYPOTHESIS SEEMS TO BE ALSO SUPPORTED BY SOME EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE.