Development in the Shadow: Studies in Ukrainian Economics


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The Russian occupation of Ukraine under the tsarist and communist regimes exerted a decisive influence on the development of Ukrainian economics. The present collection of essays, written over a ten-year period, explores some of the pertinent issues. The 1917 Revolution can be taken as a logical dividing point for comparing the impact of the two different political and economic systems on the performance of Ukraine’s economy and the welfare of its population.

It appears that the effect of the Soviet regime was in general harmful to Ukraine. Relative to other Soviet republics, its economic growth was one of the lowest, and income per capita deteriorated. Despite the inferior performance of the Ukrainian economy, the Soviet regime continued year in and year out the unrequited transfer of part of Ukraine’s national income to other regions of the USSR in greater amounts that its tsarist predecessor. Geopolitical considerations were the primary motivation. Analysis of most of the period since World War II suggests that, in order to achieve Soviet political and military goals, Ukrainian authorities had to be left without any real decision-making power, despite official propaganda to the contrary.

In order to integrate Ukraine into the Russian Empire / USSR, it was not enough to control its economy completely: its intellectual base had to be destroyed as well. Before 1917, the imperial establishment tended to appropriate the contributions of Ukrainian scholars to economics — a practice that continued under the Soviets. The overall conclusion of this study is that Moscow’s administration of the Ukrainian economy, regardless of the system in place, was detrimental to its performance and to the population’s welfare, and dangerous to the survival of the Ukrainian nation itself. See Industry, Dolyna oil field, and Dnieper Hydroelectric Station in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine.

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Weight 1 kg
Dimensions 23 × 15.5 × 2 cm





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