Spoiler: Communist leaders promised people in their countries to build socialist paradises. But life in the Soviet Union and its satellite states were miserable. People were poorer and did not live as long as people in the west. People in communist countries died earlier not only because of the mass executions, slave labour in- and outside of prison camps and regime-made famines but also because of environmental disasters causing diseases among the populations.
Spoiler. Historierevisionisterna i Kreml försöker inbilla oss att Molotov-Ribbentroppakten påtvingades Sovjet. Skitsnack. Stalin undertecknade gladeligen pakten vilken utgjorde inledningen till andra världskrigets fasor och ohyggliga grymheter. Som resultat av pakten ockuperades Baltikum och Östeuropa förtrycktes. Ett förtryck som tog sig uttryck i förföljelser, fängslanden, tortyr, massdeportationer och avrättningar.
Spoilers. In Poland, reforms of the economy were made even during Communist rule. Following the end of Communist rule, ambitions to join the EU and support from the EU and IMF gave further impetus to reform. As one of the earlier reformers, Poland has turned into a growth engine. Not being part of the Soviet Union was a bliss for Poland but being a Soviet republic turned out to be a curse for Ukraine. No reforms were made by its post-Soviet leadership during its first three years of independence.
Opaque liberalisations and privatisations that followed enriched former “Red directors”. During this time the oligarchs emerged. They have since not only dominated large sectors of the Ukrainian economy but also the political arenas. From then on, Ukraine’s people have been robbed and deprived of reasonable standards of living. While the influence from external factors, especially the EU, was beneficial for Poland, Russian influence and armed interventions have prevented Ukraine from growing.