Staff writer   Ukrainian Weekly   04-Jan-1998   50,000 specialists emigrate each year

U.N. report predicts further decline
Eastern Economist

KYIV ...     Migration trends continue to be negative, with about 50,000 highly educated specialists emigrating each year.  "With the situation continuing to deteriorate, people are going elsewhere to find a better place to live," noted Mr. Villanueva.  The Human Development Report was released in Kyiv on December 10, 1997.  (Eastern Economist in Ukrainian Weekly, 4Jan98, p. 2)

Commentary on the above blurb:

(1) If 50,000 highly educated specialists emigrate from Ukraine each year presumably to the West then this constitutes a transfer of wealth from impoverished Ukraine to the affluent West.

(2) As this transfer of wealth is caused primarily by poor economic performance in Ukraine, then a weak Ukrainian economy is in the interests of those states which receive Ukraine's highly educated specialists.

(3) If it is the case that the transfer of wealth out of Ukraine is not compensated by any comparable transfer of wealth back into Ukraine, then it might be incorrect to speak of the wealthy West as giving aid to Ukraine.  It might be more correct to speak instead of the wealthy West taking advantage of Ukraine's vulnerability by plundering it.

(4) The magnitude of the brain drain is of such proportions that one may expect devastating effects on the cultural, intellectual, and economic life of Ukraine, and one may even go so far as to wonder whether the viability of the State is not being jeopardized.

(5) If Ukrainian gold, or oil, or lumber or any imaginable physical commodity were crossing its borders without compensation, then this would be recognized by all as inequitable.  One may conjecture, then, that the uncompensated transfer of brains is a transfer of wealth that is unique in being defended by the ideology of the recipient countries as legitimate, and is unique furthermore in that its legitimacy is widely accepted even among the countries who suffer its consequences.

(6) The solution to the Ukrainian brain drain is not to force Ukrainian specialists to remain in Ukraine largely unemployed or underemployed it is, rather, to request that the West help Ukraine by finding employment within Ukraine for these specialists, primarily through research grants and through joint-venture contracts; and more importantly, it is to take serious steps to strengthen Ukraine's economy so as to remove the economic hardship which is prompting the exodus.

(7) The observation of incessant irrational attacks on Ukraine that appear to emanate predominantly from Jewish sources may be interpreted as motivated in part by the desire to increase the flow of Ukrainian specialists out of Ukraine, and motivated as well to increase the proportion of this flow that will go to Israel.  Specifically, lowering the prestige of Ukraine helps to weaken its economy, reduces its share of foreign aid, inhibits the offering of research grants and joint-venture contracts, and so on.  The specific charge emanating from Jewish sources against Ukrainians of anti-Semitism and of a predilection to Nazism serves to increase alienation of Ukrainian Jews from Ukraine, and to encourage them to seek shelter in Israel.

(8) In evaluating where a given country falls on the beneficiary-plunderer continuum, Ukraine's calculation must include a measure of the two-way flow of brains, talent, women, children, and in fact all human resources.

(9) If experts were unable to foresee the current catastrophic loss of Ukraine's intelligentsia, and to forewarn Ukraine, and to prescribe preventative measures, then we have less reason to expect that they will be able to foresee other catastrophic losses that may result from pursuing the current course of action, and to forewarn and to prescribe.

A more detailed introduction to the topic of the plundering of Ukraine can be found by clicking here.