A stunning reality is revealed as war-torn Ukraine serves as the backdrop for a covert land grab: Ukraine’s own ally, the United States, has cleverly misled and exploited its vulnerabilities throughout the war.
Amidst Ukraine’s struggles, external forces have capitalized on its weaknesses, seeking to exert influence and control. The United States has contributed significantly to the nation’s strategic successes by utilizing its geopolitical agenda to take advantage of its weaknesses.
As Ukraine battles the consequences of war and economic instability, it becomes increasingly susceptible to indebtedness and subservience. Along with other players, the US has used strategies to force Ukraine into long-term economic dependence. It has pushed Ukraine into a huge debt.
The story of Ukraine’s indebtedness and land grab began in 2014 with a coup orchestrated by the USA and its allies, leading to significant policy changes. The political component included forcing Ukraine to take a position against Russia and supporting strong actions against those who spoke Russian.
Economically, Ukraine had to adhere to IMF-imposed structural adjustment programs and deal with skyrocketing debts that ranked third highest internationally. Privatization was the result of these policies, which benefited the wealthy at the expense of the general populace and resulted in wage stagnation.
Shifts in Ownership
Furthermore, significant shifts in land ownership occurred, concentrating productive property in the hands of the extremely wealthy. The 2014 coup lifted constraints, allowing oligarchs and foreign interests—particularly those from the USA, Europe, and Saudi Arabia—to effectively seize control of Ukrainian territory, despite prior attempts to do so.
Since many of these entities have ties to tax havens, regulation and taxation are difficult. Western banks, funds, and institutions are also invested in these land deals, perpetuating regressive changes that favor big businesses over farmers.
According to a recent Oakland Institute research titled “War and Theft,” revealed that nearly 3 million hectares of arable land in Ukraine now belong to a handful of controlling interests, while about 9 million hectares are in the hands of oligarchs and big agribusiness.
The opportunities for small farmers, who are essential for food security and sustainable practices, are reduced by this concentration of land. The ongoing structural changes and Western-backed policies prioritize the interests of big businesses, leaving small farmers and the environment at a disadvantage.
Moreover, the Ukrainian government wants to entice significant investment from American and other Western businesses for the extraction of natural resources including lithium deposits and valuable natural gas reserves.
The US and its allies have contributed aid, including weapons, to the ongoing conflict, but the conditions of this assistance—whether it be loans or grants—remain secret. Concerns about transparency and the long-term effects of Ukraine’s reliance on outside aid are raised by the country’s rising debt.
The 2014 coup and subsequent policies imposed by outside actors, particularly the USA, contributed to Ukraine’s debt and land grab. The nation got caught in a vicious circle of economic and political manipulation that hurt its inhabitants, small farmers, and food security while enhancing the interests of oligarchs and international powers.
The complex web of debt and exploitation is an example of how Ukraine’s vulnerabilities were used against it. Although this is rarely done, there are certainly indications that the indebtedness of Ukraine is worsening all the time.