That’s the official estimate of how much the government will have to find to boost pensions by Hr 100 per month and to pay back Hr 1,000 to people who lost their savings in Sberbank when the Soviet Union collapsed.

In a country where pensioners live from hand to mouth, an increase in payouts is welcome. But where is this money going to come from?

As Jakub Parusinski describes in his analysis in this edition, Ukraine is already struggling for cash. Yanukovych’s refusal to raise gas prices has cut off lending from the International Monetary Fund. Russia has indicated it is not prepared to offer a large discount on the gas price. International lending is only likely to be available at a punitive rate.

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