Condaleeza Rice To Struggling Ukrainians: "Be Thankful You're Not In Liberia"

Tyler Durden's picture


Earlier this month while delivering a public lecture in Kiev, “The Challenges of an Ever-Changing World,” former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made an inspiring remark for anyone who might have been thinking that life in Ukraine was bad:

“You should go to Liberia where the standard of living is much lower, and then you will be thankful.”

Ironically, Forbes Ukraine reacted to this with a slightly perplexed analysis that nonetheless led to a conclusion of flawless logic: “Although Liberia has one of the weakest economies in the world, it lags only slightly behind Ukraine with respect to a number of macroeconomic parameters,” and the magazine supported its argument with some anemic statistics (failing however to mention that Liberia’s 85% unemployment rate is far worse than Ukraine’s, even today).

The rapid deterioration of the Ukrainian economy over the past two post-Maidan years is no longer a taboo topic in the international press (the prominent US academic and former diplomat Nicolai Petro’s recent article in the Guardian made that crystal clear). But to make a long story short, the full picture looks even more depressing:

People are scrambling to get out of Ukraine. A Kiev-based headhunting agency claims that according to their polls, 70% of the population does not see any future in Ukraine. Ten out of eleven (!!!) Ukrainians are ready to leave the country if offered a job abroad. Forty percent of Kiev’s white-collar workers do not see a secure future for themselves nowadays. Another opinion poll shows that compared to the pre-Maidan period, public pessimism is on the rise. Only 19% of the respondents expected 2016 to bring positive changes for Ukraine (down from 42% in 2013).

These sentiments are quite understandable if we look at average incomes in Ukraine. According to official data from the finance ministry (as of March 2, 2016), the average salary in Ukraine is only 4,362 hryvnas per month (approximately 145 Euros). The minimum monthly wage is currently set at 1,378 hryvnas (46 Euros). Therefore, the vast majority of working people in Ukraine have to get by on a salary of 2,000-3,000 hryvnas (70-100 Euros) each month. And the number of employed is declining every day. In September 2015, Ukrainian Minister of Social Politics Valery Yaroshenko acknowledged that the unemployment rate had reached its highest point in the history of Ukraine as an independent country, with 23% of young Ukrainians unable to find work (in the parts of the Donetsk region that are controlled by Kiev the jobless rate does approach that of Liberia – 50%!).


Northern Liberia

Flag of Northern Liberia

Low wages and high unemployment are not the only challenges an ordinary Ukrainian has to cope with. To meet the requirements of the IMF, the Ukrainian government must increase the rates it charges for housing and public utility services at least twice per year. As a result, in January 2016 the average bill per household jumped to 1,250 hryvnas – an 80% increase from 695 hryvnas a year ago. Thus, theoretically (and often factually) a family supported by only one working member and living in a modest apartment might need to survive on the beggarly 128 hryvnas – barely more than 4 Euros (!) – that is left each month after housing and utility costs have been paid! Indeed, taking into account some difference in its latitude (and climate) today’s Ukraine might rightly be called a Northern Liberia!

Meanwhile the index of commodities prices in Ukraine rose 40.3% in 2015. And since this crisis coincided with a 15% cut in the pensions of retirees who work a side job (this “cost-saving measure” was announced by PM Yatsenyuk in January 2015), clearly the majority of elderly Ukrainians are now facing a disaster. So far they have managed to survive thanks to their personal savings, but that resource is drying up: according to the National Bank, in 2015 Ukrainians sold 2,233 billion USD and bought only 0.684 billion USD. Local experts estimate that Ukrainian citizens will exhaust their personal savings by the end of 2016.

So it’s no wonder that Ukrainians are leaving their country en masse for Europe, mostly headed to Poland (around 400,000 crossed that border last year), in a desperate attempt to find any paid job. There they are cheated, abused, and cynically exploited, but they prefer to stomach such treatment rather than trying to eke out a miserable existence at home:

Ukraine’s rapid deindustrialization is picking up speed. The abrupt severing of the traditional ties between Russian and Ukrainian businesses, due to suicidal Kiev-imposed regulations, resulted in a 10.7% decline in GDP in 2014 and another 13.4% drop in 2015. Foreign trade, both imports and exports, decreased by one-third. The naive expectations of the incumbent government in Kiev – that Ukrainian products could obtain access to European markets – have been torn to shreds (Nicolai Petro offers one anecdotal fact: Kiev’s biggest European export, under the agricultural quotas established by the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, is honey).

This situation of social and economic degeneration, along with the ready availability of weapons smuggled out of what is known as the “ATO Zone,” has led to an unprecedented tsunami of criminal activity in Ukraine. In the two years since Maidan, the number of recorded criminal offenses has doubled there. In reality, marauding crowds, armed robberies, and street killings are becoming an everyday event and many incidents go unreported. According to the latest findings from the Hague Institute of Innovating Justice, 44% of Ukrainians do not trust their national judicial system or law-enforcement agencies. A number of nationalist gangs (volunteer battalions) seem to operate out of reach of the law and ignore any attempts by the public authorities to rein them in. The most recent scandals (amber-smuggling in the Rovno region, the blockade of Crimea, and the barriers set up to bar Russian transit trucks) are just the tip of the iceberg of the criminal activities of radical groups in Ukraine that have received media attention. Most criminal incidents do not make the headlines. For example there are around 100 cases currently languishing within the legal system against members of the Aidar battalion who have committed criminal offenses, including charges of serious war crimes in the Donbass, all of which are gathering dust in Ukrainian courts.

Dutch football fans who used to visit Euro-2012 in Ukraine and now thoughtlessly sharing #TakIsJa hashtag, should understand that the country they saw 4 years ago does not exist anymore.

There is effectively no state in Ukraine. The authorities are busy ingratiating themselves with every available power figure — the US Embassy, local oligarchs, Right Sector, and various Mafia groups — seeing in those the only keys to the government’s own legitimacy and ability to hold on to power. But one point that they apparently do not understand is that any government lacking public support on the ground and dependent on exterior agents is more vulnerable than they could ever imagine. Did the Liberian dictator Samuel Doe, who took power as a result of a US-backed coup d’etat in 1980, ever dream that in ten years he would be forced to eat his own ear and then be publicly executed by a rival tribe? The leaders of “Northern Liberia” may have their own political tracks, but not the final destiny…

*“The love of liberty brought us here” is the national motto of Liberia.

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Ignatius's picture

Condaleeza Rice = War Criminal

Sanctuary2's picture




did she REALLY say that!?!?!?    mindboggling

CheapBastard's picture

They can be lucky they are not in Libya either. They'd be even luckier oif Condy's buddies didn't destabilize their nation.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

And to think all Condi ever really wanted to be was the MLB commissioner.

brown_hornet's picture

I think Condi wanted to be the NFL commisioner.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I stand corrected.


I knew she wanted to sniff someone's jock strap. It must be all that padding that's so attractive to Condi. :-)

Latina Lover's picture

Hey Rice, compared to the Ukraine, Liberia has better weather and lots of coconuts. 

The Ukraine also has  the second highest inflation rate in the world, higher than Liberia

Thanks to Condi, Nudelman and the rest of the USSA state department criminals, the Ukraine is now a banana republic without the bananas

Cheka_Mate's picture

"He killed my ma, he killed my pa, but I will vote for him."

Charles Taylor 1997 campaign slogan.


Surprised Rice didn't borrow this for the 2004 race while campaigning in New York.

strannick's picture

the joys of being a an American vassal lackey state.

Grumbleduke's picture

to paraphrase Doug Stanhope:

"How does your suck make my suck less suck?"


"... someday you notice your pants are getting tight, and your real obese friend says 'you think you're fat - I can't even fit into my icecream truck'. Now, how does that get me laid?"

Escrava Isaura's picture



Condoleezza has two z’s.


Anyway, it’s not what Condoleezza says, it’s what Condoleezza didn’t say: "I am Thankful I am in America and not in Liberia"


Once on the topic of narcissists, this came to mind, and it’s very telling of our society: Americans think that, ‘only’ 34% of future generation will be better off. But, when asked about their kids, the number jumps to 61%.

junction's picture

Condaleeza Rice should move to Liberia.  Unlike Ukranians, she will not need to put black shoe polish on her face to fit in.  Hopefully, Ebola cuts short her stay permanently.

Government needs you to pay taxes's picture

Niggers just make life better.

Freddie's picture

Ted Canadian Cruz wife Heidi worked for Condi war criminal Rice.

Rakshas's picture

....... could have been worse....... she could have said Detroit


Mareka's picture
Flash Gordon: You mean they'd be slaves.
The Emperor Ming: Let's just say they'll be satisfied with less.
Thom_333's picture

To quote Dave Chapelle " Cunnilingus Rice what kinda name is dat...? Give her to the Mexicans!"

Tallest Skil's picture

You know, we never ever EVER should have let Liberia go. It should have been colonized and turned into a state. That's the only way the bounty of the land could ever have been used.

"What about the purpose of the colony–to deport all the newly-freed slaves?"

So deport them to the rest of Africa and keep Liberia for our own.

Pheonyte's picture

Be thankful you haven't been hanged under the Nuremburg conventions, you fucking psychopath.

rivoniaboy's picture

Liberia.....African American Nirvana!

Thom_333's picture

Their official anthem...Liberia the land of LIberty...

Thom_333's picture

Their official anthem...Liberia the land of LIberty...

TurnwiseWiddershins's picture

Check out the Vice documentary on Liberia....there are virtually no functioning humans living there. Maybe a small percentage, but there is no hope for that society to function....ever.

Ukraine at least has decent people who would be doing fine were it not used as a proxy battlefield by NATO, or set back 200 years by Judeo-Communists during the Soviet period.

Cautiously Pessimistic's picture

Wow...I just went and watched most of the Vice doc on youtube.  Geeezzz.... sad state of affairs for sure.  So, how long would a typical Black Lives Matter group from America last over in Liberia? 

OzFan's picture

Holy Fck. I'm 17 min into that Vice doco on Liberia. WTF @ that country. I'm gobsmacked how bad it is. 

4freedom78's picture

We exported some "democracy" to you and you complain?!!

Hugh G. Rection's picture

I weep for the people of Ukraine, the pawns of Europe.

pilager's picture

I'd like to help them out, well, a few 5'6 blonds, 120, about 22, 24, and perky! Saying that, how can I get a one over here fast"...?

Duc888's picture



Wow....just wow.... three peas in a bod, all psycho.  Killery, Albright and Rice.  Gloria Nuland gets honorable mention here...

SillySalesmanQuestion's picture

Another ruined country, courtesy of the CIA, DC and the Neocons never ending vision of "diplomacy & democracy..."

logically possible's picture

Don't forget the IMF, the Ukraine, another indebted Country, per the article, unaffordable increases in housing. The IMF is the new Federal Reserve, for the world. The IMF will continue to provide the bailouts for these wore torn Countries, looking like the good guys to the rescue.

RichardParker's picture

To add further insult to injury, The Ukranians were subsequent;ly taxed to pay for their "liberation".

very sad...

RevIdahoSpud3's picture

It makes perfect sense. Almost like telling someone who does not have shoes that it could be worse as there are others who do not have legs. She could also have taken a moment to point out that Ukraine is in deeper sheite than two years ago due to regime change sponsored by the US. Without being subject to US foreign policy to usurp and overthrow governments around the world Ukraine was by 2008 ranked the 45 economy in the world and prior to 2014 showed positive growth in GDP (marginal but still +). At least before Maidan Russia sold Ukraine gas below world market value so they had that. Condolesa Rice, another one of those mystical super figures that we rely on to lead us through the maze. I think she was a Bush(man) at one time.

Davidduke2000's picture

Poor Condaleeza, since her husband George went back to his original wife to live with her in their ranch in texas, she lost her marbles. 

honestann's picture

Send Rice to Liberia with no ID and just the clothes on her back.  No scratch that... like any arrogant human predator, the neocon empress needs no clothes.

Yen Cross's picture

What Ann said^ 

  This article is confusing, It's just a tone deaf repeat, of bullshit republished remanufactured POOP.

Jack Burton's picture

Ukraine has not historically even been a nation state. In the far past Ukraine was a word for border lands. The real nation states like Russia, Poland, Austria refered to the modern regions of Ukraine as a border land that changed hands often or were ungoverned except by local groups like Cossacks.

The inclussion of Ukriane in the USSR did give this area a chance to consolidate into a Federal Republic. The end of the USSR Ukraine was left alone and free to do as it wished, they had two decades of freedom, and did nothing with them but live off of the old USSR asset classes.

Now after Maidan, the Kiev Junta has cut economic ties to it's natural trading parterns to the east, and has nothing to offer the west. Sadly for Ukraine, they finally managed to gain near access to being a fully European State, at just the time the EU began to fall into Chaos. All the EU can now offer is a Migrant Quota! And IMF rules.

The best outcome is to split the west Ukraine off into a quasi fascist state. Kiev and the center will be stuck in the middle. The tradional Russian lands would , like Crimea, seek a way back to the homeland. It was communists who added Russian lands and peoples to the Ukrainian Soviet Sociaist Republic, an action that now results in war and termoil.

I see no good outcome until the borders are settled. The West Ukraine has a traditon of radical fascism and a nazi dream of racial and ethnic superiority and right to rule the east. The east has already defeated them in battle, and show no signs of backing down.

Bad news for all but European Employers who will have millions of educated modern people willing to come and work for next to nothing. EU wages are going down, and that will continue.

TurnwiseWiddershins's picture

"In the far past Ukraine was a word for border lands."

You are correct good sir.  Ukraine in Russian means, in the literal sense, "by the edge", and in the less than literal meaning of the word translates to "hinterlands" aka "frontier".

U or 'Y' (oo sound) means "By" or "Near" in Russian.

'Krai' means "edge", and in modern Russian parlance can mean Province, which is the designation given to many of the republics in that glorious federation (example: Krasnayarski Krai).

So you are correct in that Ukranians have been named from without.  They did not name themselves. So Ukraine can be seen from the lens of "by the edge of"....something other than themselves. 

A similar deal occurs with Austria, aka "East Reich", but....east of what else? They didn't name themselves either.

Baby Bladeface's picture
Baby Bladeface (not verified) Jack Burton Mar 27, 2016 10:28 PM

If the commies have not created the Ukraine, she would now never happen.

cwsuisse's picture

Good commentary. For the people to work in the EU the Ukraine would need to get a visa-waiver like it is contemplated for Turkey. If this should indeed happen in favour of Turkey it is not inconceivable that the same thing is done for the Ukraine. An integration into the EU is unlikely in the foreseeable future. In any case the Ukraine will be a poorhouse because it's potential exports to the EU are neglegible. The separation from Russia was a mistake of historic proportions. The reversal of the mistake is highly unlikely. Indeed a split of the country would be recommendable. The east and the south-east could be associated with Russia and the west could supply honey and people to the EU. The river Dnjepr is a logical frontier line. Amazing to me that the Russians did not progress to this line already.

Volkodav's picture


Preface alone gives a better picture than most ever know.


Ghordius's picture

Jack Burton: "Ukraine has not historically even been a nation state"

straight out of the narrowest of pro-Russian points of view. the same discussion here "The real nation states like Russia, Poland, Austria refered to the modern regions of Ukraine as a border land that changed hands often or were ungoverned except by local groups like Cossacks." as in the 19th Century among Russians and Austrians

could be applied to many european territories, with some twists that might astonish the unwary. it could, if you apply the same timescale, to the US, too. which is the reason why from time to time you have Russian geopolitics commentators muse about a disintegration of the US... invariably along various foreign powers influence zones

strictly speaking, this specific kind of... "view", before WWI, was of the Austrian and Russian empires, Poland was "one of the Russias" as well as Finland... and part of the modern Ukraine, yes

of course you, Jack Burton, don't make too much of your specific pro-Russian-only stance, as in here: "The tradional Russian lands would , like Crimea, seek a way back to the homeland."

from the article: "So it’s no wonder that Ukrainians are leaving their country en masse for Europe, mostly headed to Poland (around 400,000 crossed that border last year), in a desperate attempt to find any paid job. There they are cheated, abused, and cynically exploited, but they prefer to stomach such treatment rather than trying to eke out a miserable existence at home"

and this is one key aspect of the affairs there that nobody should not forget: Poland

the same Poland that is now more conservative then ever, more critical of the EU then ever... and the more Russia-critic (and America-friendly then ever)

taking up millions of Ukrainians that blame Moscow for their troubles. that see Moscow as imperialist, land-grabbing, unfree and despotic

in short: in Poland it's easy to find people that debate if the EU serves their needs or not, with heavy criticism in between, but it's very, very difficult to find someone that defends the Russian points of view, and nearly impossible to find someone that thinks that the US has pushed too little, in Ukraine

"The best outcome is to split the west Ukraine off into a quasi fascist state." <---- "best" here is also only from a Russian perspective, of course. I guess there are some readers left on ZH that could offer you a whole range of various other proposals

"I see no good outcome until the borders are settled. The West Ukraine has a traditon of radical fascism and a nazi dream of racial and ethnic superiority and right to rule the east. The east has already defeated them in battle, and show no signs of backing down."

borders can't be seen as settled as long as someone is still asking for more territory... as you are doing yourself

radical fascism, racial and ethnic superiority are some aspects of the affair, yes, but the right to rule the east is the true bone of contention... from the Russian imperialistic point of view

so nothing new, really. from an european point of view, Russia is the usual east-looking bear more then the both-sides-looking double-headed eagle

Davidduke2000's picture

Ukraine is another Soros Financial terrorist act, he paid for the coup hoping to have a joo at the helm, the country elected a Christian even though he is an asshole and not a Soros puppet, Soros lost big, he even pleaded with the Eu to do something to Stop Putin his cries went unanswered . Soros lost $2 billion and more on the Ukrainian coup as the economy collapsed. 

vened's picture

Poroshenko's real last name is Waltzman.  Yatsenuk's is Bakay.

Both [incompetents] belong to the Soros tribe just like Nudelman wanted. Isn't that what Soros desired as well?


Davidduke2000's picture

Poroshenko is a Christian Orthodox , but if you are going in History to the origins of ukraine, it was Khazaria  and all its people converted to judaism .

Jesus himself was a Joo, until he revolted after discovering this his old  religion became satanic with time, he created Christianity. 

But the worst of all religions is islam that simply knowing that muslim number one mohamed was a pedophile is enough for me, he married a 6 years old girl while he was 50 and deflowered her at the age of 9 how more disgusting a man can be. 

HowdyDoody's picture

Almost as disgusting as the story of Tamar, King David's daughter who was raped by her half-brother and King David did nothing. It gets worse the further into the story you go.

TheBigN's picture

Wait till she says the same to Americans.

Catullus's picture

The "there's always a bigger shithole" non sequitur.

How is this woman still in public life? She's one gigantic failure after another.

Ask her how she did on 9/11 when she was the national security advisor.

Infinite QE's picture

Ukraine would be a great place for Rice to be buried. Alive.

Anopheles's picture

I've spent time working in Liberia. 

Yeah,  it's a shithole.  But the people are generally nicer than in other parts of Africa.  

As an expat, it's a toss up in which country I'd prefer to live.  The women are way hotter in Ukraine,  at least in the bigger cities.