Ukraine Government Officially Introduces Slavery, with Vague Terms

Eric Zuesse

On 23 September 2014, the Ukrainian Ministry of Social Policy announced official civilian slavery, via an obscure press release, headlined “The Government has extended the list of community service under martial law”; and they announced it there, in bureaucratic phrases that seemed crafted so as to be ignored:                

In connection with the situation in the east of the country, the Cabinet meeting today amended the procedures for the involvement of able-bodied people in community service under martial law. This was disclosed by Minister for Social Policy Lyudmila Denisova.

The Minister said that the existing arrangement was approved in 2011. However, today the document needs to be improved, to meet the current socio-political challenges and necessity of liquidating consequences of possible military aggression.

Lyudmila Denisova said that, in particular, the Procedure now defines the term “labor service” to mean that the people [will be] involved without mandatory consent, subject to enforcement operations, [in work that is of a] defensive nature, as well as man-made [i.e., war-related] disaster management, natural and military nature, during mobilization and wartime. [The tortured phrasing here might be due to these drafters’ desire to avoid amplifying upon that phrase ‘without mandatory consent,’ which refers to the key new legal feature, the legal application of slavery to regular Ukrainian civilians, to be selected according to vague criteria, which might apply to most of the civilian population.]

The Minister said that the category of persons who may be involved to perform such work, covers all individuals who are self-employed.

In addition, the list of community service performed in wartime, will include types of work that are aimed at ensuring the defense of the state (including repair work conducted at state borders, airfields, and fortifications). Also covered will be other work related to emergencies of an industrial, natural or military nature, as the need arises during the period of martial law (analysis of debris, roads, etc., and work performed in connection with the provisioning of supplies to the Armed Forces and other military formations).


Community service involves working age population, including persons who are not subject to conscription, who have no age and health restrictions preventing them from work under martial law (in addition to able-bodied persons involved in work in the defense sector and for the sustenance of the population, and enterprises booked for the period of mobilization and wartime to carry out work of a defensive nature), namely:

– Unemployed and other unemployed persons [that’s what it says: ‘unemployed and other unemployed’];

– Workers operating under martial law in firms that are not involved in the implementation of mobilization assignments (orders) and not enrolled in abnormal (non-military) civil protection units – in order to transfer such workers in an amount that will not lead to a complete stop [of private industrial] production;

– Persons engaged in subsistence agriculture [i.e., small farmers];

– Students in higher education, and students of vocational schools;

– Everyone who is self-employed.

Each of these categories of persons [will be] entered into fixed-term employment agreement.

The official announcement says nothing about pay, nor about labor negotiations of any sort, but only that these people will be “entered into fixed-term employment agreement … without mandatory consent,” and “subject to enforcement operations.” The mystery as to how there can be ‘agreement’ without ‘mandatory consent’ (a beautiful oxymoron, for morons) is not answered, especially since it is “subject to enforcement.” So, the underlying presumption here seems to be that ‘consent’ is not ‘mandatory’ in order for there to be ‘agreement,’ and that the Government has the right to “enforce” that ‘agreement’. This seems Orwellian, but that’s the way it is. America calls itself a ‘democracy’, and yet now imposes this type of government, and condemns Russia as being not ‘democratic’. So, perhaps the Obama team has been teaching its Ukrainian stooges how to be Orwellian.

Stalin might get a belly-laugh. Today’s Russia, however, has improved considerably since Stalin, and even more after it ended communism and became just Russia without the Soviet Union and their economically crippling Marxist ideology. By contrast, the U.S. has recently been heading into fascism, and outdid itself by having installed in Ukraine a regime that’s outright nazi. The U.S. now calls that ‘democratic’, as it spreads ‘democracy’ elsewhere too, such as in Iraq, Libya, Egypt, and Syria.

Then, on September 25th, the world’s great newspaper, the German Economic News, (or Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachtrichten) headlined “On the way into the authoritarian State: Ukraine introduces forced labor,” and reported:

“The new rules announced by the Minister for social policy of labor service would mean the introduction of forced labor, which violates the European Convention on human rights” as[serted] Andrej Hunko, Member of the Bundestag and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. … “Yatsenyuk’s attempt to set forced labour now legally, is a further step towards an authoritarian society and must be stopped. This is the exact opposite of the supposed democratic development of Ukraine, as it is written by the Maidan movement.”

The German newspaper said that this is being done “to absorb the consequences of the civil war.” (Here’s that war.)

Another news bulletin, this one undated, came from the Latvian site It’s headlined “Ukrainians Forced to Dig Trenches”; and it opens, actually, with a photo of workers digging a ditch, perhaps for more war, or else for mass-burial (or maybe some other use). This report says:

The Ukrainian government has introduced the citizens’ obligation to work, obliging them to perform tasks of a defensive nature in wartime conditions. This is reported by the press service of the Ministry of social policy of Ukraine, with reference to the head of Department Lyudmyla Denysova.

The government, according to Denisova, made changes in the recruitment of able-bodied persons to “socially useful work in conditions of martial law”. In particular, they defined the term “labor service”, which involves citizens in forced execution of jobs of a defensive nature, and emergencies in time of war, without their required consent.

“Socially useful work” refers to work at the state border, airfields and military fortifications, as well as [clearing] rubble, “the performance of work-related needs of the armed forces and other military formations”.

To forced labor, it is planned to bring, in particular, the unemployed, students, farmers and individual entrepreneurs. 

That news-source linked to the official Ukrainian announcement.

The background of this Ukrainian Government decision is that Ukraine is now bankrupt. It was so, even before the civil war, but the additional $17 billion that was recently lent to that Government by the IMF, in order to enable them to pay their soldiers and buy weapons and bullets to slaughter the people in the regions that didn’t accept the legitimacy of the coup-imposed government, has only placed the Government even deeper into hock. The cost to Ukraine in order to achieve ‘democratic’ electoral stability by mass-murdering the population in the regions of the country that oppose the Obama-installed group and that had voted overwhelmingly for the man Obama overthrew, has turned out to be too high for it to be continued. Perhaps that’s part of the reason why slavery is now being resorted to — to cut costs, so that the Ukrainian Government can repay at least a portion of the money they were loaned by the IMF, U.S. and EU.

So, that’s why the civil war that was started by Obama’s February 2014 overthrow of Ukraine’s President, toppling a man who was democratically elected in Ukraine’s final nationwide vote, produced a new Government that is now collapsing. Since the West won’t continue lending it money, the Government there will, it seems, now be enslaving some of its own citizens, in order to get done what the appointed rulers want to be done, such as to continue killing people who won’t vote for them. If the enslavement of their own civilian population becomes too big and widespread to ignore, then perhaps The New York Times, Washington Post, NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, etc., will report about it, because they’ll then be forced to. What’s particularly interesting at the present early stage is that the people whom the Obama team placed in charge of Ukraine, want to do this, and that they think that by using such tortured vague language, very few people in the U.S. and EU will get to know that they’re doing this. But already it’s news on a German site, and also on a Latvian site. Perhaps the American public will be the last to find out, except for the few individuals that read about it here. At this news site, it’s part of the “News That’s Fit To Print,” regardless of whether Big Brother feels that way about it, or maybe even because Big Brother doesn’t feel that way about it.


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010,  and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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  • ClubToTheHead

    Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, EXCEPT
    as a PUNISHMENT FOR A CRIME whereof the party shall have been duly CONVICTED, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to
    their jurisdiction.
    Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

    A careful reading of the Thirteenth Amendment, and history, reveals that slavery is legal in the U.S. when any state prescribes slavery as punishment for a crime.

    US Steel used slave labor into the 1940s.

    • Jo Brown

      The UN declaration of human rights also condemns slavery in all its forms.

  • I’ll translate the legalese. mandatory consent means express consent i.e. in writing. there are other types of binding agreements than ones with express consent. Namely the trust. When you enjoy the benefits of a trust you bill bear the burden. You will go from contract to status. Neo-feudalism at it’s finest.

    • Jo Brown

      I’m sure if the Ukrainian people were actually “enjoying” anything their new “government” provides, they would not need to be forced to support this “government” through this transition period. The fact that this “government” needs to force people to work for its benefit, shows that this “government” is completely illegitimate. Time for all Ukranians to pick up arms and fight against their oppressors.

      • Eileen Kuch

        Of course, the current “government” is illegal. It was set up by the USSA, EU, and NATO as a puppet government of these entities. The fact that this “government” needs to force people to work for its benefit is just icing on the cake; thus, it’s time for it to be ousted in the same manner the democratically elected government was back in February.

        • Jo Brown

          Of course, the trouble is, if the Ukrainian people express their will through a popular uprising to oust this illegal government, they will be labeled in the media as terrorists, rebels, insurgents, or whatever other negative labels the media can assign to them, and then Barry the impostor on the other side of the world feels somehow entitled to stick his nose in another nation’s business by sending fighter jets, drones, and boots on the ground to stamp out the Ukrainian’s audacious will for self-determination.

          • Eileen Kuch

            Good point, Jo. If the USSA, EU and NATO hadn’t meddled in Ukraine’s internal affairs, Viktor Yanukovych’s government would still be running the country; and the eastern portion wouldn’t have fought for independence. The people wouldn’t be worrying about heat for the winter; since Russia’s gas giant Gazprom would’ve been supplying gas at a good discount; and, Crimea would still be a part of Ukraine. Thanks to the criminals running the USG, however, Crimea is now rejoined to the Russian Federation; the eastern part of the country is now autonomous; and the Ukrainian people will be suffering from harsh austerity measures imposed by the EU. And, to top it off, the EU is already suffering blowback from the sanctions the USSA coerced it to impose on Russia.

          • Jo Brown

            Strange, isn’t it, how people in positions of power generally(*) have a knack for totally f&*king sh!t up everywhere, instead of making things better like they’re supposed to. What causes this? Does rising to power cause some kind of brain malfunction with a corresponding loss of common sense? Or does power and wealth cause some kind of myopism, so that all other things are forgotten in the pursuit of futher power and wealth? Or, is there perhaps some secret behind-the-scenes “government” group, and those who rise to power are (or become) behoven to this group, so that they do its bidding rather than representing the will of the citizens of their country? I suspect, and lament, that the latter is most likely the case.

            (*) I say generally, because some statesmen actually do manage to do good. Like Gadaffi, who did a lot of good for his country, giving it wealth from its natural resources and creating a better standard of living compared to many western countries. For this, and his determination to not have his nation entangled in the IMF’s web of debt, he was demonised and duly murdered by the American government. I also read about a president from a south American country who eschews wealth and the luxury of a palace, preferring instead to concentrate on leading his people rather than just taking their money.

  • hemeantwell

    something of a quibble, but this isn’t slavery in that people will not be regarded as marketable property. This is more like corvee labor or involuntary servitude.

  • But but but… What about ‘democracy’??

    Sadly this is all very predictable, as in I literally kind of predicted this would happen.

  • Joseph Glynn

    Look on the bright side; the US/e.u. backed Kiev ‘government’ is destroying its own credibility and will destroy the reputations of the US, the EU and the IMF. The US is blind and either cannot see that it is destroying European solidarity, or intends to deliberately break Europe. The EU has fatally compromised itself, abandoned its founding mission of peace in Europe, its principles and its peaceful neighbour and trade partner Russia. Europe is a mere shell from which NATO emerged like a snake.