OVERVIEW OF EASTERN EUROPE
Since achieving their independence in 1991, the transition from communism to a free market system has been extremely painful for millions of Eastern Europeans, especially in Ukraine & Moldova.
State bureaucrats and oligarchs teamed up with corrupt politicians throughout 24 years of independence to perpetuate a graft-ridden, Soviet-style system that has kept millions of Ukrainians & Moldovans impoverished and prompted millions of others to flee their home countries.
Its citizens are deeply disappointed and angry that they have not experienced order, stability or decent economic development like Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Baltic countries. Poverty, corruption and hopelessness dominate everyday life.
More recently, the popular Ukrainian civil uprising known as Euromaidan, the ousting of their corrupt president and the ensuing conflict with Russia has now left Ukraine on the verge of economic collapse with over 1.5 million displaced persons in need of assistance.