Ukraine’s economy is on track to take a $700 billion hit after 10 months of war with Russia later this year, according to its prime minister on Tuesday.
“According to our estimates, verified by the World Bank, the amount of damage caused to the Ukrainian economy since June 1 is $350 billion. By the end of the year, this amount will obviously double,” the prime minister said. Denis Shmyhal. he said during an economic forum in Paris, according to Interfax.
Dozens of countries and agencies pledged more than $1 billion in aid to Ukraine on Tuesday to help it get through the winter months as Russia continues to bombard its power grids through airstrikes.
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Russia has increasingly relied on air strikes and bombings of civilian infrastructure in a bid to break Ukrainian morale by depriving the nation of heat, running water or electricity as the cold winter months set in – a move defense officials say is due to the failures of Moscow on the front lines.
Russia “has chosen a cynical strategy aimed at destroying civilian infrastructure to bring Ukraine to its knees,” French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday. “The objective is clear: to respond to military defeats by spreading terror among civilians, to try to break the back because it cannot hold the front.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Ukraine needs emergency generators to assist the estimated 12 million people living without electricity as much as its troops need armored vehicles.
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While the sum is expected to provide desperately needed assistance Ukraine is well short of the actual support Kiev will need to rebuild.
In October, the International Monetary Fund estimated that Ukraine could need as much as $5 billion a month to keep itself afloat if Russia continues its deadly bombing campaign.
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The estimates followed projections released by the World Health Organization in early September, which showed that some $97 billion in damages have already been sustained, much of it in the housing and transport sectors, although other estimates amounted to up to $130 billion in damages.
The bank also estimated that total reconstruction needs would cost about $349 billion, though it noted that figure “is expected to rise in the coming months as the war continues.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.