Ukraine news: Top EU official backs multi-trillion plan to rebuild Ukraine

May 11

A top European official has backed a multi-trillion-euro ‘Marshall’-style plan to rebuild Ukraine, pledging the firepower of the EU’s lending arm for what he said must be a global rescue effort.

Werner Hoyer, president of the European Investment Bank, said Europe must not be left alone to foot the vast bill that he predicted could run into the trillions.

Under the post-World War Two US scheme known as the Marshall Plan, the United States granted Europe the present-day equivalent of some $200 billion over four years in economic and technical assistance.

Addressing the need for a similar programme for Ukraine, Hoyer told Reuters that the cost of rebuilding the country had been discussed at recent meetings at United Nations, the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Washington.

“What will it cost to rebuild, reconstruct Ukraine? Figures were flying around the room … but one thing is quite clear to me: We are not talking about millions but trillions” said Hoyer, a former German foreign office minister under Chancellor Helmut Kohl following the fall of the Berlin Wall.

War-torn Ukraine urges donors to ‘maximise’ efforts

Ukraine’s finance minister Sergiy Marchenko has called upon international donors to “maximise” efforts to help the nation in the wake of Russia’s invasion.

“While defending our country and fighting against Russia we take a massive risk … to make Ukraine win this war,” Marchenko told the European development bank’s annual meet in the Moroccan city Marrakesh.

“We would thus appreciate if you take a small (financial) risk to help Ukraine so that we can win,” he added via video link.

The 2022 gathering of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) runs to Thursday.

Kyiv can only cover about 62 percent of primary budget needs excluding military expenditure, Marchenko added.

ghetto’

Mariupol has become a “medieval ghetto” with medics forced to amputate limbs to stop new epidemics erupting, officials in the devastated southern port city have warned.

The country’s human rights chief Lyudmyla Denisova appealed to the UN and Red Cross to help evacuate wounded fighters stuck in the city’s Azovstal steel works. She said the destruction of a makeshift hospital there meant many were dying as power and water supplies are cut off. 

“Due to the risk of infection because of a lack of antibiotics, medical instruments and sterile dressings, doctors are forced to amputate the limbs even with minor injuries,” she wrote online. 

The city’s mayor Vadym Boichenko, who has fled, said “the [Russian] occupiers have turned Mariupol into a medieval ghetto,” while one of his aides said Azovstal was ablaze again after fresh bombing, warning: “If there is hell on earth, it is there.”

“Without medicine and medical care, the restoration of the water supply and proper sewerage in the city, epidemics will erupt. Today, the majority of the current population is old and sick. Without proper conditions, mortality among vulnerable groups will increase exponentially,” Boichenko said.

Russian spy boss compares US to German Nazi propaganda machine

A Russian spy chief on Wednesday compared the US State Department to the World War Two Nazi propaganda machine constructed by Joseph Goebbels, saying Washington had launched an anti-Russia messaging campaign across social media.

Sergei Naryshkin, head of Russia’s foreign intelligence agency (SVR), said the United States was encouraging the spreading of fake information on the popular Telegram messaging service in an attempt to “discredit” and “dehumanise Russia’s political and military leadership in the eyes of the Russian people”.

“Their actions have a lot in common with the traditions of the Third Reich’s ministry of public education and propaganda and its head Joseph Goebbels,” Naryshkin said in a statement published on the SVR website.

Naryshkin provided no evidence to support the claims of a US-backed information campaign. Russia regularly accuses the West of funding and supporting anti-Kremlin movements and has labelled dozens of independent human rights groups and media outlets in Russia “foreign agents” over recent years.

Representatives of the US State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Ukraine will feel aftermath of Russia war ‘for 100 years’

Ukraine can expect to feel the aftermath of Russia’s war “for 100 years” because of unexploded ordnance littering cities, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Wednesday, adding that allies would help the country rebuild.

“Those who live in Germany know that bombs from World War II are still frequently discovered,” Scholz told reporters. “Ukraine should brace itself to battle with the consequences of this war for 100 years.

“That is why we will also have to work together on the reconstruction.”

Russian woman speaks of wish to cut ears off Ukrainian children

A Russian woman has said that she hates Ukrainian children so much that she wants to cut their ears off, carve stars into their backs and kill them, according to an audio release from Ukraine’s intelligence services that it said was of an intercepted Russian telephone conversation.

In the audio file, released on Twitter, the woman tells a man that Ukrainian children will “grow up to become Nazis, just like their parents” and that they should be turned away from Russia’s borders.

“Why is Putin inviting them to Russia? Let them all be killed in Ukraine,” she said. “I hate these Ukrainians. Now I absolutely hate them. I would shoot these children.”

The Ukrainian intelligence services everyday release several recordings of what they have said are intercepted Russian telephone conversations. The Telegraph was not able to independent verify the recording.

Nato membership would have prevented the war, says Zelensky

The war with Russia would have been prevented if Ukraine had been member of Nato beforehand, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said in a speech at French University Sciences Po.

“If Ukraine had been part of Nato before the war, there would have been no war”, Mr Zelensky told students via videolink.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly said the risk of seeing Ukraine become member of Nato warranted the invasion of its neighbour that started more than two months ago.

Ukraine wants to restore the country’s territory

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, speaking to French University Sciences Po, said he wanted to restore the country’s territory before an end of the war with Russia could be envisioned, adding he was still willing to dialogue with Moscow.

“Once we recoup all that is ours, we will finish this,” Mr Zelensky told students via videolink.

Kherson will ask Russia to annex city

Kherson says it will ditch plans for a referendum and instead simply ask Russian President Vladimir Putin to incorporate the region into Russia.

Kirill Stremousov, the Russia-installed deputy head in the southern Ukrainian city, scrapped plans to create a Kherson People’s Republic, similar to the pro-Russia Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic in the Donbas region.

Instead of a referendum, “this will be one single decree based on the appeal of the leadership of the Kherson region to the President of the Russian Federation, and this will include the region inside the Russian Federation,” he said. 

Kherson was the first region in Ukraine to fall to Russia after Putin ordered his invasion on February 24.

For the first month of Russia’s occupation, Ukrainian flags flew above administrative buildings and residents were allowed to protest – but as the Kremlin’s language hardened so did the Russian crackdown in Kherson.

Thousands have fled the Kherson region and those that have remained have talked of increasingly harsh repression, a network of informers, the introduction of the Russian school curriculum, the Russian rouble and Russian flags.

Nearly 5 million jobs lost in Ukraine as war pummels economy

Around 4.8 million jobs have been lost in Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion in February, as the conflict shut down businesses, strangled exports and drove millions to flee, the International Labour Organisation says. 

The job losses, which account for around 30 per cent of Ukraine’s workforce before the invasion, could climb to 7 million if hostilities continue, the ILO said in a study, adding that 3.4 million jobs could return rapidly in the event of a ceasefire.

The war could also drive up unemployment in neighbouring countries hosting millions of refugees and hit Central Asian economies as migrant workers in Russia lose their jobs and return home.

Analysts say the war could force Ukraine’s economy to contract by at least one-third in 2022.

One comment

  1. ” Russia regularly accuses the West of funding and supporting anti-Kremlin movements….”

    Poor little baby. Puttie is having a sad because he is being abused by others.

    Like

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