| 22 May 2024, Wednesday |

Russian forces destroyed $100 billion worth infrastructure till now, says Ukraine’s official

Chief economic adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Oleg Ustenko, said that Russian forces have destroyed at least $100 billion worth infrastructure, buildings and other assets in the conflict till now.

At an online event, Ustenko, who was hosted by the Peterson Institute for International Economics, said the invasion has caused 50% Ukrainian businesses to shut down completely. The rest are operating at below capacity.
The damage estimate is “very approximate” and just includes bridges, hospitals, roads, equipment and other assets, he said.
For financing the reconstruction effort in the country, Ustenko said some part of it can come from Russian assets frozen around the world. It can include Russian central bank assets held outside the country and immobilised by Western sanctions.

The assets of wealthy Russian oligarchs, which have been seized, could also be transferred to a reconstruction fund, he added.
Ukraine’s fiscal reserves are currently at about $27.5 billion, which is down from about $30 billion before the invasion, Ustenko said.

When asked about the resilience of Ukraine’s financial system and bank payment operations, Ustenko said, “Look, we are doing, I would say, OK under the current circumstances. Even in those cities surrounded by now by the Russian army…(residents) are able use their cards.”

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