Ukraine and Russia looking at a 'long stalemate' says Crawford
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Russia’s war in Ukraine has killed thousands of people in three short months, with Vladimir Putin tearing into the country’s easternmost flank at Donbas. His forces have all but claimed the area, with recent tactical advances placing them close to control of Severodonetsk and closer to capturing the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Taking these separatist-backed regions allows Russia to focus on extending its front towards Kyiv and prevents those areas from contributing to Ukraine’s already frozen economy.
Ukrainian officials have recently released their estimates for the economic damage done to their country.
Researchers working with the Kyiv School of Economics (KSE) analysed costs of the extensive direct and indirect wrought on their country.
They classed direct damage as destroyed property and infrastructure, which they estimated at $105 billion overall.
More than a third – $40 billion – comes from housing destroyed by Russian invaders.
Much of the damage has concentrated in the war-torn separatist-controlled Donbas region.
Indirect damage included investment decline, lost GDP, defence costs and lost labour.
The KSE estimated losses from indirect damage in the region of $459 to $495 billion.
Altogether, the damage wrought on Ukraine has cost the country’s economy approximately $564 to $600 billion (£447 to £476 billion).
Ukrainian companies alone have shouldered approximately $11 billion alone, and 200 have fallen in Russian attacks.
The significant losses have turned Ukraine’s economy into another vital frontline in its war with Russia.
Government officials have estimated they need significant cash injections to keep running their resistance.
They have suggested an additional $5 billion per month would cover essential services such as soldiers’ salaries.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said: “I don’t think that American, German or any other taxpayers in the world should have to pay for what Russia did.
“There is an alternative way to recover Ukraine, is to make Russia pay for it.”
International financial institutions have urged that there need to be a global plan to help Ukraine recover, likely one that would involve billions of pounds in grant money from allied countries.
But Mr Kuleba said: “Why everyone is trying to be merciful with Russia? Why some countries or leaders or politicians are concerned that we should not go too far in putting pressure on Russia?
“Putin betrayed even those who tried to help him by launching a large-scale aggression against a sovereign country, the aggression that will go into textbooks as the most apparent example of an aggression of one country against another. Make Russia pay for it.”
But even with any assistance, the World Bank has projected dangerous economic contraction within the next few months.
The organisation has predicted the country’s economy could shrink by 45 percent before 2022 ends.
The Russian economy, in comparison, is faring much better despite sweeping sanctions.
The “financial bomb” detonated on the country will only chip away at 11 percent of its economy this year, the bank estimates.
That comparatively gentle contraction means Putin will likely be able to continue fighting in the long run.
But regular Russians are feeling the burn as they face separation from the global economy.
Russian Central Bank chief Elvira Nabiullina recently warned the coming months would prove “difficult for both companies and citizens”.
As the country’s energy sales plummet, inflation is pushing up the prices of everyday goods by nearly 20 percent, 17.8 percent in April alone.
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