Ukraine: Zelensky demands 38 billion, bombings in Bakhmout

Ukraine: Zelensky demands 38 billion, bombardment in Bakhmout


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on the international community on Tuesday for a financial effort to cover a $38 billion budget shortfall expected next year due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, where fighting is still raging in Bakhmout (east). 

Speaking via video to politicians and experts gathered in Berlin for an international conference on Ukraine's reconstruction, Zelensky urged participants to “take a decision to plug the Ukrainian budget deficit hole”. of 2023.

“It's a very large sum of 38 billion dollars (…) it's the salaries of teachers, doctors, it's social benefits, pensions”, a- he insisted.

At the opening of the meeting, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called for this reconstruction to “begin now”, believing that it was “nothing less than creating a new Marshall Plan for the 21st century”. p>

The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, also present at this conference, for her part considered the extent of the destruction in Ukraine to be “astounding”.

“The World Bank estimates the cost of the damage at 350 billion euros ($345 billion) – that is certainly more than any one country or union can provide alone. We need everyone on deck,” she said.

In London, during his first speech in Downing Street, the new British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak denounced “the terrible war” waged by Russia in Ukraine, giving his support to Kyiv to win it.

Volodymyr Zelensky responded quickly to him on Twitter, congratulating him on his arrival at 10 Downing Street and saying he was “ready” to “continue to strengthen” the links between Kyiv and London.

Steinmeier in Kyiv < /strong>

The conference in Berlin began just as German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier arrived in Kyiv for his first visit to Ukraine.

Mr. Steinmeier said he was “rejoicing at his meeting” with Mr. Zelensky “and with the population in the north of the country” where he wants to “get an idea of ​​their life in the middle of the war”, according to a text sent by his spokesperson , Cerstin Gammelin.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier (right) and German Ambassador to Ukraine Oleksii Makeiv.

Before meeting his Ukrainian counterpart, the German president was to visit the small town of Korioukivka, in the north of the country near the Belarusian border, which had been occupied by Russian troops.

The visit of Mr. Steinmeier, originally scheduled in Kyiv a week ago, had been canceled for security reasons.

Indeed, since October 10, the Ukrainian capital has been, for the first time in months, bombarded by Iranian-made Russian missiles and kamikaze drones which have mainly targeted energy infrastructure and killed around ten people.< /p>

This series of massive strikes by Moscow forces on Kyiv and many cities against Ukrainian critical infrastructure led the national operator Ukrenergo to impose “restrictions on energy consumption in all regions” of the country, he said.

On the ground after eight months of conflict, the fighting was raging, particularly in Bakhmout, a city in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine, which the Russian army has been trying to conquer for months.

< p>Civilians killed in Bakhmout

At least seven civilians were killed and three others injured on Monday in the city, regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said on Telegram on Tuesday.

In a residential area of ​​Bakhmout, AFP journalists saw bloodstains on the ground following what residents described as a deadly attack the previous day.

“I found a body here without a head. I'm in shock,” said Sergii, 58, who declined to be named, adding: “He was a man. He was just walking down the street.”

AFP journalists also saw thick smoke rising above the city in the morning.

“He there were advances in the night but we cannot give details for the moment, the situation is complicated”, declared to AFP a Ukrainian soldier engaged in the defense of the city, on condition of anonymity. /p>

In southern Ukraine, pro-Russian authorities in the city of Melitopol, controlled by Moscow forces, announced that a car bomb had exploded near local media offices, injuring five people.

Ukraine: Zelensky demands 38 billion, bombardment of Bakhmout

< p>Ukraine: Zelensky demands 38 billion, bombing of Bakhmout

In the Kherson region of southern Ukraine, in the face of advancing forces from Kyiv, evacuations of civilians continued on Tuesday, pro-Russian authorities said.

“As of October 24 , 22,367 residents of the Kherson region were taken to the left bank of the Dnipro,” said the pro-Russian occupation administration, which said it “expects” the departure of “about 50,000 people” from it. this area in total “in the near future”.