Dmytro Kuleba, the Foreign Minister of Ukraine, has described Vladimir Putin’s Russia as “the most heinous evil the world has witnessed since WWII.” He stressed the importance of holding Russian perpetrators accountable for their crimes.
Kuleba referred to a report by Forbes Ukraine, which indicated that Russia had allocated approximately $167 billion (€157 billion) for its full-scale war against Ukraine from February 2022 to August 2023. He pointed out that with this substantial sum of money, Moscow could have constructed nearly 24,000 kindergartens within Russia, over 4,500 maternity wards, or approximately 17,000 schools. However, instead of these investments, Kuleba highlighted the destruction caused by Russian military actions, including attacks on Ukrainian kindergartens, maternity wards, schools, and hospitals, resulting in the devastation of nearly 120,000 civilian structures. He also mentioned the recent attack on the Nova Poshta terminal in Kharkiv.
The $167 billion mentioned in the Forbes Ukraine report encompassed direct war-related expenses and losses of equipment.
In the battlefront, Ukraine reported that their positions in the town of Avdiivka in the east remained secure despite intensified Russian attacks. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy noted that the situation in Avdiivka and the nearby town of Maryinka remained challenging due to numerous Russian attacks. However, he emphasized that their positions were holding.
Russia has shifted its focus to the industrial east after retreating from an unsuccessful advance on Kyiv at the outset of the February 2022 invasion. They have been striving to maintain control over Kherson since withdrawing from the region’s primary town late last year.
Ukraine’s General Staff of Armed Forces revealed that Ukrainian forces had successfully repelled nearly 20 Russian attacks in the vicinity of Avdiivka, where many buildings have been reduced to ruins. Russian air strikes also targeted nearby villages.
Russian forces have been making efforts to capture the town of Avdiivka, which is considered the gateway to reclaiming Russian-held Donetsk and the broader Donbas region, comprising Donetsk and Luhansk.
Furthermore, Ukraine’s defense systems successfully intercepted all air weapons launched by Russia overnight. The Ukrainian air force reported the destruction of 14 attack drones, including 13 Iranian-made Shahed drones, one unspecified drone, and one cruise missile.
In another development, the US-based Institute for the Study of War reported that Ukrainian forces in Kherson had advanced from their side of the Dnipro River to assume new positions and pursue Russian forces. Russian forces currently occupy the east bank of Kherson, while the west bank remains under Ukrainian control, albeit subject to ongoing shelling by Russian forces.
A recent missile strike by Russia on a postal distribution center in the Kharkiv district resulted in the tragic death of six postal workers, aged between 19 and 42. Additionally, 17 individuals sustained injuries, with seven of them in serious condition and described as “fighting for their lives.” – Report by (Your Name)