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Posted by Ukrap on

До порятунку військових із «Азовсталі» залучені «впливові посередники» – Зеленський

Зеленський прокоментував евакуацію цивільних із Маріуполя, додавши, що Київ також шукає шляхи, аби вивезти військових

Posted by Ukrap on

Рада безпеки ООН ухвалила першу заяву щодо України після початку повномасштабного вторгнення

У тексті не згадується «війна» – натомість висловлюється «глибока стурбованість щодо підтримки миру і безпеки в Україні»

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Українські військові відбили 8 атак російської армії на Донбасі

Щонайменше один цивільний загинув внаслідок обстрілу Лимана на Донеччині

Posted by Worldkrap on

Russian Court Orders Arrest in Absentia of Top Journalist Over ‘Fakes’

A Moscow court on Friday ordered the arrest in absentia of Alexander Nevzorov, a prominent Russian journalist accused of spreading false information about what Moscow calls its special military operation in Ukraine.

The court said Nevzorov, who has been put on Russia’s international wanted list, would be detained for two months if he ever returns to Russia or is extradited.

Nevzorov’s wife wrote on Instagram in March that she and her husband were in Israel, but that the couple had no plans to move there permanently.

Investigators had opened a case against Nevzorov in March for posting on social media that Russia’s armed forces deliberately shelled a maternity hospital in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol.

Ukraine and its Western allies condemned the hospital attack as an atrocity. Russia denied bombing the hospital, accusing Kyiv of a “staged provocation.”  

Nevzorov, who has more than 1.8 million subscribers on his YouTube channel, called the investigation against him ridiculous and wrote an open letter to Russia’s top investigator calling on him to close the case.  

Eight days after invading Ukraine on February 24, Russia passed a law providing jail terms of up to 15 years for those convicted of intentionally spreading “fake” news about Russia’s military. 

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UNICEF: Ukraine War Has Devastating Psychological Impact on Children

The U.N. Children’s Fund, UNICEF, reports the war in Ukraine is having a devastating impact on children, with tens of thousands requiring psychological and social care.

Millions of children in Ukraine have suffered from more than two months of relentless bombing and shelling, a lack of food, the inability to go to school, and the loss of other essential services. 

This psychological trauma, says UNICEF, has created a child protection crisis of extraordinary proportions.

U.N. agencies report more than 6,800 civilian casualties, including more than 3,300 killed. Some 7.7 million people have been displaced inside Ukraine and more than 5.7 million others have sought refuge in neighboring countries, including nearly two-thirds of all children in Ukraine.

Before Russia invaded Ukraine February 24, more than 90,000 children were living in institutions, orphanages, boarding schools, and other care facilities—nearly half of them are children with disabilities.

Speaking from the western city of Lviv, Aaron Greenberg, UNICEF’s Regional Child Protection Adviser for Europe and Central Asia Region, said tens of thousands of these children have been returned to families. Unfortunately, he said, many children are not receiving the care and protection they require, especially children with disabilities.

“The war has impacted all children’s psychosocial well-being. All of them,” he said. “Children have been uprooted from their homes, separated from caregivers, and directly exposed to war. Children have been shaken by bomb explosions and the blaring sirens of missile alert systems…. And, most importantly, many children have witnessed or experienced physical and sexual violence.”

Greenberg said UNICEF and partners are working to help these traumatized children. Since the war started, he said more than 140,000 children and their caregivers have received mental health and psychosocial services. He said UNICEF currently has 56 mobile units operating across the country, including in the east where fighting is most intense.

“Over 7,000 women and children have been reached by violence prevention, risk mitigation and violence response services, including GBV, gender-based violence, including in the eastern areas of the country,” he said. “But it is not enough. And although we are all working in overdrive, I think we must be prepared with more specialized services for child survivors of physical and sexual violence.”

Greenberg noted that children with disabilities have suffered disproportionately in this war and must receive urgent support. He added that the government, UNICEF, and partners are scaling up more services to these very vulnerable children.

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Jill Biden to Meet Ukrainian Refugees During Eastern Europe Visit

For weeks, first lady Jill Biden has been transfixed by the news coming out of Ukraine, by the bombings and scenes of “parents weeping over their children’s broken bodies in the streets,” as she said in a recent speech. 

Now Biden is using her second solo overseas trip to get an up-close look at the Ukrainian refugee crisis by visiting Romania and Slovakia, where she will spend Mother’s Day meeting with displaced families in a small Slovakian village on the border with Ukraine. 

After flying overnight from Washington, Biden arrived at Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base in Romania, near the Black Sea, in time to help serve Friday dinner to U.S. service members stationed there. Some of the several thousand U.S. troops who President Joe Biden deployed to eastern Europe in the leadup to the war were sent to the base, which is about 60 miles (100 kilometers) from Romania’s border with Ukraine. 

Jill Biden told reporters traveling with her Thursday night, “It’s so important to the president and to me that the Ukrainian people know that we stand with them.” She said earlier in the week she wants the refugees to know “their resilience inspires me.” 

NATO allies Romania and Slovakia border Ukraine and have taken in some of the millions of mostly women and children who fled after Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, triggering Europe’s largest refugee crisis since World War II. 

Biden also will use her four days in Europe to highlight issues she promotes at home, such as support for U.S. service members, education and the welfare of children. 

The centerpiece of the first lady’s trip comes Sunday — Mother’s Day — when the mother of three meets with displaced Ukrainians who sought refuge across the border in Slovakia. 

Biden’s daughter, Ashley Biden, had planned to accompany her mother to Europe, but backed out after learning Thursday that she was a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19, said Michael LaRosa, the first lady’s spokesperson. Ashley Biden tested negative, LaRosa said. 

“I can only imagine the grief families are feeling,” Jill Biden said this week. “I know that we might not share a language, but I hope that I can convey, in ways so much greater than words, that their resilience inspires me, that they are not forgotten, and that all Americans stand with them still.” 

The first lady also will meet during the trip with humanitarian aid workers, educators, government officials and U.S. embassy personnel, the White House said. 

Nearly 6 million Ukrainians, mostly women and children, have fled their country since Russia’s invasion, according to the U.N. refugee agency. Many have resettled in next-door countries, like Romania and Slovakia, or have gone elsewhere in Europe to try to rebuild their lives. 

More than 850,000 Ukrainians have entered Romania since the invasion, while nearly 400,000 have crossed into Slovakia, according to government figures from those countries. 

Biden has long displayed an interest in the plight of refugees around the world. 

In 2011, when her husband was vice president, she traveled to drought-stricken east Africa to visit with Somali famine refugees at the Dadaab camp in Kenya. In 2017, she visited refugees in Chios, Greece, as part of work by the aid organization Save The Children, on whose board she served. 

Some refugee advocates said Biden’s trip will send the message that the United States takes seriously its humanitarian commitment to the Ukrainian people. 

“Every first lady has a far-reaching platform to raise awareness and this trip will be an important tool for mobilizing additional support for those forced to flee their homeland,” said Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, president and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service and formerly a policy director to first lady Michelle Obama. 

Biden’s trip will be the latest to the region by a U.S. government representative following recent visits to Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken to meet with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. 

President Biden visited Ukrainian refugees during a stop in Poland in March. That’s the closest he’s been to Ukraine. The White House has said there are no current plans for him to visit Kyiv. 

After her time with the U.S. service members, Jill Biden was set to spend Saturday in Bucharest, Romania’s capital, being briefed on humanitarian efforts, meeting with Romanian first lady Carmen Iohannis and touring a school where Ukrainian refugee students are enrolled before she departs for Slovakia. The first lady is a community college English professor. 

On Sunday, she heads to Kosice, Slovakia, to visit a city-operated refugee center and a public school that also hosts Ukrainian refugee students, where she will spend time with Ukrainian and Slovakian mothers and children as they participate in Mother’s Day activities. Afterward, she will travel to the Slovakia-Ukraine border crossing in Vysne Nemecke, Slovakia. 

The White House declined to comment on whether she will cross the border and enter Ukraine. 

She’ll also visit a small Greek Catholic chapel in Vysne Nemecke that serves refugees. 

Monday brings a meeting with Slovakian President Zuzana Caputova, the country’s first female president, before Biden heads back to Washington. 

The first lady has shown her support the Ukrainian people in several ways. She wore a sunflower — Ukraine’s national flower — on her mask and a dress sleeve and traveled to a Tennessee hospital to visit with Ukrainian children flown there for cancer treatment. 

She had Ukraine’s ambassador to the U.S., Oksana Markarova, sit with her during President Biden’s State of the Union address in March, and she went to the Army’s Fort Campbell in Kentucky to visit with the families of U.S soldiers who were deployed to Europe to assist with the Ukraine crisis. 

The trip is the first lady’s second overseas by herself. She flew to Tokyo last year to represent the United States at the opening of the Olympic Games. 

 

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«Навіть до звірів так не ставляться» – Зеленський про дії Росії у Маріуполі

«Це – навмисна блокада. У людей немає їжі, немає води… Навіть до звірів так не ставляться, як вони ставляться до людей. Жорстокість вражає!»

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Верещук: з полону вдалося звільнити 41 людину, серед них – священник

Ірина Верещук повідомила, що додому повертаються 28 військових і 13 цивільних

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Amnesty International звинувачує Росію у причетності до щонайменше 60 воєнних злочинів в Україні

Правозахисники повідомляють, що внаслідок авіаударів у Бородянці загинули понад 40 мирних жителів, а в Бучі та її околицях зафіксовані 22 випадки вбивств мирних жителів

Posted by Worldkrap on

US Adds Virtual Currency Mixer to Sanctions List Over North Korea’s Cyber Activities

The United States on Friday imposed sanctions on virtual currency mixer Blender, accusing it of being involved in one of the largest cryptocurrency heists on record and of being used by North Korea, the U.S. Treasury Department said. 

The Treasury also identified new virtual currency addresses it said were used by the North Korean hacking group often dubbed “Lazarus” to launder illicit proceeds, accusing the group of carrying out the theft of hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of cryptocurrency tied to the popular online game Axie Infinity. 

“We are taking action against illicit financial activity by the DPRK (North Korea) and will not allow state-sponsored thievery and its money-laundering enablers to go unanswered,” Brian Nelson, the Treasury’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in the statement. 

The Treasury said it was the first time the U.S. imposed sanctions on a virtual currency mixer. 

North Korea has stepped up efforts to launder stolen cryptocurrency, significantly increasing its use of mixers, or software tools that pool and scramble cryptocurrencies from thousands of addresses, blockchain analytics and cybersecurity firm Chainalysis said. 

The Treasury said Blender is a virtual currency mixer that operates on the Bitcoin blockchain, accusing it of facilitating illicit transactions by obscuring their origin and destination. 

It said Blender was used in the laundering process for North Korea’s Axie Infinity heist, accusing it of processing over $20 million in illicit proceeds. 

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МЗС засудило акт вандалізму на території меморіалу в Нідерландах із використанням слова «Азов»

Міністерство закордонних справ України засудило акт вандалізму на військовому кладовищі Йонкербос у Неймегені в Нідерландах.

«Ми рішуче засуджуємо акт вандалізму, скоєний на військовому кладовищі Йонкербос у Неймегені, Нідерланди. Вважаємо цей акт жорстокою образою пам’яті жертв Другої світової війни та провокацією, у тому числі проти України», – йдеться у Twitter-повідомленні МЗС у п’ятницю.

Напередодні екскомандир полку «Азов» Максим Жорін у Telegram, коментуючи ситуацію, заявив, що все зроблено «за кремлівськими методичками» із використанням символіки «Азову», українського прапора та нацистської свастики на пам’ятному місці. За його словами, мета таких дій – влаштувати конфлікт та посварити народи між собою.

У Нідерландах 5 травня відзначали День звільнення країни від нацистської окупації.

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Втрати Росії на фронті в Україні наближаються до 25 тисяч осіб – Генштаб ЗСУ

Найбільші втрати військ РФ минулої доби спостерігалися Лиманському та Курахівському напрямках

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HRW закликає звільнити іноземних мігрантів на Волині і Миколаївщині, затриманих до вторгнення РФ

Люди, опитані в обох центрах, сказали, що їх затримали за кілька місяців до російського вторгнення за незаконну спробу перетнути кордон із Польщею чи за порушення візового режиму

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New Reparations Focus: Black Enclaves in US Lost to Development

Terrell Osborne knows well what happens when urban renewal comes to communities of color.

As a child growing up in Providence, Rhode Island, in the 1950s and 1960s, huge swaths of his neighborhood of Lippitt Hill, a center of Black life at the foot of the stately homes of the city’s elite East Side, were taken by eminent domain for redevelopment projects.

Hundreds of Black families were forced to move and dozens of minority small businesses across some 30 acres were bulldozed. In their place rose an apartment complex catering to downtown workers and students and faculty at nearby Brown University, as well as a shopping plaza now anchored by a Whole Foods and a Starbucks.

Meanwhile, Black families like the Osbornes were scattered across the city and never compensated.

“We had stores. People owned things. Money was circulating around,” said Osborne, who now lives on Providence’s South Side. “There was a whole community there, and they just took that neighborhood and we never got anything for it. Not even as much as a thank you.”

As Providence gears up to provide reparations to Black residents for centuries of injustices, city officials are looking beyond the city’s leading role in the Colonial transatlantic slave trade.

They’re looking to atone, at least initially, for what happened during urban renewal efforts of the late 20th century, a period that saw Black and Native American communities such as Lippitt Hill razed to make way for new residential and business developments that paved the way for the city’s modern economy, anchored around its universities and hospitals.

The approach builds off the blueprint in Evanston, a Chicago suburb that became the first in the nation to begin paying reparations last year with a program providing Black residents grants for mortgage payments and home repairs, in acknowledgement of the historic discrimination Black people endured when trying to buy homes.

By making progress on such modern-day wrongs, communities can hopefully start to overcome long-standing resistance to reparations, says Justin Hansford, a professor at Howard University’s law school who spearheads the African American Redress Network, which tracks reparations efforts nationwide.

Local cities and towns, colleges and even states are increasingly taking up reparations as efforts at the federal level have gone nowhere. Harvard University announced last week it’ll spend $100 million to atone for its slave ties while California is pioneering a statewide task force on reparations.

“We know it’s a losing conversation to talk about slavery in the 1600s,” said Raymond “Two Hawks” Watson, a member of Providence’s recently formed reparations commission whose family has long lived in the Lippitt Hill area. “But we also know we don’t have to go that far back. We know what happened with urban renewal and we can see what’s happening with gentrification. We’re able to show this is just a continuation of what’s been going on for centuries.”

Providence’s efforts also notably look to use some $15 million in federal COVID-19 funds to jump-start reparations work, something other city leaders have pursued recently.

In Athens, Georgia, Mayor Kelly Girtz says his proposed budget calls for using pandemic relief money to establish a housing fund for Black residents akin to Evanston’s. Athens, like Providence, seeks to atone for the razing of the Black neighborhood of Linnentown to make way for University of Georgia dormitories and parking lots in the 1960s.

In Providence, centuries of discrimination have left communities of color far poorer than white enclaves: Median household income on the affluent, largely white East Side is nearly $180,000 a year, compared to nearly $19,000 in the city’s predominantly Black and Latino South Side.

On Lippitt Hill, families weren’t compensated but instead offered priority in claiming a unit in the new residential development, which became known as University Heights, says Osborne. But the modern apartments were financially out of reach for most.

Cheryl Taylor, whose family was forced to move and shutter their repair business on Lippitt Hill to make way for another development, hopes the reparations process can help Black residents purchase their own homes. The few like her who remain living nearby are renters in an increasingly unaffordable part of town.

“They’re all white. I don’t know these people,” Taylor says of the neighborhood’s newer residents.

Looking back, Osborne wonders if the destruction of his old neighborhood was an effort to dilute the growing power of the city’s Black community.

Osborne’s family was among a number of working class but upwardly mobile Black households on the hillside that separates the East Side from downtown.

His grandfather, Clarence “Legs” Osborne, was a trumpeter who played with Count Basie, Duke Ellington and other famous Black musical acts. His uncle, Jeffrey Osborne, went on to become a Grammy-nominated R&B singer with a string of hits in the 1980s, including On the Wings of Love.

Osborne, who heads a Providence organization that provides musical opportunities to youths, says he’d like to see the city establish a college scholarship fund or programs to help Black residents build equity, rather than making direct payouts to impacted families like his.

“The question with reparations is always, ‘Where do you start?’ Why not start with something that’s tangible?” he said. “We’re here. We’re not buried in the past, and we know something should have happened then. Maybe now is the time.”

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US to Bring No Pandemic Funds to Global COVID-19 Summit

With the coronavirus killing an estimated 15 million people worldwide, including nearly 1 million in the United States, the Biden administration, despite a lack of funding for domestic and international pandemic response, is set to mobilize a global effort to end the acute phase of COVID-19.

The move comes as the World Health Organization announced that the COVID-19 pandemic directly or indirectly caused 14.9 million deaths worldwide from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2021.

The U.S. will co-host the second Global COVID-19 Summit on May 12, following the first in September 2021. The virtual summit will mark a shift from a crisis management strategy to the more sustainable approach of building resilient public health systems.

“The virus — after omicron particularly — has shown us that we have to evolve our strategy,” a senior administration official told VOA. The goal, the official said, is to reduce transmission, deaths and hospitalizations rather than eradicate the virus.

The summit will focus on “supporting locally led solutions” toward global goals, which include getting shots into arms, enhancing access to tests and treatments, and generating sustainable financing for future pandemic preparedness.

“We cannot have just one solution, which might fit all of these different situations,” Dr. Thierno Baldé of the World Health Organization’s Africa regional office told VOA. “The reality is to try to understand that, and therefore to have the most appropriate solution constructed commonly, with different countries, with different partners.”

To galvanize international support, the U.S. will co-host the event together with CARICOM (Caribbean Community) chair Belize; Group of Seven president Germany; Group of 20 President Indonesia, and African Union chair Senegal.

No pandemic funding

The U.S., however, will bring no new pledges to the summit table. The administration’s request for $22.5 billion in additional COVID-19 response money, including $5 billion for global pandemic funding, has been stuck for weeks largely because of Republican lawmakers who insist they won’t pass it unless the administration brings back Title 42. The Trump-era order allows authorities at the Mexican border to turn away migrants during a pandemic emergency.

The lack of funding jeopardizes the administration’s global pandemic response, including Global Vax, an international initiative launched in December to turn vaccines into vaccinations in 11 African countries, and which is set to run out of money in September. It could also undermine the administration’s ability to galvanize other countries’ commitments, particularly at an event that has been designed with a “step up to speak up” approach, meaning that countries can secure a speaking role only if they bring either financial pledges or policy commitments to support summit goals.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki told VOA the summit would highlight to Congress the need for more funding so that the U.S. “can continue to be the arsenal of vaccines for the world.” She noted that even without the additional funding, the U.S. remains the largest contributor to the global fight against the pandemic.

Lack of global coordination

The first two years of the pandemic were marked by rich countries stockpiling more doses than they needed for boosters and protection against new variants, which threatened supplies to lower-income countries, where vaccination rates were low.

Now, with 2 billion doses of vaccine being produced each month, the problem is not a lack of supply but slowing demand and poor delivery capacity — problems that activists argue also stem from lack of coordination.

“If we’d had a coordinated global plan to end the pandemic, we wouldn’t now be in the situation where there’s quite a lot of vaccine doses but not enough money to actually distribute them in countries that need them,” Tom Hart told VOA. Hart is president of the ONE Campaign, an advocacy organization that fights preventable disease.

Beyond vaccines, the summit will also seek to improve access to testing and treatment, including by scaling up production and diversifying local and regional manufacturing capacity. Current efforts to achieve that include technology transfer agreements and the so-called TRIPS (Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) waiver proposal by South Africa and India at the World Trade Organization that called for intellectual property waivers on COVID-19 therapeutics and diagnostics. While the proposal is supported by more than 100 member countries, negotiations have been gridlocked for months.

Test to treat

Meanwhile, the Biden administration has recently rolled out a national “test to treat” program that tests people for COVID-19 and immediately treats them with the Pfizer antiviral drug Paxlovid if results are positive. It now aims to introduce similar pilot projects in other countries.

“The exact model may be different because the health systems are different,” the administration official said, noting that additional hurdles need to be addressed, including securing supplies of the generic drugs nirmatrelvir and ritonavir, which make up Paxlovid — a drug that is prohibitively expensive for lower- to middle-income countries.

Dr. Krishna Udayakumar, founding director of the Duke Global Health Innovation Center, told VOA that it would be up to Pfizer, Merck and other companies that already have antivirals on the market to work with countries and existing multilateral systems to get these “test to treat” pilot projects in place so when the money and the supply ramp up, countries can scale up quickly.

In March, the Medicines Patent Pool, a United Nations-backed organization, signed agreements with 35 manufacturers in 12 countries to produce nirmatrelvir and ritonavir, but these are unlikely to be on the market until 2023. Udayakumar said the U.S. was working to make an affordable generic version of Paxlovid available within several months.

The Global COVID-19 Summit aims to secure pledges to help close the gap of about $15 billion in funding that the WHO says the world needs. While those pledges will be made, advocates are pessimistic.

“It’s not clear whether that’s being coordinated, whether one country or one region will have more than it needs and another region will go without,” Hart said. “That’s the problem with no coordination and no global plan.”

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Latest Developments in Ukraine: May 6

For full coverage of the crisis in Ukraine, visit Flashpoint Ukraine.

The latest developments in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. All times EDT:

12:02 a.m.: The Washington Post reports that the western Ukraine city of Ivan-Frankivsk is warning its residents about possible shelling ahead of Russia’s May 9 Victory Day celebration.

Russia uses Victory Day to celebrate the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany; it’s a traditional celebration of national pride. Leaders in Ivano-Frankivsk fear that this year it’ll lead to increased Russian attacks. They’re telling residents to evacuate or to stay inside, and they’ve canceled all public events, the Post reports. 

Some information in this report came from The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.

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У найближчі тижні буде стабільне постачання пального на Київщину – ОВА

Олександр Павлюк також попередив, що зростання цін на пальне є неминучим.

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Європарламент вимагає від Росії повернути викрадені літаки

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US Brings Plans, Hopes — but Not Cash — to COVID Summit

With the U.S. entering a new COVID-19 phase marked by more testing, prevention and treatment options, President Joe Biden will next week convene another summit of global leaders to discuss next steps in the battle against the pandemic — but without the funding he says he needs to continue to fight it overseas. VOA’s White House correspondent Anita Powell and White House Bureau Chief Patsy Widakuswara report from Washington.

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Ukraine’s PM Details War Costs to VOA as Donors Dig Deep

Ukraine received $6.5 billion in pledges at an international donors’ conference in Warsaw Thursday. 

VOA Eastern Europe Bureau Chief Myroslava Gongadze discussed the conference and other issues with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal in the Polish capital. 

The following interview has been edited for brevity and clarity. 

VOA: Donors pledged nearly $7 billion for Ukraine today. Are you satisfied with this pledge?

UKRAINIAN PRIME MINISTER DENYS SHMYHAL: This is not the first and is not the last donors’ conference. So, we are so very grateful to our Polish and Swedish partners, to the European Commission, the European Union, because they make huge efforts to support Ukraine in all of the spheres. Here today, we mainly were concentrated on the financial sphere. And $6.5 billion is the result of this donors’ conference for Ukrainian support. So, we will see what partners give, how many resources, how much money, and will decide all together how to share it on the different directions of social, humanitarian and other obligations of our state. 

VOA: The White House asked Congress for additional support, $33 billion. How would this money be organized, and how much do you expect for the budget, and how much do you expect for other needs?  

 

SHMYHAL: So, the budget deficit for Ukraine during these four months is about $5 billion per month. We discussed this all with all of our partners — with the United States, IMF and World Bank approved this amount. And after this, we begin to work with the IMF. They create a special administrative account, and the World Bank creates a special trust account. And we ask all of the partners to share with Ukraine through these accounts 10% of their SDR (Special Drawing Right), which the IMF shares between all of the members of the IMF. And we also hope that partners will make direct support from their budget for Ukraine. And when (U.S.) President (Joe) Biden (announced) this $33 billion support for Ukraine, so part of this amount of money, about $8 billion, is actually for urgent support of the Ukrainian budget during the next four months. The rest of the amount, we agreed to finance from all of us or our partners — from the IMF, World Bank, from the European Union. And we need this support, this financial support, to not make a mission of money and to not create hyperinflation in Ukraine. So, the macro financial stability of our country is very important for all of our partners, because war will finish the Ukrainian. Ukraine will win this war and after the glory, we need strong economic conditions to begin, in a very fast way, recover our territories, our regions, cities and because of this, partners understand this absolutely clearly and we work with them closely to go actually in this way. 

VOA: This war affected [the] agricultural industry in Ukraine, and specifically the world is actually facing a serious hunger crisis because of this war. What would Ukraine be able to actually harvest this year, and how are you working with international partners to collect the harvest and actually deliver it? 

 

SHMYHAL: … European, African and Asian countries are waiting for more than 90 million tons of our grains, corn, wheat, sunflower oil, and it really will lead to the world food crisis. All of the countries are so much disturbed about this. We have negotiations with all of our partners. We have negotiations about this with the Secretary-General (Antonio Guterres) of the United Nations. During our visit to the United States and meeting with President Biden, we also discussed this issue, because we understand that if we do not unblock our seaports, it will lead not (only) to a food crisis during this year and possible famine in many countries on the African or Asian continents, but it will lead to the next year’s food crisis, because our warehouses are (filled) for this year’s harvest. And when we will have even 90% of amount during this year, we will have no possibility of where to collect this new harvest in Ukraine. So, we urgently need support from our partners; they discussed this possibility, and maybe there will be some kind of humanitarian mission, maybe under U.N. protection. Maybe there will be some alliance that will organize these blue or green corridors for exporting harvest and grain from Ukraine to countries which are waiting for this.  

VOA: And you expect Russia would agree? 

SHMYHAL: We hope so, because the world and civilized world, democratic world should make this pressure, because in either case, there will be big problems in many countries, and it will be food, real food crisis. Russia creates energy crisis during this winter; Russia would like to create a migration crisis because of the destroying civilian infrastructure, and because of these atrocities and war crimes in Ukraine, and we know that the quantity of killed civilians is 10 times more than military people, so it’s absolutely clear that they caused genocide against the Ukrainian people. But their other aim is to create fear among Ukrainians and to create a migration tsunami. But the European Union managed this, and all of our women and children are in the European Union, in all of our countries which house them very kindly. So, we are so very grateful for this, and the migration crisis (failed), but the food crisis, energy crisis is still very actual. So, we should find how we manage this all together, all the world. 

VOA: And one more question about military support. You’re receiving a lot of military support from (the U.S.), from other countries and NATO countries. You signed an agreement today with the Polish government. Could you give us a hint as to what that is about? And how do you assess different countries’ support for Ukraine militarily?  

 

SHMYHAL: Today I found that one big amount of more than $12 billion during these 71 days — Ukraine received from our partners for different spheres — for military sphere, for humanitarian sphere, but in any way, the biggest amount of support is from the United States. We are so very grateful for this, appreciate this so much. Poland is the next one country, European Union, and different financial organizations, IMF, World Bank, EBRD (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development), and all of the countries and the European Union especially, Canada for example. Their reaction was immediate, very urgent during the first week of the war. They support us financially. Many countries begin to support us in the sphere of defense, defense absolutely, also in a very fast way. So, the main, our supporter in the military sphere is the United States and all of the alliance. 

VOA: The Poland agreement? 

SHMYHAL: The Poland agreement is not public. It’s an agreement in the sphere of defense, and in the military and defense sphere. But we can’t say what this agreement is about. It’s a very important and very good agreement for Ukraine.