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Make Them Pay


Handing over frozen Russian assets to Ukraine is a necessary measure to compensate for the damage caused by the war

On the night of February 24, 2022, the Russian Federation launched an act of terrorism against the Ukrainian people. Russian troops on all fronts carried out an unprovoked invasion using all available weapons and equipment of the Russian army. Ukrainian cities were subjected to massive missile strikes, critical civilian infrastructure, residential buildings, businesses, schools, kindergartens, churches, temples, and much more were destroyed. This horror continues to this day. Ukraine now has modern air defence systems and is much better able to deal with threats, but the damage caused by the aggressor must be compensated for.

As of mid-April 2023, Ukraine's massive reconstruction was estimated at $750 billion, an amount that unfortunately continues to grow as the war goes on. The World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme estimated that damage to Ukraine's energy, gas, and heating infrastructure has exceeded $10 billion. As of February 2023, the Russians had destroyed or damaged 1,702 schools and 1,069 kindergartens. In total, Russian shelling has damaged 10% of Ukraine's educational infrastructure worth over $8.9 billion. It is also known that over 37% of the damage from the war in Ukraine is to residential buildings, which were destroyed deliberately in order to deprive Ukrainians of a roof over their heads.

Russia is trying to destroy Ukrainian culture. According to UNESCO, Russia's war in Ukraine has caused an estimated $2.6 billion in damage to the country's heritage and cultural sites. Approximately $1.7 billion of this was spent on historic cities filled with cultural treasures; $650 million on tourist facilities; $143 million on movable cultural property and collections and cultural repositories; and $150 million on infrastructure for cultural and creative industries. This list of damages suffered by Ukraine is by no means complete.

An important solution to help Ukraine revive its cities and vital economic enterprises and factories, as well as support its badly damaged energy infrastructure, is to seize the assets of the Russian Federation. A terrorist country that has invaded an independent state must make amends, if not voluntarily, then by transferring available Russian money abroad to Ukraine. For example, US Attorney General Merrick Garland approved the transfer to Ukraine of the first part of the confiscated funds of Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeev. It is exactly the same scenario that other countries must follow in order for Vladimir Putin's regime to stop its aggression.

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