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Government allocates record $466 million to fortifications

by Martin Fornusek January 19, 2024 7:26 PM 1 min read
Ukrainian servicemen of the 42nd Mechanised Brigade dig trenches during a field military exercise in Donetsk Oblast on Dec. 6, 2023. (Genya Savilov/AFP via Getty Images)
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The government has allocated around Hr 17.5 billion ($466 million) for the construction of fortifications, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said on Jan. 19, calling it a "record amount."

Before the winter, authorities received some criticism for slow progress on fortifying defensive lines. A working group was established in November to coordinate fortification efforts.

This newly announced sum will also be used to purchase necessary equipment and non-explosive barriers, the prime minister said during a governmental meeting.

"We are allocating the funds to specialized departments and regional state administrations," Shmyhal noted.

Speaking at a press conference in December, President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Kharkiv Oblast boasts the strongest fortifications. The president added that he had appealed to authorities in other regions to reach the same standards.

Responding to a question by the Kyiv Independent journalist about why Ukraine passed a decision on fortifications only in November, Zelensky said the efforts have been ongoing since the start of the full-scale war, and the recent measure serves to reinforce the defenses further.

Ukraine finally moves to fortify front line, but could it be too little too late?
“If you want to live, dig.” The words, often spoken by Ukrainian troops, are universal advice for trench warfare in general, but especially for both sides in Russia’s war against Ukraine. Normally expressed as advice to the individual soldier, the maxim now applies to the country as a whole.
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