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Putin: Russia allocating $11 billion per year to 'integrate' occupied territories

by Martin Fornusek December 14, 2023 2:13 PM 2 min read
Russian President Vladimir Putin during a press conference on Dec. 14, 2023, in Moscow, Russia. (Kremlin.ru/Telegram)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Moscow is allocating 1 trillion rubles ($11 billion) into the "development" and "integration" of occupied territories into Russia per year from 2024, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin said during a press conference on Dec. 14.

Last September, Putin announced the annexation of conquered parts of Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk, Luhansk, and Kherson oblasts in a move broadly condemned by Kyiv and the international community.

Since then, Russia has embarked on reconstruction projects, most notably in the destroyed seaside city of Mariupol in Donetsk Oblast, in an effort to spread the image of care for the locals living there.

Putin also boasted about the establishment of sister-city relations between the occupied oblasts and other Russian regions. "They have already invested, I think, around 100–140 billion, or around 150 billion ($1.7 billion)," he said.

The Russian leader also noted that the conquered territories "contributed" 170 billion rubles ($1.9 billion) to the Russian federal budget this year.

The conquered territories have suffered a heavy toll in lives and property as a result of Russian aggression.

Since the start of the full-scale war, Russia has been plundering occupied territories, extracting mineral resources, and stealing agricultural produce.

Putin also proposed new social support programs in occupied territories, which include extending a preferential mortgage program. Thousands of Russian citizens have moved into occupied territories of Ukraine with the support of the Russian state.

Alexander Khrebet: Don’t write off Ukrainians living under Russian occupation
Standing at an intersection just outside Russian-occupied Donetsk in the town of Marinka two years ago felt bittersweet. I could see the curtains in the windows of a nine-story residential building with my naked eye a few kilometers in the distance. The huge antenna tower I still remember standing…
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