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Government allocates additional over $200 million for fortifications

by Kateryna Denisova and The Kyiv Independent news desk April 23, 2024 8:20 PM 2 min read
Contractors work with the military to construct state-of-the-art shelters that will protect personnel from artillery fire and FPV drones in the Zaporizhzhia region, southeastern Ukraine, on March 24, 2024. (Ukrinform/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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The government has allocated an additional over Hr 8 billion (around $202.3 million) for the construction of fortifications in Ukraine, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said on April 23.

Ukrainian authorities have faced criticism for slow progress on fortifying defensive lines. In March, President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that Ukraine was building 2,000 kilometers of fortifications across three lines of defense, adding that the "task is massive, but the pace is good."

Additional funds were assigned by reallocating state budget expenditures, Shmyhal said.

The government already reportedly allocated Hr 38 billion ($961 million) for building fortifications in 2024.

"Our task is to create a reliable defensive rampart that will protect our soldiers and give our army a greater advantage on the battlefield," the prime minister said, adding Ukraine will allocate "all additional resources" to its defense capabilities.

Previously, the funds were reportedly devoted to fortify Donetsk, Kharkiv, Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Mykolaiv, and Sumy oblasts.

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported that Ukrainian troops are building fortifications in expectation of a Russian offensive in the spring, though there are concerns that the progress is not fast enough.

Zelensky said in an interview with CBS News that a new major Russian offensive may come at the end of May or in June amid a deteriorating situation on Ukraine's eastern front as ammunition and supplies run short.

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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