Destruction of a country is always a shame (Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria) but this time the US, IMF and World Bank are ready to jump in as soon as the dust settles.

Photo: Efrem Lukatsky/AP. A monument to Taras Shevchenko, a Ukrainian poet and a national symbol, showing damage from bullets, stands against the background of an apartment house ruined in the Russian shelling in the central square in Borodyanka, Ukraine, April 6, 2022.

04 May 2022 | James Porteous | Clipper Media News

Has we ever seen such a war?

Well, there have been many, but we were not usually privy to the finer details.

Think Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen etc etc.

But ‘Ukraine’ is different.

With this war we are being offered 24/7 wall-to-wall coverage that appears to be complete in its details, but it is really nothing of the sort. It is akin to those letters sent to loved ones in the Last Big War that were censored to remove any real details.

This time the media started off pushing the ‘war is hell’ narrative, seemingly in order to garner support for the role ‘NATO’ would play, but it has… softened somewhat by now.

Oh sure, we still see tears and anger and calls for ‘us’ to do more, but the coverage is more nuanced, as if designed to show hardship without impeding the momentum to convince the world ‘our’ victory is certain.

Call it a ‘war is heck’ narrative if you will.

But has anything really changed on the ground? Do the people of Ukraine rejoice upon hearing news (well, they are not likely watching CNN) that they are on the ‘right side’ of history?

Are they going to sleep on their makeshift cots thinking how lucky they are that ‘NATO and its allies’ are even now preparing to harness the power of the West to start ‘rebuilding’ their country, even as it continues to be bombarded on a daily basis?

Are they likewise heartened to hear, despite what they can see with their own eyes, that the West keeps repeating the fiction that the Russian forces are on the verge of imploding?

Well, no. The ‘gung-ho we are the world’ coverage is reserved for Western Eyes Only. The same 30 eyes (out of about 165 countries) who are currently supporting the US ‘sanctions’ against Russia.

As are the pronouncements of more and better arms and the promise of invoking of ‘new Marshall plan‘ to solve the collateral damage to cities and humans.

All that is missing now are PSAs on local cable networks trying to drum up donations for ‘the war effort?’

It is disgusting. We should be repulsed by the things our governments are doing, allegedly on our behalf.

We should be, but we won’t be. At least not out loud. We learned nothing from the ‘see nothing, don’t dare say anything’ rules from covid.

The ‘rules based’ governments learned everything they needed to know.

James Porteous | Clipper Media News

A woman inspects debris inside an apartment of a residential building, which locals said was damaged by recent shelling, in the separatist-controlled town of Horlivka (Gorlovka) in the Donetsk region, Ukraine March 2, 2022. REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko

Russia’s war in Ukraine ‘causing £3.6bn of building damage a week’

03 May 2022 | Richard Partington | The Guardian

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is inflicting damage to the country’s infrastructure at a cost of $4.5bn (£3.6bn) a week as bombs tear through thousands of buildings and public utilities, and miles of road.

According to estimates compiled by the Kyiv School of Economics (KSE), and supported by the Ukrainian government, the total amount of direct infrastructure damage has reached $92bn since Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion in February.

Academics said the figure rose by almost $4.5bn in the week to 2 May, adding that their estimate is probably lower than the true cost because losses from the war are hard to quantify.

With losses since the invasion having risen to about 60% of annual economic output, the researchers said Ukraine was suffering heavy damage to infrastructure that will be expensive to repair or rebuild.

The KSE said its project, Russia Will Pay, was based on analysis of thousands of reports of damage caused during the invasion, which have been submitted by citizens, government agencies and local authorities.

The snapshot showed that the bulk of the infrastructure costs relate to bomb damage inflicted on buildings, roads, factories and businesses, based on the open-source data project to track the cost of the war.

More than 33,000 sq metres of residential buildings have been hit by missiles, bombs and suffered other damage during the war, worth almost $30bn in total. More than 23,000km of road have been ripped up or pockmarked by shelling, and almost 90,000 cars, worth billions of dollars combined, have been damaged.

A man outside his house, which was damaged by overnight shelling, in the government-held village of Novoluhanske, Ukraine.Credit…Oleksandr Klymenko/Reuters

The KSE said the overall economic costs of the war – when damage to infrastructure is taken with the impact on GDP, the cessation of investments and the outflow of workers as millions flee the country – could rise to $600bn, almost four times the value of annual GDP.

The figures compare with estimates made by the World Bank in mid-April, which suggested that physical infrastructure worth about $60bn had been damaged, a figure that was expected to continue rising.

Last month, the International Monetary Fund said Ukraine’s economy would probably contract by about 35% this year, while the loss of life, destruction of infrastructure and exodus of workers would severely impede its economy for many years to come, even if the war ended soon.

Boris Johnson, who addressed the Ukrainian parliament on Tuesday, suggested in March that Ukraine might need a “new Marshall plan”, referring to the US aid package used after the second world war to help rebuild the economies of Europe.

The IMF has provided $1.4bn in emergency financing to help meet Ukraine’s immediate spending needs, while the World Bank is mobilising financial support worth about $2.5bn.