Ukraine ‘needs $750 billion to rebuild’… Uzbek riots kill 18

This is ‘Global Village Today’, which delivers major news from various countries around the world.

Moderator) What news do you have today?

Reporter) Yes. Ukraine has proposed a three-stage reconstruction plan, saying it will need $750 billion to rebuild its country that has been invaded by Russia. At least 18 people have been killed in unrest in the Autonomous Republic of Karakalpakstan, Uzbekistan.

Host) Global Village Today, today is the first news. First, the Ukraine news. Did you say we need $750 billion to rebuild Ukraine?

Reporter) Yes. Ukrainian Prime Minister Dennis Schmihal announced at the Ukrainian Reconstruction Conference (URC 2022) held in Lugano, Switzerland on the 4th that $750 billion is needed to rebuild Ukraine, whose infrastructure has been destroyed by an all-out Russian invasion.

Moderator) How do you plan to raise funds for reconstruction?

Reporter) Prime Minister Schmihal insisted, “The actual source of the reconstruction funds should be the funds frozen by the Russian government or oligarchy.” Prime Minister Shmihal estimated the amount would range from $300 billion to $500 billion. For reference, oligarchs refer to a group of emerging conglomerates in Russia.

Moderator) Are you saying that Russia should be held accountable?

Reporter) That’s right. “Russian authorities have started a brutal war and have devastated Ukraine,” said Prime Minister Schmihal.

Host) The Ukrainian Reconstruction Conference, which started on the 4th, was originally planned before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, right?

Reporter) Yes. Originally, the meeting was focused on discussing reform plans in Ukraine. However, as Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, this meeting became a place to intensively discuss ways to rebuild Ukraine.

Moderator) Prime Minister Shmihal presented a three-stage reconstruction plan for Ukraine at a meeting on the 4th?

Reporter) Yes. Prime Minister Schmihal has proposed a three-stage reconstruction plan, saying the Russian attack has caused at least $100 billion in damage to infrastructure so far. The first step is to focus on rebuilding parts that affect daily life, such as water supply. The next phase is the ‘Rapid Rebuild’ phase, which starts as soon as the war is over.

Facilitator) What is this expedited rebuild phase?

Reporter) Yes. This is the stage in which temporary housing, hospitals, schools, etc. are built. The final three phases focus on transforming the country in the long run.

Host) Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also spoke at this meeting?

Reporter) Yes. President Zelensky made a video speech in the capital city of Kwai. “Rebuilding Ukraine is a common task in a democratic world,” he pointed out. President Zelensky also emphasized that “the reconstruction of Ukraine is a great contribution to supporting international peace.”

Moderator) Are you saying that rebuilding Ukraine is not only good for Ukraine?

Reporter) That’s right. He pointed out that “reconstruction of Ukraine is not a local business of one country”. “We are uniting the democratic world,” Zelensky said. Meanwhile, Swiss President Ignazio Cassis, who co-hosted the meeting, stressed the need to help Ukraine in times of fear, malicious destruction and sorrow. “It is essential to give Ukrainians the prospect of self-determination, peace and a return to normal life with a bright future,” he said.

Moderator) What did the European Union (EU) say at the meeting on the 4th?

Reporter) Yes. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said at a meeting that the European Commission would create a platform for Ukraine’s reconstruction. He explained that the platform will guide the necessary investments, coordinate the progress of the business and provide the necessary resources. He also said: “Through the Reconstruction Platform, the EU Commission will provide a wide range of expertise in operating programs that combine reform and investment”.

Moderator) Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the EU has provided a significant amount of financial support to Ukraine, right?

Reporter) Yes. In this regard, Von der Leyen said, “The EU has provided about $6.5 billion in financial support since the start of the war.

Moderator) Also, did the European Investment Bank (EIB) propose to raise a large amount of money for Ukraine at the meeting on the 4th?

Reporter) Yes. The EIB has proposed raising up to $100 billion in funds to rebuild Ukraine. The trust fund will be used to strengthen Ukraine’s exports and energy and digital infrastructure, as well as infrastructure restoration projects such as bridges and water and sewerage destroyed in the Russian invasion. Meanwhile, the Ukraine Reconstruction Conference announced on the 5th the ‘Lugano Declaration’ containing the principles of Ukraine’s reconstruction project.

Moderator) Let’s take a brief look at the situation in Ukraine.

Reporter) Yes. Russian President Vladimir Putin praised the military for liberating the Luhansk region in eastern Ukraine on the 4th. He further emphasized that units participating in the Battle of Luhan Sikh must rest, while units of other regions must continue fighting. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian army, which had lost the Luhansk region, is building a defense line in the Donetsk region, the next target of the Russian army.

Moderator) In the midst of this, there was an important event at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on the 5th, right?

Reporter) Yes. Finland and Sweden signed the NATO Accession Protocol at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium on the 5th.

A burnt truck lays down in the capital of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, Uzbekistan.

Moderator) Global Village Today is the next news. How many people have lost their lives in the recent riots in Uzbekistan?

Reporter) Yes. Uzbekistan authorities say 18 people have been killed and more than 240 injured in recent violent protests in the autonomous republic of Karakalpakstan in northwestern Uzbekistan.

What was the cause of the protest?

Reporter) Yes. The constitutional amendment bill promoted by Uzbekistan President Shafkat Mirziyoyev began. The Constitution of Uzbekistan defines Karakalpakstan as a regional sovereign republic, granting the right to separate and independence from Uzbekistan through a referendum. It is known that this provision was omitted from this constitutional amendment.

Moderator) It seems that the reference to the sovereignty of Karakalpakstan or the right to separate independence has disappeared from the constitutional amendment?

Reporter) Yes. Then, voices against the constitutional amendments erupted in Karakalpakstan. Protesters gathered in Nukus, the capital of the autonomous republic on the 1st, attempted to break into the local government building following a march in the city.

Moderator) Is there any bloodshed in this process?

Reporter) That’s right. Russia’s Rianovosti news agency reported that 14 of the dead were civilians and four were law enforcement officials. Meanwhile, more than 500 people were arrested in the course of the unrest. Now, most of them have been released.

Moderator) Where is Karakalpakstan located?

Reporter) Yes. It is located in the Aral Sea region in northwestern Uzbekistan. This is where the Carakalpak minority live. With a population of around 700,000, the Karakalpaks speak another indigenous language that is the mainstay of Uzbekistan.

Moderator) What did the Uzbek government say about this situation?

Reporter) Yes. Uzbekistan’s presidential office said criminals had instigated the incident. Meanwhile, exiles abroad have called for an investigation into the conduct of local law enforcement agencies, including the dissolution of the republican government, new elections, and torture and arbitrary detention.

Host) With this kind of bloodshed, what will happen to the constitutional amendment proposed by Uzbekistan President Mirziyoyev?

Reporter) When the unrest broke out, President Mirziyoyev announced on the 2nd that he would not pursue a plan to change the status of the Autonomous Republic of Karakalpakstan. At the same time, a state of emergency has been declared for the region for a month.

Moderator) Yes. Global Village Today, I will listen up to this point.


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