Russia Plans To Spend $12 Billion To Support Two Occupied Regions In Eastern Ukraine.

Russia plans to spend 900 billion rubles ($12.4 billion) over the next three years to financially support two Kremlin-controlled regions of Ukraine, according to government documents obtained by RFE/RL’s Ukraine Service.
The funding appears to largely target social spending in Donetsk and Luhansk and is separate from Kremlin support for the separatists in those two regions who are battling Ukrainian government forces. The two Kremlin-backed regions have a combined population of about 2.9 million people, according to the document, with 38 percent of them pensioners. The average salary in the regions is currently 15,000 rubles a month ($206) and the Kremlin aims to increase it to 20,000 ($274) by 2024, bringing it in line with the neighboring Russian region of Rostov. Russia's planned spending on the two regions appears to be a significant increase. Oleksiy Reznikov, Ukraine’s minister for the occupied regions, estimated last year that Russia spends a total of about $1.3 billion annually on salaries in Donetsk, Luhansk, and the annexed region of Crimea.

Radio Free Europe

RFE/RL journalists report the news in 22 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established, including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Russia.

https://www.rferl.org/

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