Ukraine minister ‘doesn’t understand’ why the military needs donations — RT Russia & Former Soviet Union

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Kiev’s troops should have everything they need from the state, Sergey Marchenko has said

It is unclear why Kiev’s troops may lack some necessary equipment and have to rely on paying out of pocket or on donations, Ukrainian Finance Minister Sergey Marchenko told Forbes on Wednesday.

The minister was asked during an interview with the outlet to explain why Ukrainian troops had to rely on millions of hryvnias collected by civilian volunteers and sometimes pay for supplies themselves.

Marchenko replied that he himself “doesn’t understand” why Ukrainians were still raising funds for the military, noting that the government currently spends some five billion hryvnias ($132 million) from the state budget every single day to fund the Armed Forces of Ukraine. No volunteers or non-governmental organizations could possibly provide anything close to that amount, he added.

Between that and funding by local authorities in various regions, there should be more than enough to provide Ukrainian troops with all they need, the minister said, noting that military warehouses should also have sufficient quantities of weapons, ammunition, and equipment.

“It’s hard for me to comment on these things that I myself don’t completely understand,” Marchenko said, noting that such questions need to be asked of those who are tasked with delivering the equipment to the soldiers.

Asked to comment on Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelenesky’s recent announcement that Kiev would mobilize an additional 500,000 people, Marchenko said the Finance Ministry has not yet received any detailed information about such plans.

However, he noted that it was unclear where the money to finance the mobilization drive would come from. Drafting another half a million people would cost Kiev approximately 500 billion hryvnias ($13.2 billion), he said.

“Ask someone who can give the answer. If you want to hear it from me, I, unfortunately, cannot say that I am ready to work in the ‘provide at any cost’ format,” Marchenko said. He did note that mobilizing that many people would lead to a reduction of the country’s GDP and a loss of tax revenues.

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Nikolay Azarov, however, has suggested that Zelensky’s mobilization wave may be an attempt to create a pretext for asking Kiev’s backers in the West for more money and weapons.

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