MOSCOW, July 22 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine’s Finance Ministry has asked the parliament to earmark 9.1 billion hryvnia ($780 million) to finance the special operation against independence supporters in the country’s east, the ministry’s press service said.
Finance Minister Oleksandr Shlapak said some 6.8 billion hryvnia ($583 million) was allocated for the operation in March. The operation later prompted an additional funding of $51.5 million.
Since July, the operation has been financed by the country’s Reserve Fund, which currently stands at $44.5 million. Ukraine spends some $128.5 million on the operation per month, the minister said calling for “additional funds” to continue the effort.
Funds are also to be allocated to rebuild facilities destroyed during the shelling of Donetsk and Luhansk Regions, which have become major hotspots following independence referendums in May.
Ukraine’s combat aircraft reportedly flew over the crash site of a Malaysian passenger plane near Torez, in Donetsk Region, on Monday. Ukraine’s military also fired artillery shells hitting the village of Shaposhnikovo, some 22 kilometers to the south of Torez and 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the crash site.
Speaking about the reports of new offensive in Ukraine, US State Department spokesperson Marie Harf said Washington is not concerned about the events as Ukraine’s president is committed to the 40-kilometer ceasefire.
Kiev authorities launched a special military operation in the east of Ukraine in mid-April in a crackdown on the independence movement. Hundreds of people, including civilians have died in both regions over the past months.
Moscow has described the ongoing military action as a punitive operation and has repeatedly called on Kiev to put an immediate end to the bloodshed. Russia’s Foreign Ministry has also urged the international community to intervene and investigate the crimes against humanity that occurred in Ukraine in recent months.