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Zelensky announces a $27 billion defense budget for 2023

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has announced that the country’s defense budget will be worth more than 1 billion hryvnias (about 27 billion euros) in 2023, local media reported.

The head of state made the announcement at a meeting of the General Staff of the Ukrainian Army held on Tuesday in Kiev, according to Ukrainian news agency Ukrinform, which cited sources in Zelensky’s press service.

During the usual evening video addressed to the population, the Ukrainian president confirmed that the proposal for the defense and security budget for 2023 had been discussed at the meeting, but without mentioning amounts.

Zelensky also indicated that Ukraine has resumed paying pensions to pensioners living in Ukrainian territories recaptured from Russian forces since the start of the counter-offensive by Kiev.

The Ukrainian army first announced a counteroffensive in the south in early September before advancing last week in the Kharkiv region on the border with Russia in the northeast of the country, forcing Moscow’s soldiers to retreat to other positions.

Ukrainian authorities have reported successes in the southern Russian-occupied Kherson region on the border with annexed Crimea and in eastern regions under the control of pro-Russian separatists since 2014.

According to the latest UN figures, the military offensive launched by Russia in Ukraine on February 24 has already resulted in the flight of more than 13 million people – more than six million internally displaced and more than seven million to European countries – making this the worst refugee crisis in Europe since World War II (1939-1945).

The Russian invasion, justified by Russian President Vladimir Putin with the need to “denazify” and demilitarize Ukraine for Russia’s security, has been condemned by the international community in general, which has responded by sending arms to Ukraine and imposing political and economic sanctions on Russia.

The UN has reported that more than 5,800 civilians have been killed and around 8,400 injured since the start of the war, stressing that these figures are far from the real ones.

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