Donetsk, Mar 7 — DAN. Russia will need at least 350 billion rubles to rebuild war-damaged infrastructure in the new regions, Minister of Construction and Utilities Irek Faizullin said on Tuesday.

“The amount of work is certainly tremendous. The costs of major construction and repairs in the four regions are estimated at some 300 billion rubles of budget money, ” Faizullin said in an interview with the Parliamentskaya Gazeta newspaper.  “We’ve also taken out a 50-billion-ruble loan to rebuild utility infrastructure. Certain sums of money are contributed by sponsor regions.”

Rebuilding will take at least two years of vigorous efforts, but this is a tentative timeframe because fighting is ongoing in these territories along with the demolition of infrastructure and permanent facilities, he added.

“We haven’t even entered the liberated areas properly; we have had no time to explore them. I cannot image how much we’ll have to repair or build from scratch there. We’ve shown through that we can work skillfully: those who saw Mariupol last June and have recently visited it say that these are completely different cities, ” the minister said.

Faizullin said that rebuilding projects would involve up to 45,000 construction workers this year.

The Lugansk People’s Republic, Donetsk People’s Republic and Zaporozhye and Kherson regions acceded to Russia on September 30, 2022 following the unification referenda. Ukrainian troops shell towns in the new regions every day.*jk