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Valuable territories lost to Russia – Ukrainian heavy industry could cease to exist

2022.09.09. 06:13 2022.09.09. 07:59
Valuable territories lost to Russia – Ukrainian heavy industry could cease to exist

Ukraine has lost many pivotal economic areas that are now occupied by Russians: metal and gas deposits, coal, uranium, gold and ore mines. If Ukraine does not regain these territories, they can say goodbye to two-thirds of their mineral deposits and with it their heavy industry. The dire industrial, economic, and financial conditions further heighten the country’s vulnerability.

The more information that becomes available concerning the Ukrainian economy, the more evident it becomes that without consistent foreign aid, Ukraine would be incapable of sustaining itself.

In the spring, the government’s own revenues covered only 40 percent of expenses. Between 5 to 9 billion dollars per month would be needed to balance the budget while the deficit is skyrocketing and the Ukrainian GDP

could fall by up to 45 percent this year. While the national debt is rising sharply – and may even double – Ukraine essentially declared bankruptcy as it was forced to reschedule loan payments.

Airplanes and computers

Economic decline during wartime is not shocking, just as bankruptcy is not either. The big question however is whether economic conditions can be normalized once the fighting ends. Based on various summaries, Ukraine’s prospects are not great in this regard as the Russian invasion occupied some extremely valuable territories.

According to American estimates, the value of the mineral wealth that is located in the Russian occupied Ukrainian territories reaches billions of dollars.

Among these are 117 metal and mineral deposits which are essential to manufacturing aircrafts, computers, and electronic equipment.

Farewell to heavy industry?

Reports show that aside from the aforementioned, other key economic territories were also lost. Ukraine lost 63 percent of its coal industry, 42 percent of gas deposits, and 33 percent of its ore mines. In addition to these, the Russians also managed to take over a few uranium and lithium mines, two titanium ore deposits, and six iron ore mines.

Ukraine may lose two thirds of its mineral resources if it does not regain these territories. In other words, Ukraine may become incapable of maintaining its heavy industry in the future.

Not only did territorial losses cause major damage to the Ukrainian economy, but also the war itself. Before the war, Ukraine’s exports reached 40 percent of the GDP with grain and metal and steel being their major export products.

In connection with the latter, a series of photos has flooded the internet: the two most important metal and steel plants were in Mariupol and have since been leveled to the ground. On top of that, grain exports are struggling as well: according to certain sources, the Russians sent a

significant portion of crops to their country. The remaining amount was withheld due to the Black Sea blockade.

Despite a ceasefire agreement allowing grain exports to be shipped from three ports in the Black Sea, Ukrainian exports have barely reached half of last year’s.

Foreign influence could grow

In light of Ukraine’s desperate economic and industrial indicators, analysts warn that their need for foreign aid will increase their dependency and vulnerability. Above all, overseas influence will most likely greatly increase in the country.

Photo: MTI/EPA/Szergej Kozlov

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