September 15, 2022

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The Ukraine War in data: $349 billion (the low estimate) for rebuilding Ukraine

The Ukraine War in data: $349 billion (the low estimate) for rebuilding Ukraine

The war damage that has been done to Ukraine has been widely seen and well documented by the global media and relief organizations. Now there is cost associated with the damage — a staggering figure put forth by the World Bank that estimates the price of reconstruction and recovery in Ukraine: $349 billion. That number assumes a war that ends tomorrow. So of course the figure will grow.

The World Bank — working with the European Commission and officials in the Ukrainian government — has issued a report under the technical-sounding acronym RDNA, which stands for Rapid Damage and Needs Assessment. It is billed as the first comprehensive evaluation of damage done across 20 different sectors in Ukraine since the Russian invasion. It is also something of a road map for what will be the greatest rebuilding project in Europe since World War II.

“The EU cannot match the sacrifice Ukraine is enduring,” said the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, “but we are mobilizing all our instruments to address the most immediate needs, including for housing for internally displaced populations and to repair critical infrastructure.”

By their own admission, the report’s researchers and authors note that their assessment almost certainly understates the need; for one thing, their work covered damage done to Ukraine between February and June, and the World Bank news release notes that the estimates of war damage “should be considered as minimums.”

$349 billion, by the way, amounts to more than 1.5 times the 2021 GDP of Ukraine.

Grid’s reporting is based on the best available data and reporting; in some cases, we explained a range of figures or the reason we chose one over another. We originally published this document March 24 and will update it every Thursday as long as the war persists.

Civilians killed: at least 5,800 (probably thousands more)

On June 7, a Ukrainian official said at least 40,000 Ukrainian civilians had been killed or wounded since the war began. The official offered no breakdown of dead versus wounded civilians. The United Nations’ latest estimate of civilians killed is more than 5,800, but it consistently notes the figure is an undercount, as is its estimate of total casualties — a combination of deaths and injuries — given as over 14,000. (Updated Sept. 12; source.)

Ukrainian soldiers killed: 5,500 to 11,000

Top advisers to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy have estimated that 10,000 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed since the war began. Meanwhile, on Aug. 22, Gen. Valeriy Zaluzhny, Ukraine’s commander-in-chief, said the country had lost about 9,000 troops. U.S. intelligence officials have put the number at 5,500 to 11,000 Ukrainian soldiers killed since the invasion. On June 10, an adviser to Zelenskyy said Ukraine was losing as many as 200 soldiers each day. (Updated Aug. 24; source, source.)

Russian soldiers killed: 1,351 to over 50,000

Ukraine has raised its estimate of Russian soldiers killed in the conflict to more than 50,000. NATO has estimated Russian troop losses at between 7,000 and 15,000. Russian media outlets claimed 5,000 troop losses, though the last updated number of 1,351 deaths from the Russian defense ministry is from March. Russian spokesman Dimitry Peskov said there have been “significant losses of troops, and it’s a huge tragedy for us.” (Updated Sept. 7; source, source, source.)

Russian generals killed: 8 to 13

A retired Russian general was reportedly shot down over Luhansk in late May — by Ukrainian counts, this was the 13th Russian general to be killed in Ukraine. Previously, the Defense Intelligence Agency reported that eight to 10 Russian generals had been killed in Ukraine. Grid’s Tom Nagorski and Joshua Keating previously reported on the possible explanations for this “inconceivable” toll: poor communications and command-and-control structures within the Russian military. (Updated May 25; source, source.)

Total displaced Ukrainians: at least 14 million

There are more than 7 million Ukrainian refugees reported in other European countries currently. United Nations data indicates more than 11 million Ukrainians have crossed the border since the start of the war, but millions have returned home, largely from Poland, as Nikhil Kumar and Kseniia Lisnycha reported. The International Organization for Migration’s latest survey of internally displaced Ukrainians, in late August, found more Ukrainians returning home from within Ukraine, but nearly 7 million remained displaced within their own country. (Updated Sept. 14; source; source.)

Internally displaced Ukrainians: more than 6.9 million

An overview of the violence

Global food markets: Wheat prices back to preinvasion levels, as of Sept. 14, after weeks of fluctuation

Recent Grid coverage

Learn more: Grid’s 360s on the Ukraine War

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