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What Should Ukraine’s Reconstruction Look Like?

A World Bank consultant on post-conflict rebuilding says that Ukraine’s postwar restoration needs to emphasize culture as well as infrastructure. 

A destroyed neighborhood in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol. 

A destroyed neighborhood in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol. 

Photo by Maximilian Clarke/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

As the battle lines shift amid the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, one constant has been the shocking degree of physical destruction.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s determination to erase Ukraine has left government buildings, train stations, hospitals and schools in ruins. The eastern city of Mariupol has endured a modern siege medieval in its cruelty, while homes, shops, monuments, and public spaces across Ukraine have been torn asunder by Russian bombs. “It’s not just statistics,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in a recent statement about the toll of the conflict. “This is Mariupol, this is Volnovakha, this is Okhtyrka, this is Chernihiv, this is Borodianka, dozens and dozens of our cities, towns and villages.”