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Opinion
The Editors

Start Planning the Reconstruction of Ukraine Now

Western governments need to lay a solid foundation for the country's future.

Workers clear the rubble at a Ukrainian shopping center hit by a Russian missile strike.

Workers clear the rubble at a Ukrainian shopping center hit by a Russian missile strike.

Photographer: Genya Savilov/AFP/Getty Images

Four months of fighting in Ukraine has brought staggering levels of destruction, from bridges to homes, hospitals and shopping malls. A recent estimate from the head of the European Investment Bank put the cost of rebuilding at more than $1 trillion.

With millions of citizens displaced and the country’s infrastructure in ruins, Ukraine will be unable to support itself for years, possibly decades, to come. An impoverished or dysfunctional state the size and importance of Ukraine on Europe’s border would be vulnerable to future aggression and a source of economic and political instability. Preventing such an outcome will require the democratic world to finance much of the country’s reconstruction, just as the US did in Europe after World War II with the Marshall Plan. Even as the conflict rages, Western governments would be wise to begin that effort now.