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Government

Justice Asks W.Va. Legislature For Money To Support Destroyed Ukraine Hospital

Russia Ukraine War Day In Photos
Evgeniy Maloletka/AP
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AP
Mariana Vishegirskaya lies in a hospital bed after giving birth to her daughter Veronika, in Mariupol, Ukraine, Friday, March 11, 2022. Vishegirskaya survived the Russian airstrike on a children's and maternity hospital in Mariupol last Wednesday. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Gov. Jim Justice sent a letter Friday to Senate President Craig Blair, R-Berkeley, and House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay, requesting that the West Virginia Legislature pledge $5 million to help the country of Ukraine rebuild a children’s hospital in the city of Mariupol. It was destroyed by the Russian invasion earlier this week.

“The ongoing war on Ukraine is beyond tragic, with Russia bombing civilians and committing war crimes upon the heroic people of Ukraine,” Justice said. “The killing of civilians is despicable and must not ever be tolerated. But the worst atrocity imaginable is the murder of innocent women and children.”

As of Saturday morning, the executive message had not been delivered to either chamber of the legislature. Senate Bill 250 is the budget for Fiscal Year 2023. It was approved earlier today and sent to the governor. It still waits for Justice’s signature, but it is too late to insert his request into the budget. Representatives from both chambers indicated that the governor could use his contingency funds to provide the money.

The letter continued, “We must take action to show solidarity and support at any level we can. I believe this $5 million pledge may spur others to contribute, to join together in support, and to show Putin that the free world stands together in support of Ukraine. The bombing of this hospital is a rallying cry, and West Virginia should help answer the call.”

It wasn’t immediately clear how or when Justice plans to send the money to Ukraine.

On Feb. 24, Russia began an invasion of neighboring Ukraine. In the weeks since, the Russian military has used indiscriminate shelling and artillery to terrorize civilian cities.

According to the Associated Press, a Russian airstrike devastated a maternity hospital Wednesday in the besieged port city of Mariupol amid growing warnings from the West that Moscow’s invasion is about to take a more brutal and indiscriminate turn.

Ukrainian officials said the attack wounded at least 17 people.


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