Bucha Mayor Anatolii Fedoruk, who is visiting Taiwan from Ukraine, yesterday thanked Taipei for its support of his city and pitched the idea of investing in a planned industrial park in his city.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February last year, Bucha has built relations all over the world, resulting in offers of help to rebuild the city, including from Taiwan, Fedoruk said an interview.
He thanked Taiwan for its donations of supplies soon after the invasion took place, saying they were critical for the survival of Bucha’s community.
“That is why I am grateful to the people of Taiwan for the help we received, which you gave us at the most important moment for our city. I express my greatest gratitude,” he said, speaking through an interpreter.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the government helped Bucha renovate 11 shelters, one kindergarten and nine houses in April last year, benefiting more than 1,000 Ukrainian households.
It also donated US$600,000 to the city in August for the construction of an air-raid shelter and a school.
Bucha was the site of some of the worst atrocities during the early stages of Russia’s invasion, when it occupied the town while pushing to take Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv.
Photographic and video evidence of the massacre of Bucha civilians came to light on April 1 last year after Russian forces withdrew from the city.
According to local authorities, 458 bodies were recovered from the town, including nine who were under the age of 18. Among the victims, 419 people were killed with weapons and 39 appeared to have died of natural causes, possibly related to the occupation.
Russian authorities have denied responsibility, saying that Ukraine staged the footage or staged the killings as a false flag operation.
Regarding reconstruction of the city, Fedoruk said that Russia had damaged more than 4,000 “objects” to varying degrees during its invasion, of which about 60 percent have been repaired.
He did not specify what he meant by “objects” or if they included buildings.
Fedoruk arrived in Taiwan on Saturday for a four-day visit that concluded late yesterday. He visited South Korea before flying to Taipei.
The aim of Fedoruk’s delegation was to attract investment for the construction of an industrial park in the city, which is about 30km northwest of Kyiv.
During their four days in Taiwan, the delegation visited the Hsinchu Science Park (新竹科學園區), the Taiwan Semiconductor Research Institute, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council and the Taipei Computer Association.
Now is the perfect time to invest in Bucha and Ukraine as a whole, Fedoruk said.
“It seems strange, but right now it’s time to invest in such projects,” he said.
Ukrainians must be economically active to not only provide supplies to the country’s military, which are needed for victory, but also take care of its citizens, he said.
Bucha is proposing a Bucha Techno Garden, an industrial zone of more than 32,000 hectares that would house producers of information and communications electronics, computers, microcircuits, high-tech machinery and even defense products, Fedoruk said.
The planned zone would also have an airport — the Antonov Airport — that would be turned into a transportation and cargo bub, he said.
Fedoruk’s visit was the first by a local government leader from Ukraine to Taiwan since the outbreak of the war, the foreign ministry said.
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