As we all know, Russia and Ukraine have been part of the Soviet Union (USSR) until December 1991 when the union was dissolved.
The cold war between the two nations began as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, whereby it annexed the Crimean Peninsula and the war in Dongas in 2014 following the Ukrainian Revolution of Dignity. This conflict ushered in a hostile relationship between the two countries to date.
The immediate cause of the recent outbreak of war was the result of the enlargement of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) whereby Ukraine had formally expressed to be part of the organisation; Russian president Vladimir Putin barred Ukraine from being a member of the organisation. This being that Vladimir saw the membership of Ukraine as a threat to his country. Also, he expressed irredentist views and questioned Ukraine’s right to exist as a sovereign nation on the basis that it was created by Soviet Russia. On February 21st, 2022, Russia officially declared two self-proclaimed separatist states (states with limited recognition by the United Nations) in the Donbas. A few days later, Russia invaded Ukraine.
It is pertinent to note that these underlying frictions between these countries have been long born and it is of no surprise rather is it inevitable, the current situation between them. The sad event has led to devastating effects in the countries involved, and in the global world (both socially, economically, politically and largely economically).
The fact that Europe depends largely on Russia for energy puts Europe’s economy on great risk and this affects the world largely because most third world countries rely on the finished products from Europe, being that Europe is a large exporter of goods. High gas prices have led to inflation in the prices of goods and services. Industries that use natural gas, like fertilizer makers, must cut production. Farmers now pay more to run machinery and buy fertilizers. Countries around the world find it hard to get enough goods to cater the demands of their populace.
A direct effect on Russia are the sanctions meted out on them by the United Nations (UN). Some Russian banks have been removed from the SWIFT International payment system. High technology exports to Russia have been limited. Also, Russia’s ability to use its foreign currency reserves, money it uses to pay for exports, have been strongly limited.
In summary, gas prices will rise by at least 50% this year, Russia is a major producer of several base metals (aluminium, titanium, palladium and nickel), all of which will register price jumps, prices of agricultural commodities (wheat, maize, barley and rapeseed) will soar, supply chains will be disrupted as transit through Russia becomes more difficult like air ties between Russia and Europe (and in turn, Asia and Europe) will be severely hampered. and there will be global inflation.
Not to mention number of lives that have been lost; children separated from their mothers, wives separated from their husbands and so many people displaced as a result of the war. It is salient to mention the psychological and emotional trauma caused by the war.
It is indeed a sad event that has befallen us at this time.