The day that changed the world 24 February 2022: 8 effects of the Russia-Ukraine War.
The war that started with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has left one year behind. The war affected not only the two countries and their immediate neighbors but also the world in general, both economically and geopolitically. Here are 8 results that emerged with the effect of the Russia-Ukraine War at the end of the first year…
After Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on television in the early morning of February 24, 2022, that they were launching a “special military operation in Ukraine”, Russian troops entered the city of Kharkiv, which has been living in the line of fire for eight years.
It is estimated that more than 350 thousand people have died or been injured in the year that has passed since then. Explaining that most of the civilian casualties are due to explosives and heavy weapons, the United Nations (UN) reminds that the real figures may be much higher due to the difficulty of compiling information and data from regions where there is intense conflict.
Again, according to data shared by the UN, more than 8 million Ukrainians left their homeland. Today, millions of people continue their lives as refugees in different parts of Europe.
Photos: AP and Alamy
Aside from the psychological scars it caused, the war has wreaked havoc on Ukraine’s infrastructure. A review in September 2022 found that rebuilding Ukraine would cost $349 billion. This figure seems to increase as the war continues.
One of the most curious details after a year is how the war will evolve in 2023. “Will the occupation end at the diplomatic table or on the front line?” The question is much debated. Many experts, looking at the current picture, are focusing on the possibility of the war continuing for many years.
Vasily Nebenzya, the Russian Ambassador to the United Nations, protested the adoption of the resolution condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine at the UN Security Council meeting the previous day. Photo: AP
THE WAR HAS HIT AGRICULTURE AND ENERGY
The war affected not only Eastern Europe but the whole world. The fact that the grain export of Ukraine, which is seen as the grain store of the world, came to a standstill due to the war triggered the food crisis.
Another area affected by the war was the energy sector. The breaking point of the relationship between Russia and Western countries exacerbated the energy crisis. Although the European Union (EU), which has serious concerns about energy security, tries to reduce its energy dependence on Russia, it has serious difficulties in meeting the demand.
Russia, on the other hand, decreased its natural gas exports by 80 percent compared to the pre-war steps against the steps taken by the EU. The energy costs of European countries increased with the shrinkage of the supply volume. This has led to a rapid rise in living costs across Europe.
PRESIDENT ELECTION IN RUSSIA IN 2024
At this point, it remains unclear how the normalization steps will be taken.
While both armies are protecting their positions on the front line due to harsh winter conditions, military experts predict that the war will re-activate with the arrival of spring.
According to experts, Putin, who is looking for a strong exit before the presidential elections scheduled for 2024 in Russia, may choose to increase the pressure on Ukraine even more.
WAR BRINGS THE WEST AGAIN
According to a study published by the European Council on Foreign Relations, the war consolidated the Western hemisphere as a result.
So much so that in this one year we have witnessed the revival of NATO, the change of military doctrines, the increase of the US’s influence over Europe, and the reassembly of the eastern bloc. According to the same study, the Western hemisphere thinks that the future will probably be determined by the US and China-led blocs.
In short, the war affected not only the two countries and the countries around them, but also the world in general. Here are 8 changes that emerged with the effect of the Russia-Ukraine War at the end of the first year…
1-) BORN FROM THE ASHES OF THE WESTERN ALLIANCE
Established during the Cold War, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) looked like a defense alliance that has been shaken by serious debates in the last decade. Speaking to The Economist magazine in 2019, French President Emmanuel Macron declared that NATO was brain dead. Macron said that NATO could not assume a new role after the collapse of the Soviet Union and that “the enemy is still Russia, although it is not mentioned”.
On the other hand, during the period of US President Donald Trump, NATO’s financial burden was frequently discussed and Trump threatened to leave the organization.
Even after Russia’s military operation against Ukraine in 2014, NATO was still discussing army modernization and increased spending. Until the military operation launched by Russia on February 24.
The invasion of Ukraine made NATO rise again from its ashes. NATO Members Give Billions Of Dollars to Ukraine without hesitation pledgedOperations against Russia along the eastern border grew like an avalanche, plans for troops ready to act were expanded.
Finland and Sweden, the two largest non-aligned countries in Western Europe, have applied for NATO Membership; Thus, many of Europe’s richest countries were united against Moscow. Experts suggest that in the continuation of these steps, Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia may also be included in the union.
2-) FRONT WARS WILL NOW BE DIFFERENT
The Ukrainian army fundamentally changed the traditional military doctrine and developed new approaches to the war against the regular army with scattered units.
The Kremlin thought that the invasion, which it called a “special operation”, would result in lightning speed and that Ukraine would enter Russia’s orbit within weeks. But Ukraine’s capacity to resist exceeded all expectations.
Ukrainian forces repelled Russian ground forces, which were many times larger than themselves. The Kiev forces, waging “unconventional warfare” with small and scattered units, inflicted great wounds on Russia’s supply routes and sank Russian warships with the advanced weapons of the West.
The High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) supplied by the West and the JAVELIN Anti-Tank Missile stopped the Russian advance. In addition, software developed by the Ukrainian intelligence, which collects open sources through social media, followed minute by minute the position of the enemy and the size of the military assets in the region from the social media posts of the Russians.
3-) US ARMS INDUSTRY IS STRENGTHENING
With the beginning of the war, most of the weapons shipped to the region are being tested under the harshest conditions. It was also during this period that the effects of the new generation weapons made in the USA would change the course of the war were seen concretely.
However, Ukraine’s faster-than-expected ammunition depletion revealed the US military’s shortage of equipment stocks and deficiencies in their supply chains. Doubling the number of JAVELIN anti-tank missiles and HIMARS rocket launchers sent to Ukraine over the course of a year has led the US arms industry to increase production.
The Pentagon has signed a new contract of approximately $3.4 billion with military industrial companies to replenish stocks. In addition, the US military requested an annual budget of $500 million from Congress to develop its manufacturing facilities.
On the other hand, White House and Pentagon officials are focused on detecting the disruptions in the military industry during the Ukraine War and preparing for a possible scenario that will face China in the near future.
4-) USA’S IMPACT IN EUROPE INCREASED AGAIN
Although the USA has adopted the role of global leader after the Cold War, the world has gained a multipolar view due to the rise of China and national strategies in the recent period. Resuming its role as the leader of the Western world with the Ukraine War, the United States brought Europe together to support sanctions, export controls, foreign exchange restrictions and energy market interventions targeting Russia’s economy.
Playing a central role during the war, the USA provided billions of dollars in weapons aid to the Kiev administration. This approach of the Biden administration drew the reaction of some Republicans.
Yet the vast majority of European leaders rely on Congress and President Biden to lead the West’s efforts to defend Ukraine.
5-) RUSSIA AND CHINA ARE GETTING CLOSER
The West’s stance in the Ukraine War deepened Russia’s economic dependence on China. Russia, which turned its face to China after the limitation of natural gas exports to the West, relies on its regional partners to keep its economy afloat.
Russia, which receives support from China in the military field as well as in the economic field, provides applications used in military technology from here, although it does not directly supply weapons.
China and Russia, who were also strategic allies during the Cold War , often come together against the Western hemisphere. But, with one difference… Russia, which was the leader during the Cold War, has now transferred the driver’s seat to the Beijing administration. This situation bothers many people in Moscow.
6-) THE WORLD’S ENERGY ROUTE HAS CHANGED
European countries stopped importing Russian oil and gas immediately after the war. This has benefited energy producers in the Gulf countries and the USA.
The cessation of natural gas flows from Russia to Europe has made the United States the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas.
In the race to secure new oil resources, the USA stepped back in its policy towards Venezuela, lifted sanctions and made a series of changes to increase crude oil production in the country.
Israel and Lebanon, which took action to evaluate the gap that emerged, reached an agreement with the mediation of the USA to pave the way for the export of Israeli gas to Europe.
7-) RUSSIA IS FINANCIALLY ABSORBED FROM THE WORLD
In the early days of the war, Russia was excluded from global financial markets. Immediately after this step, The USA, the European Union and other allies announced that Russia’s foreign exchange reserves worth approximately $300 billion were frozen. Russia’s major banks have been excluded from the international money transfer communication system SWIFT.
The Russian economy, which has been badly injured by successive moves, is working to establish its own payment systems. In addition, the Kiev administration has also introduced a payment scheme in rubles and yuan in foreign trade.
While the sanctions went so far as to freeze the investments abroad of some Russian business people, who are known to be close to the Kremlin administration, the country became unable to pay its foreign debts for the first time since 1918.
😎 PRICE INCREASE AFFECTED MANY PRODUCTS
The occupation of Ukraine disrupted food, oil and natural gas exports and increased global inflation. Consumer prices increased by an average of 9.6 percent in 38 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Experts pointed out that this is the highest increase seen since 1988.
The rapid decline in Ukraine’s corn, wheat and sunflower oil production immediately after the war pushed up the prices of food products in the global market. Controlling inflation remains the number one item on the agenda of central banks, while investors are predicting that interest rates will rise further.
Compiled from the article titled “Eight Ways the Russia-Ukraine War Changed the World” published in The Wall Street Journal.