Ukraine news: Five ways Russia’s war has changed the world
The war was a catastrophe for Ukraine and a crisis for the world. The world has become a more volatile and scary place since Russia invaded its neighbor on February 24, 2022.
A year later, thousands of Ukrainian civilians have died and countless buildings have been destroyed. Tens of thousands of soldiers were killed or seriously injured on both sides. Beyond Ukraine’s borders, the aggression has shattered European security, reshaped relations between nations, and unraveled the tightly woven global economy.
Here are five ways war changed the world.
European war revival
Three months before the invasion, then British Prime Minister Boris Johnson dismissed suggestions that the British army needed more heavy weapons. “The old concept of fighting large-scale tank battles on European soil is over,” he said.
Prime Minister Johnson is now asking Britain to send more tanks to help Ukraine repel Russian forces.
Despite the role played by new technologies such as satellites and drones, this 21st-century conflict is in many ways similar to its 20th-century counterpart. Fighting in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine is a brutal slogan, with mud, trenches and bloody infantry raids reminiscent of World War I.
The conflict sparked a new arms race that some analysts call the 1930s escalation into World War II. Russia aims to mobilize hundreds of thousands of conscripts and expand its army from her 1 million to her 1.5 million. The United States has ramped up production of weapons to replace stockpiles shipped to Ukraine. France plans to raise its military budget by a third of hers by 2030, while Germany abandons its long-standing ban on sending weapons to conflict zones and sends missiles and tanks to Ukraine. shipped to.
Before the war, many observers assumed the military would move to more advanced technology and cyber warfare, relying less on tanks and artillery, said Patrick Berry, a senior lecturer in security at the University of Bath. .
But in Ukraine, guns and ammunition are the most important weapons.
“At least for the time being, it shows that conventional warfare (state against state) is back in Ukraine,” Berry said.
An Alliance Tested and Strengthened
Russian President Vladimir Putin hoped the aggression would divide the West and undermine NATO. Instead, military alliances were reactivated. The group set up to counter the Soviet Union has a new sense of purpose, and his two aspiring members in Finland and Sweden have abandoned decades of non-alignment and joined NATO as protection against Russia. asked for the participation of
The 27-nation European Union has imposed tough sanctions on Russia and sent billions of dollars in aid to Ukraine. The war brought the Brexit controversy into view and unraveled diplomatic ties between the bloc and its awkward former member Britain.
“The EU is taking sanctions the way they should, very serious sanctions. Michael Clark said United Service Institute think tank.
NATO members are pouring billions of dollars worth of weapons and equipment into Ukraine. The alliance strengthens the eastern flank, and the countries closest to Ukraine and Russia, including Poland and the Baltic states, could persuade the more hesitant NATO and European Union allies to move the center of power in Europe eastward. There is
Unity has some cracks. Putin’s closest ally in the EU, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, has lobbied against sanctions against Russia, refused to send weapons to Ukraine and withheld aid packages from the bloc to Kiev.
Western solidarity will come under increasing pressure the longer the conflict drags on.
“Russia is planning a long war,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at the end of 2022, but the alliance was also ready for a “long war.”
new iron curtain
The war has turned Russia into a pariah of the West. The oligarch was sanctioned, his business was blacklisted, and international brands such as McDonald’s and IKEA disappeared from the country’s streets.
And yet Moscow is not entirely friendly. While Russia has strengthened its economic ties with China, Beijing has distanced itself from the fighting and so far has not sent weapons. The United States recently expressed concern that this could change.
China is keeping a close watch on the dispute, which could both encourage and warn Beijing of any attempt to regain Taiwan’s autonomy by force.
Putin is stepping up military ties with international outcasts North Korea and Iran, which supply armed drones that Russia unleashes on Ukrainian infrastructure. Moscow continues to build influence in Africa and the Middle East with its economic and military clout. The Russian Wagnerian mercenary group has become more powerful in conflicts from Donbass to the Sahel.
Reflecting the Cold War, the world has split into two camps, with many nations, including densely populated India, betting on who will come out on top.
Tracy Jarman, Professor of Conflict and Security at King’s College London, believes the conflict is between a “US-led liberal international order” on one side and an angry Russia and rising superpower China on the other. He said the rift between them was widening.
An economy rebuilt in tatters
The economic effects of the war ranged from the chilly homes of Europe to the food markets of Africa.
Before the war, European Union countries imported almost half of their natural gas and one-third of their oil from Russia. The aggression and the corresponding sanctions imposed on Russia resulted in an energy price shock of a magnitude not seen since the 1970s.
The war disrupted global trade, which was still recovering from the pandemic. Food prices are skyrocketing as Russia and Ukraine are major suppliers of wheat and sunflower oil, and Russia is the world’s largest fertilizer producer.
Grain ships continue to leave Ukraine under a fragile UN-brokered deal, with prices falling from record levels. But food is still geopolitical football. Russia has tried to blame the West for its high prices, but Ukraine and her allies accuse Russia of cynically using hunger as a weapon.
As the pandemic did, the war “really highlighted the vulnerability” of our interconnected world, Jarman said, and the full economic impact has yet to be felt.
The war has also disrupted attempts to combat climate change and has led to a surge in the use of heavily polluting coal in Europe. But Europe’s move away from Russian oil and gas could accelerate the transition to renewable energy sources faster than the myriad warnings about the dangers of global warming. According to the International Energy Agency, the world will add as much renewable energy in the next five years as it has in the last 20 years.
A new era of uncertainty
Conflict is a stark reminder that individuals have little control over the course of history. No one knows this better than the 8 million Ukrainians who have been forced from their homes and countries to make new lives across Europe and beyond.
For millions of people not directly affected, the sudden collapse of peace in Europe has brought uncertainty and anxiety.
Putin’s covert threat to use nuclear weapons if the conflict escalates has revived fears of nuclear war that have lain dormant since the Cold War. Fighting rages around the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, raising new Chernobyl specters.
Patricia Lewis, director of the international security program at the Chatham House think tank, said Putin’s nuclear attack would “outrage more than fear” in the West. Concerns about nuclear escalation increased, however, when President Putin announced on his February 21st decision to suspend Russia’s participation in the only remaining nuclear arms control treaty with the United States.
Putin is far from withdrawing completely from the New START Treaty, saying Moscow will respect treaty caps on nuclear weapons and keep the glimmer of arms control alive.