What’s happening in Ukraine?

Whats happening in Ukraine?

Sarah Sevener, Reporter

We all know the saying, “When it rains, it pours,” but this seems to be more applicable to our daily lives than ever. First, there was covid, covid became variants, variants became rising gas prices, and the final monsoon: the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has taken over the headlines of our news, and navigating all the media can be a hard task. With talk of sanctions, oil, bombings, and nuclear weapons, discussing the conflict can induce fear.

First, let’s start with why Russia invaded Ukraine, and what it has to do with modern democracy. From the 1920s to 1991, The Soviet Union was a large communist government, which included Russia and some surrounding countries. The Soviet Union was led most famously by Joseph Stalin and Vladimir Lenin. Although the Soviet Union has long since fallen, Russia isn’t exactly free of its rigid leaders. Enter Vladimir Putin: who’s namesake isn’t the only thing he has in common with the former Soviet Union leader. Putin wants power, and it’s no surprise he invaded Ukraine; after all, Ukraine used to be a part of the Soviet Union. In August of 2008, Russia similarly invaded Georgia, which also used to be part of the Soviet Union. It’s no secret that Putin is trying to regain control of formerly Soviet territory.

But why is this war important to the world, and the United States? The most imperative consequence of this conflict is that people are dying. Nearly 2,000 Ukrainians have died, and that number continues to rise. The Russian military is striking cities and train stations with missiles and leaving behind undetonated bombs so that their effects last long after their military has left the scene. Children are having their childhoods stolen. UNICEF reports that ⅔ of the children have been displaced from their homes. And at what cost? The Russian military is mediocre at best and is certainly no match for what would happen if the United States got involved. But what do we know about Russia’s military? One of the most important aspects of a military is trucks, and that is something that Russia struggles to have, as well as maintain. This has significantly affected their ability to fight. This partly reflects the economical status of Russia, and former quality control auditor for the United States’ Defense Contract Management Agency, Trent Telenko refers to it as “the canary in the coal mine for Russia’s logistical efforts”.

But deaths of citizens and the destruction of Ukraine is not the only consequence of this conflict. All around the world gas prices are rising, and it seems that no one really knows why. With sanctions on Russian oil, prices are skyrocketing. While the U.S. only imports about 8% of its oil from Russia, that doesn’t stand true for the rest of the world. Oil is a global market, and when the global supply decreases, the global price rises. Countries around the world are placing sanctions on Russian oil in an attempt to halt their economy, but in the process, the oil market is suffering.

Even though this conflict may seem like a world away, it poses significant detriments to our world, and what the future of democratic Ukraine looks like.