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Ukraine's Conflict Has Left Emotional Footprints Across the Globe

It is now almost a year since Russia invaded Ukrainian territory. Since February 24th, 2022, the traces left by the war are many and the effects are felt all over the globe.  


Three-pronged crises have formed concerning the world’s energy, food and finances, according to AP news. Worldwide resources have been employed to limit the expansion and consequences of the war. 


Not only the two countries directly involved in the conflict feel the effects of war. The economic markets of several countries have been affected and political and diplomatic relations have been put to the test.  


First of all, the return of the war scene to Europe brought back an arms mobilization that had not been seen for a long time. Many countries have mobilized in sending troops and armaments, so far the United States is the largest contributor in terms of money spent on the war. US Congress appropriated more than $112bn (£92.47bn) in 2022 alone.  


According to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (that is a Database of Military, Financial and Humanitarian Aid to Ukraine) from the period January 24, 2022 to January 15, 2023, the US again takes the lead.  


Adding pledges of nearly 37 billion euros in December, the Americans have earmarked a total of just over 73.1 billion euros for support to Ukraine. For the EU, the comparable figure is 54.9 billion euros. 


A large part of the U.S. aid is military, totaling about 44.34 billion euros, followed by financial aid, with about 25.11 billion euros, and humanitarian aid, about 3.72 billion euros.  


Other EU countries are involved militarily. France plans to increase military spending by a third by 2030, while Germany has abandoned its long-standing ban on sending weapons to conflict zones and has sent missiles and tanks to Ukraine.  


Diplomatic Issues and Food Crisis  


The war initiated by Vladimir Putin has caused a reaction from NATO countries. The bloc's member states have sent billions of dollars worth of weapons and equipment in Ukraine.  


There are some cracks in the unity. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Putin's closest ally in the EU, lobbied against sanctions against Moscow, refused to send weapons to Ukraine, and withheld a bloc aid package for Kiev. 


In some 36 countries, which include some of the world's poorest and most vulnerable, more than half of wheat imports come from Russia and Ukraine, the UN reported.  


In other words, the challenges of maintaining production are great and with the quantities available on the market being reduced prices have risen and affected the purchasing power of many families. Even before the war started, prices on the markets were already changing due to supply problems and extreme weather situations.  


Ukraine supplied about 45 million metric tons of grain to the global market every year and is the world's largest exporter of sunflower oil. Together with Russia, it accounted for about a quarter of global wheat exports in 2019. The blockades by Russian troops on the country's ports was another intensifier for the triggering of a food crisis.  


A study conducted by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with The Conversation shows that total energy costs (direct and indirect) for households have increased since the beginning of the conflict by at least 63% and possibly as much as 113% (i.e., more than doubled). This contributes to an increase in overall household spending of between 2.7% and 4.8%. 

Picture: Reuters / Alex Babenko

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