Ukraine and Russia Conflict: Its Implications on the Global Economy
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UKRAINE AND RUSSIA CONFLICT: ITS IMPLICATIONS ON THE GLOBAL ECONOMY
FRANCIS CALLISTUS AZUBUIKE
DEPARTMENT OF POLITICAL SCIENCE
NNAMDI AZIKIWE UNIVERSITY, AWKA, ANAMBRA STATE-NIGERIA
SHEDRACK, CHUKWUEZEUGO IGBOKE
DEPARTMENT OF POLITICAL SCIENCE
NNAMDI AZIKIWE UNIVERSITY, AWKA, ANAMBRA STATE-NIGERIA
The Russian-Ukrainian war came when the whole world was about to recover from the devastating effects of COVID-19 pandemic which threw the global sociological and economic conditions into comatose. In this paper we tried to trace the historical overview of the Ukrainian nation so that we can understand the remote and immediate causes of the conflicts. We also understudied the immediate causes, its effects to the global community so that we can propose likely recommendation that can prevent future occurrence. In the course of the study we found out that Ukraine has had a rough road to independent and that since after their independence in 1991 from the Soviet Russia, they have battled with the heavy Russia influence and control. To save itself from this threat of a neighbor, Ukraine resorted to seeking alliance with America, Western Europe and NATO, which infuriated Russia that led to this war. Data used was gathered from documented evidence, and descriptive and qualitative data analysis was employed. The study adopted power theory of Laswell and Kaplan, H.J. Margenthau, etc as a theoretical guide. Our findings proved that the war has brought a lot of global economic, social, environmental and energy crisis, migration problem, food crises at a global level especially in Ukraine. The work recommended among others global alternative channels of food and energy supply to cushion the effects of the war in Ukraine.
Historically, Ukraine as a country and people is a nation which has experienced a great deal of war, violence rule, conflicts, and external rule and control in their quest for self-determination, self-actualization, independence and defense of their nationhood, sovereignty and territorial integrity. David Marples (2016) stated that “upon gaining its independence in 1991, Ukraine had several distinct regions and a number of significant ethnic minorities, most prominent of which were Russians.” He went further to state that “the only part of Ukraine with a Russian majority was the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, but Russians comprised significant communities in the far eastern oblasts of Donetsk and Luhansk, as well as in Dnipropetrovsk, Odessa, Kharkiv, and others.” This explains why Russia has gone on to annexed some of these areas mentioned here in the course of this crisis.
Therefore, in trying to study the recent Ukraine-Russia conflict we will like to do a brief historical background review on the Ukraine and marry it with her relationship with Russia overtime, this will help us to understand the remote and immediate cause or causes of this present conflict between the two countries. Historically, Ukraine was at the heart of the first Eastern Slavic state of Kyivan Rus, and of course, during the 10th and 11th centuries it was the largest and most powerful state in Europe. It lost this status because of the internecine quarrels and Mongol invasions, which resulted in the incorporation of Kyivan Rus into the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and eventually into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, (Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, Department of State Fact Sheet July 30, 2013).
According to K. Niemeyer Rex, G and J.K.B. Lough (2022), “what is now Ukraine became a geographical and cultural entity between 1590 and 1700, within the territory of the first Russian state, Kievan Rus’. The region enjoyed brief independence in the mid-17th Century, in the form of the Cossack state. An alliance with Muscovy in 1654 led to its partition between Poland and Muscovy, and then incorporation in the Russian Empire in the 18th Century”. The cultural and religious legacy of Kyivan Rus laid the foundation for Ukrainian nationalism through subsequent centuries. A new Ukrainian state, the Cossack Hetmanate, was established during the mid-17th century after an uprising against the Poles. Despite continuous Muscovite pressure, the Hetmanate managed to remain autonomous for well over 100 years. During the latter part of the 18th century, most Ukrainian ethnographic territory was absorbed by the Russian Empire. According to Andreas Kapeler, (2014), “when the Tzar dynasty of Russia collapsed in 1917, Ukraine was able to enjoy a short period of independence which lasted from 1917-20, and again was re-conquered and forced to endure a brutal Soviet rule that ushered in two forced famines 1921-22 and 1932-33 which cost them 8 million deaths.”
Furthermore, in World War II, German and Soviet armies were responsible for some 7 to 8 million more deaths (Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, Department of State Fact Sheet July 30, 2013). Apparently, final independence for Ukraine was achieved in 1991 with the dissolution of the USSR, but the expected democracy and prosperity remained elusive because the legacy of state control was marred by endemic corruption and this stalled efforts made towards economic reform, privatization, and civil liberties. This led to a peaceful mass protest called the “Orange Revolution” in the later months of 2004 which forced the authorities to overturn a rigged presidential election, to allow a new internationally monitored vote that swept into power a reformist state under Viktor Yushchenko. As a result of this development, internal political disagreements erupted in the Yushchenko camp, which made his rival Viktor Yanukovych to stage a comeback in parliamentary elections and become prime minister in August of 2006.
An early legislative election, brought on by a political crisis in the spring of 2007, saw Yuliya Tymoshenko, as head of an “Orange” coalition, installed as a new Prime Minister in December 2007. Viktor Yanukovych was elected president in a February 2010 run-off election that observers assessed as meeting most international standards. The following month, Ukraine’s parliament, the Rada, approved a vote of no-confidence prompting Yuliya Tymoshenko to resign from her post as prime minister. In October 2012, Ukraine held Rada elections, widely criticized by Western observers as flawed due to use of government resources to favor ruling party candidates, interference with media access, and harassment of opposition candidates. This cycle of internal political crises continues coupled with the ethnic and linguistic diversity made Ukraine weakened the country’s unity and this brought in Russian interference. Due to the fact that the Ukrainian conflict has developed, at least partly, as a consequence of existing divisions that has exacerbated the differences between various groups, regional political leaders with Russian background always look up to Russia for support.
In its quest for independence, Ukraine faced formidable challenges in unraveling peacefully its close bonds with Russia. The large Russian minority in Ukraine and Ukraine’s integration into the Russian economy raise interconnected issues, none readily soluble, which could easily destabilize Ukraine politically and economically, endangering its independence. Moscow to a large extent finds it very difficult in adjusting to the concept of Ukrainian independence, since they instinctively regard Ukraine as inseparably linked with Russia. (Klaus Niemeyer, 2022). Ukraine’s eastern border with Russia is only administrative, and could be questioned if relations with Russia deteriorate. Romania could then try to take advantage by pursuing claims to historically Moldavian territories in Ukraine. Ukraine’s policy to western neighbours, particularly Poland, will be very important, because Ukraine looks at Poland as a channel to the West.
The war between Ukraine and Russia started in February 24th 2022, when Russia invaded Ukraine. Although the conflict actually began in 2014, when Russia backed the separatists elements in Ukraine, which led to the annexation of Crimea and Donbas by Russia (Nezavisimaya, 1992).
As a result of this development, the protests and demonstrations by pro-Russian groups in the Crimea and Donbas region of Ukraine escalated into a war, resulting in the removal of pro-Russian president of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014 with US support and their allies, which led to the emergency of a pro-US president Volodymre Zelenskyy. In this regard Russia organized a widely criticized referendum, which outcome was for Crimea to join Russia, though Moscow denied been involved.
In 2021 and earlier 2022, there was a heavy Russian military buildup around Ukraine’s borders, which made NATO to accuse Russia of planning an invasion on Ukraine. In response to NATO accusation, president Putin criticized the enlargement of NATO as a threat to his country, and demanded that Ukraine should be barred from ever joining the military alliance. Putin maintained that Ukraine have rights to exist as a sovereign nation and stated wrongful that Ukraine was created by soviet Russia. However on February 21st 2022, Russia officially recognized the two self proclaimed separatists’ states of Donbas and Crimea and openly sent troops into the territories, and the war started.
This study is based on descriptive and qualitative analysis of data collected. It relied on the secondary data collection. Content analysis and logical reasoning served as the instruments applied in the data analysis, while Power Theory of Laswell and Kaplan, H.J. Margenthau, Erich Kaufman, Karl Baker, Herbert, Edward Shills and Catlin was employed as a theoretical guide in explaining the links between the two major variables. Power theory is defined, with special emphasis on the development of military power of state, according to Obasi Igwe, (2002) as “the capacity to achieve an outcome through an actual use or threat of coercion …” This becomes evident in 1939, when Hitler used force against Czechoslovakia to get back the parts of Germany handed over to it after the treaty of Versailles (1919). Again Hitler wanted Poland to return the German territory given to it by the treaty of Versailles, Poland refused, Hitler invaded Poland and 2nd world war ensued, though Hitler was defeated by the combination of Allied forces. The same scenario of territorial dispute and the use of power to achieve compliance are playing out here between Russia and Ukraine. Here Russia believes that it can coerce Ukraine into given up some of its internationally accepted territories to them (Russia) or her allies, or better still achieve change of political leadership in Ukraine that will institute pro-Russia regime in Ukraine. Moscow has before now instigated internal political crisis in Ukraine, which resulted to secession moves, and caving out of some Ukraine territory as separate countries by some rebels in Ukraine. This move has been resisted by Ukrainian government, and therefore Moscow resorted to war, because they believe that they have greater military strength that will subdue Ukraine to succumb to their desire, which is either allegiance to Moscow, balkanization of Ukraine or regime change in Ukraine and this gives credence to Clausetwiz assertion that war “is the continuation of policy by other means” (Obasi Igwe, 2002).
CAUSES OF THE RUSSIAN-UKRAINIAN WAR
- Application of Ukraine to Join NATO in 2008
In 2008, Ukraine and Georgia applied to join NATO under the membership of Action Plans (MAP) but NATO refused with the pressure from the Western European countries and their allies, in order to avoid antagonizing Russia, while the US president then George W Bush, and her western allies in the Europe pushed for their admission. President Putin of Russia on the other hand who was the major target for regime change opposed the Ukraine and Georgia application for NATO membership. In this regard NATO in their double standards issued a controversial statement agreeing that these countries will become members of NATO. Shortly thereafter, Russia invaded the Crimean Peninsula in 2014, resulting in violence in Donbas and fierce fighting in the Russian-Ukraine border (Anton Bebler, 2015). In January 2022, Ukraine re-applied to join NATO due to security threats from Russia as a result of the request, there was a heavy Russia military buildup around Ukraine borders, which NATO accused Russia of planning an invasion. In response to NATO accusation, president Putin criticized the enlargement of NATO as a threat to his country. On February 24th, 2022 Russia invaded Ukraine which attracted a global condemnation from the international community, accusing of breaking international law and violation of Ukrainian sovereignty. The bottom-line is that Russia does not want Ukraine to join NATO because of US dominance of the organization and their interest in Ukraine, which will give US opportunity to control Russia and other countries in Europe through NATIO and her allies.
- Regime Change in Ukraine by Russia
According to Muhammad E, Mansur E and Nilufar I (2022), the reason behind the Russian invasion is that, Russia is threatened from Ukraine being a liberalized country, out of the Russian influence, and seeks cooperation with the Western countries in trade, security, and politics including the possibility of access to NATO and the EU, which threatens Russia’s national security and these reasons push her towards this military operation with the aim to establish a new Ukrainian government loyal to Russia. The removal of pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014 who protects and promotes Russian interest and who was also anti-NATO is the key push and pull factor of Russia and Ukraine war, which led to the emergency of pro-US president Volodymr Zelenskyy. In this regard Russia supported and organized widely criticized referendum which outcome was for Crimea to join Russia. In April 2014, protest by pro-Russian in the Donbas region of Ukraine escalated into a war between the Ukrainian military and Russian backed separatists of the self declared Donetsk and Lahaska Republics. As a result of this development, there was a heavy Russian military vehicle crossing into the border of Donetsk Republic. On 24th February, 2022 Russia invaded Ukraine for regime change hoping to install a pro-Russian government against the existing pro-US government in Ukraine. Thus abinitio; the US and her allies such as Britain, France and other European allies condemned Russia for its action in Ukraine.
From the above background on the cases of regime change in a foreign countries, Russia maybe borrowing from United States previous actions in Middle-East and Africa, when the US due to their interest and that of their allies (NATO) under George W Bush administration invaded Iraq in 2003 and killed Saddam Hussein based on mere allegation of possessing weapon of mass destruction. There was no iota of truth in the US allegation on Iraq after investigation from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) under the United Nations mandate Eze (2017). However, the outcome to this condition is the emergence of pro-US leader in Iraq and the control of their oil which is the main purpose of the regime change. Muyuada (1993) avers that, “now that the cold war is over, the US emerged as the sole great power. This uni-polarity means they can literally walk into any country and do anything it wants to in order to promote the “free world” agenda.
From forgoing, the US can now directly or indirectly via the UN, NATO and her western allies intervene in any country especially in the middle-east region to ensure the steady assess to oil which is the major determinant of the US foreign policy in the region. According to Siegel (2008:59 sited in Eze 2017), the united states intervention in the stand-off between Iraq and Kuwait leading to the 1990 Gulf war, the invasion of Iraq in 2003 that led to the removal of Saddam Hussein from power, the war against the Taliban in Afghanistan and their present efforts to ensure that Iran does not attain nuclear capability are purely because of oil in the region. This is because a nuclear Iran can change the balance of power in the Gulf region and can undermine the United States interest in the area.
In this regard, one of the primary purposes of Russia invasion of Ukraine is regime change of pro-US president Volodymr Zelenskyy. Another good example of regime change are the invasion of Kuwait by late Saddam Hussein which is a pro-US country, the US intervened and liberated Kuwait from Saddam because of her strategic interest and pushed for a regime change in Iraq. Pro-US regime change in Libya through 2011 Arab Spring which provided an ample opportunity for US and her Western allies to effect the change. However, the NATO forces aided the anti-Gadaffi rebels and eliminated Gadaffi and his regime. Regime change in Egypt 2013 and regime change in Syria is some of the examples that are precursor to the main causes of war between Russia and Ukraine. From the background, the war in Ukraine is between US and its allies and Russia and its allies because Russia wants a regime change in a pro-US country (Ukraine).
- American Hegemony and Russian Quest for Bi-polarity
In line with global dominance, hegemony is a method whereby one state holds a preponderance of power in the international system, allowing it to a single-handedly dominate the rules and arrangement by which international political and economic relations are conducted. Joshua (2013:190). It simply means the global predominance of the United States and her Western allies through UN, NATO, IMF, World Bank and other non-state actors. After the 2nd World War 1939-1945) in the 19th century, Britain emerged predominance in a global system followed the defeat of their arch-rival France in the Napoleonic war. Both world trade and naval capabilities were firmly in British hands, as Britain rules the waves. However, US predominance followed the defeat of Germany and Japan (and exhaustion of the Soviet Union, France, Britain and China in the efforts) (Joshua, 2013:58). The use of alliances and arms control to balance power topically followed one of two distinct patterns (Morgenthau, 1985). In the pattern of “direct opposition” one powerful state tries to prevail over another powerful state, which raises arms or seek allies to offset its adversary’s strength (Charles 2010). By and large, each increase in military capabilities by one side calls forth and increases by the other. According to the eminence realist Hans Morgenthau, (1985), if no state possesses overwhelming military superiority, world politics follows either the pattern of direct opposition or the more complex pattern of ever shifting competition. From foregoing, US emerged only global power position (uni-polarity) after the Second World War because of her military superior, rich economy and control the weapon of mass destruction. She used the position to influence the course of her relations with other states and organizations such as UN, NATO etc. The clash between Russia and US started immediately after the 1917 October revolution of the socialists in Russia. According to Eze (2017:47), US resorted to intervention in Russia, and refused the nascent soviet government, pursued a policy of sabotage, sanctions and embargo and conducted subversive activities and propaganda against the new soviet state in order to maintain her dominance position in the international system.
In this regard, the recovery of the Soviet (Russia) economy and the growth of its military capabilities with the emergence of China economy eroded the US supremacy and gave rise to a new distribution of world power. The Soviet broke the US monopoly on atomic weapons in 1949 and exploded a thermo-nuclear device in 1953, less than a year after the United States. This achievement symbolized the creation of a bipolar system of direct opposition in the hands of the rival “superpowers”, each heading its own bloc of allies. More so, the formation of the NATO, linking the US to the defense of Western Europe, and the Warsaw Pact, linking the former Soviet Union in an alliance with its Eastern European clients, reinforced this bipolar structure. The current Cold War between United States and Russia that led to the Russia and Ukraine war bred insecurity among all countries of the world. Although cold war ended between 1989 and 1991 which brought seemingly healthy relationship between US and Russia, where both worked together to secure Russian Nuclear weapon cooperation to stabilize the Russian economy, and reached an agreement to allow NATO expansion to some former Warsaw Pact members.
- Conflict between Russia and US over Ukraine Alliance
In 2008, Russia fought a war against Georgia over a disputed territory and NATO application, and we know that Georgia is a strong US ally from the Eastern Europe. US always use NATO to fight their enemies in any part of the world, via UN. For example, during the Libya pro-democracy violent rebellion against Muammar Gadaffi, the US with her Europe allies, because of their national interest (oil) and her age-long efforts for regime change in Libya, secured UN resolution via her permanent representative, for the protection of the civilian population from pro-Gadaffi forces by anti-Gadaffi rebels (Eze, 2017:61). The US supported the anti-Gadaffi rebels through NATO and her western allies and killed Gadaffi and achieved regime change agenda. In this regard, at the 2008 Buc-harvest Summit, Ukraine and Georgia applied to join NATO which caused division among NATO members and was strongly opposed by Western European countries in order to avoid antagonizing Russia, but the then US president, George W. Bush pushed for their admission. Putin opposed the Georgia and Ukraine NATO membership bids. Both Georgia and Ukraine are strong US allies in Europe. Russia invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022 was because of their application to join NATO in January 2022, for security reasons and threats from Russia.
- Ideological Differences between the US and Russia in key Policy Areas.
On several issues in regards to control of global system, Russia and the US do not agree, even when the Cold war has ended from 1989-1991. According to Joshua (2013), US are committed to NATO expansion towards Eastern Europe, which Russia considers a direct threat to its security. The formation of Northern Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was engineered by US and her Western allies to control Western Europe, while Warsaw Pact was established by former Soviet Union (Russia) and her Eastern Europe allies to control Eastern Europe which reinforced bipolar structure in the global system. The opposing blocs were formed because the superpowers competed for allies (Charles, 2010:247). The world power structure is divided into two blocs each side of the bloc is led by a superpower which breeds global insecurity. On the other hand, US are also committed to the deploying anti-ballistic missiles in Europe, which Russia opposes as a security threat to Eastern Europe. More so, America withdrawal from the anti-ballistic missile treaty in 2001 spurred Russia fears that US would engage in another arms race. On policy decision making in UN that affects global system, Russia do not agree with the US, especially on pro-Russia countries, for example, during the build-up to the 2003 Iraqi war, Russia consistently opposed America’s effort to gain UN security council approval, threatening to veto any resolution proposed by the US. From the above background, ideological differences between US (her allies) and Russia (her allies), is the main cause of Russia and Ukraine war. Russia wants to take Ukraine from US at all cost because the current president of Ukraine is pro-US.
Implications/Effects of Ukraine and Russian war on Africa
The under listed are some of the effects of the Russian-Ukrainian war on the global space, namely;
- Global Inflation and Economic Crunch
The inflationary pressures caused by surging commodity and food prices have accelerated monetary policy tightening heighten the risk of stagflation, and increase poverty and inequality across global economy. Market-based measures of long-term inflation expectations in the United States, Germany, UK, Africa, and Asia have reached their highest levels on records, this according to the World Bank records (2022). According to the World Bank Group, (2022), “global financial conditions have already tightened considerably since February. Many countries of the world have been plunged into high inflation, where costs of goods have skyrocketed; currencies are losing value consistently causing political, social and economic crises globally. Violent protests, agitations are rampant across the world in response to hard economic crunch experienced. Nations like the UK and Lebanon have witnessed dramatic changes in their political landscape courtesy of the rising economic uncertainties caused by the effects of the Russia-Ukraine war.
- Disruption of Supply Chain
The military operations during the Russian invasion of Ukraine have affected operations in many sectors and this to large extent has disrupted global supply chain. The embargo placed on Russian exports by America and her Western allies and its resultant the retaliatory responds against foreign imports by Russia, which included Russia’s refusal to allow foreign shipments through its airspace and waterways have disrupted the global supply chain. This led to scarcity and rise in the imported goods prices. Firms in expectation of this disruption from cross-border blockades and bans on transit trade resorted to hoarding supplies resulting to higher prices, and the same results have occurred after the COVID-19 lockdown (Zhitao, Adel, Laoucine and Abdelfatteh 2020). Moreover, restrictions on commercial flights around the Ukraine-Russian border, besides the increased security checks at refugees’ camps in neighboring states so far has led to the disruption in the flow of cargo and border operations as cross-border goods and supplies has been stalled or delayed because of the border officials handling refugees before attending to cross-border goods (Zhang Yu, 2021). This has exacerbated the disruption in global supply chain thereby increasing the price of imports across the globe.
- Global Food Crisis
Muhammad E, Mansur E and Nilufar I (2022) opines that the impacts of the war in Ukraine are being felt not only regionally, but around the world because of the region’s significant contribution to food and energy supplies. According the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) (2022), Russia and Ukraine are prominent players in global trade of food and agricultural products. Again combined sunflower oil exports from both countries represented 78 percent of global supply. This shows that both countries are food baskets of the world. In the area of agricultural allied products, Russia plays a very significant role as she is a key exporter of fertilizers. This will give us the picture of what the world will suffer if this war continues.
- Global Energy Crises and Rising Cost of Transportation
Energy markets were already experiencing tight supply before the start of the crisis, following strong consumer demand and high GDP growth in 2021 caused by the effects of the COVID-19. Before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, energy prices were increasing because of multiple factors such as the COVID pandemic, lack of energy supplies and the rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine. During this period, oil prices have been stable within the price range of US$80 to US$95 prior to the invasion (Igor Sikorsky, 2022).
The war between Russia and Ukraine escalated the situation because of so many economic sanctions and counter sanctions that followed the outbreak of the war. Examples are, immediately the war started, Germany suspended the approval of the Russian “Nord Stream II” gas pipeline project aimed at distributing energy to Europe (CNBC, 2022). The United States has also banned all Russian imports of oil and gas (The White House, 2022). The European Union also banned the sale, supply, transfer or export of oil refining technologies to Russia (The European Commission, 2022). The UK followed by announcing that it will phase out Russian oil by the end of 2022 (The Guardian, 2022). All this sanctions has a spiral effect on the energy market across the globe, thereby increasing oil price as well as transportation prices in so many parts of the world especially developing economies like Nigeria. This is because Russia is the world’s second largest oil producer and sells most of its crude oil to European refineries. Russia is also the largest supplier of natural gas to Europe, providing about two-fifths of its supplies (EIA, 2021). Because of Russia’s large share of oil export, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has led energy supply shocks and a steady rise in energy prices. This effect exacerbated because of Russia’s retaliatory export embargo on energy supplies to Europe, especially Ukraine and her allies. This retaliatory embargo on energy exports has caused a significant disruption in the international energy supply chain, and thus increases the energy prices across the globe. The Russia-Ukraine conflict could make the price of oil exceeds $140 per barrel and could significantly lower the outlook for global economic growth, plunging some European and non-European countries into a recession (Hamilton, 2003).
- Refugee Crisis
Over 7 million people have been displaced within Ukraine, while UNHCR is reporting the number of refugees (to neighboring countries) at 4.7 million as of the 15th of April (IOM 2022; UNHRC Data Portal 2022). A large share of refugees is women and children. Of the estimated 7.5 million children in Ukraine, 4.3 million (57 percent of the total) has been displaced: 1.8 million (24 percent of total) are estimated to have fled to neighboring countries as refugees, and another 2.5 million (33 percent of total) are internally displaced (IOM 2022; UNHRC 2022). This has also caused social problem to the host communities and countries where these Ukrainian internally displaced people and refugees are. The health, education, and social protection systems in some host countries already had challenges to deliver services to more remote areas and to include marginalized groups. This could impact host countries’ abilities to provide basic services and impact refugees (UNHCR 2021). Accommodating the sudden arrival of a very large number of refugees with extensive needs is a challenge for host countries which puts pressure on public finances and the delivery of basic services. If protracted, refugee crises may also foster social tensions and political fragmentation. In countries such as Moldova and Poland, the ratio of refugees to local populations could reach extremely high levels, and many may only be on transit.
- The War has caused high level of Humanitarian Crisis in Ukraine.
Since the beginning of the war, urban centers in many parts of the country have been badly destroyed, maritime, road and rail transit have been severely disrupted, and vital economic and social service infrastructure including power generation, digital infrastructure, bridges, and ports has been destroyed or rendered unusable. As of the end of August, more than 6 million Ukrainians had little or no access to safe water. About 12 million people are estimated to have been displaced as of mid April and a similar number of people especially the elderly and sick urgently require humanitarian assistance (UNHCR 2022). The war is also substantially eroding human capital. It is likely to have a particularly acute impact on children by increasing malnutrition and stunting, reducing years of schooling, and worsening labor market outcomes (Akresh, Caruso, and Thirumurthy 2022; Acosta et al. 2020).
This paper was inspired by the quest to understand what actually prompted the Russian invasion of Ukraine on the 28th February 2022, and the implications of that invasion in Ukraine and globally. In the course of the study, it was established that the war was prompted by Russian’s bid to protect their dominance in the Eastern Europe, change the existing pro-USA government in Ukraine, re-emphasize bi-polarity in the global system and instill fear in the minds of her neighboring countries who may dare to question their dominance. The result of this power play between Russia and United States of America was the invasion of Ukraine and this has brought a lot of destruction in Ukraine, lives, properties, investments, have been destroyed. The global economy has been badly affected, humanitarian challenges, refugee crises, global hunger and food crisis are on the increase and this got to stop. The war has lingered more than envisaged, taking more dangerous dimensions as it continues and as such calls for global intervention to stop what looks like another rough road to World War III
Based on the findings, the paper provides the following recommendations:
- Accelerated acceptance of Ukraine into NATO with full protection before it becomes too late to stop further Russian damage on Ukraine.
- Alternative channels of food and energy supply should be worked out by international system to make up for the shortage caused by the war in Ukraine so that its global economic and humanitarian negative effects will be properly handled.
- United Nation should increase their commitment towards the management of refugee crisis and the issues of IDP cases caused by the war, and also stand up on their responsibility to maintain world peace by getting directly involved in the conflict.
- Global increase in the military and humanitarian support to Ukraine so that they can defend themselves, and to cushion the effects of the war.
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