On this day in 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine. The possibility that Russia’s own security would be threatened if Ukraine joined NATO led Russia to launch a special campaign against Ukraine that has turned into a fierce and devastating war. In the current unstable world situation, the Russia-Ukraine war, which has been going on for the past one year, is gradually increasing in intensity. Time passes quickly, the suffering people are forced to go through a time of misery and horror, humanity is lost and the infrastructure of the warring countries is reduced to rubble. Ukraine is going through that situation now. A large part of the population has taken refuge as refugees in various European countries and many are displaced in their own countries.
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Modern and powerful tank fleets from Europe’s military powers as well as the United States and Canada are joining the Ukrainian military. Ukraine has sought fighter jets from friendly countries to counter Russian forces. Apparently, this war is limited to Russia and Ukraine, but from the political and economic point of view, it is affecting the wider region from Europe to America and the rest of the world. Even after a long year, the international community has failed to reach a peaceful solution to this deadly armed conflict. By supporting Ukraine, the Western world and America are indirectly involved in the war and this crisis is turning into a protracted war. As a result of this war, the infrastructure of Ukraine is being destroyed day by day and the common people are being displaced and forced to live as refugees with immense suffering.
The Russian army has taken over Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia in Ukraine by attacking civilian installations and other places in important cities of Ukraine. Martial law has been imposed in the occupied territories. Ukraine has counter-attacked to regain Russian-occupied territories. The NATO military alliance and the Western world have extended their help in support of Ukraine in this war, and Russia is seeking support and cooperation from China, Turkey and Iran. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has exacerbated water and electricity shortages in the country and millions of Ukrainians are living without electricity. Ukrainian forces have been trying to defend their territory from Russia since the beginning of the war. Ukraine has been at war with Russia for the past year, backed by its allies, including the UK, with financial, military and humanitarian aid provided by the US. Since the beginning of the war, Western countries have been helping Ukraine with various types of weapons. NATO countries and Western allies have agreed to supply advanced tanks to Ukraine. Military cooperation has now included powerful and advanced tanks from the United States, Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom. Russia has started using its own powerful weapons against the Western countries to join forces to supply new weapons to Ukraine.
German tanks are joining the Ukrainian army in the war against Russia. Germany was defeated by Russia during World War II. Again, after 80 years, German tanks are repelling the Russian invasion on the battlefield. Ukraine is asking the NATO alliance and the United States for warplanes to continue the war. Allies have been at loggerheads over the delivery of warplanes to Ukraine. US says it will not supply Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki also expressed a positive attitude towards the delivery of fighter jets to Ukraine, saying such a move would be made in “full coordination” with NATO countries. Russia has warned the Baltic countries and Poland about supplying warplanes to Ukraine.
Due to the Russia-Ukraine war, high oil prices in the global market have influenced the US voters. As a result of these wars, the aggressor powers are profiting, the use and production of weapons is increasing, people are becoming homeless and refugees, food security is being disturbed, and people are being swallowed by the coral of inflation. As developing countries’ growth slows or stalls, the World Bank and IMF step up to the forefront of lending. The Germans were becoming stronger in Europe, while the British were waning. The rise of the Germans was well understood by the European powers, which would diminish German capabilities in this war. China and Japan were advancing in Asia, now the conflict between China and Japan will reduce the power of both countries and it will take time for them to regain this capability. Russia is slowly declining, if the power of Russia, China, Japan and Germany declines, the world will go back to the way it was before and the current situation will last for several more decades. In the meantime, the developing countries of Asia and Africa will return to their previous positions, which is unfortunate for us.
Due to the disruption of supply due to the effects of war, the price of goods has increased. Prices of various consumer goods and services including fuel oil and wheat have increased in the international market. The complex interaction of sanctions and counter-sanctions has adversely affected global price growth and led to high inflation of commodities, food, energy and fertilizers. The supply chain has been disrupted in many cases. Currency markets are volatile, national debt levels are rising, and many economies are depleting foreign exchange reserves. Governments and central banks have been forced to take tighter monetary and fiscal measures.
Experts have warned that Russia-Ukraine war is going to have a big impact on Bangladesh. Bangladesh imports military equipment, food products, etc. from Russia and Russia is also important for Bangladesh as a new market for ready-made garments. If this war continues for a long time, it will have an adverse effect on Bangladesh. Russia and Ukraine are important producers of wheat, but the war has also created a wheat crisis that could become even bigger in the future. So world peace and stability and one country should stop the war by supporting the security and sovereignty of the other country. In the backdrop of Russia-Ukraine conflict, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has expressed her view that ‘immediately stopping the war and joint action is necessary to deal with the situation’.
On the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the UN General Assembly will vote on a draft resolution calling for “a comprehensive, just and lasting peace to be reached as soon as possible”. This proposal will demand the withdrawal of troops from Moscow. The US and its Western allies have been calling the Russian invasion of Ukraine an unprovoked occupation of the country’s sovereign territory. US President Joe Biden visited Ukraine in this war situation and reiterated his support for Ukraine. Support for the war in Ukraine has declined among the American public for a number of reasons. Thousands of people in the United States have marched and demonstrated in the Washington DC area to demand an end to arms supplies to Ukraine. They have made several demands, including no more money spent on the Ukraine war, the dissolution of the NATO alliance and cuts to the defense budget. According to many, they are angry that the United States has ignored domestic affairs and allocated massive amounts of money to Ukraine. Due to this war, the developing countries are under the most pressure to survive the recession. In addition to this, the World Bank believes that the crisis of many other emerging economies like Bangladesh will increase. Import-dependent countries will have to spend foreign exchange to cover import costs and inflationary pressures will increase if currency devaluation is not stopped. As a result of increasing foreign debt pressure, countries will try to reduce their trade deficit in various ways.
After many years of war among themselves, European countries have learned that war never brings peace and sustainable development cannot be achieved by producing war materials. This war is hindering the peace and development of Europe. European countries with many years of war experience know how to stop war. If this war spreads throughout Europe and turns into a world war, global destruction will begin and again poverty, hunger, bloodshed will engulf the world. No one wants war, and no one wants Ukraine to lose or Russia to end. In this context, to ensure global development, peace and security, active initiatives should be taken to stop this war immediately. Avoiding war and solving the existing problems of both sides through diplomacy is the work of the wise. Everyone should come forward to stop this war for the sake of world peace and protection of human rights.
Dr. Arpita Hazarika is a Gauhati University, Assam, India-based researcher. She is very interested in refugee affairs, political economy, security and strategic affairs, and foreign policies of the Asia-Pacific region. She visited a number of countries such as Bangladesh, Myanmar, China, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, UK, USA, France, Japan, Australia, Thailand, Singapore, and Canada. She has research works on India-Bangladesh affairs.
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