180 days of Russia-Ukraine war: Poor pay the price

180 Days Of War ET Now Decodes The True Cost India Tonight
It’s been 180 days since the Russian invasion of Ukraine officially began. On February 24, President Vladimir Putin‘s move against Ukraine left the world reeling. The shockwaves of that decision can still be felt as the war rages on. The fighting may be going on in Europe, but the impact is being felt world over. Blood may be spilling on Ukrainian soil, but losses are being felt world over.

Since the start of the invasion, 41 million Ukrainians have been displaced. Over 5,500 civilian lives lost. Blood has been spilt of around 9000 Ukrainian and an estimated 15 thousand Russian military personnel in the line of duty.

All this in just 180 days.

In the crassest of ways possible, the sad part is, the cost of war is not just the lives lost. Those that survive carry on with the burdens that follow.

This war has brought the global economy on the brink of recession. It’s not just the two nations at war that have suffered the consequences. Although suffer they are- According to the IMF and the World Bank, the Ukrainian Economy will contract around 45 percent this year. On the other hand, according to some estimates the Russian economy may be going through its worst phase since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. The Russian Central Bank estimates its economy will contract by 4 to 6%.

The business of war has led to other repercussions for Russia. For one, Ukrainians almost-rabid defence of their homeland has dented the “superpower” image of Russia. It was feared that the superior military of Russia and its financial strength would mean Ukraine would fall easily. In fact, U.S Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff had even warned that Kyiv would fall within 72 hours in case of an all-out invasion. Well, from 72 hours to over 180 days, Ukraine certainly proved a point.

Maroof Raza, Consultant and Strategic Affairs Expert tells ET Now, “The U.S is gaining from this war to the extent that it is pumping money there…Where does the money go? Some of it goes to fighting the war, some of it goes for humanitarian assistance, but a lot of it goes channelled back to the American defence industry. And, that needed a shot in the arm. America was looking for another war which would allow their defence industry to continue to keep rolling. Secondly, as far as America is considered, the humiliation of their withdrawal from Afghanistan needed for them another geopolitical shot in the arm. Ukraine has given them that.”

Former Ambassador Suresh Goel says it’s very difficult to not agree with Maroof Raza. He says, “The war began due to Ukrainian insistence on joining NATO, which Russia viewed as a security threat. Second, has the objective of the war been achieved? No. Russia is still there. Ukraine is not intimidated. Zelenskyy is enjoying the world stage.”

But the fact is the world and India is suffering. For months, the blockade of the Black Sea stopped Ukrainian grain exports to the world effectively pushing millions towards starvation.

Economist and Consulting Editor to ET Now, Mythili Bhusnurmath says, “We have seen the IMF has lowered the growth estimates for the world as a whole, starting from what they gave in April from 3.6 to 3.2%. India’s growth rate estimate has been lowered as well. We have seen higher crude prices, higher commodity prices. Higher grain prices.”

The war rages on, and the world watches on. 180 days of war have passed, and it appears the end is not in sight yet.