The Russia-Ukraine war has had disastrous consequences for Ukraine and shocked the world. Numerous casualties and widespread destruction have been inflicted on both Russia and Ukraine.
This military conflict has had significant global implications, impacting the security awareness of European countries and reshaping international relationships. It has also exposed the fragility of the global economy, leading to cracks in its stability.
After one year, the Russo-Ukraine war has affected the world in five major ways:
1. The resurgence of European warfare:
The conflict in Ukraine has brought back the specter of war in Europe. Despite previous beliefs that heavy weapons were unnecessary in modern times, the war has demonstrated that traditional military tactics, such as tank battles, are still relevant.
The brutality of the fighting in the Donbas region has drawn parallels to the conflicts of the 20th century, particularly the First World War. This has prompted a new wave of arms race, reminiscent of the prelude to World War II.
Heightened security awareness: European countries have become more conscious of their security after the Russo-Ukraine war. The aggression displayed by Russia has raised concerns among neighboring nations about their own vulnerabilities and the need for stronger defense capabilities. This has led to a reassessment of security strategies and closer cooperation between countries to counter potential threats.
The fragility of the global economy: The war has exposed the vulnerability of the interconnected global economy. Disruptions in trade and investments and uncertainties caused by the conflict have created cracks in the global economic system.
The impacts of the war on the economy serve as a reminder of its fragility and the potential consequences of geopolitical conflicts on global financial stability.
The arms race and increased military spending: The conflict has triggered an arms race, with countries investing more in their military capabilities. Russia has mobilized additional troops, while the United States has provided military aid to Ukraine and increased its own arms production.
France and Germany have also responded by boosting their military spending and relaxing arms embargoes. This trend highlights the growing tensions and the perceived need for stronger defense capacities among various nations.
Reshaping international relationships: The Russo-Ukraine war has reshaped international relationships, causing shifts in alliances and cooperation. The conflict has strained relations between Russia and Western countries, leading to increased diplomatic tensions and sanctions.
It has also prompted closer cooperation and support for Ukraine from countries sympathetic to its cause. The dynamics of international politics have been altered as
2. Increased NATO activity
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s intention to weaken NATO through the war has backfired. Instead, NATO has become more active in response to the conflict. Finland and Sweden, abandoning their military neutrality, have applied to join NATO to counter Russia’s aggression. NATO has also bolstered its eastern flank defense, investing billions of dollars in weapons and equipment in Ukraine. Poland and the Baltic countries, located near the war zone, have worked to deploy defenses on the eastern front.
EU sanctions and financial assistance: The European Union has imposed tough sanctions on Russia and continued to provide financial assistance to Ukraine. These actions have demonstrated the EU’s solidarity, helped ease the earlier Brexit turmoil, and improved relations between the EU and the UK.
The EU’s competent role in imposing severe sanctions on Russia has been recognized, surprising many, including British defense expert Clark. The United States increased involvement and support for Europe has also been unexpected.
Challenges to alliance unity: While the conflict has strengthened the resolve of many NATO members, there are still factors of instability within the alliance. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has opposed sanctions on Russia, refused to provide military assistance to Ukraine, and even attempted to obstruct the EU’s aid plan. These differences of opinion within NATO highlight the ongoing challenges to maintaining unity among member states.
Preparations for a protracted battle: As the conflict continues, NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg has emphasized that Russia deliberately created a long-term war. In response, NATO has made full preparations for an extended conflict. This indicates the alliance’s commitment to standing firm against Russian aggression and its readiness to sustain a prolonged battle.
3. The formation of the new Iron Curtain
The war left Russia sidelined by the West. Russian oligarchs and their business entities have all become targets of European and American sanctions. International brands such as McDonald’s and IKEA have also withdrawn from Russia one after another.
Even so, Russia is not alone, and its economic and trade exchanges with China are heating up frequently. China has not publicly provided military assistance to Russia so far, but the United States is worried that there may be changes in the near future. Many experts are convinced that China is watching the conflict closely.
Putin has also strengthened military cooperation with North Korea and Iran and recently confirmed that the Russian military used armed drones provided by the two countries to attack several infrastructures in Ukraine.
Russia continues to deepen its influence in Africa and the Middle East. From the Donbas of Udon to the Sahel region of Africa, it can be seen that the Wagner mercenary group supported by Putin is growing stronger.
Just like during the Cold War, the world is gradually splitting into two camps, but key countries such as India have not made a clear statement and may adopt a wait-and-see attitude to seek their own best interests.
4. The battered global economy
With the limited use of heating in EU countries and the shortage of food in the African market, people believe that people have already experienced the economic impact of the war.
Before the war, EU countries relied on Russia for almost half of their natural gas, and another third of their crude oil came from Russian oil companies. After the outbreak of the war, the European Union imposed sanctions on Moscow, triggering Russia to counterattack with energy prices, setting a record for the highest energy prices since the 1970s.
The Russia-Ukraine war has once again plunged global food, edible oil, and fertilizer supplies into crisis. The Russian army even blocked the Black Sea and prohibited Ukrainian grain ships from sailing, forcing the United Nations to intervene to resolve the crisis of soaring food prices. War is just like the coronavirus pandemic, highlighting the high degree of “globalization” but making the world more fragile.
The war has undermined global efforts to tackle climate change, and European Union countries have turned back to fossil fuels such as coal due to supply disruptions, causing heavy pollution. However, because Europe is eager to eliminate Russia’s oil and gas monopoly, the EU will accelerate the transition to “renewable energy.”
According to the International Energy Agency, the development of green energy in the next five years will be comparable to that in the past 20 years, unexpectedly highlighting the importance of renewable energy.
5. A new era of uncertainty
The Russo-Ukraine war has ushered in a new era of uncertainty, reminding the world that individuals have limited control throughout history. The war has profoundly impacted Ukrainians, who have been forced to flee their homes, leaving behind scenes of peace and prosperity that were shattered overnight. This has created a sense of unknown and anxiety.
One of the most concerning aspects of the war has been Putin’s threat to use nuclear weapons, reviving the fear prevalent during the Cold War. Russia and Ukraine have engaged in conflicts around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, evoking memories of the Chornobyl disaster. The risk of a nuclear catastrophe recurring has become a genuine concern.
Adding to these fears, Putin announced the unilateral suspension of the “New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty” with the United States in his State of the Union address on February 21. This move has heightened concerns of a nuclear escalation, raising the stakes and exacerbating the conflict’s uncertainty.
In summary, the Russo-Ukraine War introduced a new era of uncertainty characterized by the loss of control over historical events. The threat of nuclear weapons and the recurring risk of a nuclear disaster have generated fear and anxiety among the affected populations and the international community. The suspension of the arms reduction treaty has further intensified concerns about the possibility of a nuclear escalation.