🦄 vol. 51
dan (this week's feature) chats about russia's invasion of ukraine 🇺🇦
we’re excited to introduce you to our newest feature! dan (whose real claim to fame is a hole-in-one at st andrews) has an engineering background, and is currently studying towards an mba at the university of greenwich. when he’s not playing golf, reading about tech or spending time in the ocean, you’ll find him at his 9-5… managing a team as a product lead at upskill digital.
russia’s invasion of ukraine 🇺🇦
Last week in vol. 50, Sash touched on some factors that are contributing to the global rise in inflation. After reading the piece, some of you may have asked: “What exactly is happening in Ukraine, or is it in Russia, or is it both?” Don’t fret, today we’re going to dive a bit deeper into the Russian invasion of Ukraine 🚨.
So Russia’s invasion of Ukraine? 🤔
The history of Eastern Europe is complicated, nuanced and very long. In the interest of being impartial and keeping to the point on this latest invasion, let’s look at some of the key moments and when they happened.
How we got here... 🚶
What are (some of) the implications you should be aware of? 💭
Firstly 🥇, it affects the lives of millions of civilians who have had to flee their homes to get away from the destruction that ensued. Any life in danger, no matter where, is a matter for concern. It also impacts the lives of the people in the country they are fleeing to (many sought safety in Poland) 🇵🇱.
Secondly 🥈, Russia is one of the biggest exporters of gas to Europe. After the invasion, many European countries imposed sanctions on Russia. Now to counter this, Russia has strangled its supply of gas to these countries, which is very concerning because those supplies are needed, in large part, for heating in winter which is only a couple of months away in Europe 🧊.
Thirdly 🥉, Russia also happens to be a major exporter of oil. The invasion has led to an increase in oil costs and a subsequent increase in inflation across the world.
And finally 🏁, Ukraine is a massive exporter of wheat. Its main port, Odessa, (where it ships majority of its wheat from) has been blocked since the invasion began. The biggest recipients of Ukrainian wheat? 🌾 The Middle East and Africa - this means countries who already have food supply shortages will potentially have a food shortage crisis to add to their troubles. Farmers in Ukraine are also worried as to what their yields (how much they can harvest at the end of the growing season) will be like in the future with war ongoing in their country.
It’s not all doom and gloom.. 🤔
🧑🌾 Within the last few weeks there was a deal signed to allow for the port in Odessa to be operational again - granted there was some trouble shortly after this deal was signed but hopefully it remains in place going forward
🇺🇦 Within Ukraine, there have been harrowing stories of a nation pulling together and standing for what they believe in. On top of this, they are winning back some territory that has been Russian occupied until now.
🌍 Environmentally, European governments have acknowledged their overdependence on Russian fossil fuels and are speeding up their investments into Green Energy.
Looking forward, what can we expect? 🔮
As much as this conflict is contributing to the rising cost of living, it is not the sole reason for high inflation (as highlighted in vol. 50). We can probably expect inflation to peak mid-to-late this year and start subsiding during 2023. The question is, will a prolonged war extend the natural recovery of the economy, even if everything else settles? 📉
Inflation aside, another thing to look out for is whether NATO will show resolve and continue to support Ukraine, especially through the coming winter ❄️. Russia is increasing the pressure on Europe, having just announced that it’ll halt supply of gas to Europe for a couple days at the end of August.
These next few months will set the precedent of how to deal with aggressive neighbours for many years to come. 🍿
dan gets most of his world news from the economist’s podcast or the bbc’s world business report
sash was introduced to this interesting three-part podcast series - the guardian’s exposé into the inner workings of uber