The consequences of the Ukraine war affect the entire world and almost all areas of life. Fertilizer prices explode, Gerhard Schröder becomes a war loser and blackmail software increases: An overview of the consequences of the war in three episodes. Part II
Even before the corona virus paralyzed parts of the world, the trade war instigated by then US President Donald Trump hung over the global economy like the sword of Damocles. As the pandemic hit and lockdown followed lockdown, production and supply chains also collapsed. At the beginning of the year, when the worst appeared to be over, Russian troops invaded Ukraine, another blow to the burgeoning economy.
What’s more, aggressor Russia is no longer an energy supplier because of the sanctions. Grain is no longer coming from Ukraine, and the prices of bread and fuel are skyrocketing all over the world. Countries dependent on Eastern European wheat face unprecedented famine.
These are just a few of the countless consequences of the double crisis of the corona pandemic and the Ukraine war. The invasion of Russia could actually be the turning point that Chancellor Olaf Scholz spoke about and as the following examples show:
food and grain supply
Since the beginning of the war of aggression, Ukraine, the world’s fourth largest grain exporter, has been stuck on its own stocks. Large parts of it are destined for countries already affected by drought, such as Ethiopia, Somalia and Chad, where a food crisis is imminent. Sunflower products are also affected by the delivery stop. The West blames Moscow for the blockade because Russian forces have occupied Ukrainian ports or obstructed the exit of ships. In addition, Russia is said to be stealing grain from the territories it occupies on a large scale. Russia, on the other hand, accuses Ukraine of having mined its own ports – and of not wanting to clear the mines again.
The grain blockade has met with horror around the world: Pope Francis said “a staple food should not be used “as a weapon of war”. It is unclear whether and when Ukraine will be able to recover from the consequences of the war. The Ukrainian Minister of Agriculture said in mid-June that his country would disappeared from the market for a long time.The Russian invasion is already affecting three crops – last year’s cannot be exported, the current one cannot be caught and the next one cannot be sown.
Gerhard Schröder and other prominent war losers
There are many losers in this war, some of whom have not even explicitly taken sides. Like Nina Kravitz, DJ from Russia and star of the techno scene. Because she basically didn’t want to say anything about the Ukraine war, her Dutch distributor dropped her, and later she was uninvited from big festivals like Detroit’s “Movement”. The list of more or less prominent artists who were sacked because of their more or less clear stance on Putin is longer: opera star Anna Netrebko is one of them, as are the conductors Valerie Gergiew and Teodor Currentzis.
Ex-Chancellor Gerhard Schröder is also a war victim, so to speak. He distanced himself from the Ukraine war with only three quarters of a heart, but not from his old friend Vladimir Putin. It was only after lengthy criticism that he resigned from his position on the supervisory board of the state gas company Rosneft and decided not to hold the same position at Gazprom. In addition, some of his former chancellor privileges (office and staff) are to be removed, but he is defending himself via a lawyer. The SPD wants to get rid of him and no street should be named after Schröder for the time being.
With the war in Ukraine, the number of cyber attacks on private and commercial computers is also increasing. Reason: A lot of money can be made with crime on the Internet and in virtual space, money that in turn is used to finance the real war. The Viennese security expert Cornelius Granig said in a “Spiegel” interview: “The financial activities surrounding ransomware attacks, which are carried out in crypto currencies in order to circumvent the sanctions, also serve to keep the soldiers motivated. New weapons to buy new equipment.” Ransomware are blackmail programs that paralyze computers and are only deleted again after payment of a ransom.
In addition to security on the Internet, (German) IT companies are also affected, which in recent years have increasingly hired well-trained (and cheaper) programmers from Russia and Ukraine. Because of the war, many of the specialists there are no longer available for western companies. While Ukrainians suffer the consequences of war or serve as soldiers, Russian professionals leave the country or become unemployed because the companies have been expropriated.
astronomy and space economy
When Donald Trump founded the US Space Force in 2019, there was great ridicule. But the war in Ukraine shows how crucial technology and security are in Earth orbit. Satellites document the course of the front and deployment areas. They are used to control drones and airplanes. And by the way, there is no internet and no communication. Without space systems, armies (and civilians) are deaf, dumb, and blind. Ukraine can also defend itself against the all-powerful Russians because Elon Musk has opened up his Starlink satellites to the armed forces.
The Ukraine war also had a significant impact on space research. The Russian space agency Roskosmos is gradually ending cooperation with the West. The X-ray telescope “eRosita” is currently in sleep mode. The European-Russian Mars mission “ExoMars” has also been postponed indefinitely.
environmental and climate damage
When Russian soldiers occupied the damaged Chernobyl nuclear power plant shortly after invading the Ukraine, fears grew that the accident reactor would once again pose a threat to people and the environment. Ultimately, the Russians withdrew from there without having achieved anything, but in the east the fighting is poisoning the air, water, soil, plants and animals. According to the authorities of Black Sea countries, significantly more dolphins than usual have been stranded since February. Even if exact numbers are difficult to determine, the operator of the national park near Odessa assumes several thousand dead dolphins. 282 dead dolphins are reported from Crimea, at least 62 from Romania and Turkey speaks of 80.
Exact figures on the type and frequency of environmental crimes are not yet available, but the Ukrainian authorities are already keeping records, also in order to hold Russia accountable after the end of the war. The 250 offenses include attacking a fertilizer factory and shelling a saltpeter storage facility and an oil refinery. The notorious large-scale contamination of the Sea of Azov during the siege of Mariupol did not occur. However, the consequences of using poisonous uranium ammunition are unclear. In addition, thousands and thousands of square meters of forest, soil and water are likely to be contaminated by smoke, gases and toxins from burning buildings, industrial plants and houses.
Sources: DPA, AFP, German Trade, SWR, “Süddeutsche Zeitung”, Statista, NTV, “Spiegel”, “Neue Zürcher Zeitung”, ZDF, “Time”, “Cicero”, “Tagesspiegel”