The whole world is keeping its finger crossed and watching the Ukraine-Russia conflict and its outcomes. Primarily, the intention to expand NATO all the way up to the borders of Russia has led to the present conflict. With Ukrainians losing battles and yet continuing to fight without any definite goal in sight highlights how Ukraine has become a pawn in the hands of President Volodymyr Zelensky and his so-called supporters.
Irrespective of who wins in this ‘special military operation’ or regardless of the geopolitical gains that come with this victory, it is the common man who is suffering and will continue to suffer as a consequence of these happenings. Let us try to have at least a faint idea of the plight due to the Ukraine conflict of the common people across the globe.
Sanctions against Russia
With the expansion of NATO right in the backyard of Russia, Moscow feels they are justified in conducting this attack. Western countries have retaliated against the Russian attack by imposing economic sanctions on Russia. Nationally, Russia is well-prepared for them.
As part of the sanctions, last week, Apple and Google Pay stopped working in Russia. It led to long queues at the metro stations as the common people could not buy journey tickets. Besides, many banks and energy companies in Russia have been placed under sanctions, while many Western companies have shut their offices in Russia. Although Russian President Putin appears to have chalked out a holistic strategy to minimise the impact of these sanctions, the common Russians will certainly face difficulties.
With Zelensky taking a stubborn stance, the people of Ukraine are suffering the most. Several administrative, educational, and business institutions and organisations have collapsed, and they may take a long time to return to pre-conflict normalcy.
According to the latest UN report, over 2.5 million Ukrainians have fled to the neighbouring European countries. The UN Human Rights Commission estimates that around 12-16 million Ukrainians will need relief and protection in the coming months. This figure means almost 36% of Ukraine’s population.
The journey of refugees to neighbouring countries is arduous, and the sufferings of these commoners are unending. They are at the mercy of various government agencies of their own and other nations. Although the refugees may seem well-to-do from their attire, the old saying, “beggars are not choosers”, is proving true.
Europe Migrant Crisis
Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary and Moldova have received most of the Ukrainian refugees. This list will soon expand as the new migrant crisis spreads across Europe. These countries which are welcoming immigrants may also suffer as Europe did after the Syrian Civil War. However, again, it is the common people of these host countries who have to shell out more taxes to shoulder the financial burden that will come with the migrant influx.
US Gasoline Crisis
Having denied sending American troops for the aid of Ukraine, the United States has approved $13.6 billion emergency and military aid for Ukraine. At the same time, it is worth noting that gasoline, which cost $1.7 per gallon in the US before the Ukraine conflict, has skyrocketed and crossed $4.17 per gallon across the United States. Moreover, in places like California, it has even crossed $7 per gallon. This implies the common taxpayer of the United States is paying for funding military aid to Ukraine. Moreover, the price rise and inflation may further worsen as a consequence of the oil ban on Russia by the United States, leading to a big hole in the pockets of ordinary Americans.
Ever since Russia has launched a military operation against Ukraine in self-defence, the Brent crude price has jumped to almost $140 a barrel, the highest since 2008. It has had a domino effect on most of the commodities. Moreover, rates of gold, silver, metals, etc., have also risen sharply while the stock exchanges, currencies, etc., have suffered. This situation is adding fuel to the fire of inflation across the world. With Ukraine being a leading world producer of many food crops, food inflation is rising all the more steeply.
US Bio Labs in Ukraine
Here, it is necessary to draw our attention to the allegation that a similar US-funded bio lab in Wuhan, China, is blamed for creating the global Covid-19 pandemic in which mainly commoners suffered.
This whole situation filled with the agony of the common man, uncertainty and continuously changing equations of war, can be summed up with two statements of Dr. Aniruddha D. Joshi from his book, ‘The Third World War’ – “More than ninety per cent of the people, not only in India but of every country in the world, can base their contemplation over war, the political reasons behind the war as also the realisation of these on just a bare minimum of information. However, it is these very people who have not only to suffer but to withstand hundred per cent of the consequences of war.”
The second statement says, “In the coming times, the equation of today might not be valid tomorrow and what was valid at seven in the morning, might be flung right out of the window after its purpose is served, and at five minutes past seven.”