Three reasons why we should care about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

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Arlina Yang

Even though Ukraine may feel a world away, we can still see the war’s impact on our daily lives.

Yi (Steven) Yang, AVT EIC

There will always be reasons to oppose war; we cannot ignore the atrocities affecting millions of innocent people living in Ukraine and Russia currently. Aside from the horrors of war, there will always be other smaller impacts felt global. Even if we feel like we are a world away from the horrors of war, we can still see the impacts.

On Wednesday, Russia declared the start of a “special military operation” on Ukraine, launching an offensive with explosions reported. Even though students may believe that this attack on Ukraine is a world away, there may be consequences that hit a bit closer to home. 

In 2014, Russia invaded and annexed the Crimean Peninsula, the region Southwest of Ukraine. Although most international organizations do not recognize this annexation, Russia used an argument of self-determination to justify the annexation

Now, tensions between the two countries have reached a boiling point. Russian leader Vladimir Putin called out NATO (the Western Alliance created to prevent Russian aggression against Western countries) and its eastward expansion as reasons for tensions. Ukraine is applying to become a member of NATO and Putin wants to prevent that. 

No one should have any doubts that a direct attack on our country will lead to destruction and horrible consequences for any potential aggressor”

— Vladimir Putin

Shots have been heard in the capital city of Kyiv, Ukraine, more than 6 thousand miles away. Even though the fighting may take place thousands of miles away, its impact is global – and Pleasanton will feel its effects. 

1. Economic consequences

The economic consequences of a war between Russia and Ukraine could have a devastating effect on our country. Outside of the Russian invasion, 2022 has not treated Wall Street well. Due to fears over inflation and interest rates, the stock markets have not done well since the start of the year. 

Now, as a result of the political conflict, stocks are doing worse

Even before the actual invasion, investors have been preparing for the invasion. Both the Dow and the S&P indexes have fallen by more than 10% than the recent highs, although swinging up towards the end of Thursday. World stock markets also felt the invasion, dipping throughout the globe. 

The United States, the European Union, and other Western countries immediately put further sanctions against Russia’s economy, including punishing their banks and companies. 

In addition, the United States and other countries have been controlling exports of semiconductors and other technological components, essentially trying to weaponize technological exports to starve Russia’s economy. 

There is currently a global chip shortage – and this sanction can make it worse, especially for smaller semiconductor manufacturers. Along with the restrictions on raw materials such as palladium from Russia, semiconductors will be harder to make. 

2. Rising oil costs – and everything else

A war between Russia and Ukraine could send our gas prices skyrocketing. Immediately after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, oil prices soared by 7.5% with prices going over 100 dollars since 2014. Russian crude oil represents around 12% of the world’s supply and also around 7% of imports in the United States – a significant amount.

The attack and sanctions will impact Pleasanton – and the world greatly: gas and oil prices increasing means everything will become more expensive. On top of inflation, the gas prices problem seen all around California will be intensified. 

In fact, gas prices in LA have topped 6 dollars per gallon, with the national average at 3.54 dollars per gallon.

Gas prices skyrocket, making the current already bad situation worse. (Yi (Steven) Yang)

Rising oil has been shown to cause an increase in inflation and slower economic growth; most of economic transportation activities require oil. 

The Russian invasion can compound the bad inflation and slower economic growth due to COVID over the past year. 

3. We do not want another Cold War

Our parents and grandparents lived through the first Cold War and we do not want to have to live through the negative effects of another one. In 1989, the Berlin Wall was torn down, representing the de-escalation of tensions between the Soviet Union and the West. Now, only 30 years later, tensions are rising again. 

International treaties did not stop Russia from invading and taking Crimea in 2014. Treaties did not stop Russia from invading Ukraine now. Treaties will not stop Putin’s desire to expand Russia’s sphere of influence and to stop Western influence. 

Now, it seems like the tensions are at an all-time high and talk about World War III is creating tension as the world does all it can to prevent this. 

Russian invasion into Ukraine has set off a wave of fear, not just for Ukrainians and Russians, but for Americans and Pleasanton residents too. 

Article 5 of NATO’s alliance states that an attack on one is an attack on all. Now that Russia is invading Ukraine, many Western leaders fear Russia can attempt to expand further, leading to a modern and global war. 

The situation is dire – and a US-Russian war can kill 91.5 million people. 

Conclusion

The Russian-Ukraine conflict does not just affect the Russian people and the Ukrainian people; it has global implications economically, politically, and militarily. Even though the war may seem far away now, its effects will reach us soon.