By Helee Shukla
Russia’s full-fledged invasion of Ukraine has been the subject of countries’ tensions, thousands of families’ mournings and people’s prayers. Intensified by Putin’s announcement to “demilitarize and de-Nazify” Ukraine on February 24, 2022, the war has recently reverberated in countries across the globe, the most striking through a surge in commodity prices. Even before the effects of the war spilled out of the two countries’ borders, tensions have existed since 2014.
One of the original onsets of the Russo-Ukrainian War was Russia’s annexation of Crimea, a peninsula on the Black Sea that permitted Russia great naval power. Ukraine’s persistent interest in joining NATO, which Russia vehemently opposes, initiating the second stage of the war: the invasion-heavy stage. The two countries launched cyberwarfare and naval attacks on one another, but this February marked the first full-scale invasion. Recently, Putin’s intentions seem to have been reduced to “demilitariz[ing]” by assisting in the gaining of autonomy in the Ukrainian regions of Luhansk and Donetsk, which may have been receiving military and financial aid from Russia. About one-third of each of the two regions have been taken over by Russian rebels and renamed the People’s Republic of Luhansk and Donetsk.
“The Russia-Ukraine conflict follows the general 20th-century pattern of Russia attempting to increase its own sphere of influence, but this time it’s to protect itself from NATO and other possible threats,” freshman Asmita Saha said.
However, promoting examples of Russian nationalism through instances like Luhansk and Donetsk made many feel as though Russia should not be excused.
“I undoubtedly think that Russia stands in the wrong here, and the blame should be squarely put on Putin and high ranking officials of its government, while the protestors in the major cities of Russia should be applauded for their efforts to make their voices heard against their country's imperialistic whims,” junior Nicholas Washington said.
More than 1 million refugees have left Ukraine to find haven in neighboring countries and 6.5 million have been displaced within. The unavailability of adequate healthcare from understaffed clinics, rapidly depleting supplies and Russian patrols outside these spaces have made it difficult for citizens to seek relief. Immunization programs are disrupted, having further contributed to the necessity for healthcare being at an all-time high.
Beyond Ukraine’s borders, Russia’s surplus of sanctions has torn their currency to shreds and driven the country towards inflation. Russia has faced stagnated production from the war. Europe and the U.S. have been avoiding purchasing oil from Russia, causing the global oil price to skyrocket even further. Land-based Eurasian and the Black Sea freight trade routes have also been interrupted; transit is too dangerous and inefficient across Russia while naval attacks have rendered sea trade futile.
From these factors, gas prices have reached an unparalleled high since the 2008 Global Financial Crisis in the United States. Maryland has suspended the gas tax for at least 30 days to provide relief to its residents, and California has begun planning relief packages for free transportation. Congress had suggested gas rebates, but were turned down by some that questioned their effectiveness. A group of Midwestern lawmakers had proposed lifting the ban on E15, a blend of ethanol cheaper than the standard E10.
Source by Guneet Hanjra
People are astounded by the rising gas prices with many utilizing their cars to travel from work to home every day.
Closer to home, New Hyde Park’s Key Club has been working with donation centers; it has donated over 2,000 items, including toothpaste, diapers, deodorant and other personal hygiene products to Saint Vladimir's Ukrainian Parish Center. From there, the items were shipped out to Poland to be transported to Ukraine. The club also organized a faculty denim day that raised $800 for the World Central Kitchen, which has several active warehouses on the border of Poland and Ukraine.
“Amid a global crisis, we can start making a difference within our community. From there, it will naturally make its way from a local contribution to one that changes the lives of those suffering across the world,” junior Nikson Alex said.