Impact of Ukrainian War on Russian-American Ties

The war in Ukraine is a never-ending catastrophe. Russian forces, concentrated in the east, continue to inflict terrible damage on Ukrainian soldiers and civilians alike. Countless lives have been lost and upended. Once again, the world must confront the possibility of nuclear war and grapple with a compounding refugee and cost of living crisis.

Another transformation is taking place: After three decades of exchange, interaction and engagement, the door between Russia and America is slamming shut.

Practically every day another American company — including the most symbolic of them all, McDonald’s, whose golden arches heralded a new era 30 years ago — pulls out of Russia. Diplomats have been expelled, concerts canceled, products withdrawn, personal visits called off.

In the shuttered consulates, nobody is issuing visas, and even if they were, American airspace is now closed to Russian aircraft. The only substantive interaction left seems to be the issuing of sanctions and counter-sanctions.

The Russian missiles that struck Ukrainian cities on Feb. 24 extinguished that flickering light.

America now provides billions of dollars’ worth of weapons to be used against Russia, while Russia’s stated aim is to put an end to America’s “unfettered” global domination.

The two countries, once allies in the war against Nazi Germany, are effectively fighting a proxy war.

Economic cost of the war

A United Nations Global Crisis Response Group report said the war “has exacerbated a global cost-of-living crisis unseen in at least a generation” and is undermining the UN goal of ending extreme poverty around the world by 2030.

It said that the war in Ukraine is increasing the suffering of millions of people by escalating food and energy prices, coming on top of ills from a growing financial crisis, the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.

The world economy will pay a “hefty price” for the war in Ukraine encompassing weaker growth, stronger inflation and potentially long-lasting damage to supply chains, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said.

A Brief History of War

The Russo-Ukrainian War is an ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. It began in February 2014 following the Ukrainian Revolution of Dignity, and initially focused on the status of Crimea and the Donbas, internationally recognised as part of Ukraine.

The first eight years of the conflict included the Russian annexation of Crimea (2014) and the war in Donbas (2014–present) between Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists, as well as naval incidents, cyberwarfare, and political tensions.

Following a Russian military build-up on the Russia–Ukraine border from late 2021, the conflict expanded significantly when Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022.

The invasion caused Europe’s fastest-growing refugee crisis since World War II, with more than seven million Ukrainians fleeing the country and a third of the population displaced.

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