Daily Column – 24th February 2022

Western leaders have been telling us about this attack for a long time. Shortly after Vladimir Putin said that Russia was going to start a military operation in Ukraine, there were explosions in its capital, Kyiv, and in other Ukrainian cities. People on both sides of the conflict have already been killed in the fight, says Ukraine’s army. The country also shut down its airspace to civilian flights, which was a good thing.

Putin said that his goal was not to take over Ukraine, but to make it less militarised. Here, we talked more about the history of the conflict and why Putin did what he did. The White House recently said that a full-scale invasion like the one Putin just started could kill 50,000 people and make up to 5 million people flee their homes.

The West responds to the question.

This “unjustified” and “unprovoked” invasion is what President Biden said in a statement. He said that “Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring.”

When he met with other members of the G7 this morning, he said he’d show them “severe sanctions.”

Minor sanctions have already been put on the country’s banks and elites. The US and its Western allies had said that they would punish Russia much more harshly if it invaded Ukraine, but they haven’t done that yet.

This will be the “harshest package of sanctions” ever put together by the European Union because Putin is trying to change “the whole of the international peace order,” says European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

While sanctions could be bad for Russia’s economy, the war will have an effect on the whole world’s economy.

There will be a lot of attention on energy prices because Russia is a big exporter of oil and gas. It may not be possible for Biden’s toolkit to compete with the supply pressures that come with war, but he said he would use “every tool at our disposal.” This morning, US oil prices hit $100.

That isn’t good news for the fight against inflation, and neither is this: Wheat and corn futures rose the most allowed overnight because of fears about how much food there will be.

Looking at the next few years…

The Ukrainians, even though they are outnumbered, are ready to fight. He said in a speech last night: “As you attack, it will be our faces that you will look at. You won’t be able to see our backs.”

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