The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine has resulted in a stalemate, where Ukraine has now agreed to hold talks with Russia, but Russia does not agree on it yet. Thus, Russia holds Ukraine responsible for the crisis. The consequences of this war against Ukraine have shaken the two countries, the region and the world. Russia has recognized the two territories, one is Donetsk, and the other is Luhansk, as independent states which has attracted strong reaction from the world powers. As a result, Germany ordered certificate disqualification of the North Stream 2 natural gas pipeline contract. Biden says Russia’s recognition of two separate Ukrainian territories violates international law.
In the broader context of crisis, Ukraine is facing external challenges from Russia and internal challenges, including corruption, oligarchs, and others who are putting interests ahead of the Ukrainian people. The following are some of the significant challenges Ukraine is facing.
Humanitarian Crisis and Food Security
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has created the biggest humanitarian crisis in Europe since World War II. In addition to the pain and suffering of those living inside Ukraine, more than three million people are already seeking asylum. A larger number of internally displace people (IDPs) in the country enhance the spectrum of the crisis. Moreover, Ukraine is seeking help from outside in this crucial time. Again, the weak will suffer the most and are most likely to become refugees and find it difficult to cope with rising food and fuel prices. Global relief efforts are in progress to ensure the basic needs for food, shelter and psychological protection are met.
In addition, the risk to food supplies may arise in Ukraine. Global food supply chain is being affected because Russia and Ukraine remain the top producers of wheat, fertilizers, and many other crops supplied to Europe and surrounding region. Ensuring a steady food supply to the countries most at risk of exports from Moscow and Kyiv is becoming a significant issue.
The stance of Ukrainian Citizens
Surprisingly, on the one hand, the whole world is worried about the war in Ukraine; on the other side, those inside Ukraine favour joining Russia itself. Since Russia invaded Ukraine, the public opinion poll shows that most Russians support Vladimir Putin’s actions. However, in the case of Ukraine, some reports reflect that some Ukrainians also support Russia, of which approximately 3 million Ukrainian are living in Russia, including migrants. However, according to some unofficial reports, they are firmly on Moscow’s side.
Similarly, according to the Statista Research Department, in November 2021, the most significant proportions of Ukrainians were seen in the eastern part of the country, which has a very positive view of Russia. In the south, around 49 per cent viewed Russia positively, while in the western part, 62 per cent of the people viewed the country negatively. Some Ukrainian think that no one can split them apart, and on both sides of the border, the same nation resides. However, in contrast, some view that Russians are fighting without any ideology; Russian soldiers are just following Putin’s orders that pose an extended threat which exceeds the sovereign territories of Ukraine.
Apart from that, the other major challenge is that Ukraine, up till now struggled to build a common national identity in terms of language etc. but failed to do so. Since leaving the Soviet Union, Ukrainian cannot get around one idea that unifies them. Similarly, having weak policies, corruption is another major challenge in Ukraine. This has been coupled with the fact that the state apparatus is weak, so the government’s institutions that should hold sovereignty are pretty poor.
Likewise, Ukraine may face an internal economic crisis that may lead to a loss in the war against Russia. The above two challenges, internal and external, are intertwined because Russia could benefit from using corruption in Ukraine as internal aggression. In addition, they are using individuals who seek to advance Russia’s interests. At this point, the international community is urged to help Ukraine as it is the international community’s responsibility to help shelter and host the people of Ukraine.
As far as the economy is concerned, the whole global economy will face the consequences of slow growth and high inflation due to this war. To control this, Russia must negotiate with Ukraine for a solution. Also, it is essential to take urgent steps by the Ukrainian government to restore its confidence in its people as Russia might take advantage of their people by bringing them in confidence. If Ukraine fails to do so, it may face severe consequences and surrender.