Explanation-Blood, Treasure and Mayhem: The Cost of Russia’s War in Ukraine | The mighty 790 KFGO


By Guy Faulconbridge

LONDON (Reuters) – Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24 left tens of thousands dead, displaced millions and sowed economic strife across the world.

Here are the major impacts of the war as it enters its seventh month:

* DEATH

Since February 24, 5,587 civilians have been killed and 7,890 injured, although the actual casualties are much higher, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said on August 22.

Most of those killed or injured were victims of explosive weapons such as artillery, missiles and airstrikes, OHCHR said.

Separately, the head of the Ukrainian armed forces, General Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, declared on August 22 that nearly 9,000 Ukrainian servicemen had been killed during the war, the first toll given by senior military officers since the invasion. He did not provide any details.

Russia did not say how many of its soldiers were killed.

US intelligence estimates that around 15,000 Russian troops have been killed so far in Ukraine and three times that number injured, equivalent to the total Soviet death toll during Moscow’s occupation of Afghanistan in 1979-1989.

The conflict in eastern Ukraine began in 2014 after the overthrow of a pro-Russian president in Ukraine’s Maidan Revolution and the annexation of Crimea by Russia, with Russian-backed forces fighting the Ukrainian armed forces.

About 14,000 people were killed there between 2014 and the end of 2021, according to the OHCHR, including 3,106 civilians.

https://www.ohchr.org/en/news/2022/08/ukraine-civilian-casualty-update-22-august-2022

*MISERY

Since February 24, a third of Ukrainians – who number more than 41 million – have been driven from their homes, the world’s largest current human displacement crisis, the UN refugee agency said.

There are currently more than 6.6 million registered Ukrainian refugees across Europe, with the highest numbers in Poland, Russia and Germany, according to agency data.

Internally Displaced Persons (IDP)

* UKRAINE

Besides the human losses, Ukraine has lost control of around 22% of its territory to Russia since the annexation of Crimea in 2014, according to Reuters calculations.

It lost part of its coastline, its economy was crippled and some towns were turned into wastelands by Russian bombing. Ukraine’s economy will contract by 45% in 2022, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have estimated.

The true dollar cost to Ukraine is unclear. Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said in July that full post-war reconstruction would cost around $750 billion. It may be much more.

It is not known how much Ukraine spent on the fighting.

* RUSSIA

The war has also cost Russia dearly – although it does not disclose the costs, which are state secrets.

Besides the military costs, the West has tried to punish Moscow by imposing harsh sanctions – the biggest shock to the Russian economy since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Russia’s central bank now expects the $1.8 trillion economy to contract 4% to 6% in 2022, less than the 8% to 10% contraction it predicted in April.

Still, the impact on the Russian economy is severe – and not yet entirely clear. It has been shut out of Western financial markets, most of its oligarchs are sanctioned, and it has problems sourcing certain items such as microchips.

Last month, Russia defaulted on its foreign bonds for the first time since the calamitous months following the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917.

* PRICES

The invasion and Western sanctions against Russia have led to sharp increases in the prices of fertilizers, wheat, metals and energy, fueling both a brewing food crisis and an inflationary wave sweeping across the Mondial economy.

Russia is the world’s second largest oil exporter after Saudi Arabia and the world’s largest exporter of natural gas, wheat, nitrogen fertilizers and palladium. Shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine, international oil prices rose to their highest level since record highs in 2008.

Attempts to reduce dependence on Russian oil, gas and petroleum products – or even cap their prices – have exacerbated what is already the most serious energy crisis since the Arab oil embargo in the 1970s.

After Russia cut off flows through the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline to Germany, wholesale gas prices soared in Europe.

A complete shutdown would tip the euro zone into a recession, with sharp contractions in Germany and Italy, according to Goldman Sachs.

* GROWTH

The International Monetary Fund now expects the global economy to grow 3.2% this year, down from 6.1% last year, and significantly below its April forecast of 3.6%, its forecast for January of 4.4% and its October forecast of 4.9%.

In a “plausible” alternative scenario that includes a complete cut off of Russian gas supplies to Europe by the end of the year and a further 30% drop in Russian oil exports, the IMF said growth would slow to 2.6% in 2022 and 2% in 2023, with near zero growth in Europe and the United States next year.

* WESTERN WEAPONS

The United States has provided approximately $9.1 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since February 24, including Stinger anti-aircraft systems, Javelin anti-armour systems, 155mm howitzers and chemical protection equipment , biological, radiological and nuclear. https://media.defense.gov/2022/Aug/09/2003052810/-1/-1/0/UKRAINE-FACT-SHEET%E2%80%93AUG-8.PDF

Ukraine’s second biggest donor is Britain, which has provided 2.3 billion pounds ($2.72 billion) in military support. The European Union has granted 2.5 billion euros ($2.51 billion) in security aid to Ukraine. https://www.Reuters.com/world/europe/eu-seeks-keep-up-support-ukraine-despite-economic-damage-2022-07-18

($1 = 0.8455 pounds)

($1 = 0.9948 euros)

(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge, editing by Gareth Jones)

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