The Russian Federation, which invaded Ukraine last February killing scores of civilians and destroying entire cities, has been condemned, vilified and ostracized by the international community.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was emphatic last month when he remarked: “The use of force by one country against another is the repudiation of the principles that every country has committed to uphold. This applies to the present military offensive. It is wrong. It is against the Charter. It is unacceptable”.
Amidst a backdrop of rising food insecurity worldwide and a global food supply chain crisis, many countries are attempting to increase the level of food self-production. One improved input for farming which is receiving renewed attention is improved seed. The two most populous countries in the world, China and India, have recently made ground-breaking moves to improve their competitive position by developing new seeds which will improve their food production and increase resilience to climate change. So far, in 2022, new regulations on using biotechnology (genetic modification and gene editing
) have been put in place by both countries to ultimately allow smallholder farmers to benefit from these new seeds.
Soon after Russia invaded her country, Anastasiia Yeva Domani found herself forced to abandon the regime of vital medicines she was taking.
The transgender activist could no longer get hold of the hormone medicines she needed to regularly take in Ukraine as supply chains were disrupted and the vast majority of pharmacies were closed.
The breakout of the conflict in Ukraine and the following imposition of heavy Western sanctions
on Russia are causing sharp price increases
in food and energy commodities —of which both Ukraine and Russia represent key exporters — as well as disruptions to global supply chains, impacting the post-pandemic economic recovery.
In what looks pretty much like an ‘operation clean sweep’ aiming at getting rid of more and more migrants, refugees and asylum seekers by shipping them far away, the process of ‘externalisation’ of millions of victims of wars, poverty, climate crisis and political persecution, is now growing fast
Responding to several shouts Viraj emerges from the ruins of his shelter in northwest Bosnia. He is originally from India but is now squatting near Bihać in what remains of a house abandoned since the 1990s Balkans war.
“The war in Ukraine is a European …and a Christian… matter... It does not require the involvement of a colourful array of religions or people”. These words were uttered and affirmed by some European Protestant men, working in interfaith circles in Europe. The ‘colourful’ encompassed other than European, mostly Christian - and likely mostly male.
A brutal war now engulfs the young lives of an estimated 7.5 million children in Ukraine. Caught in the crossfire of bullets and missiles as the conflict escalates, children and young people have been plunged into a humanitarian crisis.
Now, since the Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine, the world’s attention has been focused on the war’s terrifying levels of death, destruction and suffering.
While the West has closed its ranks in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the response in Africa has hardly been uniform.
Following Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine on 24 February, various constituencies within the international community have reacted with a mixture of shock, anger, and trepidation as they ponder the invasion’s implications for international security.
In the eyes of the Kremlin leadership, the basic precondition of the successful war against Ukraine has been the perceived power of the Russian Armed Forces and possible superiority over the Ukrainian forces.
Prime Minister Bennett’s “neutrality” in the Russian war against Ukraine is outrageous and contemptable. It runs contrary to every moral principle that Israel is supposed to stand and fight for. Bennett must join the Western alliance in opposing Putin — a merciless tyrant who is committing crimes against humanity and must pay for it
It has been a month since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has now created one of the biggest refugee crises of modern times. More than 3.7 million people have left the country, in what has become the fastest exodus globally since World War II
For more than one month now, the entire population of Ukraine has been enduring a living nightmare. The lives of millions of people are in upheaval as they are forced to flee their homes or hide in basements and bomb shelters as their cities are pummeled and destroyed.
States must do more to protect women and children fleeing war in Ukraine, rights groups have urged, amid growing concerns they are falling prey to trafficking and sexual violence.
In a short period, the war in Ukraine has already had a major effect on the world economy. The United States and the European Union have levied sanctions on an unprecedented scale against Russia, energy prices have skyrocketed, and with the Black Sea closed, the world’s most fertile region is no longer linked to its markets. This will cause an appreciation of food prices that could wreak havoc in the European periphery.
It is hard to describe the excruciatingly painful destruction Putin is inflicting on Ukraine. However, whereas NATO should provide Ukraine with active defensive military equipment, it should not directly join the war which could ignite a major European if not world war.
The situation in Ukraine is first and foremost a humanitarian crisis, and the food security and wellbeing of the people of Ukraine should be our immediate concern. However, because of the dominant roles of Russia and Ukraine in global food, fuel and fertiliser markets, there are also massive knock-on effects for people around the world. This is particularly true for the supply and cost of food. Here are three ways that the invasion of Ukraine leads to potential risks to food security in other countries.
Coral Bell, the great Australian political thought-leader had lucidly described in the 1970s how a “crisis-slide” could become unstoppable as it morphs into a catastrophe: “Gradually, imperceptibly but inevitably there is a build-up of events”, she writes, “rain falls in ever increasing volumes …becomes progressively more irresistible… until the dam breaks”. Ideally, the crisis management process should have been put in place as soon as the relevant observer notices the rains grow heavy, she argues; the disaster of the bursting dam was owed to the delay. A simple but profound metaphor, so apt for crises in international relations, also underscoring the challenge of the choice of appropriate timing for leaders.
“I never, ever, believed that anything like this could happen,” says Valia*. “Not for a second.”
Just two weeks ago, the English teacher says, she had been living a normal life in Kropyvnytskyi in central Ukraine with her 13-year-old son. But on February 24, she woke up to the news that Russia had invaded her country.
Finger pointing in the blame game over Russia’s Ukraine incursion obscures the damage it is doing on many fronts. Meanwhile, billions struggle to cope with worsening living standards, exacerbated by the pandemic and more.
Losing sight in the fog of war
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken insists
, “the Russian people will suffer the consequences of their leaders’ choices”. Western leaders and media seem to believe their unprecedented
” will have a “chilling effect
” on Russia.