People often refer to Korea and Japan as having a “close-yet-distant” relationship. Also, Russia and Ukraine are these kinds of neighboring countries. However, on February 24, Russia waged war against Ukraine, dropping bombs near cities across the border of Ukraine. As the war progresses, the damage Ukrainian citizens suffer become more severe, specifically, in Bucha, a city near the capital of Ukraine, 410 civilian bodies have been identified, and Russian military massacres have occurred. Reports continue to indicate that Russian soldiers shot civilians trying to escape the village, held children hostage, or sexually assaulted women. According to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the war caused 1.5 million Ukrainian refugees only 10 days after it began. Now, this is when the Russia-Ukraine war is grabbing global attention.
On February 22, Russian President Vladimir Putin argued that Russia and Ukraine are historical and cultural communities that cannot be divided on the national media. Many people are living blended lives in both countries. While they have a special relationship, Russia has opposed Ukraine trying to enter into NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) and the EU (European Union). By ordering the opening of this war, Vladimir Putin claimed that if Ukraine were to enter NATO, it would be dangerous to them because a missile base of the Western countries would be able to be placed near them. Therefore, Russia started the war for the reason that they object to Ukraine becoming a member of NATO.
NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) is an intergovernmental military, founded on April 4, 1949 by Western countries such as the United States and Europe on the basis of the North Atlantic Treaty.
Western European countries, threatened by Soviet expansionism and military expansion, agreed to form military alliances, and now 30 countries have joined. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States took the initiative in dealing with the conflict and transformed it into a security mechanism for international stability in Europe.
In this situation, most countries are applying political, economic, and international sanctions on Russia. This is because they judged that the Russian invasion of Ukraine violates international law, human rights, and ethics. Also, lots of protests against the Russia-Ukraine war have erupted all over the world.
International discipline in the war
This will be the most consequential thing that’s happened in the world in terms of war and peace since World War I – Joe Biden, President of the U.S.
NATO did political sanctions by replacing 500,000 police forces in the Baltic Sea and Poland. However, they argued that they will target the economy and Industry of Russia with their sanctions, rather than directly intervening in Military affairs to prevent the possibility of World War 3. In addition, the United States placed President Putin under direct restrictions on February 25. The United States Department of the Treasury said that it is uncommon for a chief of state and President Putin entered a group that includes tyrants such as North Korean leader Kim Joung-eun and the President of Belarus and Syria.
On February 25, the United States, England, Paris, Italia and Canada also announced that they would impose additional sanctions by excluding Russian banks from the international finance payment network, SWIFT. Furthermore, UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) moved the venue for the Champions League final from Russia to France this year. Also, IOC (International Olympic Committee) requested the institute to move all sports events that would be held in Russia to another area.
The WTO (World Trade Organization) announced a joint statement condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine on March 15. South Korea, the United States, the European Union, Japan, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom participated in this statement. They said that Russia may not be given the best treatment as a trading partner, that is, a most favored nation (MFN) with trade advantages including low tariffs, allowing for preferential treatment of developing countries, regional free trade areas, and customs unions. This will make it harder for Russia to trade with other countries in the future, with more taxes on Russian goods. In addition, the economy in Russia is so bad that it is on the verge of national bankruptcy because it cannot repay the money borrowed from other countries.
The shortage of raw materials due to the war
Russia and Ukraine are among the top exporting countries of raw materials such as energy and food. One-third of the world’s wheat is produced in these two countries. However, the war prevented wheat production and exports, which shocked the global grain market. Therefore, the price of ramen, snacks, and bread containing wheat will inevitably increase. Russia and Ukraine produce not only wheat but also other grains such as rice and barley and corn, which could lead to a global food crisis. In other words, as the two countries conflict, several countries, including Korea, have to import raw materials from other places.
Also, on the 8th, President Biden announced that he would completely ban oil, gas, and coal imports from Russia. Russia is the world No. 1 natural gas export and No. 3 oil export country, and if such sanctions are imposed, it will be difficult for the United States to obtain the oil. However, the United States imposed strong regulations in consideration of these damages. In response, the European Union and the United Kingdom also expressed their position to reduce Russian oil imports. It can be seen that this position of the United States represents support for Ukraine.
Anti-war demonstrations around the world
Over the national regulations, citizen in the world are also taking part in criticizing the Russia’s invasion. Anti-war protests against Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine are continuing around the world, including the United States, Britain, and France. An official from OVD-Info said on BBC, "There was also an anti-war rally in Siberia. I've never seen such a large-scale demonstration in this area." Also, a demonstration was held in Seoul, Korea to criticize the invasion of Russia on February 27. As much as the damage for civilians is increasing, cosmopolitans are hoping the war to be ended.
American economist Paul Krugman said, “Despite the incredible heroism of Ukraine’s people, it is still more likely than not that the Russian flag will eventually be planted amid the rubble of Kyiv and Kharkiv. But even if that happens, the Russian Federation will be left weaker and poorer than it was before the invasion. Conquest doesn’t pay.”
In the past, it was possible to benefit from aggression, but in modern society, Russia will not be able to make benefits and economic and political interests for its international status through Ukraine. It is important for Russia to stop waging war against world peace and human rights and to develop international relations in a peaceful manner rather than harm civilians by complying with international laws and procedures.
In addition, modern society is a society in which if a problem occurs anywhere in the world, it will inevitably affect countries and people around the world, that is, us. In other words, rather than simply thinking that it is a problem of other countries or unrelated to us, it is necessary to understand the Ukraine-Russia situation and international relations and think about the positions of various countries.