Why You Should Care About Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine


Trail Staff

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On Thurs. Feb. 24, Russian forces attacked Ukraine from land, sea and air. Here’s how this conflict has the potential to affect you.

Your cell phone
“According to data from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Russia produced 7,600 tonnes of cobalt last year, more than 4% of the world total.”

“Ukraine has steadily increased its exports over the years, and is now a “huge provider” of raw materials, chemical products and even machinery like transportation equipment, according to Tiura.”
Cobalt is used in batteries and most electronic devices.

“Cobalt (Co) is a metal used in numerous diverse commercial, industrial, and military applications, many of which are strategic and critical. On a global basis, the leading use of cobalt is in rechargeable battery electrodes.” – Lulu Vitulo

Gas prices
“Russia is an oil and gas powerhouse, with the country pumping about nine million barrels of crude oil a day. In comparison, the U.S. pumps about 11.6 million barrels while global oil production runs to roughly ~96 million barrels per day.”

“Pipelines crossing Ukraine also carry some Russian oil to Europe. In the electricity sector, Ukraine’s largest private power utility, DTEK, has some plants in Ukraine-controlled parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.”

Many pipelines run through Ukraine, and as of Feb. 24., 2022, the price of oil has already gone up. -Zara Morgan

“The top exports of Russia are Crude Petroleum ($123B), Refined Petroleum ($66.2B), Petroleum Gas ($26.3B).”

Petroleum products include transportation fuels, fuel oils for heating and electricity generation, asphalt and road oil, and feedstocks for making the chemicals, plastics, and synthetic materials that are in nearly everything we use.”

Spring break and summer travel plans
Spring break is coming up soon, most have plans to travel as the pandemic comes to an end, however, the rise in energy prices could cause traveling to become much more expensive and in the case of most middle-class families, not possible. “Higher energy prices will make it more expensive to fly. And road transportation and other supply line costs for businesses will also inevitably track up.”

“I will not pretend this will be painless,” Biden said Tues., Feb. 22, 2022. “There could be impact on our energy prices, so we’re taking active steps to alleviate the pressure on our own energy markets and offset rising prices.” – Estrella Jones

Diverted flights
“Some airlines have canceled or diverted flights to Ukraine amid warnings from the West that an invasion by Russia is imminent as Kyiv says it will keep its airspace open.” – Nakia Harmon

Video game production could be affected
The S.T.A.L.K.E.R. video game series could be delayed or canceled, the developers are based in Ukraine are unable to work. The upcoming video game is a a first person game where players explore the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, and fight off other players and mutated animals.

The Official S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Twitter account posted the following statement the morning of Feb. 22.


-Mason Kelso

Just last year, a cyberattack forced a shutdown of one of The United States’ largest pipelines, resulting in a pause in production. Now, a cyberattack has hit the websites of Ukrainian government agencies as well as major banks in Kyiv. Russian hackers now have access to attacking huge electrical grids in Ukraine.

Cyberattacks severely affect cybersecurity, which can cause large impacts on world manufacturing and countries’ private information. – Audrey Zimmerman

“Ukraine is an agricultural superpower. “Each year Ukraine is among top countries in the world in terms of production and exports of cereals, sunflower oil, nuts and other agricultural produce.” – Chloe Torrechilla

Ukraine produced about 48 million dollars worth of fresh fruits and veggies as well as processed vegetables exported to the United States. This includes vegetable juices as well as vegetable oils. –Morgan Green

Corn and wheat
Ukraine is one of the exporters who exports their food resources to most of the Asia, Middle East, Africa and European areas of the world. Russia invading Ukraine, which is causing mass panic and attempts to leave the Ukrainian area, will cause disruption to the distribution of their supplies like corn, wheat and barley, which, in turn, could lead to lack of food supply.

“Corn is concentrated in fields in the center and north, wheat and barley in the south and sunflowers in the east, U.S. government data show. They are trucked, railed and barged to ports for sale to Asia, Africa and the European Union.”

“Ukraine is a significant exporter of both wheat and corn and sends more than 40 percent of its wheat and corn exports to the Middle East or Africa.” – Rebekah Bushmire

From food production to mining equipment to airplanes

“Ukraine has a large manufacturing base which historically was focused on heavy industry. Machinery manufacturing continues to be one of the key growth drivers of the Ukrainian economy. Industrial machinery sector in Ukraine is dominated by an extensive network of machine-building enterprises involved in production of mining equipment, railway rolling stock, farm equipment, turbo propellers, gas turbines, machine tools, aircraft engines, instrumentation for the light and food industries.”

“Ukraine is a major player in the production of aviation gas turbines (HS8411), with total exports accounting for approx. USD 400 million in 2017, while, in that same year, it exported USD 2.5 billion worth of electrical machinery and equipment (HS 8544).” – Jordyn Mobley