There is little doubt that Russia’s illegal attack on Ukraine has had negative repercussions across the globe. Even countries that are not involved in the war have suffered. The invasion caused a “massive and historic energy shock” to global markets and was one of the main factors that had slowed last year’s economic growth to just 3.1 percent, according to a report issued by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in November 2022.
Far more serious are the consequences suffered by those in need of food aid. As parts of Africa and the Middle East face an unprecedented food crisis, Russia severely hampered Ukraine’s capacity to grow food and ship it from its Black Sea ports.
But of course, no one has suffered more than Ukraine’s civilian population, under deliberate attack by Russia’s military throughout the war. Over the past 14 months, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights recorded nearly 24 thousand civilian casualties. However, the UNHCR notes that the actual figures are certainly considerably higher.
“No one is paying more dearly than Ukraine,” said Robert Wood, United States Alternate Representative for Special Political Affairs at the United Nations. “After 15 months … we are no closer to ending the humanitarian suffering caused by Russia’s unprovoked war against Ukraine. Instead, the death toll rises from Russia’s missile and drone strikes on Ukraine’s civilian population centers.”
“From May one through four, Russia launched more than 145 airstrikes across Ukraine. That translates into an average of more than one missile, drone, or bomb every hour, 24 hours a day, three days straight,” he said. “In just those three days alone, Russia’s attacks have killed and injured more than 100 civilians, including at least five children.”
At the same time, “Humanitarian organizations have reported worsening conditions in the frontline areas and necessities such as electricity, food, and fuel are in short supply,” said Ambassador Wood.
“President [Vladimir] Putin’s escalating attacks on Ukraine’s critical infrastructure threaten us all,” he said. “Russia has no interest in mitigating the spillover effects of its war against Ukraine, just as Russia has shown no genuine interest in negotiation or meaningful diplomacy.”
“We again call on Russia to end its attacks on the people of Ukraine and withdraw its forces from Ukraine’s territory completely,” said Ambassador Wood. “Russia alone has the power to end the war it senselessly started.”