When Russia entered Ukraine, a friend sent me a news update saying, “I think World War III just began.”
Almost a week later, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told CNBC, “Ukraine is ready to continue seeking a diplomatic solution, but Ukraine is not ready to surrender of capitulate.”
It’s been reported that Putin wants Ukraine to “be freed from oppression and ‘cleansed of the Nazis.’”
The Biden administration and international allies have responded to Russia’s invasion with economic sanctions, including the ejection of some Russian banks from the SWIFT international payments system.
As Americans, we see the effects of this every day when we go to the gas pumps as the prices continues to inch up towards $4 and eventually $5 a gallon.
According to AAA, the national average for the price of gasoline is at $3.54/gallon with California well above that at $4.77/gallon.
The price of crude oil topped $100 per barrel Thursday for the first time since 2014.
Russia is the 2nd largest natural gas producer in the world and one of the largest oil-exporting nations. In fact, Russia is the third largest supplier of oil to the United States behind Canada and Mexico.
Food prices were already climbing before this, and with Ukraine being the fourth largest exporter of barley which is used for animal feed, prices could be impacted.
Even as we deal with the effects of the war in the U.S., I can’t help but think about the innocent people who are there.
According to the United Nations’ refugee agency, more than 500,000 refugees poured into the city of Kyiv. Leaders of Poland, Hungry, Bulgaria, Moldova and Romania welcomed Ukrainians.
“Russian military operations and intense shelling have resulted in reports of civilian casualties,” as stated on the New York Post.
Innocent men, women and children are being killed at the hands of an evil that were just simply living their lives over a week a go, and the one’s who were able to escape have been completely uprooted.
“These are not the refugees we are used to... these people are Europeans,” Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov told journalists earlier this week, of the Ukrainians. “These people are intelligent, they are educated people.”
I am grateful that others have opened up their borders to allow them to seek a safe place.
Airbnb also said Monday it would provide free temporary housing for as many as 100,000 Ukrainian refugees.
They plan to work with resettlement agencies and other groups to assist refugees.
According to their website, “Airbnb.org gives grants to nonprofits that connect people to temporary housing, resources, and specialized support in times of crisis. We also provide access to free and discounted housing offered by the Airbnb host community.”
Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky and other top company officials have offered assistance to the leaders of Poland, Germany, Hungary and Romania – where many of the refugees have fled – in their efforts to provide housing, according to the company.
Airbnb said its nonprofit wing has provided housing to 54,000 refugees over the last five years, including individuals who fled conflicts in Afghanistan, Syria and Venezuela.
To support their mission, individuals can donate on airbnb.org.
I just hope they can all get the help that they need.
Time will tell how far this will advance and the complete effects that will come of it.
Ashley Conner is the editor for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at email@example.com.