KV Network

War brought no good news

War brought no good news
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It was February 24 this year when the world woke up to the news of Russian invasion over Ukraine. The war which the Russian officials predicted will be over in few weeks has been raging on and the repercussions have been so far reaching that the entire world is facing tough times.
Now with three months after the invasion many ordinary Russians are reeling from blows to their livelihoods and emotions. Moscow’s vast shopping malls have turned into eerie expanses of shuttered storefronts once occupied by Western retailers.
McDonald’s whose opening in Russia in 1990 was a cultural phenomenon, a shiny modern convenience coming to a dreary country ground down by limited choices pulled out of Russia entirely in response to its invasion of Ukraine. IKEA, the epitome of affordable modern comforts, suspended operations. Tens of thousands of once-secure jobs are now suddenly in question in a very short time.
What is being witnessed is that major industrial players including oil giants BP and Shell and automaker Renault walked away, despite their huge investments in Russia. Shell has estimated it will lose about 5 billion by trying to unload its Russian assets.
While the multinationals were leaving, thousands of Russians who had the economic means to do so were also fleeing, frightened by harsh new government moves connected to the war that they saw as a plunge into full totalitarianism. Some young men may have also fled in fear that the Kremlin would impose a mandatory draft to feed its war machine, and make military service as compulsory for all adults.
However, this option is also closing for majority of the Russians as the United States and Canada has banned flights to and from Russia. The Russian crackdown on media outlets too has been so harsh that authorities passed a law calling for up to 15 years’ imprisonment for stories that include fake news about the war.
This situation has led to many significant independent news media shutting down or suspending operations. This being just a tip of the iceberg the economic consequences for the Russians has not yet fully played out.
In the early days of the war, the Russian ruble lost half its value. But government efforts to shore it up have actually raised its value to higher than its level before the invasion. But all these measures proved cosmetic as a broad range of sectors and companies are warning that they’re running out of inventories of spare parts.
A lot of companies put their workers on part time work and others are warning to them they have to shut down entirely. So the real fear that unemployment will rise during the summer months has gripped most of the working class. In addition a big drop in consumption and retail sales is being witnessed currently with inflation also testing the nerves of ordinary Russians.
At this point of time if the war drags on, more companies could exit Russia. That will again start an unending chain of worries as jobs will be lost so will be the hope for those who are praying for the war to end and resumption of peace times in the region.

KV Network

Kashmir Vision cover all daily updates for the newspaper

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