The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine – in which Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a large-scale invasion on February 24, 2022 – dates back to the 1950s with the handover of Crimea.
Russia invaded Ukraine and seized the defunct Chernobyl factory, the site of a 1986 disaster that spread radioactive contamination across western Europe and killed thousands.
Russia-Ukraine Conflict: Latest Updates
The United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has confirmed that the Chernobyl nuclear power plant has stopped transmitting data.
Personnel trapped in the power plant – now under Russian control – have worked for 13 days straight since the Russian takeover†
The defunct Chernobyl nuclear power plant is located in an exclusion zone with decommissioned reactors and radioactive waste facilities.
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The transfer of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (SFSR) to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) – described at the time as a symbolic gesture – led to the restoration of Crimea’s autonomy in the early 1990s.
In 2014, the focus was again on Crimea and parts of Donbas during the Ukrainian Revolution of Dignity, which brought the regions internationally recognized as part of Ukraine.
At the time, the Euromaidan protests resulted in the removal of President Viktor Yanukovych on February 22, 2014. In response, Russian soldiers surrounded Crimea and seized control of Crimea, defying the 1991 referendum.
Rebellions in Donbas turned into a full-blown war for control of Donetsk and Luhansk. Finally, a stalemate ensued after repeated failed grab attempts.
Economist Azar Jammine said the conflict in Ukraine could have both positive and negative consequences for South Africa.
Jammine, director and chief economist of Econometrix, said South Africa has remained strong so far. One of the reasons for this is that raw material prices have risen.
The conflict between Russia and the western powers is causing a shortage of minerals, such as palladium and oil. This will be good and bad for South Africa.
“The shortage of palladium will benefit South Africa. However, the shortage of oil will lead to an increase in fuel prices,” said Jammine.
However, the economist warned that South Africa’s economy will suffer in the long run if war is declared between Russia and Ukraine.
“Overall, global economic growth will suffer and South Africa will be affected. But for now, the country is benefiting from the increases in raw material prices,” says Jammine.