Monday, December 5, 2022

Putin’s war ongoing

By Jessica Grigolava

For the past seven months, the media has gone from constantly broadcasting the news between Russia and Ukraine to barely publishing anything at all in the past few months. This is really disappointing to hear since the war is still active with more than just Ukraine suffering the consequences. 

The war is not only affecting Ukraine, but many countries in Asia and Africa as well, due to an agricultural global chain supply shortage. According to an article published by Brooks Institution, Russian ships and sea mines block the Black Sea ports that surround Ukraine. 

Before Russia’s invasion, an average of 6 million tons of agricultural commodities were exported monthly to countries in the Middle East, Asia and Africa. The volume of exports has substantially lowered to a concerning estimate of 15 to 20 percent of the original volume, which can now only be exported by truck or train.

If the Black Sea ports remain blocked until the end of 2022, the world will have less food for more than 300 million people. Food markets are being hit hard by the war in Ukraine and the price of food is increasing. 

Unfortunately, since food prices are increasing the number of people with an insecure food supply will increase inevitably. It’s difficult for Ukrainian civilians to receive help as long as Russia blocks their Ports. Investments in the Ukrainian railways, handling facilities, and more phytosanitary laboratories along the Ukrainian-Polish border are needed in order for an improvement in agricultural imports.

The media is not covering the conflict as diligently as it was at the beginning of the war and seems to have been brushed under the rug. 

On Fox News, the headliner on the homepage, underlined in big bold letters read, “Prince Andrew heckled by man in crowd during Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin procession.” The rest of the home page, which covers most of the news they’ve broadcast over the past couple of days, shows no coverage of Ukraine or Russia. This is a huge difference from the coverage, protests, and support shown 6 months ago. 

In contrast, when checking the online news feed of a Ukrainian media outlet, the first article displayed is titled “Ukraine’s military repels 6 Russian attacks in the past 24 hours.” Ukrainian forces successfully repelled these attacks and reported that Russia has launched five missile strikes, over 10 airstrikes and 20 shelling attacks, all Sept. 12. The war is as bad as it was when it first started.

Does this mean that people don’t care about the war anymore? Although the minimal online coverage seems alarming, data recorded on the Reuter Institute shows that there is a significant difference in coverage online rather than on TV. There is almost two times the amount of coverage broadcast as well as viewers on television rather than online news sites from major news organizations. The same theme applies to non-mainstream news sites and social media apps, ranging to more than double the amount of coverage compared to major news websites

Russia is unlikely to achieve the goal of taking most of Ukraine any time soon. According to BBC news, the U.S.’ top intelligence officer Ms. Haines explained that there is a disconnect between Putin’s time constraining goals for war considering his military’s capacity. Ukraine is fighting back, but still suffering economically due to all of the damages. Putin has the same goals as the ones he held at the start of the conflict, Haines said, which is to take most of Ukraine.

But, she said, Russia is unlikely to achieve that goal any time soon. Moscow’s troops have been so weakened by combat that U.S. officials predict that they are only able to gain territory slowly. U.S. officials predict that Russia will only be capable of making slow territorial gains due to how weakened Moscow’s troops have gotten through combat.

The war could last for a long time, but judging from the state of Russian troops, Ukraine seems to be putting up a good fight. 

 

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