Russia's invasion of Ukraine sent shock waves across the global economic system. Although the total economic weight of the two countries involved was not that large - Russia's economy is less than a tenth of the size of the United States for example - Russia is a crucial provider of gas and oil supplies and raw materials, and both countries are major wheat producers. Russia has received heavy sanctions which have cut it off from many Western markets, massive economic damage has been done to Ukraine's industry and agriculture, and trade and commerce has been heavily disrupted.
What's more, as the war continues on, in spite of the initial expectations of a short conflict, the economic weight of Russia and Ukraine and its Western backers has become increasingly important. Now that it is a war of attrition, production, industry, and supply are becoming ever more vital. Judging the economic power of the two sides is an important part of understanding the future direction of the conflict.
This article concerns a collection of the best videos devoted to both the effects of the war, as well as how economic factors weigh upon the war itself.
WHY Russian Aviation is CORNERED! by Mentour Now!
War with Ukraine and international sanctions cut off Russia from the international aviation industry. This has severe consequences, since Russian aircraft are no longer allowed to fly to many international destinations, but internally the problem is perhaps even more severe, due to the way international standards of repair and parts work. As Mentour Now! explains, every part on an aircraft is part of a carefully tracked global network, and when the slightest divergence emerges from this, the plane cannot be insured, so it is effectively worthless. Thus although the Russians might be able to build parts for their aircraft (not always the case), without being able to be part of this global supply system they will be permanently destroying the market value of their aircraft. Russian aviation will face increasing quality collapse and falling safety standards.
Russia RETALIATES! How will it Affect AVIATION in the West?
Russia however, is not completely powerless in the battle of aircraft: its main tool, as explained in Mentour's video, has been the closure of its airspace which dramatically alters global trade and passenger travel routes. Furthermore the costs of fuel will rise significantly, as will certain other materials like titanium.
The End of the Dollar Monopoly by Good Times Bad Times
Although it isn't part of the war itself directly, one of the perhaps most important long term ramifications will be the potential effect upon the role of the US Dollar and to an extent the broader Western world as save, neutral reservoirs for the rest of the world's cash and savings. When Russia invaded Ukraine, the United States and Europe froze hundreds upon hundreds of billions of dollars of Russian foreign exchange reserves, effectively confiscating them. Although this denies them to Russia, it also raises the question: after this, will non-Western countries trust their money in Western banks again? If their money can be confiscated when they go against Western policy, or when sufficient humanitarian shock and outrage is generated, then what happens when countries like Saudi Arabia decide where to invest their oil earnings - when potentially political pressure over say, their Yemen War could force the same action against them? In time, this might cause a more multilateral world monetary system.
Lend Lease 2.0 - Will it be Ukraine's 'Arsenal of Democracy?'
American aid to Ukraine has been massive and growing, providing huge amounts of weapons, training, supplies, and increasingly financial support. This has happened in multiple ways, with direct aid, but recently, on May 9th, the United States passed a new Lend Lease act, aping its WW2 counterpart. Perun's analysis of this looks at the different types of aid, dispels some myths about them (such as the idea of it being paid for by the Ukrainians for the most part and thus driving the Ukrainians into massive debt), and examines the new Lend Lease act, showing that it is mostly symbolic and less important than a 30/40 billion dollar aid package for the Ukrainians but provides political capital and additional tools if future political obstacles pop up.
RUSSIA - EUROPEAN GAS CRISIS as Supply is CUT OFF & Russia Imposes SANCTIONS on Gas Transmission by Joe Blogs
The biggest single tool that Russia has to attempt to respond to Western sanctions and pressure is its massive energy exports, which European countries are largely dependent on, as many have no alternatives due to a lack of liquid natural gas terminals. They rely entirely upon Russian pipelines. The Russian government has attempted to use this for political pressure, and also to try to renegotiate contracts to require payments in Rubles rather than other currencies. This will only get worse as increasing brinkmanship happens over gas.
Who is Actually Winning The Economic War? by Money and Macro
The number of sanctions that have been put on Russia's economy since 2014, as well as Russian counter-sanctions on the sanctioning countries, is dizzying. Money and Macro's video explains the ideas behind these sanctions, their effects, and provides a clear and comprehensible look at how they stack up as far as the potential of the two sides to hurt each other economically.
RUSSIA - MASSIVE Cost of War Revealed. Concerns of Global Crash as Fears Grow About Rebuild Funding by Joe Blogs
For both Russia and Ukraine the costs of war have been gargantuan. This is true on all accounts - in lives lost (tens of thousands on both sides), in destruction - particularly true for Ukraine, with huge Russian shelling and bombardment - and in the actual costs of the conflict and the disruption to trade, commerce, and economic activity. This video tries to explore operating costs and the financial impact of military operations, the direct damage to the Ukrainian economy and infrastructure, and long term economic damage to Russia.
RUSSIA Faces Years of REVERSE INDUSTRIALIZATION Due to Lack of TECHNOLOGY Says BANK OF RUSSIA from Joe Blogs
Russia is a country which is far more dependent on international trade than the Soviet Union was. It exports massive quantities of raw materials, and in return it imports significant amounts of high technology goods, such as computer chips, aviation parts, various pieces of machinery, etc. With Russia cut off from Western markets, the result has been that Russian industry is starved of many crucial traditional inputs needed for many of its products - even domestically produced goods, such as Sukhoi airliners, still rely on the West for up to 50% of their parts. This means that until the Russians can effectively retool and regear their economy for autarky or dependence on China and other non-Western economies, for coming years Russia will actually face a pronounced decline in its technological level.
Le blé : un enjeu de food power - Le dessous des cartes | ARTE by Le Dessous des Cartes - ARTE
If you speak French, or read it (there are good subtitles available) ARTE examines the importance of Russian and Ukrainian wheat for the world economy and the disruption that the war will cause. Over the past several decades wheat production has advanced dramatically, to constitute a significant portion of food consumption in the Middle East and Africa. Now, the war threatens this, and the Russians hope to use their important wheat exports to influence nations to their side or for neutrality. This video is also good for discussing Franco-Russian competition over wheat and future export potential.
RUSSIA - INDIA Bans Export of WHEAT. Huge Prices Rises & Shortages as GLOBAL FOOD CRISIS Worsens. by Joe Blogs
A further look at wheat production, this video covers the cost of wheat, exports from various nations, and particularly Indian policy reactions to the Russo-Ukrainian war and its attempts to maintain sufficient domestic stockpiles and export bans. This along with other countries will help to assure that they have domestic food security, but will cause massive price increases for various fragile countries, such as in Africa.
The Price of War - Can Russia afford a long conflict? by Perun
Russia's economy has undergone a sea change since the beginning of the war, with massive sanctions, the temporary collapse of the Ruble, and its recovery. Perun's video on the Russian economy explores how the Russians have achieved a stabilization of the Ruble (and at what cost, since while the Ruble has regained its pre-war value or even exceeded it this has been at tremendous sacrifices and largely neutered its role as an international currency), the structural modifications of the Russian economy as it adapts to go without Western trade and connections, the relative balance between NATO and Russia, Russia's tools in terms of energy and food exports, and what the effect will be from this economic war.
Ukraine vs Russia - Who wins a war of hardware attrition? by Perun
Returning to the frontlines, Perun's video on the attritional side of the Russo-Ukrainian conflict discusses the evolution of the two side's future military potential, discussing Russian mobilization capacity, stored equipment, NATO supplies to Ukraine, the evolution of this over time as Ukraine increasingly shifts to a NATO-based military, and the problems afflicting the Russian defense sector.
Why Russia Can't Survive Tech Sanctions by Tech Altar
This video discusses the nature of sanctions on Russia, how interconnected it is into the global economy (very), and how it is exceedingly difficult for most domestic Russian industries and particularly high end electronics to do without foreign imports. The combination of this is that Russia faces technological atrophy from foreign sanctions. While its vision of the catastrophic impacts on Russia's economy has turned to be excessively ambitious (Russia's economy has been able to weather the sanctions in the short term), it raises important questions for long term performance.
The Russian Economy Is On Pace To Lose $7.3 Trillion...
This video from Logically Answered on the sanctions on Russia came relatively early in the conflict, and since then some things have changed, as Russia has been able to reverse the brutal decline of its currency. However, it still is a good look at the fundamental economic changes caused by the sanctions and the way in which they work in basic economic terms.