Just when most of the world was recovering from the economic downturn caused by the pandemic, Vladimir Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine. That new disruption reversed the recovery in some places and pushed up the cost of living everywhere.
Ukraine and Russia are the breadbaskets for much of the world. But there’s little farming on the frontlines. That means prices for wheat, barley, corn are skyrocketed.
A spike in gas and oil prices has pushed up heating bills. Europe in particular has come to depend heavily on Russian gas. Berlin heats and powers with natural gas – 95 percent of which comes from Russia.
And motorists across Europe are feeling the pinch at the pump, paying about 2 euros per liter for gas, which is about 10 dollars per gallon.
The true extent of these shockwaves depends on how long the war in Ukraine lasts, and the scale of the devastation and disruption it causes. That depends on Vladimir Putin. So far, there are no signs that he will call a halt to his invasion anytime soon.
In Germany, the number of people going to food pantries has risen dramatically. Some are refugees from Ukraine, while others are people who simply no longer can afford to buy groceries.
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