Russia attacks Ukraine 💣

After weeks of posturing, negotiating and loud mouthed press conferences to make his intentions amply clear, Putin finally pulled the trigger and launched a “special military operation” in Ukraine, rolling tanks and flying jets through the neighboring sovereign nation.

What’s happening on the ground: reports coming out from Ukraine show smaller cities across the country witnessing relentless bombardment. Ukraine’s national capital of Kyiv will be the focus of the attack though, and Russian troops have apparently already taken an airport barely 15 miles out.

Ukraine is claiming military casualties in the hundreds so far, with civilian casualties of around ~150. Citizens are fleeing major urban regions, while President Zelenskiy is calling upon all able men to stay back and take a gun. Total shitshow!

Allies stand united: the US and Europe are responding with stricter economic sanctions. Biden cut off more high-ranking Russian people from doing business in US, and froze assets worth billions owned by Russian banks in the US. UK cut off all Russian banks from its financial system. Everything from technology, to key communications services, from apps to space programs and ISS are on the table.

However, with protests around COVID and other economic issues plaguing western nations (overborrowing, high inflation, rising prices), gathering the political will to enter into a direct conflict could be wishful thinking for all NATO nations.

Economic damage: Europe spiraling back into war is obviously bad for the global economy. Oil prices jumped 7% to top $105 per barrel — highest in 7 years. Sensex shed a massive 2,700 points yesterday to log its second worst fall since March 2020!

FWIW, India imports about 1% of its oil, and 1.5% of its total coal imports from Russia, so we’re not exactly over exposed. But rising oil prices and other commodities could deplete foreign reserves and directly hit the spending power of the local consumer.

Russians meanwhile are already paying a price — with the stock market down 45% yesterday, forcing the exchange to even halt trading. No chance of recovery anytime soon!

Bottomline — military action from NATO, and Putin withdrawing before taking control of Kyiv, both outcomes are equally unlikely. If anything is certain at this point, its that the world order as we know it stands changed forever.