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One year of War in Ukraine: How India’s position has evolved over time

GS-2:Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.


The Russia-Ukraine war, now in its one-year mark, has had significant global implications beyond the conflict zone. It has changed the geopolitical landscapeof Europe and put pressure on countries like India to take a stance.India has traditionally maintained a neutral stance on the Russia-Ukraine conflict, but its position has evolved over time as the conflict has continued.


Geopolitical implications

  • The conflict has led to a renewed focus on Europe's security and defence policies. The EU has increased its military spending and established a new defence fund to enhance its military capabilities.
  • The war has also caused a rift between Russia and the West, resulting in economic sanctions and political tensions.
  • NATO has increased its presence in Eastern Europe in response to Russia's actions in Ukraine, causing further tension between the two sides.


India's initial stance

  • India initially took a cautious approach to the conflict and refrained from taking a position.
  • India's focus was on maintaining good relations with both Russia and Ukraine, given their importance as trade partners and sources of energy.


Russia's pressure on India

  • As the conflict continued, Russia increased pressure on India to take a stance in its favour.
  • Russia highlighted its historical ties with India and the potential impact on their bilateral relations if India sided with the West.


India's changing stance

  • India's stance on the conflict began to shift as it faced increasing pressure from both Russia and the West to take a position.
  • India emphasized the need for a peaceful resolution to the conflict and called for a dialogue between Russia and Ukraine.
  • India also expressed support for Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty.


Impact on India

  • The conflict has had an impact on India's trade relations with both Russia and Ukraine.
  • India's closer ties with the West have strained its relations with Russia, while the conflict has impacted its energy security due to Ukraine's role as a transit country for Russian gas supplies to Europe.
  • The conflict has also highlighted the need for India to diversify its sources of energy and reduce its dependence on Russian supplies.


India's role in resolving the conflict

  • India has emphasized the need for a peaceful resolution to the conflict and has offered to play a role in mediating between Russia and Ukraine.
  • India's experience in resolving conflicts, such as in Sri Lanka and Afghanistan, has made it a potential mediator in the Ukraine conflict.
  • However, India's limited role in global affairs and its ties with Russia may limit its ability to play a significant role in resolving the conflict.


India's position on the Russia-Ukraine conflict has evolved over time, from a cautious approach to a more assertive stance in support of a peaceful resolution. The conflict has had an impact on India's trade relations and energy security, and has highlighted the need for greater diversification. India's potential role in resolving the conflict remains limited, but its experience in conflict resolution could make it a valuable mediator.


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Russia’s war on Ukraine in numbers: Poverty, displacement crises

GS-2:Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.


As the one-year mark of the Russia-Ukraine war approaches, the world is slowly realizing the actual toll of the conflict. The war has resulted in the deaths of thousands, displacement of countless others, debilitating injuries to many, the destruction of entire towns, and incalculable suffering.

The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has been ongoing since 2014, causing significant human suffering and economic damage. 


Military capabilities

  • Russia has one of the largest military forces in the world, with an estimated 900,000 active personnel and over 2.5 million reserve personnel.
  • Ukraine's military is much smaller, with an estimated 250,000 active personnel and 250,000 reserve personnel.
  • Both countries possess a significant amount of military hardware, including tanks, artillery, and aircraft.


Human toll

  • The conflict has resulted in an estimated 13,000 deaths, including both military and civilian casualties.
  • Over 1.5 million people have been internally displaced in Ukraine, with many seeking refuge in neighbouring countries.
  • The conflict has also resulted in the displacement of thousands of people in Russia-annexed Crimea.


Economic impact

  • The conflict has caused significant economic damage to both Russia and Ukraine. Ukraine's GDP has declined by around 20% since 2014, while Russia's GDP growth has slowed significantly.
  • The cost of the conflict to Ukraine is estimated to be around $100 billion, including lost output, military expenditures, and infrastructure damage.
  • The conflict has also resulted in significant trade disruptions and sanctions on both sides, further impacting their economies.


International response

  • The international community has been closely following the conflict and has called for a peaceful resolution. The United Nations has condemned the annexation of Crimea by Russia and called for respect for Ukraine's territorial integrity.
  • The European Union and the United States have imposed sanctions on Russia in response to its actions in Ukraine.
  • Diplomatic efforts to resolve the conflict, including the Minsk agreements, have been largely unsuccessful.


The one-year mark of the Russia-Ukraine war highlights the significant global implications of the conflict. It has changed the geopolitical landscape of Europe, put pressure on countries like India to take a stance, and resulted in a humanitarian crisis. The conflict serves as a reminder of the importance of diplomacy and cooperation in resolving international disputes.

A peaceful resolution to the conflict is needed to ensure the well-being of the affected communities and stability in the region.


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The other victim: The environmental costs of the Russia-Ukraine War

GS-3: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.


The ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict has caused immense human suffering and economic damage, but it has also had a significant environmental impact. The environmental damage caused by the conflict is likely to have long-lasting effects on the region's ecosystems, wildlife, and human health.


Damage to infrastructure and hazardous materials

  • The conflict has damaged critical infrastructure such as power plants, water treatment facilities, and oil refineries, which has led to the release of hazardous materials into the environment.
  • The destruction of industrial sites and factories has resulted in the contamination of soil and water with toxic chemicals such as heavy metals and hydrocarbons.
  • The shelling of a chemical plant near Donetsk in 2014 released toxic chemicals, including chlorine and mercury, into the air and water, posing a threat to human health and the environment.


Impact on wildlife and ecosystems

  • The conflict has disrupted natural habitats and migration patterns of wildlife, resulting in a decline in biodiversity in the affected regions.
  • The use of heavy weaponsandexplosives has caused significant damage to forests and other natural areas.
  • The disruption of river systems and waterways has impacted fish populations and other aquatic life, leading to a decline in fisheries.


Climate change impact

  • The conflict has also contributed to climate change by releasing large amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
  • The burning of oil wells and gas pipelines has released massive amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, contributing to global warming.
  • The conflict has also disrupted agriculture and food production in the affected regions, leading to food shortages and increased food prices.


International response and remediation efforts

  • The international community has recognized the environmental impact of the conflict and called for remediation efforts to mitigate the damage.
  • International organizations such as the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) have provided technical and financial assistance to support environmental assessment and remediation efforts.
  • Local NGOs and community-based organizations have also played a critical role in documenting and addressing the environmental impacts of the conflict.


The environmental damage caused by the Russia-Ukraine conflict is likely to have long-lasting effects on the region's ecosystems, wildlife, and human health. International support and collaboration will be crucial in mitigating the damage and supporting the affected communities in their recovery efforts.


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Fact File

What is Delhi Government’s Feed Back Unit (FBU), under scrutiny for ‘political espionage’?

  • FBU stands for Feed Back Unit. 
  • It is a unit within the Delhi government's Directorate of Vigilance that was established in 2015 to gather public feedback on various government policies and programs.
  • It is also responsible for conducting surveys and collecting feedback from citizens to assess the impact of government policies and schemes.
  • It is headed by a senior bureaucrat.

What is the Secret Service Fund?

  • The Secret Service Fund is a fund created by the government of India to finance intelligence activities of various intelligence agencies. 
  • The fund is managed by the Ministry of Home Affairs and is not subject to any kind of audit or parliamentary scrutiny. 
  • The fund is primarily used to finance intelligence-gathering activities of agencies such as the Intelligence Bureau (IB), Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), and the National Investigation Agency (NIA), among others. 
  • The fund is intended to be used for activities that are essential for national security and cannot be disclosed in the public domain.


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