Why Ukraine matters

I’m frequently staggered though not surprised as just how inept, short-sighted and self-serving the politicians of this world seem to be. 20 years after Putin destroyed Chechnya whose only crime was to be resource rich and not want to be ruled from Moscow any more; 14 years after Putin invaded the sovereign nation of Georgia and whilst continually trying to support dictators across the world and threaten peaceful neighbours close to home, even having soldiers in nations such as Moldova and yet the great and the good seem either to not have thought Putin to be a tyrant or at least they didn’t care about his victims enough to stand up to him.

It all started with idiot George W. Bush and continues up to modern day eccentric Napoleon Macron, with a whole lot of people in between.

I think it can all be best summarised by the great man above and it is hard to think of any bullying, powerful country that having been appeased, then just gives up and lets things quieten down. It’s just not how human nature work, especially that of tyrants and dictators. They just can’t help themselves, look at our own lying, adulterine, immoral, incompetent, blustering, obese, incoherent, criminal sh!t for brains Prime Minister Boris Johnson at home.

I was fortunate to study the history of the Ukraine at university and whenever I hear Putin saying that Ukraine and Kiev are the origins of Russia a bit of me always thinks then perhaps it should be Ukraine who takes over Moscow given how absolutely nothing good has come from Russia for several centuries and it’s now reduced to trying to stop other neighbours becoming successful. An economy often said to be smaller than that of Italy and a country of any consequence whatsoever only because of nuclear missiles.

But what of Ukraine? Despite a decade or so of Russian build-up towards the invasion of Ukraine, it seems barely anyone, let alone our leaders have a clue about the place. This is how Ukraine ranks.

It is the second largest country by area in Europe and has a population of over 40 million – more than Poland.

1st in Europe in proven recoverable reserves of uranium ores;2nd place in Europe and 10th place in the world in terms of titanium ore reserves;

2nd place in the world in terms of explored reserves of manganese ores (2.3 billion tons, or 12% of the world’s reserves);

2nd largest iron ore reserves in the world (30 billion tons);

2nd place in Europe in terms of mercury ore reserves;

3rd place in Europe (13th place in the world) in shale gas reserves (22 trillion cubic meters)

78th in the world by the total value of natural resources;

7th place in the world in coal reserves (33.9 billion tons)

Ukraine is an important agricultural country:

1st in Europe in terms of arable land area;

3rd place in the world by the area of black soil (25% of world’s volume);

1st place in the world in exports of sunflower and sunflower oil;

4th place in the world in barley production and 4th place in barley exports;

5th largest producer and 4th largest exporter of corn in the world;

3rd largest producer of potatoes in the world;

4th largest rye producer in the world;

5th place in the world in bee production (75,000 tons);

5th place in the world in wheat exports;

9th place in the world in the production of chicken eggs;

50th place in the world in cheese exports.

Ukraine can meet the food needs of 600 million people.

Ukraine is an important industrialised country:

4th in Europe in ammonia production;

Europe’s 2nd’s and the world’s 4th largest natural gas pipeline system;

2nd largest in Europe and 7th largest in the world in terms of installed capacity of nuclear power plants;

4th place in Europe and 11th in the world in terms of rail network length (21,700 km);

3rd place in the world (after the U.S. and France) in production of locators and locating equipment;

5th largest iron exporter in the world

4th largest exporter of turbines for nuclear power plants in the world;

4th world’s largest manufacturer of rocket launchers;

3rd place in the world in clay exports

5th place in the world in titanium exports

8th place in the world in exports of ores and concentrates;

12th place in the world in exports of defence industry products;

12th largest steel producer in the world (32.4 million tons).

Ukraine matters. That is why its independence is important to the rest of the world. You can see an old post from 2014 that I wrote on Putin and Ukraine too at Ukraine, Putin and the West – What you need to know

About Stephen Liddell

I am a writer and traveller with a penchant for history and getting off the beaten track. With several books to my name including several #1 sellers. I also write environmental, travel and history articles for magazines as well as freelance work. I run my private tours company with one tour stated by the leading travel website as being with the #1 authentic London Experience. Recently I've appeared on BBC Radio and Bloomberg TV and am waiting on the filming of a ghost story on British TV. I run my own private UK tours company (Ye Olde England Tours) with small, private and totally customisable guided tours run by myself!
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11 Responses to Why Ukraine matters

  1. Ankur Mithal says:

    Become very difficult to make the good guys out from the bad, Everyone has an axe to grind, a score to settle, a population to please, money to make, power to accumulate 😦 The proof lies in the packaging. The ‘common man’ in most jurisdictions doesn’t like a soft leader, the one willing to talk and make adjustments. He wants a leader who breathes fire, with or without substance, because that makes him feel good. What choices do political leaders have? They have to grab more, sell more, attack more…

    Liked by 4 people

  2. ThingsHelenLoves says:

    The rest of the world just didn’t pay enough attention in 2014. And then didn’t respond robustly enough in recent times. Surprising given that UK and Nato forces have been dealing with acknowledged tensions with Russia for a long time. I don’t know how this will go but I really hope all out conflict can be avoided. My heart breaks for the people of the Ukraine.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Reblogged this on silverapplequeen and commented:
    A must-read. Especially for the people who don’t know anything about Ukraine or Russian politics/history & never cared until now.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. GP says:

    But I get tired of us having to police the world, protect all borders – except our own.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I do understand but I think we have been taking a very inconsistent and in some ways cowardly approach. Fighting Saddam a second time for no real reason but letting Syria kill thousands. Going to war in Yugoslavia to protect one minority and letting China incarcerate millions of others. If we don’t police the world at the very least we shouldn’t engage or trade with these countries and we’ve all known about Putin since he obliterated Chechenya almost 20 years ago.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Why Ukraine matters — Stephen Liddell (shared from another site) – Peace in the Ukraine

  6. ThingsHelenLoves says:

    Stephen , I hope you don’t mind me jumping back on this post to pose a question. That being; is it time for military assistance/ intervention in the Ukraine?

    Liked by 1 person

    • No problem. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is happening all ready with us having spies or special forces on the ground in very small number. Before the Iraq War, the SAS had been in Iraq for weeks. I think one of the reasons Putin is talking about Nuclear options is because at some levels the UK, USA and finally all of Europe is supplying weaponry. It’s easy to say now but really the time for this was when Russia invaded Crimea or indeed Georgia. It does seem odd that they keep saying NATO can’t get involved because Ukraine isn’t a member but then I don’t remember Kuwait or Libya or Mali being members either.

      Liked by 2 people

      • ThingsHelenLoves says:

        Baltic deployments aren’t a new thing. It does puzzle me that UK forces have been in the Ukraine training Ukrainians, that we’ll send arms, create a grip in the area by filling up military bases in Estonia, Poland etc with troops and equipment… but stop short of actual intervention. I know we couldn’t do it alone though; the British army is overstretched and undermanned in critical areas. Just feels like the current plan drip feeds help to Ukraine whilst drip feeding Putins ability and desire to cause mayhem.

        I’ll not start on the UK’s lacklustre response to the refugee crisis created by current conflict…

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes it does all seem very half-hearted. All it means in essence is that Ukraine will either be levelled in a protracted war by Russia or by an insurgency. If Russia occupied those other regions 7 or 8 years ago then we should have gone to protect ‘our people’ in a similar way if that is what they wanted. There is such a long history of appeasement eventually leading to war. I give up on the poor quality of western leaders this century, it just gives dictators encouragement to see how weak, inept and self-centred they are. You might not know it but immediately after WW2, Churchill wanted to carry on and capture Moscow, knowing that if they didn’t do it straight away, what a terrible and powerful place the Soviet Union would become but the USA and others had (perhaps understandably) had enough so it never happened.

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