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Locals discuss impact of Ukraine-Russia conflict

Locals discuss impact of Ukraine-Russia conflict
Posted at 6:10 PM, Feb 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-22 20:10:44-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — It’s a conflict abroad but it’s having local impact. Experts and local Ukrainians say Tucsonans should be concerned about more than just rising energy prices.

Marta Stawnyczyj Toci’s mother fled the Soviet-occupied Ukraine in 1951, and came to the United States.

“Ukrainians have always since George Washington and Benjamin Franklin have loved the idea of independence and freedom,” Stawnyczyj Toci said.

Ukraine declared independence in 1991. But in 2014, Russia illegally annexed a part of Ukraine, called Crimea, and more recently sent troops into Ukraine’s eastern region. All of it undermining the nation’s sovereignty.

“Now the fear is that it’s all going to be destroyed all over again,” Stawnyczyj Toci said.

Marta’s cousins in Ukraine are taking up arms and protesting in the streets. Ukrainian officials say the country has fought off Russian-led cyber attacks for months.

“If you are attempting to invade a country that is having a cyber attack as your lead in is a great way to disrupt your adversary from being able to mobilize forces or effectively communicate,” said Michael Galde, Cyber Operations Professor at the University of Arizona.

Professor David Gibbs at the University of Arizona says this crisis will soon impact Americans.

“When there’s an international crisis business confidence often will go down and I expect this would happen here," said David Gibbs, History professor. "Particularly given the fact that this is having a direct impact on energy prices.”

For Gibbs, rising energy prices is only the first problem. He says the crisis could have a long-term impact on the U.S. Economy.

“There’s the longer term issue of military spending," Gibbs said. "Investment in the military sector produces fewer jobs on average than investment in civilian sectors. So the tilting of investment in favor of the military is guaranteed to have a negative impact on living standards.”