Woman holds ukrainian blue and yellow flag on black background.

One year of war against Ukraine

On February 24, 2022, the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine upended the world as we know it. Nothing can be taken for granted anymore, and many things must be completely reassessed and reclassified. We to contribute to this process. We have therefore summarized our expertise on the consequences of the war in Ukraine for you.   

Contact Persons

Foto Cathryn Clüver Ashbrook
Cathryn Clüver Ashbrook
Senior Advisor
Foto Isabell Hoffmann
Isabell Hoffmann
Senior Expert
Foto Miriam Kosmehl
Miriam Kosmehl
Senior Expert Eastern Europe and EU Neighbourhood
Foto Claudia Walther
Claudia Walther
Senior Project Manager
Foto Mark Fischer
Mark Fischer
Senior Project Manager
Foto Christian Hanelt
Christian Hanelt
Senior Expert Europe, Neighbourhood and the Middle East
Foto Ulrich Kober
Ulrich Kober
Foto Thieß Petersen
Dr. Thieß Petersen
Senior Advisor


A year ago, the Russian President ordered a war of aggression against Ukraine. Many thousands of people have died since then. Using drones, missiles and tanks, the Russian army has deliberately targeted civilians, causing immeasurable human suffering and billions of dollars in material damage. Since then, our world has never been the same. Or, as the chancellor put it, "We are experiencing a “Zeitenwende” (a turn of the times)."  

The Bertelsmann Stiftung is accompanying this "Zeitenwende" in many ways: With research, surveys, studies, blog posts, podcast episodes, events, as well as concrete help.   

Strong support from the Europeans

Can Ukraine win the war? Are the Ukrainians also defending European values in the fight against the Russian army? That's what eupinions, the Bertelsmann Stiftung's opinion research tool, asked Europeans on the anniversary of the start of the war. This was eupinions' fourth survey to ask about European attitudes toward the war in Ukraine. One of the most important findings was that the results are consistent. People in Europe are firmly on Ukraine's side, even those who are afraid that Germany might also be drawn into the war. Support is diminishing only slightly as the war progresses; not even rising energy prices and inflation are causing people to waver. A majority of Europeans also remain in favor of arms exports.   

In this interview, Isabell Hoffmann, founder of eupinions, interprets the figures from the four polls on the Ukraine war. In our podcast "Zukunft gestalten", she classifies the strong support of Europeans and explains what it means for future policy. Most recently, she presented the numbers in high-profile roundtables at the Munich Security Conference. 

Miriam Kosmehl, our Eastern Europe expert, has lived for several years in Russia and in Ukraine. She is a sought-after interview partner when it comes to explaining the current situation and pointing out perspectives and areas for action. In this interview on the anniversary of the start of the war, she explains why further arms deliveries are necessary and that the constant threat will not stop even if Ukraine wins the war. In the Bertelsmann Stiftung podcast, she discusses the impact of the war on the global community with former German Interior Minister Gerhart Baum. In a blog post marking the anniversary of the attack, our Eastern Europe expert also explains why supporting Ukraine is the best way to return to a stable European peace order. 

How the world looks at the "Zeitenwende"

Cathryn Clüver Ashbrook, a Bertelsmann Stiftung expert on transatlantic relations, also focuses on Europe's relations, especially Germany's, with the United States in the Bertelsmann Stiftung podcast. Has the Russian attack made the European community stronger? What might a future world order look like? The policy expert, who has deep roots in both the United States and Germany, explains. And her colleague Mark Fischer, an expert on transatlantic relations, critically assesses what has changed since Chancellor Olaf Scholz coined the new term "Zeitenwende". What position can Germany take in a new security order? Is the U.S. the best reassurance? How does the world view the actions of the Federal Republic? Mark Fischer answers all these questions in his blog post on the "Zeitenwende".

But the Ukraine war also has a severe impact on the general economy and specifically on the financial situation of people in Germany. Our economic expert Thieß Petersen dealt with the sharp rise in prices, one of the many effects of the Ukraine war, at the turn of the year. He predicted what has come to pass. The price increase has slowed down slightly. But beware: How the situation develops in the future depends primarily on how the further energy supply works. In the Bertelsmann Stiftung podcast, Thieß Petersen explains in easy-to-understand terms the consequences of the energy crisis - and what rays of hope there are. Gunter Deuber, Chief Economist of Raiffeisen Bank International AG in Vienna, analyzes in a blog post how much impact the multiple sanctions against Russia are having.  


Crop losses due to the war in Ukraine

Compared with the situation in other countries, however, the impact on Germany and Europe is rather minor. This is because the crop failures of the first year of the war and the even more difficult situation in the coming summer are having a global impact. And by no means is every country prepared for this. Ukraine is one of the most important exporters of wheat, sun oil and soybeans. Lebanon and Tunisia in particular will suffer from crop failures, and the limited exports by cargo ships across the Black Sea can hardly ease the situation. This is shown by our study on the global food crisis. Another study by the Bertelsmann Stiftung shows where the agricultural sector in Tunisia in particular is lacking and where the European Union could provide support.   

But the foundation has not only dealt with the situation in Ukraine through studies and events. As a member of Alliance4Ukraine, it also provides concrete help. The program includes financial support for refugees. It helps organize shelter and takes care of job placement and medical care. So far, the alliance has provided 1.5 million euros in support, while another one million euros is available in the fund.  

In the Bertelsmann Stiftung podcast, Ulrich Kober, migration expert at the Bertelsmann Stiftung, and Chris Melzer, spokesman for the UN refugee agency UNHCR, addressed the refugee situation. The municipal experts are in regular contact with refugees and host communities in the Ukraine Online Exchange. Here you can find important tips and experience reports. On Youtube, we have collected the online exchange in a playlist. Claudia Walther explains in an interview what has been achieved so far.   

Older articles on the situation in Ukraine, the Orthodox Church and the refugee situation can be found here.