WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — Overnight on February 24, Russian troops launched a full-scale invasion into Ukraine.
This was ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin, as he cast aside international condemnation and sanctions.
According to worldwide sources, the invasion began with big explosions before dawn in Kyiv, Kharkiv and Odesa. Sources claimed that this start of an invasion could cause massive casualties, impact democracy in Ukraine and threaten the post-Cold War balance on the continent.
As the severity of the Ukraine crisis has hit a global scale, it has already had local impacts throughout the North Country.
Below are ways, so far, this crisis has impacted the North Country region.
Rising gas prices
For weeks, tensions between Russia and Ukraine have resulted in increases to gas prices across the United States, in New York and throughout the North Country.
In the most recent gas price report from AAA, the average price of gas in New York had jumped seven cents from the previous week and hit $3.75 per gallon.
Watertown was not far behind the statewide average, as the average price of gas was $3.73 per gallon. As of February 21, the national average was $3.53 per gallon.
According to AAA, activity between Russia and Ukraine is contributing to rising oil prices as Russia is a member of OPEC+ and any sanctions based on their actions towards Ukraine may cause it to withhold crude oil from the global market.
The EIA said that prices will likely continue to follow suit as demand grows and stocks decrease if crude prices continue to climb.
Fort Drum Deployment
Members of the military community in the North Country are also being affected by the Ukraine crisis as over 200 Fort Drum soldiers were recently deployed to Eastern Europe.
Soldiers were deployed on February 11 as a part of a larger Department of Defense effort to support NATO allies in Europe.
The unit previously had placed the 200 soldiers on heightened alert in early February and they spent much of their remaining time with family and friends before their departure.
So far, this is the only deployment of 10th Mountain Division soldiers that has been confirmed by Fort Drum officials.
Increased cybersecurity measures
New York State as a whole has upped its cybersecurity measures in response to conflicts in Eastern Europe.
According to New York Governor Kathy Hochul, the state took action as New York is considered to be an “attractive target for cybercriminals.”
To help municipalities strengthen their cybersecurity, the governor has proposed $30 million for a shared services program. This is in addition to her proposed budget, which includes $62 million in cybersecurity protections.
New York has also launched its Joint Security Operations Center, which is located in Brooklyn, New York. This center is set to connect federal, state and local governments.
Governor Hochul also said in a press release that she has been in regular contact with the White House and U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
ABC50 will continue to provide full coverage of the Ukraine crisis. More information will be made available as it is released.