Reactions to the Russia-Ukraine conflict

What’s going on in Eastern Europe?

Noah Leventhal

Back in 2014, Russia deployed tanks and troops into the Crimea Peninsula in Ukraine. Over the course of about two weeks, six people died and Russia took over the entire Crimean Peninsula. This would just be the beginning of Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

History teacher Carly Kregness said, “I just ache for the people, they are in the middle of the war zone. I feel incredibly sad, it’s just soul crushing.”

Putin declared war on Ukraine Feb. 24 and started a full-fledged invasion of the country. Russia is currently invading Ukraine in hopes of reclaiming the country, after it gained independence in 1991. Russia wants more power and control, and taking Ukraine will do that for them.

Kregness expressed her concern for the people in Ukraine. “The most likely outcome is that Ukraine ceases to exist,” Kregness said. “It’s the same way I feel when I see the images of the war in Yemen, or that I felt when I saw the images of the war in Syria. It’s truly terrible.”

Students have expressed alarm around the conflict, saying it would be frightening if nuclear weapons got involved or if the war escalated to a bigger level, because it would lead to more deaths and fighting. Sophomore Saul Zis said he hopes the conflictt doesn’t get worse from here.

“I’m just really hoping that we don’t escalate it, and there’s no war, I wouldn’t want NATO to get involved.” Zis said.

Sophomore Vas Gaponenko mentions the grim possibility of nuclear warfare and how damaging it would be.

“I think Putin threatening nuclear war is pretty crazy and absurd, actually disturbing,” Vas said. “It would be horrendous.”

Concern is shared for Russia spreading misinformation about the war to their citizens. “One thing that’s allowing Putin to continue to fight this war is the total control on information that he has,” Kregness said. “There are some ways for Russian people to get accurate information, but they involve looking out to unusual channels, so Putin has effectively controlled information so the Russian people have no idea of the true story.”

Zis mentions the possibility that fake news could be being spread throughout Russia by Russian media outlets.

 “It seems horrible that Russia is spreading fake news across the country about Ukraine and how they can’t get accurate information easily,” Zis said.

Kregness goes on to say that people should keep an eye out in the news, specifically for how well Ukraine is doing, or if Putin gets impatient and starts leaning towards nuclear warfare.

“I’m watching out to see how Ukraine continues to be able to hold off the Russians,” Kregness said. “One thing to be aware of is Putin’s desperation as he becomes more and more humiliated and desperate not to have a loss, he could become really dangerous and really expand the war or refer to tactical nuclear weapons.”

Vas acknowledges the damage and how catastrophic this war could be.

“It’s a huge thing, thousands of people are dying, and it’s only getting worse.” Vas said, “I personally just want peace and prosperity for both countries.”