Russian Ukraine Conflict

All in a matter of weeks, streets once lined with homes, each holding their own priceless and irreplaceable memories, are now a collection of dust and rubble. All in a matter of weeks, almost 4 million people are now refugees. In a matter of weeks, 1,000 innocent men, women, and children have lost their lives. All in a matter of weeks, one man has turned the heads of a planet.

On Feb 24th at 5:07 am, Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his full scale invasion of Ukraine, after weeks of rising tensions at the border of the two countries. Russian troops began their invasion in the southeastern region of Donbas with the end goal of seizing control of the capital city Kyiv and instituting a pro-Russian government. By the time of publishing, the information in this article could be inaccurate due to the developing situation.

“I think it’s just one angry totalitarian dictator who’s trying to take over other people’s country. Whether or not they have historical ties that’s as idiotic as the British trying to come over and take America back,” said Mr. Shwayder, a social studies teacher at Cherokee Trail High School, “Russian peoples aren’t wanting this, right? You see that the Russian peoples are protesting nobody wants this but one guy,”

Putin’s presidency has spanned over the course of 20 years, and during his time in office he has made numerous remarks regarding neo-soviet ideologies and “the rehabilitation of the Soviet Union”. His invasion of Ukraine seems to be his first step into making his dream come true. However, if there is anything that we have learned during this conflict it’s that Putin’s dream comes at the expense of lives.

  “I feel afraid for the people of Ukraine. I feel sad for them. I feel angry and confused about the future of the world,” said Ms. Filippeo, a social studies teacher at Cherokee Trail.

These comments and feelings are shared by people around the globe. However, in times as uncertain as these, the world has found a way to be more unified than ever before.

Endless words of sympathy and hope for the Ukrainian people continue to spread across various social media platforms. Nearly every trending page is filled with updates, stories, and messages of compassion for the victims of this conflict. For people who are watching through the windows of Twitter, Instagram, and their daily news, witnessing these war crimes take place pulls at their heart-strings. People like Ms. Filippeo, a teacher at Cherokee Trail, who goes on to say the following.

“There are Ukrainians that live in our area and we can be sensitive and, Russians as well, we can be sensitive to the fact that there are families in our area that may be hurting, we can donate, we can be aware,” said Ms. Filippeo.

For a conflict that has lasted for a little over a month, it still manages to shock and surprise people especially regarding the actions Putin is taking to secure his victory. With bombs, missiles, and tanks constantly entering Ukraine, it seems that most of the world has become a bystander. The responses of other countries and organizations, such as NATO or the UN, have been discussed and brought up ever since the attacks began. Mr. Leclaire, a teacher at Cherokee Trail, comments on their actions.

“I am wildly disturbed that Putin is threatening democracy and I’m more disturbed that people are surprised,” said Mr. Leclaire “So the invasion itself I find really upsetting. But the idea that people appear to have been caught off guard by that, I find equally disturbing,”.

However, the question of being a bystander is one that is constantly being argued, by citizens and government officials alike. Supplies regarding medical aid, food, water, and even weapons have come into play with the teachers and students of Cherokee Trail each having their own opinions on how the United States can support Ukraine. Some people feel as though the war between Russia and Ukraine is separate from the United States’, and that the nation should not get “directly involved”.

“I think NATO should come together and do something like that which would involve many countries but I’m not sure that we wanna put our American soldiers and those lives in danger for this,” said Mr. Buck, a social studies teacher at Cherokee Trail. 

Moreover, Matvey Bubalo (10), a student of CT with family living near the fighting, goes on to share a similar but more personal sentiment.

“I do not think that direct military conflict between Russia and the US is what anybody wants. So apart from sanctions and help with food and stuff I don’t feel that the U.S. can do too much without arising a bigger conflict,” said Bubalo (10).

In terms of troops, people are split on what to do. On one hand, the citizens of Ukraine are in desperate need of support and require help to continue their defense. On the other hand, there are those who reason that if the U.S. sends troops Russia could see this as an act of war and plunge the world into a nuclear 3rd world war.

“As far as putting in troops, I can understand why we are not just as far as trying to escalate but I also don’t know because there is just this part that feel so disgusting that you know if Ukraine was part of NATO then this wouldn’t really be happening and just someone’s alliance can impact so many millions of people,” said Mr. Shwayder.

Students who have close connections with the conflict have their own attitude regarding the actions being taken by those both directly and indirectly involved. Family and friends are being forced to flee their homes and carry only what they can for the sake of their own survival. For a time of such turmoil, the thought of their loved ones being put in so much danger is rattling. When asked how they felt a student who wishes to remain anonymous vocalized their emotions and thoughts.

“[I feel] horrible because there isn’t any point in the war, people are dying just so Putin can return the Soviet Union back, and my friends have to fear for their lives, leave their families and homes,” said the student. 

As of the day this article was published, a resolution to the conflict has not yet been met. Conflict continues in Russia and Ukraine, as Putin persists in his unjustified invasion and possible attempt to recreate the former Soviet Union. The world watches on as we wait for peace. However, it seems that all we can do is support Ukraine and hope for action.


We encourage our viewers and readers to do what they can to help the people of Ukraine; donations of supplies and funds are well-appreciated. If you want to contribute and help the Ukrainian refugees, we have provided a link below to donate to the cause. As journalists, our goal is to inform the public and share the opinions of our community. More information can be found on the websites below.

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