Conflict is everywhere. Maybe it’s a sibling fight, a parent-school fight, or a people-government fight. Recently, there was a fight much bigger than any of these. One that could be the potential start of something much bigger. Russian president Vladimir Putin declared war on much smaller Ukraine. There are many things that could happen, but there are set facts that we know now. First, Ukraine will not go down without a fight though they live in complete terror. Second, Russian’s civilians are not happy with their president’s decision and will do anything they can to stop the attacks. And third, many other countries are already involved which could lead to a much larger war.
First, some basics. Putin declared war on Ukraine on February 24 of 2022.Since then there have been bombings and attacks in many cities including the capitol, Kyiv, and the second largest city, Kharkiv. There have been a few talks between Russian and Ukrainian officials that would allow a short period of peace for civilians to flee, however little to no progress has been made. Many countries, however, are standing with Ukraine and sending aid in any way possible. Not only countries that commonly send aid such as the Netherlands, Estonia, Poland, Latvia, and Czech Republic, are helping, but also countries that are generally neutral or don’t get involved have helped Ukraine such as Sweden, Finland, and Germany.
Countries that aren’t directly sending help are still working to impose punishments against Russia. The United States, Europe, and other allies in the United Kingdom have agreed to block some Russian banks from the global messaging system SWIFT. This prevents the banks from doing any global transactions. Russian sports events have been canceled, and they have been banned from competing in the Eurovision Song Contest. These western powers have also imposed strict trade abilities, banned any Russian aircrafts from all airspaces and airports, stopped trade with Russia’s three main banks, and imposed strict limits on how much money Russian citizens can have in their countries as well as how much money citizens can have in Russia. The UK and Europe have also limited “golden passports” and put strict sanctions against certain Russian individuals and organizations.
However, outside countries aren’t the only ones upset about this war. Russian citizens themselves have held many protests against the war. They don’t want this war, and they are being very loud about it. Many protests have popped up, and the nearly 8,000 arrests prove officials don’t want this being widely known. Even Russia’s richest people are speaking for peace. The MGIMO University had an “open letter” to Putin signed by 1,200 students and faculty. Many of Russia’s citizens have apologized for this war publicly.
Although many countries are helping to aid Ukraine, there are things we as individuals can do. The best thing is to keep up to date on information. Many news sources are covering this war, as well as many citizens of both countries. Personally, I’ve seen many, many tweets from citizens of both countries. Russian citizens are profusely apologizing, while Ukrainian citizens explain the sheer terror they live in. Sharing first hand accounts and being knowledgeable is helpful in itself. If there’s an ability, Ukrainian banks have opened up to donations in all currencies as have emergency organizations. If there’s no ability to donate monetarily, there’s always the ability to share the information for those who can donate monetarily.
This war has taken a toll on the world. We might be experiencing inconveniences such as higher gas prices, but Ukraine lives in terror for their lives. Russian citizens are being jailed for asking for peace. Many have rushed to aid Ukraine, but there’s always something you can do. We should all be doing anything we can to help. This war could take a toll on us all.
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