Glasgow Students React to the Russia/Ukraine Conflict

Glasgow Students React to the Russia/Ukraine Conflict

Imagery by Blue Linden

Editor’s note: This article was originally supposed to be released in March 2022. Editorial delays resulted in the late publication of this article. We are sorry.

As of present time, Russia is in the process of invading Ukraine, the country that shares a southwestern border with them. The Russian-Ukrainian War began in 2014 following Russia’s capture of Crimea from Ukraine. After the Soviet Union collapsed in the 90’s, the member states have never really gotten along with each other, with Belarus and Russia adopting mutualist policy towards each other and no one else. Both have authoritarian leaders, and both are currently aiding the war effort against Ukraine. Their reason for invading is claimed to be that Ukraine joining NATO (an enormous treaty and organization between countries near the north Atlantic, or “North Atlantic Treaty Organization”) poses a “national security threat” to Russia and its allies. Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, also says Ukraine joining NATO would bring “Western influence” to Russia.
Ukraine’s current president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, wants Ukraine to become a NATO member. Zelenskyy, a former television comedian who actually starred in a comedy about becoming president, wants to join NATO to strengthen its ties with stronger militaries in case Russia decides to take hostile action towards Ukraine. There is a small minority Ukrainians that don’t want this, and instead want a Russian leader without the risk of “Western influence.” If Russia’s plan to invade Kyiv (the capital of Ukraine) succeeds, chances are a new, more Russia-friendly leader will be installed in Zelenskyy’s place by Putin. Citizens are already fleeing the country in fear of this, and many Ukrainians of marginalized groups, such as queer Ukrainians, are worried what a Russian government would do to them.

The United States enjoys cordially friendly and strategic relations with Ukraine and attaches great importance to the success of Ukraine’s transition to a democracy with a flourishing market economy. … Total U.S. assistance since independence has been more than $3 billion.

On 21 February 2022, Russia officially recognised the two breakaway regions of Ukraine, Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic, as independent states and deployed troops to Donbas, in a move interpreted as Russia’s effective withdrawal from the Minsk Protocol.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX has placed Starlink satellites above Ukraine that provide radio communications to citizens with Starlink dishes who lack uncensored internet access.
Alisa Oden, a Russian eighth grader, says, “As someone who is Russian, it’s hard to see this kind of thing playing out. I’m worried for friends and family that I have in Ukraine, and it’s difficult to see Russia doing these awful things because it makes me feel ashamed of my heritage. I love my culture and where I’m from, but I think what Russia is doing now is horrifying.”
“They shouldn’t be fighting,” says Charlotte Smith, a sixth grader. More than 350 civilians, including 14 children, have been killed during the invasion, according to Ukraine, while more than a half a million people have fled the country. “ I am deeply concerned about human rights violations and people who are being killed,” says 7th and 8th grade teacher, Ms. Radek.