The Ukraine-Russia conflict has been going on for two months now and has produced horrible tragedies. Kyiv, Kharkiv, and other cities have experienced terrible damages, leaving thousands of people homeless. Those who chose to flee from the war have crossed into neighboring countries like Romania and Poland to seek refuge. However, no matter how far they try to go to find safety, they will never forget the tragedy that fell upon Ukraine and everything they have lost.
We interviewed four Hamden Hall students, one from each grade, to see what they have to say on the conflict.
How worried are you about the Ukraine-Russia conflict?
Raven: I’m pretty worried, I guess, because there might be a World War III. I’m hoping to not have to live through a world war.
Anonymous 9th grader: I’m not really worried because the US hasn’t really gotten that involved yet.
Sophie Bannon: I’m a little bit worried! I’m scared about an attack on the US, and I’m scared to even watch the news and see what they're saying and everything like that. It definitely is scary since something like this hasn’t happened since World War II. Although World War II does feel distant, I can’t help but think it’s like when the pandemic happened; no one expected such a tragedy to occur. Now this war is happening, and it’s very possible it can escalate into something really bad, like a nuclear war. So yeah, I’m pretty scared.
Anonymous 11th grader: I guess I’m pretty worried about it because I feel like it’s affecting Americans and there’s also a space issue going on where Russia is cutting off relationships with America and not letting them go up in space into the International Space Station. And I’m not just worried for Americans, I feel really bad for the Ukrainians since they’re in a really difficult situation with Russia targeting civilians which makes the country very unsafe. There’s also the Russian citizens who disagree with Putin but unfortunately cannot speak against him because they can’t say no to the president. It’s kind of scary since he’s threatening to use nuclear weapons which can have long term effects and he’s caused a lot of destruction already. So yeah, the conflict is overall very worrisome.
Do you talk about it with your friends?
Raven: Not really because I don’t want to stress them out.
Anonymous 9th grader: A little but not that much.
Sophie Bannon: Not with my friends. More so with my family, but with my friends, nobody wants to talk about it. One of my friends has a girlfriend from Ukraine, so it’s a really touchy subject, and we’re all just afraid to talk about it with each other and say something wrong. We’re all just genuinely scared and worried.
Anonymous 11th grader: Yeah, I’d say I talk about it with my friends. I mean, we definitely talk about it in my history class, but I think we also discuss it outside of class. I also talk about it with my family a lot too, and I read articles and share them with other people.
Have you been personally affected by it?
Raven: No, I don't know anyone who lives in Ukraine.
Anonymous 9th grader: No, I have not been personally affected by it.
Sophie Bannon: My dad’s friend and his son are going off to fight in Ukraine. We know them, they’ve been over to our house; and they’re a very sweet family, so hearing about their decision to go was tough. They also had to give up their dog and we couldn’t take it because it was too violent. Family-wise, I haven’t been affected, but with friends, it’s been a heartbreaking and rough experience.
Anonymous 11th grader: No.
Where are you getting your information from?
Raven: Usually from the news because my mom plays the news often in my house.
Anonymous 9th grader: From most media sources like CNN and Fox News.
Sophie Bannon: I’m getting my information from Good Morning America, my family, and my boyfriend; they watch the news and read a lot about the situation in Ukraine. I personally stay away from the news, so what I know comes from my family and what we learn in class.
Anonymous 11th grader: My substitute history teacher, Mr. Walden, gave us websites that aren’t biased, like the Washington Post and New York Times, so I generally get my information from there. I also watch the news like CNN, which I know can be a little bit more biased but it’s more up to date than other news sources.
Are you worried about misinformation?
Raven: Yeah, because it will affect Ukrainians and it can also affect Russians too.
Anonymous 9th grader: I am because misinformation is unsafe and it can offend people.
Sophie Bannon: Yes, for sure! How do we ever know if something is true or not because it’s just sort of being projected like that? I’m not actually in Ukraine; I don’t know what’s actually happening. I’m scared of all misinformation, especially with so much political propaganda with people saying “it’s right,” or “it’s wrong,” or “that’s true,” or “that’s false”; it can all be so misleading, so I have no idea what to believe. It’s so hard to even watch the news anymore, so I just stick to what my family and friends talk about and their personal experiences. I'll take that over the news at this point.
Anonymous 11th grader: Yeah, I’m definitely worried about that. I feel like with the news reporters in Ukraine it’s a little difficult to have fake news, but we are getting only one side of the information because America supports Ukraine, and so we’re getting all the bad news about Russia, which although may be true, it is slightly biased. I know my family in India keeps getting information that supports Russia because India is more pro-Russia, so they’re getting completely different news, which makes it hard to know what to believe. Some things are facts, like images of people getting shot and bomb shelters, so obviously some of the information is true but it still can be tricky to figure out what to believe or not. I think in this situation it’s a little harder to have fake news because of what I was saying earlier, with lots of reporters in Ukraine and images, but I guess in any type of situation there is the risk of misinformation.
Links to places where you can donate and support Ukranians: