War in Ukraine continues to advance

Bella Lee, Staff writer

It is known without a doubt that the 2020s have not been very kind to the world.

From the Covid-19 pandemic to popular celebrity deaths to fights breaking out internationally, the planet has gone through a lot. However, things have been taking a turn for the worse in Europe.

Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, declared Donetsk and Luhansk, two separatist regions in neighboring Ukraine, territories of Russia, then proceeded to immediately send troops to the country.

This has led to chaos within Ukraine as Russian troops are attacking towns both in the air and on the ground. Ukrainian families are seeking shelter underground if they are not able to escape the country, but the damage is irreparable.

As of March 10, there have been 549 Ukrainian deaths reported, 41 of them being children, but the United Nations believes the number is significantly higher. Residential buildings and hospitals have been destroyed by Russian airstrikes, injuring and killing pregnant women, babies and children.

The press has been releasing images that will be forever burned into the minds of those watching. A set of paramedics desperately attempting to save a 6-year-old girl, dead by gunfire, while her parents wail nearby. An 11-year-old boy in tears being found at the Ukraine-Poland border without his family, with a note from his parents attached to him containing phone numbers of relatives.

Tearful goodbyes between men and their families as they send them away and the men remain behind to fight for Ukraine, including an 18-month-old boy sobbing and hitting his father as he attempts to comfort him.

The pain is never-ending for many of these families. There are Americans and Europeans with relatives in Ukraine who do not know if their family will live another night.

For those that are not lucky, they learn about their families’ deaths like everyone else: through photos or the Internet.

Serhiy Perebyinis, who was caring for his mother, came across an image of four dead Ukrainians in front of a World War II memorial. Three of those victims were his wife and children, ages 18 and 9.

“This is a war crime, and someone needs to be held accountable,” Perebyinis said in an interview with the Washington Post. “I lost everyone and lost the meaning of life.”

Despite this horror and heartbreak, there continues to be hope. A young Ukrainian girl sung the Frozen hit “Let It Go” in a bomb shelter, capturing the hearts of millions.

Donations are flooding in from every corner of the Earth, including from

Ukrainian-born actress Mila Kunis and her actor husband Ashton Kutcher.

Martyrs have been made, such as the 13 soldiers who sacrificed their lives for Snake Island by refusing to surrender to Russia and saying, “Russian warship, go f yourself” and the one Ukrainian soldier who sacrificed himself to manually detonate a bridge with Russian soldiers when it could not be remotely set off.

However, the biggest light at the end of the tunnel comes from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. He has remained behind, fending off Russians from the capital city of Kyiv.

“Thanks to our military, the national guard, the border guards, the police, the Territorial Defense Forces and everyone who joined the defense of the state, we did not become slaves, and we never will,” Zelenskyy said in a video on his Telegram account.

NATO allies, most of the Western countries, are not getting involved in the war as of now because Ukraine is not a part of NATO. However, Zelenskyy and many members of Ukraine’s Parliament are asking for more help from the West in order to stop Russia from taking over their country.

Poland has been aiding Ukrainian refugees as they cross the border into Poland to escape the war. Poland has even offered to send Ukraine extra MiG-29 fighter jets, but the Biden administration rejected that proposal.

Zelenskyy has also called for NATO to issue a no-fly zone over Ukraine that way NATO can shoot down any Russian air Force, but that plan was also refused by NATO as they do not want to get involved in helping Ukraine save their country from Putin.