Thoughts on Russia and Ukraine

Nicholas Klein, Staff Writer

Eight years ago I remember watching television and seeing Russian helicopters flying over Crimea. I was shocked. I started to have Russophobia and felt like I was one of few people who thought we should fight back. The media attempted to convince the American people that Russia was being “aggressive” and some writers even compared Russia’s actions to Nazi Germany. I wanted Russia to have to face consequences, similar to how the Allies treated Germany at the Treaty of Versailles.

Eight years later, I now love Russian culture. I am taking an Intermediate Russian II course with a very kind professor named Kathryn Duda, and I love looking at events from the native Russian viewpoint. I also started to realize that the media has been yet again over exaggerating Russia’s intentions abroad. This sensitization has caused a surge of Russophobia, painting Russia as the enemy of the free world. The media talks about Russian “aggression” with its air strikes in Syria and its annexation of Crimea, while whitewashing American acts of aggression. The truth is that the vast majority of Russians, including Putin himself, do not want war with us and less than 20% of Americans believe it is necessary to deploy troops to Ukraine to “deter” Russia.

Both the United States and Russia have nuclear warheads and we both do not want a nuclear apocalypse. In the past we have dealt with worse situations than this, like the Cuban Missile Crisis which came really close to nuclear war. It was the only time in the Cold War that we have reached DEFCON 2, and yet Kennedy and Khrushchev managed to pull it off without tipping the balance of power over the other.Putin and Biden should do the same thing. Because we need to coexist peacefully and not always be enemies and because adversaries can occasionally be our ally. We have cultural exchanges with each other and did a conjoined effort to eradicate smallpox, even during the middle of the Cold War.

Russian people are no different than us. We may disagree with each other’s politics, but we are all human beings. Plus, both the U.S. and Russia should focus on how to best deal with the pandemic and the situation the whole world faces today. Instead of being paranoid that Russia is going to harm the world, Biden should instead be negotiating with Putin and come up with a solution. Until this is solved, I hope that we will continue to coexist peacefully with Russia instead of fighting over evil, selfish, and sinful interests. I also pray for peace in Ukraine, so that it will not only bring peace to Europe but for the entire world itself.