What’s Going On in The Ukraine?


Stella Wong '25

Ukraine and Russia torn apart.

Media outlets big and small have all been buzzing with news about the Russia-Ukraine crisis for several weeks now. Every day, there are new headlines for Americans to digest, and social media seems to be flooded with posts about supporting those in Ukraine struggling from the war. 

At Edison High School alone, there have been clothing drives and fundraisers in order to help support those in need right now. So, what exactly is happening?

Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, has declared war on Ukraine in an effort to prevent Ukraine’s North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) membership. NATO is an alliance of European and some North American countries formed after World War II. If Ukraine were to potentially become a NATO country, it would pose an astronomical threat to Russia. In addition, although unconfirmed, many believe one of Putin’s goals is to establish the former Soviet Union and its extensive power.

A myriad of people in the modern world are misinformed about the ongoing crisis—perhaps because there has been a plethora of inconsistent information widely available. In a democratic nation, we all have the ability to make a few clicks and have access to the latest speeches given by world leaders. But in Russia, even with the conflict that has risen to its current scale, too many inhabitants are not even aware of their own country’s war; those that do have knowledge from propaganda. Alarmingly, masses of Russian soldiers themselves are not aware that they are fighting a war, and have been told by Putin that they are to participate in a training exercise.

Seeing as the depiction of the issue in the media has such a large impact on its perception, it is imperative to understand how different parties are explaining the conflict to their people.

Edison High is home to many students who are from Russia or the Ukraine.  They can offer insight into the current crisis that seems so far away from New Jersey.

“Russia is a very controlled country–the media is very controlled. My grandparents live in Russia; however, they do not believe of any crisis because of the control with regards to the Russian media,” said Amalya Guliyeva ‘25 . The lack of exposure results in a lack of opposition for the crisis’ movement within the people. Putin has been showing Russian citizens prerecorded speeches and has been hidden from the public.

“The US is more open about the situation because it is looking at it from a third eye perspective while Russia is part of the conflict,” Guliyeva added.  

Volodymyr Zelensky, leader of Ukraine, is currently in the country fighting to maintain Ukraine’s independence. Unlike his political opponent Putin, he sends videos of himself and his cabinet from their location in Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, in an effort to emphasize a more approachable nature. Zelensky describes Putin’s bombings of children’s hospitals, bomb shelters, and neighborhoods, yet the Ukrainians have still yet to surrender to Russia’s army. Children and women have been separated from their families and travel hours on foot to cross the border from Ukraine to bordering countries. 

Russia is a very controlled country–the media is very controlled. My grandparents live in Russia; however, they do not believe of any crisis because of the control with regards to the Russian media.

— Amalya Guliyeva ‘25

The importance of staying informed about the crisis is imperative to understand the gravity of the situation and the people affected by it. To spread awareness in our own community in Edison we may host local fundraisers, awareness campaigns, and more.

Information is one of our most powerful tools and gaining new perspectives allows us to further understand the major aspects of our world.