By Taylor Rice
On February 24, 2022 Russia invaded the peaceful nation of Ukraine. Tensions were already high, with Russia massing troops and military supplies on Ukraine’s borders in 2021; so, it wasn’t a surprise when Russia finally decided to attack. The world watched with bated breath as the war was raged by both sides; blow after blow, push after push. People openly applauded the bravery of President Zelensky, blew up social media with protests on Russia’s actions, and showed up in mobs to show their support for the Ukrainian people. You couldn’t look anywhere without seeing blue and yellow.
Until it all went quiet.
One day it all just stopped. The media moved on to new stories, live streams on TikTok became hard to find, the artwork and massive groups stating “We Stand With Ukraine!” were lost. The attention on the war died out like a trend. The world went silent, while the people in Ukraine are still screaming.
The war is not over. According to “How many Ukrainian refugees are there and where have they gone?” on BBC.com, an estimated minimum of 12 million people have fled their homes since the start of Russia’s invasion, with an estimated 5.2 million going to neighboring countries and estimated 3 million still displaced within Ukraine itself. A separate NewYork Times article, “Calculating the Costs of War” by Alan Yuhas, states that Ukrainian citizens have paid a heavy price; “5,587 are confirmed dead, and the true number is believed to be in the tens of thousands. The number of refugees has surpassed 6.6 million.” These people were simple civillions just a few months ago, now they’re refugees. Many will never see their families all together again.
Those still in Ukraine try to live their lives as normal. They work from home, and still go to school; but their day-to-day lives are often interrupted by the shrieks of air raid sirens. Many people who still live in Ukraine and those who have escaped to other countries document their daily lives through Tik Tok. They post videos showing their daily routines. One creator, ArtOlka, wakes up to the sounds of air raid sirens in the morning, gets her coffee, goes on her morning walk, and then runs for the air raid shelters when the sirens tell them to hide. These people are making the modern, digital version of Anne Frank’s diary.
So the question is, where is the publicity? While these people are on the other side of the world, they’re still suffering. Here in America, we sit comfortably at home on our couches, watching TV, while Ukranians are unable to sleep at night for the fear of being killed. Our news channels speak nothing of the people braving their daily lives, and the Ukrainian people who post on Tik Tok don’t even make the recommended page.
Something needs to change.
The people in Ukraine deserve relief, and we can help provide it. We can donate to a multitude of charities, a few being the International Committee of The Red Cross; Project Hope; Sunflower of Peace; United Way Worldwide; and World Central Kitchen. We can protest, make our voices heard, show we support these people in their time of need to give them much needed hope. The people in Ukraine are suffering, but we can show them that we hear them. That we stand with Ukraine!