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How, if at all, has this crisis hit home for you?

Feb. 24 was the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which set off the most significant European war in 80 years. Do you remember what you were thinking and feeling when the war began? What fears, hopes and questions did you have? Have you kept up with what has happened? What are you thinking and feeling now?
Last year, we invited young people to share their reactions to Russia’s invasion. Over 1,300 did, and we rounded up some of their responses in our collection “What Students Are Saying About Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine,” published on March 3, 2022.
Bella from RFHS wrote: If you asked me in 2019 if I thought that I would live to see a worldwide pandemic and potentially World War III, I would have thought you were crazy. I am currently a student taking AP US History where we are learning about all the conflicts and wars that have led up to the present day. I never would have guessed that I would be watching one of these wars for the history books unfold through the screen of my iPhone XR.
Matvii from Julia R. Masterman School wrote: I am Ukrainian … I have seen many pictures/videos of the war-front and life in Ukraine. I have seen kindergartens blown to dust, entire bridges collapsing, and Russian helicopters flying in and dropping their bombs on airports and homes. Children sitting in the dark, damp basements of homes, desperately trying to find a distraction from the events in their life that they unfortunately have to experience. These have all pained my family and me.
Oyin from Chilliwack, British Columbia, wrote: When I first heard about the invasion, I thought it was a not going to be a big deal. Like what happened in 2020 with Iran shooting down a Ukrainian plane. I thought it was going to be talked about once then over with. But seeing the damage and tragedy that has taken place in Ukraine, I now know that this is extremely serious. My heart breaks for the people in Ukraine. This isn’t something you can just protest about or raise money for. This is real, and people are dying. I sincerely hope that the people in Ukraine are safe. I am 15 years old, and I don’t think my peers understand how terrifying it would be for someone to just take over your home and country by force. On Feb. 24, The Times reported on how the war has unfolded in “On War’s Anniversary, Allies Support Ukraine With Words and Weapons”: President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine vowed on Friday that his country would defeat Russia, as the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion prompted shows of solidarity from around the world and a mix of anxiety and resolve in Ukraine.
“We will be victorious,” Mr. Zelensky of Ukraine told reporters at a lengthy news conference in Kyiv. He said that Ukraine could win the war this year as long as its allies remain united “like a fist” and continue delivering weapons. There will be no negotiations with Russia, Mr. Zelensky said, until Moscow stops bombing Ukrainian cities and killing Ukrainian people. “Go ahead and stop doing all of that, and only after that we’ll tell you what form will be used to diplomatically put an end to it,” Mr. Zelensky told reporters, on a day when allies rallied around Ukraine with new pledges of weapons and shows of support.
Even as leaders in Ukraine and around the world commemorated the anniversary with ceremonies and speeches, the fighting continued much as it has for the past year. The war has already done untold damage: Tens of thousands have been killed on both sides, millions of Ukrainians have been made homeless, and Ukraine has sustained tens of billions of dollars worth of damage that has left cities flattened and people around the country grappling with dark and cold.
But Ukrainians have also found strength in shared sacrifice, and hope in the setbacks their country’s forces have dealt Russia on the battlefield. Ukraine has largely stopped the offensives of its much larger and better-armed neighbor and has regained swaths of captured land, aided by the United States and its European allies, which have remained united, funneling billions of dollars of weapons to Kyiv.
My students, read through some of the student reactions from last year or the rest of the Times article, or both, and then tell me:
Which student reaction is most interesting to you? Why? Which, if any, echo thoughts or feelings you have had? A year on, which resonate most for you?
How, if at all, has this crisis hit home for you? For some students, the war is distant, while for many others it is an omnipresent and harrowing reality. Where do you live? How, if at all, have you experienced the effects of this war?
Have you continued to follow the news about the war? Why or why not? What, if anything, has surprised you? What have you learned?
Have you seen pictures, videos or social media posts documenting the war, life in Ukraine and Russia, or the experiences of refugees? What moments or images have stood out for you? Why?
What would you want to say to people your age who are caught up in this war?
Where do we go from here? What do you think will happen in the coming weeks and months as the war continues? Why?
What responsibility do you believe the rest of the world has in this conflict? How do you want your government to respond?
What questions do you still have unanswered?
exotic · 22-25, F Best Comment
I had very recently given birth so was more preoccupied with my newborn baby when they invaded. She was five days old on the day of the invasion.

I fear that the West *could* increase its involvement. Moreover, I fear that people are totally deluded about this war. It's scary how much they are willing to believe the propaganda in western media outlets, and it's horrible how willing they are to celebrate the deaths of Russian soldiers, who may not even want to be there.

Russia will either win or it will just be an endless war. The only way Ukraine could win is with the help of western soldiers on the ground.

In summary, I just find it strange how much people want Ukraine to fight and how ambivalent they are to the reality of war, which is lots of innocent people suffering and dying. What happened to peace and advocating diplomacy?

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