Russia-Ukraine War Builds Worldwide Tension: How It Affects Us


Ukranian Flag photo by Max Kukurudziak on Unsplash

Jayden Forniel and Geovanni Lopez

On February 23, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin officially declared war against Ukraine. His decision prompted a rapid response from NATO. Financial and political weakening through sanctions is the response to Russian aggression world leaders are favoring.

Sanctions being imposed on Russia to minimize human suffering include: the United Kingdom and the United States freezing major Russian bank assets, Germany putting the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline on hold, and the US and allies cutting off more than half of Russia’s high-tech imports to prevent the development of its military capabilities.

Putin’s justification for the invasion has been that Russia could not feel “safe, develop and exist” due to what he views as a constant threat from modern Ukraine. This sense of threat comes from Ukraine’s links to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) which was historically built to deter the Soviet Union during World War II. The hypothetical acquisition of Ukraine would mean NATO closes in on the Russian border, who have already retaliated against Ukraine back in 2014, seizing the region of Crimea. This led to a peace deal, the Minsk accord, which since has been eradicated, as Putin recognized the bordering regions of Ukraine to be under “rebel control”. The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, pleaded to the Russian people to listen, sympathize, and understand that his country is against this approach of violence and barbaric tactics. “Listen to the voice of reason,” Mr. Zelensky said, “the Ukrainian people want peace.”

The President did not get the response he wished for as Russia attacked the capital of Ukraine, Kyiv. Russia, with whom Ukraine shares a long history, has now taken action “demilitarizing” them through cynical violence and brute force. Russia launched attacks with several rockets leading to unwarranted deaths of Ukrainian citizens. In a state of crisis, citizens are fleeing to Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Moldova to seek shelter, food, and safety. This catastrophic sequence of events has incited uproar around the world with various public protests against the war gaining strength even in the Russian city of St. Petersburg.

I strongly disagree with this war. The deaths of innocent Ukrainian civilians and soldiers because of Putin’s cynical and aggressive motives are unacceptable. It is a war that could’ve been avoided entirely. Becoming a United States Marine infantryman has always been a dream of mine. Specifically, The United States Marine Corps because they’re the most fierce fighting force in the world. Excellence is the expectation. Going easy is not in their vocabulary. What they stand for is everything I strive to be daily. I love what the Marine Corps stands for in pride, courage, unity, and leadership. Now, does the current state of the world strike a sense of uncertainty in my heart? Of course, it does. With the current invasion of Ukraine, the world is on edge. War is not something that is wished for, but it is a reality that has to be accepted by the soldiers who signed up for the military. Whether or not we’re in an active war when it comes time for me to enlist is entirely up to fate.
Being a UDI at St.Benedict’s Prep has provided me clarity in what path I want to take once I graduate. Through the constant demonstration of leadership and brotherhood, my experiences have solidified my interest in joining the Marine Corps. The school emphasizes student leadership and I’m eager to excel in any role that is asked of me. With school mottos like “Whatever hurts my brother hurts me” and “Benedict’s hates a quitter” the principles couldn’t translate any better to the Marine Corps. Under any circumstance, no marine is ever left behind. I want to be pushed to the best of my abilities, and serving would just do that.

Photo by Levi Meir Clancy for Unsplash

Friday, towards the end of the leadership training course that is required for potential student leaders, Athletic Director Tom Leahy ’77, shared some words that truly struck me. He told students that there is no such thing as days off. Although the whole school had no class Friday, students came in for their leadership course. It was important to be reminded that we didn’t waste our day, we took the steps required to become efficient leaders. A no-days-off mindset is something I love and agree with wholeheartedly. It’s the mentality necessary to succeed in the Marines.

“Semper Fidelis” the Latin translation for “always faithful” is the Marine Corps’ heart and soul slogan. The willingness to stay strong, motivated, and defend the oppressed and defenseless, in this time more than ever, needs to be applied. With the actions of Russia towards Ukraine, the world must not turn a blind eye and provide support in unity against such violent measures. Ukraine, in a time of desperation and chaos, needs its allies to continue to apply constant pressure on Russia. If the war continues to expand, the outcome could be catastrophic worldwide. With the spotlight on the impetuous commands of Putin, if neighboring countries respond with military force, all hell would break loose having a direct effect on us.