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VOX Bubble: VOX ATL Teens Speak on the Ukraine Crisis

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Ukraine. Mention it or its aggressor, and people anywhere in the United States – and it seems anywhere in the world – will have something to say.

The Russian Invasion of Ukraine has been the most devastating crisis in recent memory. So far, Ukraine has reportedly had over 1,800 civilian deaths and more than 11 million displacements at the time of this article’s publication.

While our leaders have all recognized the need to provide some sort of aid to the Ukrainian people, infighting and party divides have hindered the process. The United States has imposed sanctions on Russia and is currently in the process of discussing next steps for supplying weapons.

As a teenager, all of this can be overwhelming. It can be difficult to know where to start, and the information itself can be troubling. But it is important that teenagers, the future leaders of America, the future leaders of our country’s foreign policy and military, stay informed on dire, pressing events like Ukraine. So, here are what some VOX ATL teens had to say:

The past few weeks, the crisis in Ukraine has been on everyone’s newsfeeds and minds. What was your reaction upon hearing the news?

“Are we going into war?” ~Jenne, Pebblebrook High School

“It’s very shocking at first but this is a major crisis in our lifetime which can break into war which is scary. Seeing thousands of empty strollers symbolizing deceased infants just knocks the wind out of me and makes me think. However I do notice when I get into a spiral it makes me so anxious so it’s important not to spiral too crazy into fake news.” ~Hannah, Pace Academy

“I was shocked and devastated upon hearing the news of Ukraine. I am Jewish and it deeply upset me that Russia bombed a Holocaust remembrance sight. I see so much underlying antisemitism with this crisis, especially because Zelensky is Jewish and his relatives were Holocaust survivors.” ~Belle, Duluth High School

“I was deeply upset for the Ukrainians. I also felt ignorant, because I hadn’t known about the situation before it started making top headlines in the US.” ~Paige, Tucker High School

So far, the United States has put sanctions on Russia and given millions of dollars of aid to Ukraine. What else would you like to see the U.S. do to help?

“Actually send U.S. troops to help fight against Russia.” ~Jenne, Pebblebrook High School

“It’s a tricky situation since Ukraine isn’t NATO. Some believe that we shouldn’t engage since it can cause conflict on our end, but I do think it is good that we’re giving some type of help without being fully in it. I believe the U.S. needs to continue the generosity to other neighboring countries that are going through tough times as well.” ~Hannah, Pace Academy

“I would like to see the United States send more volunteers to Poland, to aid the refugees from Ukraine.” ~Belle, Duluth High School

“I’m unsure if this is currently in place, but I would love it if the U.S. could help Ukraine’s neighboring countries to provide resources and shelter for the Ukrainians fleeing the country.” ~Paige, Tucker High School

What are the best ways for teens to engage/assist in this crisis?

“Spread the word about things that are going on.” ~Jenne, Pebblebrook High School

“Reading credible sources and getting the right facts and updates about the crisis.” ~Hannah, Pace Academy

“I think the best way for teens to engage and assist in the crisis is making sure to first properly educate themselves on the issue and then act. Another way is to donate money or clothes to organizations supporting the Ukrainian people.” ~Belle, Duluth High School

“I think teens becoming educated is a great first start! Learning about the crisis is essential, especially if you are actively seeking out new resources to learn and share with others.” ~Paige, Tucker High School

Why is it important for teens (and adults) to educate themselves on Ukraine and other global crises like it? Do you feel that any other crises have been overlooked?

“It’s important because I believe we are not taking this seriously enough or don’t see it for people actually suffering. I believe many crises have been overlooked, too many to name.” ~Jenne, Pebblebrook High School

“It’s very important to educate ourselves on the Ukraine crisis because it gives us insight to other global issues around different countries that we don’t see in the news so often and I think Ukraine is a great example for us starting to look at other countries going through tough times. But I do feel like other cases are overlooked such as genocide in Syria and Libya simply because Americans tend to pick and choose what crises they want to see and support. For example on the news you don’t see is often the discrimination Black Ukrainians that are trying to evacuate and seek refuge but they’re being denied. Or slave trading and Libya.” ~Hannah, Pace Academy

“I think it is important to be educated on any crisis occurring so that you can be informed and be mindful in your actions. I feel like many crises have been overlooked because people are focused on Ukraine.” ~Belle, Duluth High School

“It’s incredibly important for teens to educate themselves on the Ukraine crisis (along with other global crises) because young people will eventually grow older and become in charge! Learning about global crises is essential because it helps us recognize ways to use our resources to help other people.” ~Paige, Tucker High School

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