The invasion of Ukraine caused a massive humanitarian crisis affecting not only the two countries of Russia and Ukraine but also economically impacting other countries. Already, thousands of lives have been lost and millions of people have lost their families, their homes, their jobs. The world has been shocked by this unfolding humanitarian tragedy and the impact of this brutal war on the lives of thousands of people. In addition to the pain and suffering experienced by those inside Ukraine, there are already millions of people seeking refuge in neighboring countries. Also, some nations have decided to help Ukraine by providing them with military and financial aid, which may help them defend their country.
Millions of Ukrainians have left their country since Russia invaded in February 2022. And as the war enters its second year, increasingly Ukrainian citizens are losing hope of one day returning home. According to the New York Times: “During the first weeks of the war, people from other countries rushed to offer aid to those fleeing. Poland, which shares a border with Ukraine, has received the largest number of Ukrainians in Europe. Nearly 1.5 million people had registered there as refugees in November. In Western Europe, programs like Homes for Ukraine in Britain, #UnterkunftUkraine in Germany have been created to allow citizens to share their accommodation.”
Many Ukrainians now live in countries across Europe as well as further afield and have spent months outside their home country away from most family and friends. Unfortunately, those who did not have the chance to leave or had to stay as soldiers live in poor conditions and in constant fear. According to the International Rescue Committee, “Many still in the country are forced to live without access to food, water, or electricity. Waves of Russian airstrikes have left even more people across the country facing the cold without access to gas, electricity, or central heating systems, and in a single day in mid-November, more than even million people were left without electricity due to the fighting. Civil infrastructure, including hospitals and schools, suffered catastrophic damage preventing Ukrainian citizens injured by the bomb attacks from receiving proper medical care.”
Once again, the most vulnerable are those who suffer the most when war breaks out.
This war has not only impacted the lives of Ukrainians but also the lives of many people around the world. Cailyn Ingerick is an American student in Herkimer college who shared her opinion about the war in Ukraine. According to her, ”the conflict in Ukraine has made it likely that there will be disruptions in the world food supply. Also, we may anticipate pressure from our European partners to accept the numerous Ukrainian refugees who are currently fleeing their nation. The Ukraine conflict will increase inflation, lowering the purchasing power of every American family.”
Communication & Media major Riley Hajczewski also commented on the conflict. ”The Ukraine war is scary; honestly all war brings that fear of another world war. This war has affected gas prices drastically — driving back and forth between college, work and home I spend like a hundred dollars on gas a week.”‘
The world will continue to support both the people who have fled Ukraine and the millions of refugees and displaced people around the world. Ending the violence against civilians is one of the most important steps in helping Ukrainians rebuild their lives. World leaders must ensure that international humanitarian law is respected and that humanitarian actors are protected and maintain access to help those in need. War is never the solution to a problem because in the end, nobody wins.
Photo by Lukas Johnns via Creative Commons.