The Russian government began an invasion into neighboring Ukraine Wednesday of last week following months of tense anticipation as Russian troops massed on the Ukrainian border.
For one Canisius student, who was born in Ukraine, the war has had an especially personal effect. In an interview with The Griffin, the student said, “It just makes me very sad, seeing people from my country dealing with this and there’s not much I can physically do over there to help them right now.” But one thing that she hopes to do is to raise awareness for both the conflict and Ukraine in general.
One thing she did in that respect was an effort to organize the student body to wear yellow and blue, the colors of the Ukrainian flag. “I felt like I needed to do something,” she said, “and one of the things I thought of was to get people to put on something that makes others think: why are they right? With that, more questions will be asked.” She explained that raising awareness and asking questions are her main goals.
Support throughout the world is important, she emphasized, but the people who matter most in the conflict are the Ukrainians. “Let me tell you,” she said, “Ukrainians, we are bold; really strong. We’ve been through a lot of different things.” Indeed, over the years Ukrainians have faced much: from the Holodomor — a genocide of Ukrainians at the hands of the Soviets during the 1930s, which the student specifically cited — to the recently heightened tensions and annexations at the hands of Russia.
As for how the student body can help specifically, the Ukrainian American Freedom Foundation is providing humanitarian and medical aid for war victims in Ukraine. Their website is www.UkrainiansOfBuffalo.com. “I think that something that is encouraging [is how] people are doing their part right now and marching and protesting,” the student expressed. “I think that’s something that needs to be said.”