World War Three?

Haley Goode, Staff Writer

Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, has made it clear to the world and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) that he has the largest nuclear power in the world. In the early morning of Feb. 24, Putin launched his first attack in the streets of north Kyiv, Ukraine. Hours after the first attack, thousands of Ukraine’s people fled the country by train. It is now the start of the largest mobilization of forces since 1945. These attacks come as Putin’s goal is to take over Ukraine, once again.

The Soviet Union collapsed in 1990 causing NATO to expand. The global ties since then, Russia still being a communist country, the U.S. has not had the best relationship with them for years. The previous American president, Donald Trump, had five meetings face to face with Putin, and the current president, Joe Biden, having thus far only one meeting. As of March 17, it has been confirmed that 816 Ukrainians have died from multiple bombings and after effects. Buildings like hospitals, children’s schools and churches have been bombed. 47.7% of nuclear weapons in the world belong to the communist country Russia, according to Visual Capitalist. The biggest controversy as of right now is the question: should the United States get involved? If the U.S. did get involved and had the intention to help the Ukrainian people, it would signal to Russia that the U.S. is siding with them, therefore potentially causing a world war, which is scary considering Russia has about 2 percent more nuclear weapons than the United States, China being behind us with only 3 percent according to Visual Capitalist. Putin seems like he has a lot of power. One nuclear bomb over the air would start a fireball as far as one square kilometer. It would then spread to 160 square kilometers, giving people in the area third degree burns. The shockwaves of the bomb would go about 70 square kilometers, like an earthquake, demolishing buildings. According to NukeMap, over one million people would die if a bomb was placed over New York City. 

With all of this troubling news about a possible war outbreak, there are some things the U.S. is doing to potentially stop it from getting worse. Gas prices have been through the roof, going up an extra $4.10 a gallon according to MyNorthwest. This is the outcome of Russia pulling the U.S.’s split of oil which is 10 percent of the global supply, according to CBS. However, the US has been doing the same thing to the Russians. On Feb. 24, the White House ordered that Russia’s financial and technology supply be cut down. Meaning, the export controls will cut off more than half of Russia’s tech imports, cutting off the two largest banks, freezing any U.S. assets, no access to the global market, investments, and usage of the US dollar, just to name a few. 

To get an understanding about how kids feel about these new events, here are what some students at IHS have to say. “I have a close friend whose family lives in Kyiv, so I know she is going through a hard time right now and just trying to stay positive,” says senior Derek Pena. “Putin is a dictator so he wants the most power he can get, I hope the U.S. can get involved and help Ukraine, but at the same time, we cannot cost a world war,” Junior Molly Shepherd knows about what’s going on: “I know that Russia is a communist country and that their leader has sadly been bombing Ukraine’s cities. My family and I watch it on the news almost every day to stay updated. I just saw that Ukraine’s leader said he and his people are going to fight back which seems like a good thing.” Sophomore Owen Ostrom says, “The Russians are being almost brainwashed as to what is going on outside of their country and they don’t understand that Putin is telling them they are helping Ukraine, when they are actually killing their people. No war is a good war but I think Biden needs to step in and help Ukraine because they are obviously struggling and need help from a country with a stronger army which we have.” Lastly, freshman Dylan Mayo says, “I honestly don’t know a lot about what’s going on. I’ve just seen clips on Instagram or the news. My parents have said that this could get really bad and it’s also why my sister is complaining about gas prices right now.” At the end of the interview each student was asked if they were aware that Russia has the largest percentage of nuclear bombs, and out of the four, only Pena knew. 

Hopefully with more education in the classrooms about this potential war, it can be a good learning opportunity in these stressful times. With a close eye on Russia and their next attack or move, America will be watching closely to see if the United States continues to be quiet, or take a stand and help.