A change in perspective


Image source: Twitter video screenshot

As the conflict between Russia and Ukraine worsens, students from around the world are being exposed to the severity of the situation through social media. The majority of online posts contain those fighting on the frontlines helping spread awareness about the war.

Alex Hook, a Ukrainian soldier, is an example of the use of media in the war efforts. Hook started uploading content on TikTok in 2020 in order to show his daughter that he was alive and well while deployed overseas. In late February 2022, after almost a week with no posts, many feared the worst: Hook passed away in battle; however, he finally uploaded a video announcing his health and bringing attention to the war.

“I am alive and will continue to fight for Ukraine. Glory to Ukraine and glory to the heroes,” Hook said.

Additionally, a video posted on YouTube has gone viral of a captured Russian soldier receiving help from Ukrainian citizens. Using a local woman’s phone, the trooper had the opportunity to call his mother; though he became emotional and was unable to speak, the woman insisted on letting his mother, Natasha, know that he would be okay.

“Do not worry Natasha, he is alive and well. You will get a call later,” the woman said. 

Another widespread story from Ukraine focuses on one of its female citizens. During a confrontation with fully armed opposing soldiers, a Ukrainian woman offered them sunflower seeds, the seed of Ukraine’s national flower.  She did so with the intention that, if they were to pass, sunflowers will grow in their place.

“Take these seeds, and put them in your pockets, so at least sunflowers will grow when you all lie down here,” the woman said.

As a result of the viral stories showing the atrocities in Ukraine, Russia’s government has started taking steps to ban forms of social media from its civilians. More information can be found in the article, Anonymously fighting for peace.

“The censorship in Russia reflects the lack of confidence they have in their people,” Hali Jang, senior, said. 

Cities throughout the world have started to rally in favor of Ukraine. Many areas have lit up their buildings with the colors of the Ukrainian flag to show support; some of these include the Colosseum in Rome, Italy, the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, and the Flinder Train Station in Melbourne, Australia. 

“I think it is the best thing to do and will help Ukraine win the war and boost people’s morals,” Satya Prabhuram, freshman, said. 

Having the ability to see indirectly how the fighting is impacting others’ lives has generated worldwide support for Ukraine and its efforts. With the media playing a large part, many are doing what they can and donating to the Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund in order to help those in need.