The cry to NATO

Voices scream for help. Protests fill nations as the violent conflict continues. The Russia-Ukraine war has claimed over 13,000 lives. Various punishments have been put in place against Russia, but the country has refused to back down. 

“Innocent people in Ukraine definitely do not deserve any of the things they are going through right now. There are so many misconceptions about them, but it still does not justify the war or the thousands of lives lost,” Jinx Redmon, freshman, said. 

Russian President Vladmir Putin claimed one of his reasons for invasion was his fear that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was going to intrude on their territory by taking on new members in Eastern Europe. He believed that Ukraine would bring NATO forces into its backyard and increase the chance of European involvement in a conflict with Russia if it became a member. 

“Do you realize that if Ukraine joins NATO and decides to take Crimea back through military means, the European countries will automatically get drawn into a military conflict with Russia? Of course, NATO’s united potential and that of Russia are incomparable,” Putin said. 

Ukraine has been trying to join NATO since 2008, but its membership into the organization has been disapproved due to concerns from European leaders about how its participation would affect their relationship with Russia. 

“The level of risk for NATO has simply and suddenly increased enormously. The possibility of conflict with Russian forces in Europe or elsewhere, like the Black Sea, the Sahel, Libya or Syria, could be dangerous and will be an issue for years to come,” Ian Lesser, former American head official of the German Marshall Fund’s Brussels office, said.  

 NATO cannot adequately assist Ukraine due to its members having economic and political connection with Russia. Although the organization is unable to help Ukraine as much as it needs, its allies (including Canada, Belgium, and the United States) have sent weapons and placed sanctions against Russia. 

“There has been some hesitation about Ukraine’s development in terms of them being ready to be a NATO member-state as they have some outstanding border issues with Russia, but I think those NATO member-states are offering some support. However, I do not think we will see them sending troops into Ukraine,” Donnell Osborne, Etowah Social Studies teacher, said. 

Research from The University of California, Los Angeles has shown NATO involvement might lead to increased conflict and the chance of a future war, with some victories for Russia in the end. 

“If NATO or the U.S. sent troops into Ukraine to help them fight the Russians, the dynamic would shift to a multinational conflict with potential global implications due to the nuclear power status of both US and Russia,” Mark Hertling, retired Lieutenant General of the US army, said. 

 Russian citizens have resisted Putin’s orders, claiming that his regime is a disaster to the country and the world at large. Many people are pushing for the United States and the rest of NATO to help more. 

Our country, by order of President Putin, started a war with Ukraine, and there is no one to stop the war, so together with grief we feel shame,” Dmitry Muratov, editor-in-chief of the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, said. 

Ukraine is calling for more military aid from NATO, its allies, and the world. If one is interested in helping, visit here.