The war underground

Teachers and students discuss the current Ukraine invasion and the government’s response


Popcorn Philanthropy: Kim Gilbert, Junior High English teacher, says: “My classes are currently reading a book about refugees and we see the connection. So, my students decided to do this.” Photo by: Yi Yang

Yi Yang, Reporter

On March 7, 2022, President Biden announced that the United States will no longer have energy imports from Russia, such as natural gas and oil. 

“We’re banning all imports of Russian oil and gas and energy,” President Biden said, “That means Russian oil will no longer be acceptable at U.S. ports and the American people will deal another powerful blow to Putin’s war machine.” 

The Biden administration and their European allies have been working on stopping the war through sanctions on trade, banking, and financial services. Companies such as McDonald’s and Coca-Cola have joined the sanctions in Russia due to the invasion of Ukraine. Some may wonder if these sanctions will have any effect on the outcome of the war. It does have some impact on Putin’s decision, but it is not going to stop the war.

“Putin spent millions of dollars and time to accomplish this invasion. He is not gonna stop just because of sanctions,” Mitch Miller, social studies teacher, said. “The reason why we cut oil from Russia is that oil is the heart of Russia’s economy. Also, under pressure from the public opinion and the poll. The situation is different in Germany and Italy, most of its oil comes from Russia. ” 

On March 6, as everyone was worried about Russia using its nuclear weapon, the average price of oil reached $4 per gallon. Not only Americans, in Germany the gas prices reached an all time high, average one liter of gas caused about 2 euro for every country in the European Union. This is twice the price of the same amount of gas at the beginning of the year. All as a result in support of Ukraine. 

“Just over the course of this administration we’ve provided more than $2.3 billion in security assistance – in the last month alone, $1.6 billion.” Antony J. Blinken, United States Secretary of State, said, “A sovereign, independent Ukraine has demonstrated it’s going to be around a lot longer than Vladimir Putin is on the scene.  The real question, though, again, is what happens in the meantime.  If this goes on, how much death, how much destruction is there? ”

There are hundreds of people and refugee aids are coming into countries near Ukraine because there are no planes able to enter the Ukraine air space. Not only the oil price but there are also about 2 million refugees fleeing into Poland and Romania. Also, small countries like Moldova. Felicia Dumbraveanu (11), an exchange student from Moldova, tells us the current situation in this foreign country.

“My parents can see flames and hear the explosions on the other side, but thanks to the Ukraine People’s army, they are not really affected.” Felicia said. “My brother and families are donating and raising supplies for Ukraine refugees.”

However, there are many ways Oakwood students can help from afar. Kim Gilbert’s class is raising funds to support Ukrainian refugees, calling it #RallyforRefugees, by selling various pastries and treats. In addition, there is a GoFundMe that students can donate to. 

“My class is reading a book named ‘Refugee’ by Alan Gratz. We saw the connection to what happened right now in Ukraine. So, the students came up with this idea,” Gilbert said. “Now, we have raised about  2,000 dollars by selling popcorn and online donations.”

Russia is threatening the world with its nuclear weapons, a sense of insecurity and unnecessary violence is spreading to all of us. There are many who have suffered over such a small amount of time, the two million refugees who lost their homes. Volodymyr Zelensky and the Ukraine people are still fighting against the invaders.