Forgotten Ukraine?

As the war in Ukraine marks one year, we must stay engaged


Peggy Frierson, U.S. Department of Defense.

Russia aims to conquer the eastern parts of Ukraine through war.

The Lion's Tale

Among the many humanitarian crimes Russia has committed in their war against Ukraine, there is one crime that we find particularly atrocious: the abduction of Ukrainian children. On March 17, 2023, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin. The charge: unlawfully transferring Ukrainian children from occupied Ukraine to Russia.

Six thousand Ukrainian children have been abducted by Russian soldiers and brought to Russia, according to the Yale Humanitarian Research Lab (HRL) as of Jan. 2023.

The Associated Press found that Russia deported thousands of Ukrainian children without their consent. The Russian soldiers
find them in war-torn areas, manipulate the children by telling them that their parents did not want them then hand them over
to Russian families.

This is just one example of the unimaginable torment Ukrainians have suffered in the past year. As there seems to be no end
in sight, it is important not to let these continued atrocities get lost in the news cycle.

The Yale HRL adds that many deported Ukrainian children are now up for adoption in Russia. The ICC has also issued a warrant for the Russian Presidential Commissioner for Children’s Rights, Maria Lvova-Belova, who stated in a taped video that she “adopted” a 15-year-old boy from Mariupol.

Russia came into this war with a larger military, superior technology and the element of surprise, giving them an advantage from the start. In light of this, the scrappy Ukrainian military has held its own.

Despite Ukraine’s ability to hold off Russian power, Ukrainian civilians are still experiencing a humanitarian catastrophe. The
war’s violence and destruction of infrastructure has resulted in a refugee crisis.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, there are currently 8,157,230 Ukrainian refugees (as of March 27). For comparison, the entire state of Maryland has just under seven million residents.
Millions of Ukrainians are without electricity, water and heat, as well as being tortured and executed, according to Human Rights Watch. We should not stop our efforts to support them: spreading awareness, sending care boxes and donating money are still crucial to minimizing this disaster.

We remember the immediate outpour of support when the war began, from teachers covering the conflict during school to the
class of 2022 preparing boxes of clothing for Ukrainian refugees while in Israel.

However, we are no longer seeing anything close to the initial response to the conflict; there is less mention of it on social media, less discussion of it in school and no current efforts at CESJDS students to help Ukrainians.

This ongoing senseless violence and aggression is despicable. We at the Lion’s Tale stand with Ukraine and we urge you to keep up the support.