Image provided by Vadim Ghirda from Associated Press. Top: Ukrainian servicemen ride on a fighting vehicle outside Kyiv on Saturday. Russian forces are retreating from the capital’s region as they turn their firepower to the south and east.
When Russia invaded Ukraine, the possibility of World War III became apparent. If the conflict spreads beyond Ukraine and NATO (Northern Atlantic Treaty Organization) gets involved, then it could lead to a conflict between the United States and Russia (and possibly China), which could quickly devolve into a nuclear war.
Many students appear to be concerned about the potential of this happening. Nuclear torpedoes and hypersonic weapons are two weapons of great concern which the US and Russia have no protection against. A Russian student at Washington High School believes that “what Putin is doing is extremely wrong” and “that he is harming his own people.” So far Putin’s attack on Ukraine has caused Russian currency to inflate severely, due to the sanctions imposed by the US, Germany, UK, EU, Japan, and Australia. These sanctions froze important Russian banks such as the Rossiya Bank, IS Bank, General Bank, Promsvyazbank, and the Black Sea Bank. Even though these sanctions are inconvenient, “Western sanctions are unlikely to force Putin to halt the invasion,” according to an anonymous student. “Sanctions generally have a poor track record of dislodging authoritarian leaders,” says WHS AP Euro teacher Mr. Raskin. “That’s not to say that the West shouldn’t pursue sanctions.”
Others believe that “the Russian-Ukrainian war will almost certainly escalate further.”; one student adds on, saying “If NATO intervenes, the US will be targeted.” On February 25th, Putin stated that “any potential aggressor will face defeat and ominous consequences should it directly attack our (Russia) country.” But this all depends on if NATO intervenes with Putin’s plan in the invasion. So far the war between Russia and Ukraine has already caused up to 6769–7096 deaths and the number continues to rise. “WW3 will not happen unless Putin makes a move on NATO,” says Alexander Tokar, a Russian sophomore at Washington High School. He believes that the war is escalating rapidly but the odds of NATO directly attacking Russia are slim.
These sanctions that are imposed are like putting screen time limits on your phone: “it may slow Putin down but it will not prevent him from taking over Ukraine,” remarks an anonymous Husky.
As for the US economy, since it “is not closely tied to Russia and is not reliant on Russian natural gas, it will be the European economies that bear the brunt of the crisis,” according to Mr. Raskin. He adds: “That said, the global economy is interconnected, so the US economy will only experience mild negative effects, such as rising gas prices.”
NATO’s current involvement in the war is minor because a nuclear war cannot be “won” by either the US or Russia. Even if one nation strikes first, decimating major military sites and population centers, the other would still be able to conduct a devastating nuclear reprisal on their enemy’s homeland. So far the most significant retaliation the US has made against Russia was cutting off their bonds, “which most likely won’t stop Putin, but instead continue the suffrage of the citizens in his country,” says an anonymous Russian student. Other relatiations are minor things such as Apple’s refusal to allow Russia to purchase Apple products or Netflix pausing viewing of their shows in Russia. These sanctions that are imposed are like putting screen time limits on your phone: “it may slow Putin down but it will not prevent him from taking over Ukraine,” remarks an anonymous Husky.
Montana is a sophomore at Washington High School in Fremont, California, where she grew up. This is her first year at the Hatchet, and she is excited to cover arts and entertainment as well as local news. She likes baking, reading, and watching Netflix in her free time. Her favorite time of the year is always Christmas and Halloween. In the future Montana aspires to work in judicial or business law, where she can help people and think analytically.