Most of society is aware of the atrocities committed in Ukraine by the Russian military. Although the exact number is unknown, around 3,000 Ukrainian civilians have been killed and more than 12 million Ukrainians are believed to have fled (BBC News). But how does this pertain to our generation, Gen-Z? How are we affected by one sole orchestrator of terror: Putin?
Teenagers are currently witnessing history. With many of us born after 9/11 and other monstrosities, our generation is observing inexplicable war crimes for the first time. Why is this significant? In an age of technology and social media, this war can fundamentally alter the way we perceive the world, the way we interact with our peers, and the way we live our daily lives. Once we gain perspective of our privilege as American citizens, our generation can learn to be more compassionate and sympathetic - qualities that many of us have lost due to monotonous ways of living. Watching the atrocities committed and listening to the heart breaking stories of children being aimlessly murdered on social media, our generation is witnessing primary documents with the tap of a finger.
Knowing the history of WWII, much of our generation can now engage in meaningful dialogue about the Russia vs Ukraine War, and can understand the proliferation of lies spread by the Kremlin. Thus, we must not silence our voices. Instead of passively living through this war, us teenagers should use freedoms bestowed to us by birth. Speak out, write articles, engage in dialogue. Russians are not given this opportunity. Instead, they are silenced. Journalists must hide behind a facade of satisfaction. They must share fallacies to please Putin. They must refrain from engaging in real journalism, which shares real news.
Fortunately, Americans living in the United States do not face this oppression. Thus, we must speak out for Russians who do not have this luxury. Although the war seems distant at times, our generation has the ability to access real accounts of personal stories by Ukranians by the click of a button, an experience other generations before us never experienced. So how far are we from this war, really?