By Emily Krause & Kelly Schmitz
News recently broke about Russia starting a war with Ukraine, and it is a significant talking point amongst the students and professors of the University of Wisconsin Green Bay.
On February 24th, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “special military operation” in eastern Ukraine “to protect people who have been subjected to abuse and genocide by the Kyiv regime for eight years.” Minutes after this announcement, missiles began to hit locations across Ukraine, including the capital, Kyiv. The first week of the invasion has cost 2,000 Ukrainian civilian lives thus far.
Many countries, including the U.S., have expressed their immense displeasure with the occurrence of this war and are being vocal with their thoughts about it by stopping Russia from having what it needs to survive; or diminishing it.
The Biden administration announced sanctions against Russia’s central bank on Monday. This prohibits Americans from doing any business with the bank as well as freezes its assets within the U.S.
Those in America that can only be bystanders are standing with Ukraine, especially those on the University of Wisconsin Green Bay Campus.
“I think that the war happening because of Russia invading Ukraine is horrible,” says UWGB student Rebecca VanAsten. “It is not fair to all of the civilians in either country, but most especially Ukraine. It is very clear from not only the news but social media accounts from locals that they do not want the war,” VanAsten said.
The war in Ukraine also hits close to home for those in Wisconsin. Wisconsin has a very extensive European ancestry, with immigrants from Germany, Poland, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Finland, and many more.
“I’m really worried about what the war from Russia on Ukraine means for the rest of the world,” says NWTC (Northeast Wisconsin Technical College) student Daniel DeHoyos, “I am really worried that this could be the beginning of World War three if things are not taken care of very soon.”
“I saw an article recently that mentioned how cyber-attacks could be used if this war were to escalate,” VanAsten said, “I am especially worried because an attack like that could affect us even in a smaller city like Green Bay,” she mentioned.
However, the administration in the U.S. has recently responded to such concerns as these. According to the Biden administration, “Our forces are not and will not be engaged in the conflict,” Biden said last month, adding that any U.S. troops in Europe will only “defend our NATO allies and reassure those allies in [Eastern Europe].”
A noticeable hit that the war has taken on the Green Bay area has been the increase in gas prices since the war was declared. In Green Bay alone, gas prices have surged to the highest since 2008, and the national average for gas is 4.009 dollars a gallon. The reason prices have started to surge is due to the oil supply impact from war.
The Biden administration addressed this issue as well and responded by telling Americans that the price of gas “will go up further.”
The U.S. will continue to monitor the situation between Russia and Ukraine and will update the public as more information gets released gradually.