Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the whole world's attention had turned to the devastating news. International news outlets were racing to the scene to take a self-pitying, depressing selfie of war-torn cities and people in crisis. Although that comment is somewhat unfair, not all the press is self-serving and narcissistic. In fact, thousands of western outlets reveal the true atrocities of the conflict. But why are we only viewing this from a euro centric basis and how can we as young people contribute?
The invasion of Ukraine was an unnecessary attack on innocent people and has now marked a key point in world history. A verified total of 2,899 civilian deaths have been recorded during Russia's military attack on Ukraine at the time I wrote this. Of them, 210 were children. A further 3,235 people were reported to have been injured. The war has resulted in a humanitarian crisis, thousands of Ukrainians have had to flee their country, their homes and go to an unfamiliar environment in order to avoid this attack. Our love and prayers are sent to these families and to anyone suffering from the war and the countries who are accommodating them currently.
Although, we mustn't only help the victims of all of Ukraine, but also the youth of Russia, who are shamelessly being manipulated by propaganda from their leader. People who protest against Russia's 'special military attack' are being arrested, being denied of their human rights too, even referring to it as war is punishable. The mass censorship of the country denies them from seeing the extent in which Ukraine is suffering.
Since February 24th 2022, the start of this invasion, there has been 40% less coverage in press than before this genocide, despite it's affects on millions of people. The media can be a powerful tool, a weapon, against fake news and manipulation. From war, there are no true winners, only victims. An eye for an eye leaves us all blind in the end. So please do not forget the extent in which people are suffering and will continue to suffer until this is ended and beyond, everyone can contribute to that.
Written by Emilia Wakeman, Member of UK Youth Parliament (MYP) for Heywood and Middleton.