Students share their knowledge about war in Ukraine

The war in Ukraine was on everyone’s minds six months ago when it started but as the war has stabilized so, too, has the coverage. This brings the question: How much do the students at Fuquay-Varina High School know about what’s going on in Ukraine?

“Ukraine’s getting a heads up [advantage],” said senior, Marcus Roach, on the state of the war. This was reflected in maps, including a map by the Institute for the Study of War, which showed minor advances by Russia in certain parts of the line and larger advances by Ukraine in other areas. 

Ukraine has made significant advances in the south around Mykolaiv and similar advances in the north around Kharkiv. Broadly, while Russia and Ukraine have traded territory and destroyed each other’s equipment, Ukraine has had a tangible heads-up over Russia.

“[There have been issues] economically, with like the oil,” Roach continued. This was absolutely the case earlier in the war when prices soared from $70 to over $115 per barrel of oil, according to Macrotrends LLC. Since then, the crisis has mostly stabilized. 

The cost per barrel of oil at the end of August was $90 with a downward trend. While this is still above pre-war prices, this is indicative of the situation leveling out, but still suffering from Russia’s absence in the Western oil market.

“There’s a lot of destruction, people are trying to flee,” said senior Savannah Ford. The refugee situation is vast with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, reporting over seven million refugees coming from Ukraine to other European countries. This makes the war in Ukraine one of the biggest refugee crises in recent history.

“I assume Russia is winning because they’re big and scary,” Ford continued. While Russia, on paper at least, looks “big and scary,” the truth is that Russia has had a myriad of issues pursuing the war. 

Russia has had issues with manpower, supply, and the economy and all of them have continued to decline as the war has progressed according to the Institute for the Study of War. Between the targeting of Russian logistics and western aid, the Ukrainian army has managed to keep pace with Russia in the war of attrition. In short, while Russia is a bigger power, Ukraine has managed to hold off, and even gain ground, against them.

While some students are more up-to-date than others, for many Fuquay-Varina High School students, their understanding of the war can best be summed up by senior Gabriel Price, “It’s happening for sure.”