Scarred by War, Ukraine’s Children Face Years of Trauma

Oct 28, 2022 · 104 comments
Steph B (SE PA)
I'm so sad reading this. Yet, at the same time, I'm inspired by how positive and brave these children are. I hope time and life are good to them. I hope they heal. They deserve better than what they've seen in this world so far.
S.Einstein asc (Jerusalem)
“…no one knows what will come next for them.” Nor can any of US. EVER. In a violating WE-THEY enabled, violating, world. In which policymakers, personally unaccountable for their harmful words, and deeds, shamelessly, kill. Maim. Traumatize. Partnered by, and with, the compliance and complicities of all-too-many diverse, “others.” By the complacencies about…The collaborating, actively and passively, with… By paradoxes which, in diverse democracies, permit, one to freely choose to BEcome, and to BE: willfully blind about processes and outcomes which should never exist; willfully deaf to the experienced existential pains of so many all around US; willfully uncaring to seeded, nurtured, and harvested ummenschlichkeit; willfully indifferent, and silent, when targeted, volcanic-outraged responses are called for! There are no prosthetic substitutes for diminished mutual trust. Viral in its transmission. There is no prosthetic substitute for diminished mutual compassion. There is no prosthetic substitute for withering mutual respect. “Infectious in its trajectorieS.”
James (Savannah)
How revolting these men are worldwide, who put their own penny-ante/billion dollar ambitions before the welfare of children. If there were another animal on earth that behaved so despicably it would have become extinct long ago.
S.Einstein asc (Jerusalem)
James, please consider: it is within OUR own daily, abilities, words and deeds, to isolate, and neutralize,the harmful words and deeds, their implications and outcomes, both temporary as well as permanent ones,of the diverse harming- “unaccountableS.” Who are n our midst. Ken. Kin, and stranger. At whatever his/ her/their levels. And roles. A seeded, enabled, toxic, violating, WE-THEY can BE, need to BE confronted. Fought and neutralized. By a diverse, menschlich, US. .
Tulipano (Attleboro, MA)
Putin should gain Not One Inch of Ukrainian land lest other power worshippers and land grabbers follow his lead.
Niraj (USA)
Hmmm....how come you didn't feel the need to report like this for the children of Iraq when our madman invaded them illegally?
David (Sydney)
Niraj Hi. The USA sponsored invasion of Iraq cannot be compared to Russian attempted invasion of Ukraine. Would you prefer that the murderous dictator Sadam Hussein and his bloodthirsty sons remain in power even longer, free to committ further invasion of other countries, free to committ further murder and torture of all Iraqi children and parents for any reason and no reason?
Caesius (LINY)
@Niraj Actually they very much did. I think you missed the reporting, or ignore it. A great many reports, here and elsewhere, of the civilian casualties and their many injuries, including what's reported here...till they got pushed off the "front pages", and waned in frequency. The US media did report on many such things like this...but the US readership, and citizenship in general, even the International audiences - didnt care as much. Interest died off, as we all went back to living our "freedom" as we pleased, and allowed the wars to wage, because most Americans went untouched by it. Oh, we loved us our returning "heroes" (but not their wounds!) and did all the performative, "Thank you for your Service" rituals. As long as we didn't have to face their PTSD issues, and the many more traumas we were leaving behind in Iraq and Afghanistan. (most Americans didn't even realize we were still in Afghanistan, as we hastily exited.) The reality is this; 1. we were looking at the Iraqis (and Afghans) as all-in and all complicit to the insurgency mess that resulted after Saddam and his family were ousted. 2. Ukrainians look a lot more, have similar beliefs to Americans, than do Iraqis. Sad commentary, but its the truth. Its wrong, the way Americans stop caring and looking at such travesty. Only waking up when it's clear that we wasted 20 years and so many lives for nothing. All we care about is the "L", the loss. Not about who and/or what was lost. Only the scorecard.
AKJersey (New Jersey)
Putin is subjecting the entire civilian population of Ukraine to a game of Russian Roulette! These are War Crimes, and the surviving population will be traumatized for the rest of their lives.
Barbara (Myrtle Beach)
Yet another unnecessary outcome of Putin's war to grab land and resources he is not entitled to. I feel for these children. War harms children and adults wherever it occurs.
Doug (Melbourne, Australia)
It is so unsettling that in 2022 there is a war being fought in Europe again.
William Goddard (Canada)
Well, another way of looking at it is that there hasn’t been a major European war in over 75 years. Looking at history, it was bound to happen again sooner or later.
Johnson, R. (NE AR)
I cannot read and see all of this. It is too hard. I don't need these images rattling around in my brain with all the others that V.V. Putin has provided in the last 8 months. I read and saw enough to know that nobody should have any doubt anymore that V.V. Putin's illegal war is about genocide of the Ukrainian people. Gen. Surovikin is just the psychopath he needed to get it into full motion. The number of "Documented incidents involving potential war crimes in Ukraine" has been increasing _daily_ recently (since Gen. Surovikin took over command of Russian forces in Ukraine). It's 539 now. You can check it at https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/interactive/ap-russia-war-crimes-ukraine/?facets=%7C%7C
r mackinnon (concord)
All war is war against children Putin, like all men who provoke war, has the blood of children all over him.
ABC (Flushing)
A male neighbor grew up in south Chicago’s gang Wars. He still wakes up yelling. Buying Russian oil paid for the Ukraine war. Totally avoidable. What did you think a militaristic dictatorship would do with extra money? Trade with China funds the greatest military expansion and spy network in world history. After spending trillions on its military and spies China will simply let its investment sit? What did Bill Clinton think a totalitarian militaristic dictatorship would do with extra money when he sponsored China into the WTO? WW3 started when Chinese joined WTO. You will look back and see. I lived in China 19 years. Greedy naive Americans sold oil and steel to Japanese up to the eve of Pearl Harbor attack. Using the American oil and American steel, Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.
Hammerin Hank (New Jersey)
@ABC Best comment. We are coddling China right now, even as they are supporting this unconscionable invasion and terrorism by Putin. To be clear, you only mentioned on politician, Clinton, but lets remember that right now today significant elements of the GOP like JD Vance and House minority leader Kevin McCarthy support Russia and Putin over Ukraine. And, most of our Congress is guilty of appeasing China. Even our presidents, including Trump and Biden both, do, regardless of their rhetoric.
MIMA (Heartsny)
Punishing innocent children for Putin. Insanity.
mark (lands end)
From Jewish children in concentration camps to the napalmed children of Vietnam to little Maryna now in the Ukraine, the wages of industrialized warfare are well documented but never enough to get us to declare 'enough'. The truth is that no other creature on earth is guilty of such violent depravity as our collective actions keep obliterating whatever faith we try to keep in our 'better angels'.
Gerry O'Brien (Ottawa, Canada)
Children are our most precious persons in life. These sensitive and perceptive persons watch and learn throughout their lives. Ukrainian children are confronted with the horrors of war. This article made me cry. I hope they will continue to get the help from caring and sharing adults throughout their lives. Putin is an ignorant monster.
Alice B (Boston)
There are many tragedies in war--and this is certainly one of them. Why does the US continue to send weapons to Ukraine? The longer the war continues, the more the tragedies. Isn't it more humane and sensible to seek a diplomatic solution?
Max (Minneapolis)
Diplomacy is the ultimate objective but sadly Vlad P will not negotiate or negotiate fairly. There is no other choice but to fight for one’s land.
Todd Allen (Denver, CO)
@Alice B If a "diplomatic solution" involves anything other than a total Russian withdrawal from Ukraine, that just ensures that this will happen again once Russia has a chance to rebuild their forces. If, instead of stopping bank robbers, taking the money they stole away, and punishing them, we told them "Well, okay, I guess you can keep half the money you stole", do you think that would discourage or encourage bank robberies? Same with Ukraine. Russia has to be shown that they will get nothing except a bloody nose for their unprovoked aggression; that's the only way to get them not to do it again.
FNA (Providence, RI)
"The conflict in Ukraine has brought pain and hardship to tens of thousands of civilians, but among the more wrenching consequences is its effect on a generation of children" More wrenching than what? Aren't the pains and hardships of adults just as wrenching as the pains and hardships of children?
SisterLove (CT)
Yes one mentally ill man who is power tripping has ruined endless lives for generations to come. I’m not sure how the Ukrainians will ever be whole again or how long it will take, although they are heroically resilient. It is maddening.
David H (Northern Va.)
@SisterLove Blaming the war solely on one individual absolves us from responsibility of reading about, understanding and acknowledging the 30 year history of US and NATO efforts to militarize Ukraine, use Ukraine’s territory for military maneuvers aimed at provoking Moscow, and effectively creating the conditions for this horrible war.
Grungy Ol' Dave (Central Ohio)
Putin has generated some serious karma for himself. It will not be pleasant for him when he's compelled to face it...
Ali Khan (London)
I'll start caring more about this when the same level of care will be shown and coverage done of everything going on in Palestine. The hypocrisy and double standards of these so called 'developed' countries leaves me flabbergasted.
Ed (Massachusetts)
I think you can make room to grieve for the innocent people suffering in both situations. You’re correct in observing the unequal attention given by the media, but allowing that to be the determining factor in how you express empathy and compassion… is there a point to that? Withholding compassion is somehow going to change the political and philosophical priorities of media organizations? You just harm your own humanity in the process, and risk coming off as manipulative and exploitative.
David H (Northern Va.)
@Ali Khan There is no such place as “Palestine.” Nor will there be as long as the Palestinian leadership refuses to sit down and negotiate with Israel.
L Traub (Philadelphia)
And we here are all wringing our hands because COVID led to lower scores on standardized tests.
Emily (Midwest)
Why is Kevin McCarthy and House Republicans "threatening to cut aid to Ukraine if they retake Congress"? Aside from repeating Putin’s propaganda over and over again, aside from their admiration for Russia’s tyrant kleptocrat - they hate Zelensky. Why do they hate President Zelensky? “After something like this, I believe it would be very difficult for the world to see the United States as a symbol of democracy in the world." Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on the Capitol siege The difference between Republicans and Ukrainians? Ukrainians defend their Capitol.
LNB🌗 (CT Shoreline)
And with red wins- Putin becomes the golden boy- let alone our own problems but if this doesn’t make you take a breath those of you on the fence on November 8 I don’t know what will.
Frumious Bandersnatch (New York)
Ah, about time the word trauma is used appropriately.
Winston (Boston)
I wonder how the children of Iraq feared after that bogus war that was inflicted on them. I knew these feel good stories were coming but I did not know it was going to be so soon. I'm still waiting on such stories about how those kid in Iraq feared.
Ed (Massachusetts)
Is this a “feel good” story? Is there a purpose to stating your position beyond being a self righteous contrarian?
michjas (Phoenix)
The best therapy for the children might be each other.
Cyndles (NorCal)
Reading this report leaves me speechless.
Lars Schaff (Lysekil Sweden)
It's praiseworthy that the unbearable horrors of war are described in detail, to make us remember what we never should forget. There's just one question: where were western journalists in the eight years from 2014 when Ukraine artillery and rockets killed 14,000 civilians in Donbass, and maimed thousands? Well, one young German woman was there and reported from the scene. Her name is Alina Lipp and for her reporting she is threatened with three years in prison by German authorities.
MSW (USA)
Remember, too, that psychological injuries also constitute casualties of war.
Carol S. (Philadelphia)
The massive costs of war are so underestimated. We should have pressed for some diplomatic resolution from Day 1.
mdmd (Boston)
My thoughts are also with the countless Syrian children who were victims of Putin's proxy war.
NA (Montreal)
In 1971, an Indian bomb plowed in the house of my English teacher in Karachi Pakistan. She lived a few blocks away from my house. Only those who have been through war and bombs can appreciate/understand the terror of that noise, ground shaking, windows shattering... I can go on. I can still feel all that as I write this. I was 7. Those who are supplying weapons to Ukraine and extending this war, shame on them for causing these terrible scars. Ukraine will never win here, they are getting obliterated slowly. Even if they gain lost territory here and there, that land is destroyed by the war. People have been ruined. No one will be able to fix that. There is only one solution: bring President Putin to the table and do a give and take and let the pen be mightier than the sword. The longer this war raged, the more destruction there will be. One key point, all the destruction is on Ukrainian land.
Cerebral Sponge (NY)
This is sad and wrong. It hurts my heart to see the children go through this war. For the sake of these innocent children this war has to end.
Bradford McCormick (New York)
The simple fact that nobody seems to see is that none of the suffering would have happened or continue to happen had (1) America not reneged on its promise in 1990 to Russia to not push NATO east of Germany, or (2) Mr. Zelensky made Ukraine NEUTRAL instead of pushing to get Ukraine into NATO, which crossed Russia's "red line" like Soviet missiles in Cuba crossed America's red line in 1962. None of this suffering needed to happen. It is all due to Mr. Zelensky's plan for which we have first hand documentation by his miliatry mastermind Mr. Alexey Aristovich that they were planning it since 2019 and expected it with "probability 99%". Repeat: None of this horror would have happened had either America not gone back on our word to Russia in 1990, or had Mr. Zelensky not selfishly pushed for Ukraine in NATO. "Putin" is not a nice guy. OK he is bad. But he is responding to provocation. He did not start ths mess. We did. We can stop it. And we shoud and we need to. Mr Biden needs to cut off the military welfare that alone kesps the war going and perhaps is leading to nuclear armageddon. Humanity needs an immediate unconditional in-place cease fire now, and then a NEUTRAL and peaceful Ukraine.
John (Singapore)
Say no to NATO expansion, all this ends. Don't bemoan a self created tragedy, when you refuse to stop the very cause of the tragedy.
JB (New England)
@John Countries have a right to defend themselves and to have allies to help them to do so. NATO is about that right of defense.
David H (Northern Va)
When will the international community push the two sides to a ceasefire and negotiations? That is how this conflict will end, whether tomorrow or in 6 months. Russia will not be driven from Ukraine and informed observers know it. I am sickened beyond words at our collective willingness to pursue a war that will never, ever end in victory for either side.
Anne-Marie Hislop (Chicago)
@David H Yet, move to ceasefire and negotiations is to reward the aggression, viciousness, inhumanity, and destructiveness of Putin. He would like nothing better than to have western powers push to freeze his takeover of Ukrainian territory into permanent growth for Russia. What about all the Ukrainians who live/lived there? What about those who have been sent to be resettled in Russia? War is horrible beyond words, but do we really want to send a message that if you are aggressive enough and cruel enough the world will be horrified and let you keep whatever prizes you can scoop up?
Caesius (LINY)
favid. and yet...a negotiated ceasefire is a WIN for Putin. He wins more terroritory...which only buys him time to regroup, rearm, to try again. Ukraine and its allies isnt fighting RUSSIA, they are fightining Putin...this is Putins war. Whatever the polling in Russia in support of this criminal invasion is reported to be, its not accurate...Russians dont want this war. Regretfully this is the result of 30 odd years of coddling Putin and his support structure of oligarchs.
Bradford McCormick (New York)
@David H The problem is that Mr. Biden is a chauvainst hothead who has apparently been a Ukraine hardliner every since he was Mr. Obama's VP and now he sees his opportunity to overthrow the Putin government and castate the Russian military. Mr. Biden is the problem. Mr.Zelensky caused it but he could never have conducted this war without Mr Biden's massive military welfare assistance. Mr .Biden dods not understand, or perhaps does not like realpolitik. "America has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests." (Henry Kissinger). Mr. Biden governs by his partisn emotions not global multipolar reality. Mr. Biden's motto could be: "Better dead than red" (even though the Soviet Uinion ended in 1990).
Rusalka (Earth)
Here is the website for the highly-respected Ohmadyt Pediatric Hospital, located in Kyiv, Ukraine, featured in this article: https://ohmatdyt.com.ua/en And there's a link, on the right-hand side of the landing page for the hospital's website, for those who would like to send donations to support their work (the link is only in Ukrainian, but perhaps someone can post a link in English as well).
Stacy (Santa Monica, CA)
Poor children, poor people. My prayers are with them. Hang on Ukrainians.
CLM (Johns Creek, GA)
If there is a church or organization in your community that is sending support, mission workers or medical supplies to Ukraine (or another group of children that tug at your heart) please support them!
Lorri (Seattle)
I'm deeply sorry for these children, who, of course, are innocent pawns in this cruel war that can be blamed on Vladimir Putin..and no one else. The sight of little Daniil Avdienko, 7, gamely smiling while he struggles with his crutches breaks my heart.
Cerebral Sponge (NY)
It's so wrong. Only seven and has had part of his intestines removed. All because of an evil male who seeks to grab more than he already has.
koo (ny, ny)
US teachers have been receiving Ukrainian students for months now. I look at mine every day and think, "Thank God you're safe, and you made it here." My heart breaks for all the Ukrainians and Russians. Nobody wants to fight except for Vlad the dictator. These strong, beautiful people have all suffered too much already.
Edward Allen (Spokane Valley)
This is why Russia must not gain a thing from this war. This is why they must lose.
Tom J (Berwyn, IL)
And last we read, Russians still support Putin, are somewhat concerned about the recent draft, and really upset that their summer mornings at the cafe with kava was interrupted.
David H (Northern Va.)
Thereby illustrating the complete failure of sanctions.
Joy Ocean (NYC)
@Tom J Putin must pay for his crimes. But it is Russians who do his bidding, and execute these atrocities.
Tim (Michigan, US)
One man - - one single dictator is responsible for all of this.
David H (Northern Va.)
That is a gross oversimplification. There is a long history of US policy and actions to consider. But most Americans know nothing of it and have no desire to learn.
Casual Observer (Los Angeles)
The children will adapt but they will not forget, and they will deal with PTSD affects for the rest of their lives. Putin and Russia have committed crimes against humanity that no sane and clear headed people will forgive nor forget. People who would do this are people that nobody can trust.
Matt (Wyoming)
Is it just me or was there a time when America would have been more proactive about not allowing carnage like this to play out? Somehow the response from the U.S. and it's allies doesn't seem to be quite as aggressive as it should be.... whether that's because Trump brought down the bar so low in terms of our standards and our standing, or because everyone is too distracted by social media. Whatever the case, it would be refreshing to see some genuine outrage expressed about this and so many other unthinkable events of late....and not in the form of a tweet.
Cerebral Sponge (NY)
Social media vents the steam allowing a little soothing of the outrage. There will be no genuine outrage to force action leading to change with it. At least not from the masses. They can't speak with that toy pacifier taking rotations in and out as needed
Sergio Facchini (Houston,TX)
Even after being made fully aware of the slaughtering of innocent children, Republicans are planning to cut aid to Ukraine after the mid-terms. They will probably control both Houses, and based only on their political and personal interests, they may simply stop supporting Ukraine's war effort. Suffer the children!
PI Man (Plum Island, MA)
And what of US troops that were injured in our overseas wars? Some had children. What of them? And if the US had used diplomacy since say 1993 or so to negotiate Russian concerns about NATO expansion, might there be a much different reality.
Bluebird (NY)
@PI Man Remember when Trump ordered US military officials to exclude combat-wounded soldiers from the bizarre, North Korea-style military parade he wanted during his Presidency? He thought wounded vets in his parade wouldn't "look good" for him. Diplomacy is, in the words of Martha Stewart, a good thing, but the #1 pretext Vlad Putin used for his full-scale invasion of Ukraine in Feb was the NATO membership promised to Ukraine...back in 2008. (NATO had no plans to let Ukraine in, due to ongoing corruption problems in Ukraine. Maybe you don't know that but Putin did.)
Elaine (Utah)
@PI Man Russia has no intention of "negotiating", Putin's only interest is control. He wants it all. President Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken negotiate every single day of their lives. It is heartbreaking that you are thoughtless about the effects of war on the Ukrainian children. Yes, many have been injured in many wars. This article is about what the war has done to those in Ukraine.
Julie (Denver)
They did. Russia was invited to work in partnership with the US with the intention of joining NATO. But russia had other plans. The truth is that russia simply wants to be an imperial power not a partner. That is why they are so offended when former republics look westward for partners and government models. It isnt an existential threat to russia, it is a threat to russias dreams of global hegemony.
Julie (Denver)
When i struggle to imagine what these children will face in their lives i think about what the children who survived WWII in my family have faced. Lifelong anger management issues, PTSD, and their own children who still look at Germans with a sideways glance. And the child survivors of WWII in my family were lucky enough to come through the war physically unscathed.
Bluebird (NY)
@Julie My friend Leo was a POW in WWII. He was imprisoned for a short time in late April of 1945 but said the experience caused 'a lifetime of trauma.' That was all he'd ever say on the topic.
Way2 (San Jose)
@Julie I lost my uncle in WWII - he was a 22 year old pilot. Not until my father died did I frame his anger and volatility to his own experience in WWII as PTSD. It has completely colored my life - decades of anxiety and shame and a lifelong search for a man who wouldn’t treat me that way. Never found him. War is hell.
Thomas (New Mexico)
I am currently tutoring three Ukrainian refugees. One woman has two children. Their father and grandparents are still in Ukraine. Next week I want to talk with her about getting psychological help for the children. Others in the US who know recent Ukrainian refugees might want to consider doing the same. They may need to be reassured that receiving counseling is appropriate and that they will be respected, not stigmatized, for doing so.
married4eva (Troy, NY)
@Thomas is there a contact for teachers who want to volunteer as tutors and help these students?
Aaron (San Francisco)
Since the days of Genghis Khan, children have always paid the price for the affairs of ruthless men and the tectonic movements of empires. The path to world peace will surely be through an enforceable universal charter of children’s rights. Such a legal regime is the final frontier in the global pursuit of peace and justice.
Allan H. (New York, NY)
@Aaron Enforceable? They can't even enforce war crimes unless they get physical custody of the perpetrators, and most of these kids were harmed by anonymous soldiers. Not a very realistic plan. Global peace and justice? Not gonna work either.
chris (canada)
This is multi-generational trauma - the effects are long-term. My grandparents fled war zones pre-1900 and their great-grandchildren are still uncovering the impacts on psychiatrist's couches today.
Lorri (Seattle)
@Aaron That seems a humane and realistic first step. A universal charter of children's rights....if we can have a Geneva Convention governing prisoners of war, we can have a children's charter. They are also prisoners of war.
Alexis it Doesn’t Have To End (Bunkhars)
That is the hardest truth to swallow. Same goes for the adults. Millions of Russians and Ukrainians, men and women alike, forever scarred by what they have seen and done: the atrocities of war. More mail order brides from both countries living in the coming years, as so many men come home w/ PTSD or don't return at all. Future is bleak for both countries for generations now... So horrid.
PaulN (Columbus, Ohio, US of A)
Of course, in every war practically everyone suffers some kind of a trauma, including children, civilians, and even people in the military.
Deregulate_This (murrka)
The amount of propaganda on the Ukrainian war is immense because the Military Industrial Complex wants a return to the Cold-War and an infinite supply of money for weapons. A better title would be "Scarred by War, Ukraine's/Iraq's/Yemen's/Afghanistan's/Libya's/Sudan's/Somalia's/Syria's Children Face Years of Trauma. Only Ukraine is the focus because of a certain physical trait they all share...Any guesses? (being Caucasian) But, Americans aren't being reminded about all our other wars. That $55 billion that was being spent in Afghanistan has grown to much more in Ukraine. The newspapers and "retired generals" are on the media ramping up conflict with China, so this war will seamlessly flow into a war with China.
Roadrunner (Nevada)
@Deregulate_This $55 Billion? The USA has spent more than $2 TRILLION on the pointless war in Afghanistan. That's $300 million dollars per day, every day, for 20 years. That number will rise, a lot, because of healthcare costs for veterans of that war. And what was accomplished, other than enriching military contractors and giving GWB a place to bomb? Afghanistan did not attack the US. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the Pakistani architect of 9/11, was captured in 2003, in Pakistan. Osama bin Laden, a Saudi, was killed in Pakistan in 2011. No American wants war with China. I'm more troubled by all the retired US generals and admirals stuffing their pockets with money from MBS, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. Also disturbed by the 120+ retired generals and admirals who published a disturbing open letter parroting conspiracy theories and parroting the BIG LIE in early 2021.
RamS (New York)
@Deregulate_This I think you either have a bad memory or weren't reading the NYT for decades on there. There were a LOT of articles about the suffering in Iraq, including children, due to the US war. A lot of article on Afghanistan but not as many as I recall. Sudan has had several too - there was a haunting one on child soldiers several years back. Just google "child soldiers new york times". Just because a particular war is topical doesn't mean that the NYT ignored the other wars. Maybe one or two but in general the major ones have had this type of coverage and some if a lot more than than this. I don't trust for-profit media but your point isn't true.
Ed C (Fitchburg)
This is horrendous. How can the Russian people allow this to go on?
Katya (NYC)
Not defending Russia, but how could Americans allow things like this happen for years in Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and a few months in Belgrade? Seriously, ALL wars do this. Some more, some less. But so many kids pay this terrible unfair price. It’s time we don’t think of this conflict in a context of “how can Russia do this” but rather “we as humanity must never do this, ever. To anyone”.
Lola (Boston)
@Katya- a typical Russian response. We are taking here about a specific topic, the subject of which is Russia. And instead of focusing on this specific war, which is 100% Russia’s responsibility, you point fingers at America.
Katya (NYC)
I point fingers at the fact that it is a lot easier to see other’s indifference than your own. My response has nothing to do with defending Russia. This tragedy of being indifferent is not isolated to Russia and the Russian people. The entire world is like that when it is Comes to wars. Or do you think any other wars inflicted less pain on children and civilians? I really hope the world makes up after this. And stops thinking that any wars for any reasons could be the solution.
Ted (LA)
Hope this war ends soon.
TonyX (Australia)
Heartbreaking. After this war, that criminal thug Putin must be made to pay not just for the destroyed Ukrainian infrastructure, but for the medical costs & psychological devastation he has inflicted on the Ukrainians. This is the 21st century. if you launch a war, you don't just get to go back home if it doesn't work out. You certainly don't get to dictate any peace terms.
NA (Montreal)
Yes, I know and understand this trauma. Can you please talk a bit about the trauma the Iraqi, and Afghani kids are enduring from all the USA and NATO bombings there, and not forget the usage of uranium depleted munitions. Yes, don't forget the Libyan kids. This trauma for these Ukrainian kids is not of a making by Pres Putin. It is of the making of their own president, wanting to join NATO and other stuff, and the USA interested in weakening Russia and an insane idea that Ukraine will win this war. Ukraine is losing its statehood slowly and surely. By the way, president Putin hasn't used a nuke, US does it everywhere it goes. The uranium depleted munitions are dirty bombs US has been using everywhere...yep, let's talk about dirty bombs.
Mike (West)
@NA Depleted uranium munitions (DU) are not in the same league as a real dirty bomb(DB). The particles created by DU's are localized to where they strike and can be harmful if ingested but are scatted and much less dangerous over time. Whereas, a DB could make an extended deadly area uninhabitable for an extended time and Putin is using it as a threat. You would be better off making your point with land mines and cluster bombs used by the USA and Russia.
Julie (Denver)
Ivan, If I were in Ukraine, Moldova, Sweden, Finland, Georgia, or any other small Eastern European country I would be beating down NATOs door for protection - which is exactly what they are doing. If the russians decide they want a piece of your country, they will bomb it into the ground, and then send the foot soldiers to murder, torture, pillage and rape whoever survived the bombing. We all know what we’ve seen over the last 22 years.
Julian (Australia)
@NA Always amazed at the mental gymnastics people can do when they want to blame the victim. I suppose you would have said that when Hitler invaded Poland in1939 it was all the fault of Britain and France because they had provoked him by signing a defensive alliance with Poland.
Richard Ivey (San Francisco)
And the State Department cannot declare Russia a state sponsor of terrorism??
David H (Northern Va.)
@Richard Ivey No, the intrepid State Department is afraid to. Russia will sever diplomatic relations -- which will mean that the US basketball player will never be returned home.
David H (Northern Va.)
@Fight4FreedomGirl I'm acutely aware, thanks. Mr. Putin knows how much we here in the US value people with views like those of Ms. Griner. That's why she is being sent to a penal colony.
J (USA)
Thank you for this article; everyone outside Ukraine needs to know about the ways in which Putin's annihilative choices are destroying the lives of everyday people. Who can look at what's been done to these kids and not want the most punitive punishments for everyone involved in their suffering? Please give your readers some ways to assist. With all the misery happening in the world right now, it's difficult to know how to be most effective. Many of us working-class people would help! These people, these families could be us.
Irene Burke (Rochester Ny)
There are many organizations run by Ukrainian Americans in the US providing medical and humanitarian aid since 2014. Two in New York State are RocMaidan and Razom.
Sean (Los Angeles)
This is heartbreaking. The trauma of war doesn’t only affect the current generation, but as we’ve seen,it can ripple through generations. Thank you for keeping the human costs of this invasion in news, especially while our relatively small economic costs dominate so much of the discourse.
Morgan (Alberta, Canada)
That Putin, his Generals, the Russian army and the Russian people think this is acceptable is disgusting. I hope these children and the people who care for and love them survive to lead happy fulfilling lives. They all have admirable spirit!
Alexis it Doesn’t Have To End (Bunkhars)
@Morgan That Bush, Obama, and Trump, the American Army and the American people thought Iraq and Afghanistan were acceptable was equally disgusting, no? The Ukraine war has been going on for 8 months (and counting). The Afghanistan war took 20 years. TWENTY YEARS.
Other Voices (Los Angeles)
@Alexis it Doesn’t Have To End It's pretty incredible that some people can't seem to see the difference between deliberate targeting of civilians through rubbling of their cities with rockets and artillery (as in the case of Russia in Ukraine, Chechnya, Syria) and the US military inadvertently getting caught up in the middle of civil wars (Iraq and Afghanistan) while trying to combat the real threat of terrorism against the US (as in the case of Afghanistan). Whatever helps justify Putin's atrocities I guess.
Lorri (Seattle)
@Alexis it Doesn’t Have To End Your "Whataboutism" is disingenuous. Have you forgotten that Russia invaded Afghanistan in 1979 and remained for years...and inflicted misery on Afghanis? The fact Putin has been in Ukraine for a mere "8 months" and has done this much damage only underscores the vicious campaign.
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