On the afternoon of Friday, February 24, the Concord Academy community gathered in the Chapel for an assembly on the Re-Invasion of Ukraine, presented by Nathan Rothschild ’23 and Andrii Vedmid ’26. The two gave the history of Ukraine as an individual nation and described the military movements and tactics used in the last year since Russia re-invaded. They lastly went on to inform the school about the third stage of the war that is currently happening, before informing the community on how we can aid in Ukraine’s efforts to survive.
The Centipede sat down with Nathan and Andrii to gain a clearer understanding of the history between Ukraine and Russia that has led to this invasion.
In Russia, it is said that the country was formed in the ninth century, and was then called KyivanRus. Ukraine and its language is seen as a perversion of everything Russian is. However, history disagrees. Nathan said, “The formation of KyivanRus is the formation of Ukraine, not of Russia and Belarus. Russian propaganda feeds the idea that Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, those kinds of countries, have one cultural entity. Which to some some extent is minutely correct but as a whole we have completely different backgrounds, different languages, and if anything Ukrainian was the predecessor of the Belarusian and Russian languages.” This clearly shows how Russia has spent centuries trying to suppress Ukrainian culture and ideas through propaganda and violence. They have attempted to Russify Ukraine both before, during, and after the Soviet era, and this desire to eradicate the culture has now resulted in the current reinvasion.
When asked about their feelings when Russia began the re-invasion, Nathan and Andrii had different responses. “There was no logical reason for them to not continue,” Nathan said, reflecting on the wealth of natural resources such as oil that exist within Ukraine. Andrii, however, viewed the sudden invasion differently. He said that, “Since it’s been eight years, we didn’t feel like it was going to happen. It just didn’t feel sane for them to do that.”
Those were both common reactions around the world. A year before CA’s assembly, on February 24, 2022, as Russia began their official reinvasion of Ukraine, people around the world felt denial, shock, despair, and grim acceptance. Those emotions remain today, but above them all has risen the extraordinary amount of resilience and strength shown by the Ukrainian people. They continuously emphasize the genocidal intentions of Vladimir Putin and Russia while fighting for their homes and lives. As Ukraine continues to stand against the attempted destruction of its people, land, and culture, here are some ways you can show support.
Donations are an excellent way to aid Ukraine, to organizations such as the Ukrainian Military, the Serhiy Prytula Fund, Come Back Alive, United24, and more. Most importantly, spread information. Russia is sharing large amounts of misinformation both within and outside its borders, and anything that can be done to spread correct knowledge helps.