Student Opinion: In the Fog of War

(AP Photo/Michel Euler)

By Ozzy Hernandez

UKRAINE – As the Ukrainian people fight a familiar battle, Europe faces a crisis it hoped would never happen again: the decapitation of a legitimate democracy that could set an alarming pattern if Putin succeeds.


Within months of assuming the position, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is witnessing war before his very eyes. He gave a statement saying “we find it within ourselves to set limits to an international warmonger like Putin.”


Those “limits” seem to only push Russian forces further into Ukraine.



Germany, one of the biggest economies in Europe along with the U.K, faced a dilemma of what course of action is appropriate without risking war.


So far, economic sanctions have proven to make a dent in Putin’s military campaign – at the expense of the Russian economy, but sanctions alone have not deterred them from shelling and further invading the country. So, what is next? 


Chancellor Scholz was reluctant to use the Nord Stream 2 pipeline as leverage against the Kremlin before the invasion and that has since changed. There are no plans to use the pipeline in the foreseeable future.


In the speech declaring a “special military operation,” Putin promised to use nuclear force if foreign nations attempted to intervene. 


However, the Ukrainians are not deterred and accept Putin’s challenge. They had already been in a near-constant state of war since the annexation of Crimea in 2014.


When the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterrey first tracked the growing number of armored vehicles near the borders of Ukraine and Belarus back in Oct. 2021 and warned of an imminent attack, Putin denied any plan of invading.


Putin claimed these were “military exercises.” Russia’s vast rail networks allowed the easy and relatively quick flow of military equipment to cross the country hence the rapid buildup.


That is why any chance of  “peace talks” ends in no sustainable outcome. Putin is a pathological liar. Despite that, he has amassed an enormous army. If he had gambled on a relatively quick invasion, he certainly lost that bet. 


The Ukrainian Embassies are actively recruiting volunteers and are at capacity at the moment. Upon invasion, volunteers eclipsed the number of enlisted soldiers. 


Despite having more forces and resources, Putin is outmatched in one thing – the spirit to resist. Ukraine doesn’t have to win, just not lose. There’s a distinction.  


Who knows how long they’ll hold out, but there is a glimmer of hope in that. The Ukrainian people are all too familiar with the encroaching tactics of the Russians, dating back centuries. 


Since Catherine the Great, Ukraine is a region that has seen many conflicts in the past. From the Czar expelling Jews in Kyiv to the invasion of Nazi forces, Ukraine has seen hostilities like almost no other place in Europe.


The Ukrainian people are not just acquiescing, they are fighting back. The fog of war has shown the stoicism and bravery of Ukrainian citizens. 


A bully will never stop unless they are confronted and that is exactly what the Ukrainian people are doing. Let’s just hope that this fight is contained between Russia and Ukraine.

About The Author

Ozzy is a fifth year college student double majoring in Political Science and Performing Arts at CSU Channel Islands. He plans on attending law school and become an attorney. On his free time, he loves to indulge in the theater and embark on outdoor adventures

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