UNM students see and feel Putin’s war on Ukraine

By Jeanette Kastrup / NM News Port

The Russian invasion of Ukraine started on February 23. Since then it’s been a big topic on social media and billions of people are following the situation closely.

I set out to discover what UNM students know about the conflict.

Outside the SUB, psychology student Elena told me she doesn’t know much about the reasons behind the conflict, but she’s still following the situation on TikTok.

“I’ve seen people in bomb shelters documenting their average life living in Ukraine, and it’s really sad to see,” she said.

Some of the videos on TikTok are horrifying to watch. You see bombs hitting buildings, open fires on streets and families fleeing for their lives — things you’d never imagine in 2022.

But this also makes social media an important factor for our understanding and awareness of what’s going on across the globe.

“I think seeing it from that perspective is very interesting, because in previous world conflicts there wasn’t social media to see these firsthand accounts,” said Christa, a biology student, speaking outside Zimmerman Library. “So I think growing up now to see it online thousands of miles away, that’s very interesting.”

As I make my way through campus, approaching students to ask about the conflict, I realize that a lot of students find it difficult to talk about.

Everyone’s well-aware of NATO’s role in the conflict, and most students are worried about what comes next.

“There’s videos of Ukraine’s President asking for help and food and stuff like that, said theater-student Mia. “I feel like American companies should give food or donate money to Ukraine, but at the same time, double-edged sword, that’s asking for them to start war on us.”

But that’s worst case scenario. And for now, we can only wait – and watch – as social media keeps us updated.

Listen to Jeanette speaking with these UNM students in this audio version of the report.