A
Nightmare
On Any
Street

Paris Himes
Imagine you are living a typical life in a city you call home.  By day’s end, you go to bed.  You wake up to see that your city is under attack.  You have to leave.  What do you take with you?  Who do you leave behind?   Innocent people are trying to escape.  Missiles are flying through the sky.  Is this a nightmare?
Yes, it is, and this nightmare is happening in Ukraine.   Ukraine is Europe’s second-largest country along the Russian border, and Ukraine officially declared itself independent from the Soviet Union on August 24, 1991.  Today, the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, doesn’t recognize Ukraine’s independence and wants to expand Russian territory by taking control of Ukraine.
On February 24, 2022, Russia’s leader Vladimir Putin began a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.  Russia has launched countless missiles into Ukraine and is destroying Ukraine neighborhoods.   Social media has been a vital tool for getting Ukraine’s calls for help out and has helped news outlets and average citizens document the destruction in Ukraine.  
What are other countries doing to help Ukraine fight back against Russia?  That is a complicated and frustrating question.  This question is complicated since NATO countries cannot fight on behalf of non-NATO countries.  NATO’s (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) 12 founding members are Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Portugal, the UK, and the US.  Ukraine is not a member of NATO.  Because Ukraine is not a NATO member, member countries cannot directly become involved in this battle.  However, these countries are providing aid to Ukraine.  The limits on the type and transport of aid offered are frustrating.  But these NATO members are doing all they can – without having this battle extend into NATO territory.  The fear of entering World War III is high worldwide, particularly in NATO.  
A story of biblical proportion, the invasion of Ukraine is a cautionary tale that forces an average person to explore this thought; one day, you are living an ordinary life, and the next day you wake up to see that your city is under attack. You have to leave.  What do you take with you?  Who do you leave behind?   Innocent people are trying to escape.  Missiles are flying through the sky.  Is this a nightmare? 
If we do not protect democracy, this type of invasion can happen here.  If you are a US citizen age 18 or over, visit www.Vote.gov to register to vote.  UNICEF supports families and children caught in the conflict in Ukraine.  To donate, visit www.unicefusa.org.

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