Sidewalk Symposium: Russia-Ukraine Conflict

In recent news, the Russia-Ukraine conflict has led to much chatter and speculation both on Twitter and on major news outlets. According to BBC News, the US has said that over 150,000 Russian troops are amassed near the border of Ukraine. Russia has denied that these troop movements are a part of plans to invade Ukraine. However, demands made by the Russian Foreign Ministry in mid-December 2021 to keep Ukraine out of NATO and reduce the presence of NATO troops and equipment in eastern Ukraine have cast doubt on the veracity of Russia’s claims. In addition, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) reports that Russia’s presence on the Ukraine border has also sparked serious concern about the deterioration of the U.S.-Russia relationship– especially as Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea, a region of Ukraine in 2014, put Russia at odds with Europe and the U.S.

On Tuesday, Feb. 15, the Trinitonian talked with students in Coates Student Center to better understand Trinity students’ knowledge of the situation.

“Honestly, I don’t know much. I just know that Russia is thinking about invading Ukraine.” — Cole Harris, sophomore intended finance major

“I don’t think I know a lot. I know that Ukraine used to be a part of the USSR and it is no longer [because] that disbanded. That’s about all. I haven’t been really keeping up with it a lot.” — Sarah Beth Debord, sophomore intended international business major


“Frankly, I don’t know much. I do remember around circa 2014 I believe there was a trade conflict [between] the Ukrainian Prime Minister and Russia. There was civil unrest. For this recent conflict, I believe it was Ukraine that wanted to join NATO and Russia is not all for that.” — Jack Vela, sophomore intended communication and English major


“I know that Putin is threatening to invade Ukraine. That’s pretty much all I know. I’ve talked about it with my mom and my sister and we were thinking about the consequences of something happening, like a war or something. We were just really freaked out because we had never really thought about that.” — Kennice Leisk, senior English and Latin major


“I know Russia [is] trying to invade Ukraine, and a lot of people are saying it might be the start of World War III.” — Nicole Walko, sophomore neuroscience major