Letters to the Editor, Opinions

A letter to the CSULB campus from a Ukrainian student

Written by Ivan Prokopenko

Hello, my name is Ivan Prokopenko, and every day I am afraid to go to sleep. Not because I fear the exams in morning classes or the alarm that will wake me. I fear waking up. Because when I wake up, I will have to read the news.

I am scared of the news. I fear the news that narrates how my home is being devastated, news that depicts people I share my country with being slaughtered without any remorse. I am afraid to wake up and text my friends and they might not answer. I live in constant fear.

I live in fear because of war; a cruel, unforgiving, cynical war.

Since I was a child, I have always believed in justice and peace. The fairytales that I have read revealed how good always wins and justice prevails. I believed that World War II was the last war we as humanity must suffer through. Unfortunately, my naivety has been brutally shattered.

When Russia attacked my home country, I realized that there is no world peace, that humanity has learned nothing.

Russia’s attack was not directed solely on Ukraine; it is also an attack on the fundamental human right to life and happiness. It is an attack on the concept of democracy and sovereignty, an attack on our humanity.

If Russia prevails in Ukraine, it won’t stop. It will go further until the whole world is soaked in blood. We need to remember that you cannot reason with a tiger, you must stand up against it.

While shattering my beliefs, this war has shown me something crucial. Freedom is not granted; it is taken. Freedom has a price, and that price is high. We as humanity need to decide if we are ready to fight for freedom, to sacrifice something for it.

If for you the answer is yes, then do not just stand by. Instead, help Ukraine in any way possible, whether by monetary contribution, protesting, or raising awareness.

We need to remember that while the price of freedom is high, freedom itself is priceless.

Ivan Prokopenko is a third year CSULB business major.

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