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International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

A Year Later: Follow-Up on the Ukrainian War From the Lens of a Student

A graphic of the Ukrainian flag. The war in Ukraine continues to rage since February 2022. (Courtesy of Kiran Singh)

Feb. 24, 2024 marked two years since the invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces. However, this conflict has existed for over a decade, starting in 2014 with Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea. 

On June 4, 2023, International Dateline published an article interviewing a 17-year-old student’s perspective on living in the city of Ivano-Frankivsk in Ukraine during the war. 

Approximately a year later, Dateline is following up on how the student’s life has continued to be impacted by the conflict. Now 18 years old, the Ukrainian native will be referenced as “A” to maintain anonymity. Answers have been edited for clarity.

International Dateline (ID): What is the current situation like in Ukraine? 

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A: The current situation remains hard. We are losing some territories. Our homes are still

bombarded with Russian missiles in the morning, especially in Odessa.

ID: How has your situation changed since the last time you were interviewed by ID?

A: I moved to another country, the Netherlands, simply because I [could not] guarantee that I [would have] finished my diploma. That I [would have] finished it alive.

ID: How has the media’s portrayal of the war changed over time? 

A: The media attention has fallen drastically. One of my classmates asked me if the war

was still happening, probably because now there is a [another] conflict, [the war between] Israel and Palestine.

ID: How has your life changed since the war began? 

A: I lost my friend. He died in the war. I feel rage and anxiety. They follow me

everywhere. The war exposes you to your worst fears. Because of that, now I attend


ID: How is your life now?

A: I changed schools, cities and countries to continue my studies in safe conditions. Now

I am [in my] first year of [the] International Baccalaureate Program (IB) and I am so grateful for the opportunity to do it.

ID: What have been your greatest challenges?

A: To cope with normal life. When I moved I still stopped when [a] plane flew in the

sky. You can flee from war somewhere, but it will follow you.

ID: What is something you have done that brings you joy or has improved your situation during the war? 

A: Reading. Especially children’s books, like “Tom Sawyer,” as they remind me of my peaceful

childhood. They show [an] opposite life, which helps me to forget about reality.

ID: How can people best help Ukraine? 

A: If you want to support Ukraine in its time of need, consider raising awareness – a simple repost in your stories holds invaluable significance. Additionally, refrain from consuming Russian content [such as media, products, etc], as every act of conscientious consumption diverts funds away from the production of [Ukrainian] missiles.

ID: What do you wish people in the West would do to help Ukraine?

A: Stay aware of the situation, go on the protests and make reposts to wake your government up to help Ukraine. Make your voice loud.

ID: What is something you want people to know about the war? 

A: I would love everybody to think about the phrase by Ernest Hemingway, [in his book] “For Whom the Bell Tolls.” [He writes,] “Don’t look at the morning statistics of how many victims because one day it can be me.”

If you would like to support Ukraine through donations, websites such as Support Ukraine Now offer resources and opportunities to donate and support. If you wish to tutor English to Ukrainian youth or volunteer in other ways, provides volunteer opportunities to teens 14 years of age and older. 

By Elektra Gea-Sereti

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About the Contributor
Elektra Gea-Sereti
Elektra Gea-Sereti, Opinions Editor
Hi my name is Elektra and I am a senior plus the Opinions editor. I have been at Dateline since 9th grade, and my opinion articles range from social media trends to movie reviews. While not being opinionated can be strenuous, I do write the occasional sports, features, and food article. Outside of Dateline, you can find me on the volleyball court, or debating people in Mock Trial. 

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