With respect to the fact that #TrendingTuesday has remained relatively lighthearted, please check back for round TWO #TT at 8 p.m. (EST) this evening. For the morning, though, it is important we get heavy because it is important that we stay informed.
Take the time to read this brief article with pieces of information you should know in order to continue staying up-to-date with the war, and a deeper explanation regarding the attack in the city of Mariupol.
Trending today is the bombardment of the Ukrainian city, Mariupol, by the Russian military.
Let’s break down a few key points:
Bombardment(n.): a continuous attack with bombs, shells or other missiles.
Who is the Russian president?
Vladimir Putin served as the president of Russia from 2000 to 2008, completing his two terms. However, changes were made to the Russian constitution in 2020, doing away with the “in a row” clause about the number of consecutive terms a Russian president can hold, and nullifies (or does away with) the number of presidential terms served by the current or former president, according to The Washington Post.
What this actually means is that, with these changes to the constitution, Putin could remain in office until 2036, assuming he gets the votes.
Who is the Ukrainian president?
Volodymyr Zelenskyy was elected president of Ukraine in 2019 and will hold office until 2024, per Ukraine’s five-year term length. Ukrainian presidents do have the option to serve a second, consecutive five-year term as well.
Before serving as president, Zelenskyy played one on television. According to Britannica, despite graduating with a law degree in 2000, Zelenskyy first was recognized for his talent in the theater—working as an actor and comedian until running for president under his “anti-corruption” platform.
Why are they fighting? What’s happening?
Russia has not officially declared war on Ukraine; they are instead calling it a “special military operation” with the intention to, once again, take control of Crimea (a peninsula off the southern coast of Ukraine). Putin also wants to prevent the Crimean peninsula from joining NATO and the European Union (EU), according to Britannica.
While the ins and outs of NATO and the EU are complex, basically what Putin is trying to prevent is the expansion to the east (toward Russia) of alliances within NATO and the EU. If Russia can retain power over Crimea, they will hold more land and thus, more control globally.
Each day several thousand new headlines pop up on our phones and computers with more information about the ongoing attacks in Ukraine.
Snapchat gives an interesting perspective into the life of Ukrainian citizens with its “snap maps” feature allowing users in Ukraine to post their snapchat stories publicly. The montage of videos at 11:59 a.m. Monday showed videos of people in rooms filled with cots for sleeping, hundreds of bodies bundled in coats and carrying duffel bags, and waiting for the train with the caption showing a broken-heart emoji.
According to the Guardian, attacks on Mariupol began last Wednesday, and have yet to stop. Hence, the definition of ‘bombardment’ at the beginning of this article.
“They have used aviation, artillery, multiple rocket launchers, grads and other types of weapons we don’t even know about,” the deputy mayor of Mariupol, Sergiy Orlov said. “This isn’t simply treacherous. It’s a war crime and pure genocide.”
Of the multiple headlines about the ongoing attacks, is the story of a pregnant mother who died and lost the child after a Mariupol maternity hospital was bombed Wednesday. The woman has yet to be identified, but a photo of her on a stretcher taken by AP photojournalist Evgeniy Maloletka has gone viral—highlighting the true horror of what is happening overseas.
Tensions rising in Europe are causing tension across the world as fuel, food and other scarcities and inflations make their way to our stores and gas stations. The United Nations chief warned Monday that Russia’s war on Ukraine is “holding a sword of Damocles,” AP said.
Damocles’ sword is a reference to a parable that indicates impending doom. In other words, if tensions remain the same and Russia continues invading—we will all continue to feel and see the consequences within our own economies. This is why our involvement, as the United States, is in constant discussion.