If you are watching the news these days, you will see a lot of news about Russia and the terrible trouble in the country of Ukraine.
Ukraine is a very big country in Europe. 43 million people live in Ukraine. The size of Ukraine is about two times the size of Japan. Ukraine is not a rich country, but it has many important resources like wheat, oil, and precious metals.
On February 24th, only two weeks ago, the Russian army entered into Ukraine. The leader of Russia, Mr. Putin, said that they entered Ukraine to stop bad people, who are called neo-Nazis, but this was not true. This was a big lie.
From two weeks ago, more and more Russian army soldiers have entered Ukraine. More than 2 million people have left Ukraine to go to countries like Poland, but it is very dangerous for those people. The situation is getting worse and worse every day.
Many people around the world are asking, “How could this happen?” And this is a very important question. The war of Russia on Ukraine is the biggest war since World War 2. That war ended in 1945 in Europe and my parents and my grandparents lived in Europe at that very dark time. When I was a child, my grandparents and my older uncles would say, “Do not forget our war. Do not forget World War 2.”
But too many people did not remember. In the last 20 years in America and Russia we have met some very dangerous leaders. Such leaders do not think about the people, and they do not think about peace. They only think about money and power. These dangerous leaders believe that they are like the “new kings” of the earth. They believe that people are not important, and they work very hard to control information and education.
In the last 20 years we have a lot of information. We have computers and Internet and smartphones and media. The technology is great and wonderful, but the bad leaders of some countries have used this technology to spread out “fake news” and “propaganda”. They have deceived too many people and made a lot of people confused about what is right and what is wrong.
When we have a world that is confused about words like, “freedom”, “duty”, “truth”, “justice’, and “liberty” some very strange things can happen. Bad leaders can make people forget the past, and forget history. Bad leaders can make ordinary people hate other countries and people from other places.
We do not know how this war of Russia on Ukraine will end. It is a very dangerous time for Ukraine. But we need to do what we can do to help them, and to also protect our future from such terrible things. The first thing we should do is to use our power to slow down Russia. We need to pressure Russia to make changes and to stop being violent. We also need to reach out to Russian friends too. There are many good people in Russia who love freedom and justice, just like us. So we need to support them to make changes in their own country too. We need to ask our governments in both Japan and Canada to continue to support Ukraine, and all countries who have trouble, and to work together with other countries to push for good changes.
This will take a long time maybe. So we must be patient.
The second thing that we must do is to continue our education. We must continue to learn. We must read and research about history. We need to open our minds to communicate with more and more people from other countries and cultures. We need to think about how we can support and help all people around the world.
We need to have good history and social studies lessons to remember the past times. It is very good for you that Otemae has excellent teachers who can teach you about the troubles in Europe and around the world. We must remember our histories so that we can protect our world today, and also to make a better world for the future.