Central Kitsap High School Students On The Russo-Ukrainian War

The Russo-Ukrainian war has had a large effect on much of the world.


Aidyn Pacl

Students in teacher Bill Wilson’s 4th period class watch as President Biden gives a live briefing on the Russo-Ukrainian War. (Taken February 25, 2022)

It was almost 4 AM in Ukraine. There was a visible fear in the country as tensions with Russia rose to an all time high.

The tensions were palpable, you could cut them with a knife, and on February 24th, 2022, a few minutes before 4 AM, the current president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, launched a full scale invasion on Ukraine.

People from all around the world were glued to the news once it started. 

As of right now, three million people have left Ukraine. With many heading to Poland, Moldova, Hungary, Slovakia, and Romania. Many of those who have not been able to leave the country have been internally displaced, hiding in train stations, churches, and other sheltered areas. 

In today’s current day of age students are getting updates and new information, whenever something happens. Thanks to new technology and news, students are just as educated as adults. Here is what some Central Kitsap High School (CK) students think. 

Moria Perry, a CK junior, who has family in Ukraine says, “the lack of just how detailed the coverage is on what is happening to the people and politically just how detailed it could get there. It affects me in a logical sense…I wish they could explain that more and elaborate. And then on the personal side of it, knowing that some of my family made it up to Poland… and then with the government family we don’t know anything.”

Students such as senior Eleanor Hebard, have been doing their best to stay educated and aware on the topic of the Russo-Ukrainian war, even though they do not have any family that lives in Ukraine. 

Hebard said, “I’ve really just been learning about the situation and doing my best, I guess, to understand what’s going on and advocate…Obviously, I follow stuff on social media, I think all of Gen Z’s main source of information, but I also try to look at the reputable sources. And the reports from people who are actually in Ukraine.”

One major fear regarding the ongoing war that is continuously reflected in the conversations that are had between CK students is the possibility of nuclear war. 

Nuclear war is highly improbable. The main reason for this is due to the M.A.D. Doctrine, which stands for Mutually Assured Destruction.

Even with this in existence, there are still an enormous amount of “what if” questions.

“What if Putin goes insane?” “What if Putin is dying and wants to take the rest of us with him?” “What if he gets cornered?” “What if he wants to take out a naval base?

While these ”what if” questions, in all essence, leave out many variables, they aren’t completely unwarranted. 

CK is in a unique location in the United States of America. Located in Silverdale, with very close proximity to Bangor Base many, many people from CK have family members in the military. 

Bangor Base is a relatively average sized Naval Base, but what sets it apart from all others is the submarines.

Bangor has eight Boomer submarines, each submarine has 20 trident missiles, and in each of these, there are 4-5 nuclear warheads. This brings the total amount of nuclear weapons in Bangor to around 720 nukes.

Because of these eight submarines, the Puget Sound is essentially a nuclear stockpile. Given the total number of active nukes in the US, Bangor alone has around 40% of all active nukes in the US. 

Having this many nukes and protection from outside threats brings a lot of people a sense of security when hearing about war, but for others it doesn’t. This is because along with this stockpile comes a downside. 

While bringing us a sense of security and protection, they also make us one of the number one targets for a nuclear detonation. Contrary to popular belief, the first places to be under a nuclear attack in the US would not be mainly populous areas, but instead areas that provide military strength.

If a nuclear war were to break out, realistically places like Kings Bay Naval Base, The Pentagon, and Naval Base Kitsap (Bangor Base) would be the first to get hit.

This isn’t necessarily something to worry about though, due to the extremely small probability of nuclear war getting even somewhat close to breaking out in the first place.

With all of this information being put out there, one question may come to mind. What do residents of Kitsap think about the prospect of nuclear war?

The Ukraine flag pictured on teacher Bill Wilson’s classroom door, made from construction paper. (Taken March 30, 2022) (Leah H)

“[Nuclear war is] always a possibility, but a remote one,” CK Senior William Putaansuu said. “I don’t expect it to happen, although we are closer to it than we were a few years ago. I’m not particularly worried about it, because there’s no benefit of any size for it to happen, especially between Russia and the US. M.A.D. pretty much takes care of that.”

Putaansuu continued by stating that if we were to see a war between Russia and the Western Powers, it would likely not be nuclear because, “there’s no reason for it to be nuclear.”

Hebard says, “I mean, I hope not. It would not be fun. I guess it’s always a possibility, but I’d like to think that they would resort to other options first. So again, hopefully not, that would be scary.”

She continued with, “I suppose I am scared, but like, I just try not to think about it.”

Some students had concerns other than nuclear war though.

“I’m scared of the possibility of nuclear war, but I don’t think it will happen,” Sophomore Arianna Palmer said. “My main concern in this war is the people of Ukraine, and the lower-class in the US because I know they’re gonna struggle.”

Palmer’s fears are not out of place in the current situation.

With many in the lower class barely able to afford driving with normal gas prices, now having to face gas prices as high as almost six dollars a gallon in California, this could be a significant struggle for them.

Overall, students at CKHS aren’t necessarily afraid of the direct effects of the Russo-Ukrainian war because in general it doesn’t affect them, due to the fact that they live across the world from the war. What they are most afraid of is the indirect effects that come afterwards.