Student organizes Walk for Ukraine


Shiphrah Moses

Cal High students march through the quad holding Ukrainian flags and sunflowers, the national flower, to show support for the country, which was invaded by Russia on Feb. 24 and has seen thousands of injuries and deaths as a result.

Ukrainian junior Shawn Reznikov took the initiative to organize a Walk for Ukraine earlier this month to help spread awareness for peace and justice in Ukraine, which has been subject to a Russian invasion for nearly a month. 

“I have family back in Ukraine and I just know how terrible the situation is,” Reznikov said. “Nobody here is really talking about it.”

Reznikov organized and led the Walk for Ukraine in order to raise awareness of the situation. During lunch on March 3, nearly 100 students of all backgrounds walked around campus with flags and signs, chanting, “Peace in Ukraine”, “Justice for Ukraine”, and “Long Live Ukraine”.

“I’m definitely praying for Ukraine and praying that there’s going to be a more positive outlook for the future,” said junior Simi Shetty, who participated in the walk.

Reznikov thought a walk would be the best way to shed light on the issue, so he talked to teachers and administrators to get approval for the walk. After they approved it, he spread the word through social media, leadership, and CSF.

“It was an absurd experience, like absolutely crazy,” Reznikov said. “I didn’t expect anyone to show up but I think it was, like, seventy plus people.”

Reznikov’s Walk for Ukraine is raising awareness for the dangerous situation in Ukraine. Russia officially invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, and has been sending artillery and troops into Ukrainian towns and cities. 

“It’s killing people, killing children, and it needs to stop,” senior Evelyn Ramos said.

Through the weeks of the invasion, Ukraine’s houses, hospitals, and schools have been bombed by Russia. Civilian casualties have been increasing as more and more towns are bombed and invaded. Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, has been the target of Russian missiles, which have killed thousands of innocent civilians.

​​“It makes me feel sad and worried because my family is in western Ukraine as Russia comes closer to the capital,” junior Will Sydorak said. Sydorak is Ukrainian. “It also scares me because my cousin is around the age of 18 and might be drafted into the military.”

Many students at Cal High with family in Ukraine are affected by the invasion. But not only students with ties to Ukraine are affected. Gas prices have been rising, US troops have been deployed to Europe, and trade sanctions have been implemented on Russia.    

“It makes me disheartened knowing that Russia is trying to disassemble the free government of Ukraine because the Ukrainian people are proud of their democratic country,” Sydorak said.

Many Cal High students are supporting Ukraine during this time of war and uncertainty. Students like Reznikov are stepping forward and taking initiative to raise awareness and support for this situation.