As we are all well aware, Russia launched a horrific full-scale attack last week on the sovereign nation of Ukraine. As Armenians, this is a story that we are accustomed to. A nation whose struggles are ignored, we are unfortunately familiar with the human rights violations occurring in Ukraine and should stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian people. I truly do feel for the many displaced citizens, and it is crucial for us to donate to organizations, such as Sunflower of Peace, which is preparing first aid backpacks for front line paramedics, and Razom for Ukraine, which is fundraising for refugees and the military.
In an odd way, my heart aches seeing the global support for Ukraine. Although I am part of said support and am always working for a peaceful world, as selfish as it may sound, it can be quite difficult for me as an Armenian to mentally juxtapose the Artsakh war to the Russian-Ukrainian war and come to terms with how hypocritical the international community and the average person are currently behaving. I am by no means stating that we should not care about Ukraine and the innocent lives being lost. If anything, I am saying the opposite. As mentioned in previous articles, humanitarianism does not come and go with what is trending. Yet, each time this sentiment is proven wrong, I still find myself completely and utterly shocked, clinging on to a thin sliver of hope each time.
To anyone but the Armenian, the betrayal we feel can come across as self-centered. Tactless, even. Despite it all, we must be honest, and honesty isn’t always beautiful. The honest truth, at least for me, is that I feel completely dejected. We all remember the Artsakh War and our community’s level of involvement. We attended protests, we donated, we fundraised, we spread the word on social media and despite it all, Lady Justice turned a blind eye to the Armenians once again. We put in endless hours of work to spread the word about our cause and reached a dead end. A few days of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict have already amassed a much larger audience than we had months into our struggle. It hurts to feel that certain people are prioritized in the eyes of the media, and thus, the world.
It hurts to feel that certain people are prioritized in the eyes of the media, and thus, the world.
Why must we deal with the ever-so-tired sentiment of “thoughts and prayers” when the media has sensationalized this conflict to benefit their pockets? Why are Armenians, Palestinians, Uyghur Muslims, and other groups of people labeled as “terrorists” while Ukrainians are praised for “fighting for their freedom?” This kind of rhetoric is intensely damaging, especially when it comes to guilt-tripping at the hands of the same people who ignored our cries in the midst of the Artsakh war. How dare the same Western society who condemns those who don’t post about the conflict on social media ignore the cries of the people suffering from it? This does not start and end with Armenian issues for me. When it comes down to it, this is a global issue. No one’s suffering is more grave than another’s.
History will remember the brave heroes of both Armenia and Ukraine. Let us all pray for a better world.