Free Range Free Chat

The last Monday in February. This is Free Range, our Monday Free chat with an environmental focus, attention to this blue planet and all things living and non-living, above and below, bright and dark, future and past.

Today I’m thinking about war and I’m thinking of one of earth’s most valuable and most exploited resources, one which must be protected at all costs if we want life on the planet to survive. What is that resource? It’s children, and we’re reminded that many of affected by war, right now, and that fact may have implications for the future of the planet.

A child from Ukraine sleeps in a tent part of a humanitarian centre for refugees at the Moldovan-Ukrainian border, in Palalanca, Moldova, Friday, Feb. 25, 2022.  Ukrainians flee war, seeking safety across western borders – ABC News ( 

Think about it. “The psycho-social wellbeing of an entire generation of Ukrainian children is at risk from war in the country’s eastern Donbas region, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund. With legions of Russian troops pouring in, the situation is only worse, as VOA’s Veronica Balderas Iglesias reports. (It’s not new; the Ukraine has been under threat since 2014).

In Kharkiv, Ukraine, fewer than 30 miles away from where Russian forces have amassed, Ukrainian children and their parents attended the Ukrainian Dance Palace competition — a ballroom dance competition for children. Photos of Ukrainian Children’s Dance Competition on the Eve of Invasion (

Experiencing armed conflict during childhood and adolescence poses serious mental health risks and threats to a child’s development. Exposure to different types of violence, the duration of the conflict, and the nature of experienced and witnessed traumatic events are all associated with the onset and severity of mental disorders among conflict-affected children.

The Red Cross
Children wield wooden guns during training in Kyiv Ukraine crisis: Kids too young for battle rally in woods to defend country from invasion – World News – Mirror Online
The toppling of the government was the pretext Russia used to seize Crimea and then back separatists rebels in Donetsk and Luhansk. Ukraine’s current leader, President Volodymyr Zelensky, has urged calm in the face of escalating tensions. After a recent snowfall, children went sledding on a hill outside the Presidential Administration Building. Life Under the Specter of War: Images From Ukraine – The New York Times (
Lena Rusnak, second from left, celebrating her 11th birthday at the home for disadvantaged children where she lives in Pionerske, about five miles from the frontline.

Children of War, living under a persistent sense of fear, tension, confusion, possible displacement, disruption in education and activities, disruption in regular medical care and family income, may carry the effects of trauma into adulthood, into their own families, into old age, into the next generation. These effects can limit life choices, interfere with potential and perpetuate violent solutions to family, political and cultural problems in an ongoing way.

Children watching the performance of “The Fox and the Bear” at the Mariupol Puppet Theater. The threat of Russian invasion is nothing new for the half a million people living in Mariupol, an industrial port city only about 30 miles from the Russian border.
Young children have been pictured in underground metro systems huddled together in fear as they shelter from Russian shelling in cities around Ukraine including the capital Kyiv Russia-Ukraine war: Terrified children shelter in metros in somber echoes of the Blitz – World News – Mirror Online
Ukrainian schoolchildren prepare for possible war
The threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine is rattling nerves across the West. But people living in Ukraine’s eastern border region have already faced years of conflict. Now, schoolchildren and teachers are preparing for an escalation of fighting. Ukrainian schoolchildren prepare for possible war | DW News – latest news and breaking stories | DW | 29.01.2022

For these reasons, the eradication of war and the focus on the healthy development of children is THE priority when it comes to healing the planet.

And on that note, feel free to chat– no need to chat on this topic; BYOT, all topics all the time, within reason, and within the bounds of civil discourse😁 (aren’t I sounding all hoity-toity today?) I guess I could say it the non-hoity-toity way– you know, respect the bounds of non-asshole-itis. . . . .

Happy Monday again, NV, and whatcha got?

Source: Voice of America