(By Eleni Androutsopoulou, A class)

Occasioned by Russia-Ukraine conflicts…

Τhe twentieth century has already seen two world wars and many others between individual countries. The threat of war hangs over us all the time and is particularly acute in times of international crisis. War has disastrous effects on all countries, particularly on those which are involved on wars that go on for years. Civil wars, where people of the same country fight against each other, are also destructive.

In the two world wars, the countries involved lost an entire generation of young men. Those who could have contributed so much to the development of society were killed before they entered adulthood.

In addition to destroying generations of young people, war also destroys whole towns and cities and makes civilization take a step backwards. Instead of progressing, the world regresses. Time has to be spent on rebuilding cities and on rebuilding people’s hopes. The countryside is often damaged beyond all recognition. Innocent people are made to suffer because of the decisions of a small number of men. Normal life cannot continue: people suffer poverty, hardship and even starvation. People die because of man’s selfishness and greed, because of man’s aggression and desire for power, because of his mistrust of his fellow man.

Psychologically, war develops feelings of hatred for the enemy which can take many years to disappear. In these days when we are aiming to work together as nations for the common good, war merely drives us apart and encourages antagonism towards other people.

The suffering caused by war continues for many years after the war has ended. Many women are left to bring up families without their husbands. Soldiers are sometimes scarred for life, either physically or mentally. Countries struggle to create friendly relations but even in this situation, peace is sometimes simply an absence of war, precariously maintained in an atmosphere of treats and counter threats.