Thousands of miles distant, but war still hits home for Eliza


Eliza Adriassyan in Ukraine as a child with the mayor of Kiev.

Adalyn Campbell, Design Editor

“Russian-Ukraine live: Pressure builds on Germany to supply tanks”

 “Ukraine’s top diplomats call for a tribunal to investigate Russia”

 “Serbia slams Russia’s Wagner Group for Ukraine recruitment” 

This is what you see when you search the Russian-Ukraine war on Google. Mind-numbing headlines describing political affairs, violence, and death counts, while using thick wording impossible to dissect, especially for the average teenager. Despite the multitude of various sources sharing constant information, many cannot understand the immeasurable loss that families have suffered during this war. Homes, places where a family gathers to feel safe, fall to the carnage from airstrikes and bombings. Women, men, and children are murdered both directly and indirectly. 

The physical disconnect keeping us far away from these countries affected by violence prohibits an emotional connection. If people were more invested, there would be endless possibilitie continues to impact lifees to help those suffering. Even today, almost a year after the war began, people have stopped posting and sharing about the effects of the war. Eliza Andrissyan, a sophomore at Tomball High School, e continues to impact lifewas born and raised in Ukraine but was forced to root up everything she knew and immigrate to the United States when she wase continues to impact life only in fourth grade. 

Saturday, Jan. 14, a Russian missile strike in Dnipro, Ukraine, left at least 46 dead, 64 injured, and 25 missing. 

On Jan. 18, a helicopter crash near a kindergarten in Kyiv killed 14 people.

Eliza Andrissyan and her family – who emigrated from Ukraine to Tomball – were watching a Netflix documentary on the war, Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s fight for freedom, on a recent Sunday morning. About halfway through the documentary, Andrissyan and her family saw something shocking. On the screen, the family’s old company driver, Sasha, was building a barricade in Independence Square during the Revolution of Dignity. Sasha, Eliza said, got very close with her family, and she considers him one of her best friends from her childhood.

“At first I didn’t believe it was him,” Eliza said. “We all just froze for a second. It took us a while to actually decipher it. It was so surreal. Someone I was so close to was doing that for the war.”

On Dec. 24, Christmas Eve, the Russian army fired grad rockets at the Kherson city center, killing 10 civilians and injuring at least 58 more.

 Almost a year after Russia’s initial invasion and series of militaristic events, the casualties continue to rise every day.

“I hate when  someone mentions the war as a question, ‘is it still going on’ … Yes, it’s still going on, people have just stopped talking about it,” Eliza said.

Her friends and family are scattered everywhere now, an effect of the war, but she’s found ways to truly make a difference, moving beyond simply sharing the topic on social media. Recently, Eliza has joined the group The Renegade Relief Runners, a volunteer organization focused on pushing aid from Western Ukraine to Eastern Ukraine. Whatever resource that is existing in the west and is needed in the east is sourced. These individuals provide critical medical aid, food, water, and even purification systems to those suffering in war-torn areas. 

While the majority of the organization is based out of Ukraine, Eliza has brought the efforts to the United States. As the first and only member in America, she has made many flyers, posting them around Tomball and handing them out to her teachers. 

Currently, Eliza only has one recruited member on her team. While you can donate any amount, every $20 donated equates to one mile for Eliza’s team to run. With a goal of $1,000, she still has a ways to go. But without fail, she will continue even after reaching her goal to do her part in providing for her loved ones in danger. 

“I feel like there are so many more than 1,000 people in this country, and if just 10 people would donate $100 we could truly help,” she said.

If you feel like reaching out to Eliza to offer help or donating to her cause, please contact her at [email protected] . To learn more about the Renegade Relief Runners visit .