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Russia's Invasion of Ukraine: What Everyone Should Know and Why You Should (Still) Care

  • Kathryn Stoner

Professor Kathryn Stoner is an expert on Russia, a Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University, and the Mosbacher Director of the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. In this video, Dr. Stoner provides a comprehensive background for the current conflict between Ukraine and Russia. She details the history of Russia’s interest in Ukraine since the end of the Soviet Union, dispels several myths about Ukraine and its relationship with Russia, explains what Putin might really want, what normal Russians think, and also why this conflict still matters so much even more than two years after it started.

A free classroom-friendly discussion guide for this video is available for download below. The discussion guide contains a complete transcript of the video and is appropriate for advanced secondary students and university students. This discussion guide complements and expands upon Dr. Stoner’s video lecture. After viewing the video, students put together a timeline of relations between Russia and Ukraine and respond to several of Vladimir Putin’s statements. As a culminating activity, they work in groups to simulate a diplomatic summit among the parties in the war in Ukraine to determine what conditions, if any, could lead to an end to the war.

The video lecture and guide were made possible through the support of U.S. Department of Education National Resource Center funding (to Stanford’s Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies) under the auspices of Title VI, Section 602(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965.