My relatives in Poland welcome Ukrainians with open arms

My relatives in Poland welcome Ukrainians with open arms

More Ukrainians have fled to Poland than any other country. Like so many Poles, my relatives are doing what they can to help. Displaced Ukrainians on a Poland-bound train bid farewell in Lviv, western Ukraine, 22 March 2022. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue) Here’s how...

The best journalists are good listeners. They hear the words of those worth listening to, and they offer the best quotes to their audience to give voice to the protagonists of the story. Many young writers have difficulty hearing and passing along those quotes. But Nela Piwonska of Realgymnasium Rämibühl Zurich is an exception to the rule and proves it with captivating quotes from relatives in Poland who are on the front lines of Europe’s latest refugee crisis. Against a heartbreaking backdrop of families fleeing war, Piwonska manages to offer an uplifting final quote: “The only positive change in my life is the realisation of how much good is left in people.”

Exercise: Divide your students into teams of two and have them interview each other and then write stories that are based primarily on quotes.

Decoder: With war in Ukraine, spectre of nuclear war returns

Decoder: With war in Ukraine, spectre of nuclear war returns

Three decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has revived dormant fears of a catastrophic nuclear war. Russian missile launchers, capable of firing nuclear warheads, in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, 9 May 2016 (AP...

The world’s optimists thought the era of Mutually Assured Destruction was over with the collapse of the Soviet Union, but Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has stirred fears of nuclear war – anxieties that many young people around the world have never experienced. Harvey Morris takes a horrific topic – what he calls “a suicide pact between the superpowers” – and examines the irony of the nuclear age: that to ensure there would be no nuclear war, the United States and the Soviet Union both had to have weapons of mass destruction. He offers a highly readable introduction to the harsh realities of the nuclear age – realities that all generations are compelled to live with.

Exercise: Ask your students to debate the resolution: “The best way to ensure there will never be nuclear war is to ensure adversaries have recourse to nuclear weapons.”

Decoder: What was the Soviet Union? Why does Putin miss it?

Decoder: What was the Soviet Union? Why does Putin miss it?

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the fall of the Soviet Union was a catastrophe. What was the USSR, and what does Putin really want? Russian communist party supporters commemorate the death anniversary of the founder of the former Soviet Union, Vladimir...

It’s next to impossible to fathom why Russia might have invaded Ukraine without understanding the Soviet Union and Vladimir Putin’s attachment to the notion of an empire led by Moscow. Few are better placed than Julian Nundy, whose links to Ukraine go back more than half a century, to explain the complex relationship between Russia and its western neighbor. In his decoder, Nundy takes the reader from the upheaval of the Russian revolution to the collapse of the USSR and, with it, Russia’s loss of buffer states – for Putin, an intolerable affront.

Exercise: Ask your students to choose a revolution – if their country had a revolution, then that should be their focus – and to assess the good that may have come out of it, and the bad.

Tag: Vladimir Putin