[1/10/19] – Geopolitical Communication in a Post-Soviet World

Recently, the Trump Administration has come under greater fire concerning ties with Russia, and the investigation of special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III is receiving greater press. It is timely then, that Russia finds its way into our news for another reason—its heated relationship with Belarus. This week explores recent conflicts between the two countries, gives some context via the Cold War, and asks the reader to not only consider implications for global politics, but also the manner in which a single news event can be reported in a number of very different ways.

Instructors, click on the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt, a debate question, as well as other assessment questions.

Download the PowerPoint Lecture Spark for Geopolitical Communication in a Post-Soviet World


Al Jazeera’s Neave Barker takes a closer look at how Russia-Belarus ties have evolved over the years.

The decades-long “Cold War” (1947-1989) between the United States and the Soviet Union was so named because the two global powers never came to direct blows. Yet, the war was not without its victims. In fact, millions of Cubans, Koreans, and Vietnamese suffered under Communist tyranny. In this video, renowned British historian Andrew Roberts explains why “The Cold War” could just as easily be called “The Third World War.”





Writing: Why might it be in Vladimir Putin or Russia’s interest to portray Belarus as friendly with Russia?

Debate: The Russian news agency uses quotes, likely from the same speaking engagement, of the Belarusian president. If all the articles use the same source, who is right? Do you believe any of the sources are not telling the truth, embellishing the truth, or simply selecting different bits of quote?

Poll: Does it concern you to think about a new Soviet Union forming?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Unsure

Short Answer: How much do you know about the Cold War and who did you learn it from? Did your parents or school cover it?


Current Events Quiz

1. The Russian government has pressured Belarus to take part in:

  • Talks
  • Scandalous Parties
  • Military Parades
  • A new Cold War

2. During discussions with Russia, Putin has encouraged Belarus to:

  • Join the European Union
  • Rejoin Russia
  • “Belarexit”
  • Invade Ukraine

3. The Washington Post op-ed argues that this is just the start to Russia:

  • Hiring President Trump as Marketing Minister
  • Invading Bulgaria
  • Preparing for the next Winter Olympics
  • Ruling over multiple countries again

4. The Belarusian president has said his country will not become a(n):

  • American territory
  • Russian puppet state
  • Subject of Russia
  • Vacation spot

5. Counter to other global media, Russia says the talks have been:

  • Unproductive
  • Adversarial
  • Troubled
  • Successful


Featured image credit: This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. Attribution: Kremlin.ru 

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