Last week, students across the nation explored the political issues behind the current conflict in Ukraine in our #DoNowUkraine post. We asked students What risks does Ukraine face by overthrowing its democratically elected leader? When does a foreign country receive the right to interfere in another country’s internal affairs? When do people have the right to overthrow their democratically elected government?
Conflict arose last November when Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, under the influence of Russia, walked away from a free trade agreement with the European Union. With more than 50 percent of Ukrainians wishing to be a part of the E.U, protests erupted in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, against Yanukovych. Ukraine experienced a relatively calm period of time, but more violent protests started again in the middle of February, further highlighting the internal political division between those who wished to be closer to Russia and those who supported a closer relationship with the E.U. While Yanukovych left for Russia, the conflict moved to the Crimean peninsula, home to many ethnic Russians, where Russian troops occupied parts of the region, creating standoffs with Ukrainian soldiers. Putin denied sending troops to Ukraine, but argued that they had the right to protect its interests in the ethnically Russian part of the country.
Students analyzed the situation throughout the week, discussing the risks Ukraine faces after throwing their elected leader and whether or not Russia should have interfered with Ukraine’s internal affairs. Overall, students agreed that a country has the right to overthrow their leader if they feel their voices are not being heard. Additionally, many students also felt that Russia should not have interfered.
When Should Another Country Interfere?
Many students examined when it is appropriate for another country to interfere with another country’s affairs.
— Vanessa J. Lon (@lon_vanessa) March 10, 2014
@GillespieJess Seriously!!! I agree. Russia needs to stay out of Crimea's affairs
— Charlie (@cabiezzi) March 11, 2014
— DéShawn Webb (@deshawnwhke) March 10, 2014
Should Russia Have Interfered?
Other students argued whether or not Russia had the right to interfere with Ukraine.
— Kien Nguyen (@NguyenKien1997) March 10, 2014
— OtisMsft (@Dj_Otie) March 10, 2014
Does a Country Have the Right to Overthrow Their Government?
Several students questioned when a country has the right to overthrow their leader.
— Steven Li (@Stevenli1W) March 13, 2014
— Dylan Alvarez (@chiefalvarez) March 12, 2014
— Alyssa Van Laar (@alyssaravl) March 10, 2014
But Should Ukraine Have Ousted Their Elected Leader?
Students debated about if Ukraine made the right decision in ousting Yanukovych.
— samanthaj (@Sammiej1027) March 10, 2014
— John (@theman11715) March 10, 2014
What are the Risks?
Many students explored the possible risks Ukraine may face after overthrowing their elected leader.
— Juster Duster (@linj65258) March 13, 2014
@kqededspace@mrRobertsHoover Ukraine risks their economy because who is going to govern their country #DoNowUkraine
— Bay-76 (@EfrainMoreno_) March 10, 2014
— RAMØNA (@AHA_octopussy) March 15, 2014
Still Confused about what’s happening in Ukraine?
Check out some of the graphs students from Berkeley High School’s Arts and Humanities Academy posted that break down the conflict.
— Makayla Grace (@AHA_makaykin) March 16, 2014
— Brandon (@AHA_lolwut) March 13, 2014