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Is there a Cold War today between the United

States and Russia?
Introductory Activity:
Directions: President Obama has appointed you to be the foreign
ambassador to Russia. He is concerned that there may be a new Cold
War emerging with Russia but is not completely convinced. He asks
you to do some research and report back to him. First he wants to see
what your idea of a Cold War is. Based on the following statements he
asks you to decide whether you agree or disagree that the statement is
a warning sign of a Cold War. Please explain your decisions.
A powerful



country invades a weaker

expand its territory.

There is a
concern for the repression
of human rights in a country.


powerful countries have different

how to handle foreign affairs.

countries are showing off their
military strength to one another.
refuses to offer information
about a terrorist attack on another nation.
There is obvious
tension between two
countries who are not fighting each other.
One country

tells all of its airlines not to

another countrys airspace.


USA Today Headlines
Fighting Surges as Ukraine and Russia Face [Ceasefire] Deadline
Ukrainian rail hub falls to rebels (2/18/2015)
Over 90% of Ukraine Troops Withdraw From Key Town (2/19/2015)
Ukraine calls for Peacekeepers after rebels take key town (2/19/2015)
NATO still seeks consensus on Ukraine conflict (2/20/2015)
U.K. report says E.U. sleepwalked into Ukraine crisis (2/21/2015)
Crimea prepares to mark one year since annexation (2/22/2015)
Pressure builds in [U.S.] Congress to send weapons to Ukraine
Crimean Tatars living in fear in homeland ruled by Russia (2/26/2015)
NATO Commander: Ukraine Cant Stop Russia (2/26/2015)
U.S. and Russian Troops Show off Hardware Just Miles Apart
Schiff: Russia Leading Authoritarian Wave (3/2/2015)
U.S. Soldiers Readying for Ukraine Deployment (3/3/2015)
Guiding Questions:
1. Highlight the most alarming headline to you.
2. What international support for Ukraine/Crimea has there been
based on the headlines?

3. In your opinion, is the United States battling for influence in

Ukraine? Explain.

Interactive Map
Map 1:
1. Read the blurb for the first map. What is the most important part
of Crimea for the Russians? Why is it important?

Map 2:
2. What in the most widely spoken language throughout Crimea?

Map 3:
3. Can you think of any parts of the United States or New Jersey
where you can find a majority of people that speak a language
other than English? Do you still consider those places to be
American? Why?

DOCUMENT C: Quote from Barack Obama

Russia continues to support the separatists and
encourage them, and train them, and arm them.
Satellite images, along with information we've
declassified in recent days, show that forces inside
Russia have launched artillery strikes into Ukraine -another major violation of Ukraines sovereignty. And
we have information that Russia continues to build up
its own forces near the Ukrainian border and that more
Russian military equipment, including artillery, armored
vehicles, and air defense equipment, has been
transferred across the border to these separatists.
Since the beginning of the crisis in Ukraine, the United
States has worked to build a strong international
coalition to support Ukraine, its sovereignty, its
territorial integrity, its right to determine its own
destiny, and to increase the pressure on Russia for
actions that have undermined Ukraines sovereignty,
territorial integrity, and ability to make its own
decisions. The core of that coalition is the United
States and our European allies.
President Barack Obama. July 24th, 2014

Guiding Questions:

1. Highlight 2 things that concern President Obama.

2. What does the United States plan to do in response to the crisis

in Crimea?

3. Do you think that the U.S. plans to engage in a war with Russia?

DOCUMENT D: Quote from Vladimir Putin

After the dissolution of bipolarity [only having two
superpowers/ideologies] on the planet, we no
longer have stabilityOur western partners, led by
the United States of America, prefer not to be
guided by international law in their practical
policies, but by the rule of the gun. They have
come to believe in their exclusivity and
exceptionalism, that they can decide the destinies
of the world, that only they can ever be right. They
act as they please: here and there, they use force
against sovereign states, building coalitions based
on the principle, If you are not with us, you are
against us.
President Vladimir Putin, March 18th, 2014.
Guiding Questions:
1. Highlight 2 criticisms that Vladimir Putin makes of the United

2. Explain in your own words what you think Putins biggest

complaint about the United States is.

3. Compare and contrast Putin and Obamas quotes. How are they
similar? How are they different?


Questions on separate page

Guiding Questions:
1. What does the first cartoon suggest about the annexation of

2. What does the second cartoon suggest about the U.S. and
Russias roles in the world today?

3. Do you think that these two countries battling for influence

throughout the world?

The President of the United States is ready for your report. Based on
your research in the field (the documents that you have analyzed)
write a formal letter (at least one page) to President Obama clearly
stating your answer to the following question:

Is there a Cold War today between the United States

and Russia?
Homework: You have been selected by President Barack Obama to
research whether or not there is a Cold War today between the U.S.
and Russia. You are to write an official letter to the President explaining
your findings (At least 1 page).
Make sure your letter includes the following:
Your position (Yes or No)
Reasons behind your position (At least 3 pieces of evidence taken
from the documents)

Be sure to compare the events of today with the 20th century

Cold War.