Piedmont High School hosted Dr. Ellis, a political science professor from Wingate University, as a guest speaker about the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Dr. Ellis explained that before the Soviet Union fell, Ukraine was a part of the Soviet Union. “The 80s were a big push to cause the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991”, Dr. Ellis noted. “The biggest revolution for a lot of people is the fall of the Berlin Wall and the fall of Communism in the former Soviet Union.”
Ellis helped Social Studies students understand the background of the current conflict taking place in this region. Vladimir Putin rose to power in 1999 after President Yeltsin chose him to be the next President of Russia. Putin has been in power since 1999. He has done things without having any consequences for his actions. Putin believes that all the countries that were a part of the Soviet Union before the fall of the country should be back as a part of Russia. Many of the countries that were a part of the Soviet Union are now in NATO. However, Ukraine is not a part of NATO. Dr. Ellis stated that, “Russia is not putting up their best fight, and they are showing how weak their military actually is.” Seeing Russia attack Ukraine shows how lucky we are to be in the United States.
Ellis explained how the United States has responded to the situation by informing students that the U.S. has imposed sanctions on Russia. In addition, America is sending money and supplies to Ukraine, and we have deployed troops to our ally NATO countries. President Biden does not want to engage in a war with Russia in Ukraine as both countries have nuclear weapons. Ukraine recently joined the European Union, and European countries have also imposed sanctions on Russia. There is also a humanitarian crisis in Ukraine as many refugees have fled the country to neighboring European countries. As a show of loyalty to their independence, men ages 18-60 have stayed behind in Ukraine to fight for their country. The biggest question everyone wants to know is how long will this conflict between Ukraine and Russia take and what will be the end?
Written by Fred Little