Breaking News, News, Politics

Crimea Has The World’s Attention

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Boy voting in mock election; image: A boy votes in a "mock election" outside the Russian embassy in Ottawa. Image: Chrystia Chudczak, www.chrystiachudczak.com.
A boy votes in a “mock election” outside the Russian embassy in Ottawa. Image: Chrystia Chudczak, www.chrystiachudczak.com

Some events are happening in Crimea and the world is taking notice of them.

The small peninsula of Crimea, attached to the country of Ukraine, sits in the middle of Europe. Crimea is about half the size of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia; about two million people live there.

Crimea is at the centre of a major political battle between Russia and Ukraine. The rest of world is watching that conflict closely.

In 1954, both Russia and Ukraine were part of a large group of countries called the Soviet Union. Crimea at the time was very poor, so the leader of the Soviet Union decided that Ukraine was in the best position to help the area recover.

Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, recently sent Russian troops into Crimea and helped to appoint a new, pro-Russia leader there, Sergey Aksyonov. Aksyonov wants Crimea to separate from Ukraine and join Russia.

A “referendum” (in this case, a vote by the people to decide an important issue) was held on Sunday to ask the people of Crimea whether they want to join Russia or join Ukraine. The ballot did not include an option to maintain their current status.

The people who voted overwhelmingly chose to join Russia. However, there are questions about who voted. For instance, some experts say that many people were not allowed to vote and others may have voted more than once.

Many countries including Canada, the U.S. and countries in Europe do not consider it to have been a fair vote and they will not accept it.

They say that the people who voted were likely afraid to vote the way they wanted because of the presence of Russian soldiers; they felt they had to vote for Russia or something bad could happen to them.

The fight for the ownership of Crimea has drawn the attention of the entire world.

Canada and the United States have spoken out against any kind of Russian war-like takeover of Crimea.

They say Ukraine, including Crimea, is an independent country that does not belong to Russia.

Although Ukraine may seem far away, its issues are important to the world and people all over the globe will be watching as events continue to unfold.

This is a breaking news story; events are unfolding quickly. Students should follow this important story with the assistance of an adult.
Thank you to Marsha Skrypuch for her invaluable assistance with this article and all of our Ukraine coverage.
Thank you also to photographer Chrystia Chudczak for granting us permission to use her photograph. Visit her website at www.chrystiachudczak.com.

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS
By Jonathan Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
The photo tells a story — for instance, if you look closely you will see that both options on the ballot are “Yes.” What do you think this means?

Reading Prompt: Making Inferences / Interpreting Texts
Why is the photo black and white? Photographer Chrystia Chudczak has many photographs of Ukraine and Ukrainian people. Why do you think she chose this photo to illustrate today’s article?

Intermediate
Develop and explain interpretations of increasingly complex or difficult texts using stated and implied ideas from the texts to support their interpretations (OME, Reading: 1.5).

Grammar Feature: Semi Colon ( ; )
The semi colon is a punctuation mark that is used incorrectly often; however, if your are going to use, it’s best to know how! The trick for using a semi colon is understanding it’s purpose. A semi colon notifies readers that two sentences have a close relationship. You can see this in the example below:

They say that the people who voted were likely afraid to vote the way they wanted because of the presence of Russian soldiers; they felt they had to vote for Russia or something bad could happen to them.

Write two sentences of your own that are closely related and use a semi colon instead of a period to show your reader this relationship.