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A Turning Point?: Belarus Prepares for Presidential Election

A Turning Point?: Belarus Prepares for Presidential Election

  • Russian
  • Intermediate
  • 0
Details

Belarus, long labeled as the last remaining dictatorship in Europe, is preparing to hold the most consequential presidential election in the country's young history on August 9, 2020. President Alexander Lukashenka is running for a sixth consecutive term but faces a high degree of unpopularity and mounting levels of civil unrest in the days before the vote. This course will prepare you to read a Russian language news article and watch a Russian language report that takes a look at the circumstances in Belarus leading up to the election, the challenges facing Lukashenka as he tries to maintain power, and the strategy of the opposition figures trying to remove him from office. Some sample vocabulary from the course includes: соперник, соперница - rival, opponent; соблазн - temptation, lure; русификация  - Russification; переворот - revolt, upheaval; уровень жизни - standard of living

Fighting for Equality: The View from Russia

Fighting for Equality: The View from Russia

  • Russian
  • Sophisticated
  • 7
Details

The eyes of the world have been on the United States in recent weeks as hundreds of thousands have taken to the streets to call for major reforms to the country's policing practices, an end to systemic racism, and increased awareness of the challenges facing people of color living in the country. Not all foreign media outlets, however, are looking at the events with a sympathetic eye, choosing to brush over the reasons for the movement itself, and instead devoting an overwhelming amount of coverage to the spouts of violence, unrest, and looting which have accompanied the protest demonstrations in many American cities. In this course, we will take a look at an article and TV news report from Russia that both provide a glimpse into how the Russian mediasphere has choosing to portray the latest events gripping the United States. Some sample vocabulary from the course includes: гнев - outrage, anger; угнетение  - oppression; социальная справедливость - social justice; жестокость полиции - police brutality; разжигать ненависть - to incite hatred

The Return of Stalin: Personality Cults in Modern Russia

The Return of Stalin: Personality Cults in Modern Russia

  • Russian
  • Intermediate
  • 15
Details

Despite having been dead for nearly 70 years, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin still remains a polarizing figure in Russian history. While many understand the extent of the damage this tyrannical leader inflicted upon his own people, a small but growing personality cult has been built up around Stalin, with many pointing to his leadership during World War 2 as a reason why he should be celebrated. This course looks at the modern-day debate surrounding Joseph Stalin and how it acts as a reflection on modern Russian society. Some of the key vocabulary from this course includes - репрессированный   - repressed person; тиран  - tyrant; Сталинизм - Stalinism; искажение  - distortion

Moscow Under Lockdown

Moscow Under Lockdown

  • Russian
  • Advanced
  • 22
Details

Moscow, a city of more than 12 million, has been hit particularly hard in recent weeks by the coronavirus, bringing life in the massive metropolis to a standstill. The latest numbers indicate that nearly 2% of the city's population has been infected with those numbers expected to continue rising. This course will prepare you to read a Russian language news article as well as watch a Russian language news report that examines the effects of the virus on the city and what measures are being taken to curb its spread. Sample vocabulary from the course include: искоренять, искоренить - to eradicate; затухать, затухнуть - to fade out; сдерживание  - containment; лёгкие - lungs; самоизоляция - self isolation

The Geopolitics of Crimea’s Water Deficit

The Geopolitics of Crimea’s Water Deficit

  • Russian
  • Sophisticated
  • 17
Details

Since annexing the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine in 2014, Russia has faced a host of geopolitical issues in its efforts to take on stewardship over the region. The issue of Crimea's water supply has proven especially challenging for its new host government. Prior to 2014, the vast majority of Crimea's water came from the Dnipro River in Ukraine but access to that supply was cut off following Russia's takeover of the region. This course looks at some of the options the Kremlin is exploring to create a reliable source of potable water for Crimea as droughts and emptying reservoirs continue to threaten the region. The first three lessons of this course are taken from one article which looks at some of the options the Kremlin is exploring to create a reliable source of potable water for Crimea and the inherent challenges of those available options. The final two lessons are taken from a news video report which focuses on how the region's water shortage has affected Crimea's population and where the situation is the most dire. Some sample vocabulary from the course includes: водоснабжение  - water supply; бесперебойный  - uninterrupted; истощение  - depletion; рыбак - fisherman; повсеместный - widespread

Russians Around the World

Russians Around the World

  • Russian
  • Advanced
  • 19
Details

Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Russian emigre communities have popped up around the world with increasing frequency as many people have chosen to leave the country and seek opportunity elsewhere. Additionally, international travel becomes increasingly popular for Russian citizens, with preferred destinations in Turkey, Egypt, and Thailand, among other places, developing their industries around Russian-speaking tourists. This course takes a look at some of these "epicenters" of Russian tourism and immigration and the effects of this on local industry and culture. Sample vocabulary from this course includes: эпицентр - epicenter; бесшабашность  - recklessness; репатриант - repatriate; преграда  - barrier, obstacle; недовольство - discontent

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