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A Note About Ukraine

Like the US, Russia is a colonial power. 


Putin’s brutal war in Ukraine is about attempting to prevent Ukraine from joining the EU and NATO, reclaiming territory Moscow once controlled, and restoring the former glory of Russia as a world power. 


I am of Ukrainian descent, and I object to the war and the brutality with which it is being waged. 

I also have Russian friends and colleagues whom I love dearly.  I think about how much distress the war has brought to them and to their families and my heart breaks for them. 


It’s complicated, studying and teaching the language of a colonial power and current aggressor.  As teachers, we typically champion the subjects we teach.  We get excited about them and we invite our students to join us in our enthusiasm.  But how do we proceed when our subject is associated with destruction and torture?


It’s possible to love many aspects of Russian language and culture while opposing the agenda of a dictator.


Let’s study Russian and claim it as a tool and wield it for good, as much as we can. 


Kimberly DiMattia, 4/16/23

dove against a Ukrainian flag
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