Video 2: Where are we and how did we get here?

This video invites students to consider the context for current levels of trust and future trustbuilding.

The interviewees discuss what they believe to be the current state of U.S.-Russia relations and its origins. Before or after viewing, students can be asked to consider how the past, and differing perspectives on the past, influence future opportunities to build trust or engage in cooperation. Prior to viewing, ask students to recall a time when their understanding of past events differed from someone else’s. What contributed to this difference and what was its effect? How did it make them feel about the other person and their relationship to them? They might also be asked to read “Stepping Past the Cold War’s Shadow” to consider different perspectives on the legacy of the Cold War and the years following.

When viewing Video 2, students will need to know the following terms:

  • Post-Soviet space: The non-Russian regions that were previously part of the Soviet Union. Includes now-independent nations such as Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan (fifteen in total).
  • Territorial integrity: The idea under international law that one country should not seize territory from another country, or support secessionist movements within that country. (A secessionist movement is when a group of people within a particular region want to break away from the rest of the country and the ruling government. e.g. the Confederacy in the South during the U.S. Civil War.)
  • Norms of behavior: Informal rules that guide how people or groups of people interact.
  • Costly measures/costly signalling: Behavior that requires sacrifice or other significant “costs,” such as demonstrating risk or vulnerability, and that shows commitment to a relationship or a course of action.

Download Video 2: Viewing Guide with questions for students.