Oppression in Russia - WebQuest

Ms. Blackburn



Explore this video on the Ukraine-Russian Conflict to help provide context on the current social situation in the region. Then, examine the historical context below.


Human rights in Russia have routinely been criticized by international organizations and independent domestic media outlets.Some of the most commonly cited violations include deaths in custody the widespread and systematic use of torture by security forces and prison guards, dedovshchina (hazing rituals) in the Russian Army, widespread violations of children's rights, violence and discrimination against ethnic minorities, and the killing of journalists.


However, as a successor state of the Soviet Union, the Russian Federation remains bound by the same human rights agreements that were signed and ratified by its predecessor, such as the international covenants on civil and political rights as well as economic, social, and cultural rights. In the late 1990s, Russia also ratified the European Convention on Human Rights and from 1998 onwards the European Court of Human Rights. The USSR had abstained from voting on the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.


*Looking for more information? Check out this video on human rights.



In your cooperative learning groups, create a policy memo that addresses what the United Nations and international community should do to bring Russiaís oppression of their citizens to a halt.



Work through the following steps to successfully create your policy memo.


  1. Create group roles


Score Keeper





Share your document with group members


Write down ideas shared in your group

Keep all group members focused on the task


Keep track of time remaining to complete activities

Make sure everyoneís voice is heard, everyone says something, everyone is listened to, everyone contributes


Make sure everyone has completed assignment, no one gets left behind, Checks that directions, and process makes sense to everyone


Take on a second role if a group-mate is absent

Handles all requests or questions to teacher (when group canít help themselves)


Shares what the groupís conclusions and discoveries with the class


  2. Define the problem - This step has been completed for you.


  1. Gathering Evidence - Use the resource list below to help you gather evidence for your policy memo.

Reminder on how to structure a Policy Memo

United Nations Human Rights Violations

Human Rights Watch

A Brief History of Economic Sanctions



  1. Identifying the Causes - Explore our notes and your AP World History textbook on the USSR and Cold War.


  1. Evaluate an Existing Policy - This is an exciting topic because it is history in the making! Explore the current policy, but know that it is not comprehensive, and is changing as the situation in Russia evolves.



Policy Memo Rubric









Causes and Effects

The policy memo has clearly articulated the causes and effects of oppression in Russia

The policy memo has vaguely articulated the causes and effects of oppression in Russia

The policy memo has causes and effects of oppression in Russia listed in the policy memo, but has failed to connect them to information from the research sources

The policy memo is unable to explain causes and effects of oppression in Russia


Proposed Policy

The policy memo contains thorough explanations of proposed policy changes

The policy memo contains vague explanations of the proposed policy changes

The policy memo is unable to clearly explain the proposed policy changes

The policy memo is unable to explain reasons the proposed policy changes




The policy memo is well written with few or no errors in sentence structure, spelling, punctuation, and capitalization

The policy memo is well written but includes some errors in grammar and spelling

The policy memo is written with complete sentences, but contains too many errors in verb tense, agreement, punctuation, spelling, and capitalization

The policy memo contains serious errors in sentences structure and mechanics




On behalf of the international community and the United Nations I would like to applaud your efforts in designing a policy memo to ensure that Russia stops its gross violation of its citizensí human rights. These skills of collaborating as a team, conducting your own research, and developing action steps will serve you well in future endeavors. Again, bravo!




Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.



Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.



Integrate quantitative or technical analysis (e.g., charts, research data) with qualitative analysis in print or digital text.



Compare and contrast treatments of the same topic in several primary and secondary sources.