FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. — Conversations and support surrounding the crisis in Ukraine continue to be seen across the DMV. It has also been front and center in many local lesson plans.
At Langley High School in Fairfax County, one teacher said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is now at the center of their discussions.
"The students have been terrific. I have a number of students who have lived in Russia, I have a number of students who have traveled all over the world and their perspectives are certainly beyond what their yours would indicate," said teacher David Kuhn.
The political science, current affairs elective course is open to 9th through 12th-grade students.
Kuhn said he encourages his students in the class to ask questions and have an open dialogue about some of the top headlines coming in from around the globe.
"Open-mindedness, first-rate research skills and an inquisitive nature to always be well-informed people," said Kuhn.
"The class lessons are very fluid because it is an elective so that means when students have questions or have comments about something they read, oftentimes what is structured is not going to be but we are going to talk about that day," said Kuhn.
Another big topic of conversation in class centers around knowing which sources your information comes from.
"I use a lot of the Associated Press and Reuters. Those are my main two sources," said Freshman Om Sharma.
"They are savvy. They keep me on my toes which means I need to do a lot of research along with them. They have come to it really with a curious mind and I think that’s the most important aspect to have," said Kuhn.
Ukraine has been entrenched in a conflict with neighboring Russia since last week when Russian President Vladimir Putin decided to invade.
Russian forces shelled Ukraine's second-largest city on Monday, rocking a residential neighborhood, and closed in on the capital, Kyiv, in a 40-mile convoy of hundreds of tanks and other vehicles, as talks aimed at stopping the fighting yielded only an agreement to keep talking.
The country's embattled president said the stepped-up shelling was aimed at forcing him into concessions.
“I believe Russia is trying to put pressure [on Ukraine] with this simple method," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said late Monday in a video address. He did not offer details of the hourslong talks that took place earlier, but said that Kyiv was not prepared to make concessions “when one side is hitting each other with rocket artillery.”
Amid ever-growing international condemnation, Russia found itself increasingly isolated five days into its invasion, while also facing unexpectedly fierce resistance on the ground in Ukraine and economic havoc at home.
The conflict has already driven hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians from their homes.