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Why is Russia invading Ukraine?

Map of Ukraine with International Borders and Major Cities
filo/Getty Images
Digital Vision Vectors
Map of Ukraine showing important cities, regional countries and capitals.

The invasion of Ukraine has been the top story in the news for the last few weeks, and kids around the world are asking questions about what is happening and what it means for them. In this episode we ask Erin Hutchinson, Assistant Professor of Russian History at the University of Colorado Boulder, to help us understand the history behind this conflict. Adults: we don’t go into detail about what war looks like on the ground, but we acknowledge war is a scary topic. You may want to preview this episode ahead of time to make sure it's right for your kids.

Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript

We have collected some resources for parents/caregivers about how to talk to kids about war and ways families can help.

How to talk to kids about war

Meet the Helpers

Common Sense Media

News Sources for Kids from Common Sense Media

NAMLE Parent’s Guide to Media Literacy

Ways to help

Save the Children


Eurasia Foundation

Donations for refugees in Moldova

Jane Lindholm is the host, executive producer and creator of But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids. She also produces special projects for the station. Until March 2021, she was the host of the award-winning Vermont Public Radio program Vermont Edition.
Melody is the senior producer for But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids.