- An English teacher in Russia has been punished for telling her students Ukraine does not belong to Russia.
- Marina Dubrova told The New York Times: “It was as if they were all in some kind of madness.”
- Putin last month expressed support for the “self-purification of society,” referring to those who opposed the war.
A teacher in Russia says she was fired and fined after being reported by authorities for making remarks to students about Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Marina Dubrova told The New York Times she showed her eighth-grade class a YouTube video with an anti-war message. Afterwards, a group of girls asked her about the war.
Dubrova, an English teacher on the Russian island of Sakhalin, told the girls: “Ukraine is an independent country.” One of the girls replied: “Not anymore.”
According to The Times, Russian police arrived at her school days later and produced a recording of her comments in court, apparently filmed by a student.
She told The Times she was fined $400 for “publicly slandering” the Russian military and was fired from the school for “immoral conduct”. When it comes to Russians who support the war, Dubrova said, “It’s as if they’re all in some kind of madness.”
There are already various Report Russians have turned themselves in to each other for speaking out against the war, which Russia calls a “special military operation,” although it’s unclear how widespread this is.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said last month that Russia must cleanse society to root out those who were anti-war or aligned with the West.
“The West is collectively trying to divide our society, speculating on military losses, the socio-economic impact of sanctions to provoke a rebellion of the Russian people,” Putin say in the video address.
“But anyone, especially the Russian people, is able to distinguish true patriots from bastards and traitors and spit them out,” he said, referring to those who did not support the Kremlin.
“I am convinced that this necessary and natural social self-purification will only strengthen our nation, our unity, our solidarity, and our readiness to respond to any call to action,” he added.
As of early March, more than 4,300 anti-war demonstrators in Russia had been detained during protests across the country.