Sergey Mardan, a host at Radio Komsomolskaya Pravda, has said that a “local GULAG” should be set up on the Russia-occupied territories of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia region for the teachers who refuse to cooperate with the Russian “authorities”.
A visitor of Mardan’s radio show spoke of a Melitopol factory manager who destroyed important equipment that cannot be replaced in order to undermine Russia’s rule in the town. Mardan then asked if the man was shot or had his family members taken hostage, and was upset to learn that the man escaped.
The visitor then suggested that the Ukrainian school teachers who refused to cooperate with Russia and teach children using Russia’s syllabus can be shot instead. He also claimed that the teachers received $1000 pay-outs from Ukraine’s government to refuse to abide by Russia’s demands. “So they are going to teach kids their ugly language and their odd history online,” he added.
Sergey Mardan replied that such teachers should “probably not get shot for money.”
“We should take away their bank cards and make them eat those. We should kick them out of their homes. Just like the good old GULAG did. Let’s set up a small GULAG in the Zaporizhzhia steppe, under the glaring sun for the teachers who have yet to learn how to love our beautiful country,” he said.
Vladimir Sungorkin, the chief editor of Komsomolskaya Pravda, says he has asked Mardan to explain his words in the next show. “Shutting down his shows would be illiberal,” he added. “But this is simply beyond limits. Calling for GULAGs is a dangerous game, I told Sergey he would be killed immediately for inciting hatred between Ukrainians and Russians should GULAGs be actually set up.”
Mardan now claims his words were “taken out of context” and were not that harsh.