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Head of Russia’s Investigative Committee orders investigation into alleged detention of Russian teachers in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region

Head of the Investigative Committee of Russia Alexander Bastrykin has ordered a criminal investigation into the alleged detention of Russian teachers by Ukraine’s soldiers, reports the committee via its official Telegram channel. The teachers previously went to the Kharkiv region of Ukraine to teach in schools using the Russian curriculum.

At the same time, Russia’s Education Ministry has denied all reports about the detention of Russian teachers in the region.

“All teachers that had previously gone to work in the liberated territories are currently in places controlled by the Russian military and the military of the Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics,” Russia’s Minister of Education Sergey Kravtsov said.

The ministry’s press service added that the teachers from Russia that work in the “liberated” territories were safe.

The Russian Ministry of Education clarified that, starting from 1 September, around 90 schools had started operating in the Kharkiv region. “Local teachers work [in the schools],” the press service said.

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Yesterday, 12 September, Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine Irina Vereshchuk told the Strana outlet that Russian teachers had been detained in the Russian-occupied Ukrainian territories liberated by Ukraine’s Armed Forces. According to her, they will be tried under the article on violating the rules and customs of war. They could face up to 12 years behind bars.

“We have warned Russian citizens that had agreed to come into Ukraine’s territory and conduct activities banned by [Ukrainian] law many times,” Vereshchuk said. She added that the teachers would not be considered prisoners of war, which are subject for prisoner exchanges, seeing as they had not partaken in combat. “Geneva conventions don’t stipulate exchanges of [people that are not] prisoners of war,” she concluded.

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