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IStories: Russian teachers in Podolsk made to donate money to soldiers’ needs with no explanation of what it will be spent on

Teachers from a school in Russia’s Moscow region city of Podolsk were asked to transfer 3,000 rubles (€50) each to a Cultural Development of Podolsk’s Youth foundation to support Russian soldiers, reports Russian independent outlet IStories*, citing an anonymous teacher.

“In the first days of September, we were told at a teachers’ meeting that we had to voluntarily donate 3,000 rubles in support of the Russian army. Apparently, they don’t have any underwear or socks [on the frontline]. The principal was clearly uncomfortable during her speech. She said she had to say these things, and she understood our concern, but we also had to understand the situation: ‘These are our citizens, our soldiers,’” the teacher told IStories.

The outlet’s interlocutor also shared photos of the forms that the teachers had been given out.

The form given out to the teachers that they had to fill out to voluntarily donate money.

The form given out to the teachers that they had to fill out to voluntarily donate money.

On Monday, 12 September, the principal once again gathered the teachers and said that only 50% of the staff had filled out the forms. It is not clear what sums they agreed to donate.

The foundation, to which the teachers were asked to donate, is called Cultural Development of Podolsk’s Youth. On the city administration’s website, there is a page with an appeal for local citizens to donate money too.

The page of the city administration's website with the appeal to donate money to soldiers / Screenshot

The page of the city administration's website with the appeal to donate money to soldiers / Screenshot

IStories’ journalist wrote to the president of the foundation Dmitry Nikolayev, introducing himself as a teacher. He asked what the collected money would be spent on.

“Currently, the city administration is negotiating with the competent state authorities on how, where, and to whom [to transfer the money]. After all these decisions are made, there will be a procurement and shipment/delivery. When the shipment is done, the city’s head Dmitry Zharikov will inform everyone in the city through all the platforms and everyone that helped [of the fact]. This initiative came from the students of the city, and it’s completely transparent,” was Nikolayev’s response to the journalist, claims IStories.

More on what Russian children are being taught

More on what Russian children are being taught

Kids with guns

Russia’s schoolchildren are being spoon-fed with “patriotism”: they march around wearing military uniform, hate Ukraine and NATO, and are literally taken on school trips to prisons. A research by Novaya Gazeta. Europe

Yesterday, 12 September, it became known that the Russian Ministry of Education included the topic of the “special military operation” in the history class lesson programmes for students of 10th and 11th grades.

Starting from 1 September, a new extracurricular lesson called Important Conversations was introduced to Russian schools. During the lesson, children will be taught patriotism and love for Homeland. Russian outlet Verstka previously reported that teachers would not be paid for conducting these lessons.

*The Russian government considers IStories an “undesirable organisation”. Reposting this news article in Russia may lead to a fine. A repeat offence may result in criminal charges.

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