At least 60 Russian schools given ‘heroes of special military operation’ honorary titles since start of war in Ukraine

At least 60 Russian schools have been renamed to honour the “heroes” of the Ukraine war, independent Russian media outlet IStories reported on Tuesday.

IStories based their reporting on official statements and information posted on school websites.

The highest number of renamed schools — 27 — was discovered in Dagestan, IStories reported. Chechnya, Tatarstan, and the Tver and Vladimir regions of Russia have had three schools each change their name.

None of the schools identified by IStories have been renamed to honour mobilised servicemen, with most of them now holding the honorary names of contract and professional servicemen. Two schools, one in Vladivostok and one in the Moscow region city of Balashikha, have been renamed in honour of Wagner Group mercenaries.

The head of the Teachers’ Alliance Daniil Ken told IStories that decisions to give a honorary title to a school are made by city and municipal administrations, not schools themselves.

In early September, Russia’s Minister of Education Sergey Kravtsov said that a professional retraining centre for veterans of the Ukraine war and other military conflicts has been created in Russia; the veterans will be trained to teach “the basics of homeland security and defence” to schoolchildren.

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