Russian Teacher Turned in by Student, Fired, Fined for Ukraine Comment

  • An English teacher in Russia was punished for telling her student Ukraine was not part of Russia.
  • Marina Dubrova told the NYT: “It’s as though they’ve all plunged into some kind of madness.”
  • Putin last month spoke in favor of a “self-cleansing of society,” referring to those who are anti-war.

A teacher in Russia said she was fired and fined after being turned into the authorities for comments she made 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 Sakhalin, told the girls: “Ukraine is a separate country.” One of the girls responded: “No longer.”

Russian police arrived at her school days later, The Times reported, and a recording of her comments, apparently taken by a student, was presented at court.

She was fined $400 for “publicly discrediting” Russian forces and fired by the school for “amoral behavior,” she told The Times. When speaking about Russians in favor of the war, Dubrova said: “It’s as though they’ve all plunged into some kind of madness.”

There have been various reports of Russians turning each other in for speaking out against the war, which Russia calls a “special military operation,” though it’s unclear how widespread an occurrence it is.

Russian President Vladimir Putin last month indicated Russia must undergo a purging of society to root out those who are anti-war or align with the West.

“The collective West is attempting to splinter our society, speculating on military losses, on socioeconomic effects of sanctions, in order to provoke a people’s rebellion in Russia,” PutinĀ said in a video address.

“But any people, the Russian people, especially, are able to distinguish true patriots from bastards and traitors and will spit them out,” he said, referring to people who do not support the Kremlin.

“I am certain that this necessary and natural self-cleansing of society will only strengthen our country, our solidarity, togetherness, and our readiness to answer any calls to action,” he added.

More than 4,300 anti-war demonstrators in Russia had been detained at protests across the country as of early March.

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