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AFP, REUTERS

Worldcrunch

Rebels shot down a Syrian combat helicopter while it was bombarding the Damascus neighborhood of Jobar.

State television confirmed a chopper crashed near a mosque in the capital, but gave no further details, while the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it believed it "was hit while it was being used in fighting nearby," AFP reports.

Several amateur videos posted on Youtube show the helicopter engulfed in flames shortly before hitting the ground, while activists can be heard shouting "Allahu Ackbar" (God is Great).

The crash happens as heavy shelling and fighting between the rebel Free Syrian Army and government troops rage in the east of Damascus, a day after the regime was accused of a new massacre: On Sunday, about 320 bodies --including women and children-- were found in houses and basements in the town of Daraya, southwest of Damascus. Most of them were killed "execution-style" by troops, Reuters reports.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Important Things: A Rare Unfiltered Look Inside Russian Schools

In Russian schools, lessons on "important things" are a compulsory hour pushing state propaganda. But not everyone is buying it. Independent Russian media outlet Vazhnyye Istorii spoke to teachers, parents and students about how they see patriotism and Putin's mobilization.

Important Things: A Rare Unfiltered Look Inside Russian Schools

High school students attending a seminar in Tambov, Russia

Vazhnyye Istorii

MOSCOW — On March 1, schools found themselves on the ideological front line of the Russian-Ukrainian war. At the end of May, teachers were told they would have to lead classes with students called "Lessons about important things." The topic was "patriotism and civic education."

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At the beginning of November, we learned about the revival of an elementary military training course for senior classes. In the teaching materials sent to the teachers, it was stated that a "special peacekeeping operation was going on, the purpose of which was to restrain the nationalists who oppress the Russian-speaking population."

Independent Russian media outlet Vazhnyye Istorii asked several teachers, students and parents about their experiences with the school's attempt to instill patriotism and Russia's partial mobilization of citizens.

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