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The Return Of Groupthink In Russian Classrooms

For years, Vladimir Putin’s regime has been pushing its agenda into schools. With the start of the invasion of Ukraine, the pressure on the education system has intensified on a massive scale. Here's a peek inside the means of control over students' minds.

Photo of a student facing a whiteboard in a classroom

Secondary school student in a classroom in Ivanovo, Russia

Pavel Lokshin

MOSCOW — In Vladimir Putin’s Russia, even a 12-year-old can become a dissident. That’s what happened to one Moscow sixth-grader named Kirill. During a history lesson in early March, he asked his teacher why Putin started the war and when it would end.

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It would end with the surrender of Ukraine, the teacher said, because fascism ruled in Kyiv. Kirill expressed doubts about the response; and a few days later, police officers knocked on the family’s apartment door to issue a summons. The case was reported by independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

"Welcome To Our Hell..." Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba Speaks

In a rare in-depth interview, Ukraine's top diplomat didn't hold back as he discussed NATO, E.U. candidacy, and the future of the war with Russia. He also reserves a special 'thank you' for Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi.

Dmytro Kuleba, Foreign Minister of Ukraine attends the summit of foreign ministers of the G7 group of leading democratic economic powers.

Oleg Bazar

KYIV — This is the first major interview Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba has given. He spoke to the Ukrainian publication Livy Bereg about NATO, international assistance and confrontation with Russia — on the frontline and in the offices of the European Parliament.

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At 41, Kuleba is the youngest ever foreign minister of Ukraine. He is the former head of the Commission for Coordination of Euro-Atlantic Integration and initiated Ukraine's accession to the European Green Deal. The young but influential pro-European politician is now playing a complicated political game in order to attract as many foreign partners as possible to support Ukraine not only in the war, but also when the war ends.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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