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Russian teacher wrote 30 letters with Z-symbols to shield students from propaganda

A teacher at a school in northwestern Russia (her name, city and school are known to Sever.Realii, but are not disclosed for security reasons) wrote 30 letters with the Z-symbols instead of letting her students do it. In this way she wanted to protect them from Russian military propaganda.

The teacher was asked to have her students write military letters folded into triangles with drawings in the shape of the letter Z. She decided not to refuse the assignment «from higher up» and had it done instead «in the least politicized way for the children»: «I have a trained psyche, and if I draw 30 Zs I won't start believing that the special operation is a good thing. But if I tell the children to do it... maybe [they will].» She then took the letters to the local United Russia office.

The teacher said this wasn't the first time she had shielded students from doing Z-assignments. Once she was asked to bring them to an event where kids had to line up in the shape of the letter Z: «I found a way to be late for it, as if by accident. When we got there, it was already over. We took pictures with the kids at the place where the flash mob took place, as if to mark our presence, but we did not line up in the shape of the letter.»

On February 28, four days after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a war against Ukraine, teachers in Russian schools began receiving teaching guides outlining lessons devoted to the topic of war. They justified the need for the «special military operation» against the «fascist state» and contained instructions on how to answer any possible questions asked by schoolchildren. Click here to read The Insider's article on how teachers cope with the pressure and talk about the war with their students.

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