Teachers near Moscow were asked to donate part of their salaries for Russian soldiers fighting in Ukraine, Istories reports citing a teacher working at a school in Podolsk.
The teachers are to transfer the money to a fund called “Cultural Development of Young People in Podolsk”. It is not yet known what this fund does and for what purpose the money will be used.
“At the teachers' meeting in early September we were told each of us should voluntarily transfer 3,000 rubles ($50) to support the Russian army; we were told they had no underpants or socks [at the front]. It was obvious that the principal felt uncomfortable when she spoke about this. She said she had to say it and understood our concern, but we also had to understand the situation: “These are our citizens, our soldiers,” the teacher said.
He added that only half of the teachers agreed to donate money voluntarily. How much they were willing to transfer, the teacher does not know.
Istories reports that the forms the teachers had to fill out said the donations would be transferred to the foundation “Cultural development of young people of Podolsk” created in 2012. A call for sending money to the foundation also appeared on the website of the city administration.
“I invite everyone to take part, thus bringing our common victory closer,” the head of Podolsk Dmitry Zharikov called on city residents.
Istories says that according to the Unified State Register of Legal Entities the foundation was originally established by three people: Dmitry Nikolaev, Viktor Nikolaev and Alexei Nikulin. Nikulin is a deputy of the City Council of Podolsk from “United Russia” and the director of the private lyceum Sail. Dmitry Nikolaev is listed as president of the foundation in the registry of legal entities. He also created a group devoted to the foundation in VKontakte, which, besides him, has three subscribers (two of whom have profiles deleted by the VK administration); there has not been a single post or any information about the foundation.
Istories reports that based on open sources Dmitry Nikolaev is engaged in organizing events and concerts. Nikolaev has the status of an individual entrepreneur whose main occupation is “activities in the field of performing arts.”
In May, President Vladimir Putin instructed the regional authorities to support soldiers fighting in Ukraine and their families.
“I would like to express the hope that regardless of the measures the state is taking, and at the regional level, you will surround the families of our soldiers with attention and care and do everything to support them,” Putin said.
The Russian government is paying additional money to the families of Russian servicemen killed in Ukraine. Thus, the families will receive an additional 5 million rubles ($83 000) each. In addition, all family members of those killed in action will be receiving a monthly compensation.