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Russia has developed and is sponsoring four schemes for the “denazification” of education in Ukraine – study by IMI

01.06.2023, 15:39
Edit by IMI, photos by Dmytro Smolyenko
Edit by IMI, photos by Dmytro Smolyenko

Russia has developed and set up four schemes for the “denazification” of education in the occupied parts of Ukraine. These include: "recruiting" Russian teachers; "retraining" and "capability building" for collaborators; recruiting students, namely students of pedagogical faculties, and sending them to Ukraine as part of Kremlin-backed "humanitarian missions"; terrorizing Ukrainian teachers.

These schemes are being financed from the Russian state budget and overseen by Sergey Kiriyenko, First Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Administration of Russia. The “denazification” of education implemented by Russia in Ukraine’s occupied territories has the hallmarks of genocide.

This is explored in IMI's study “Cultural Genocide: Who is Introducing Russian Education into Ukraine’s Occupied Territories”, presented on June 1 at the Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

According to IMI’s study, the Russian teachers’ primary task in the occupied territories is to erase the Ukrainians’ national identity through education. IMI has identified over 100 persons involved in the organization and perpetration of this crime.

Russia has already imported over 800 thousand copies of pre-selected and prepared books to the occupied territories. These include fake-ridden pseudo-history textbooks about the “heroic deeds” of the Russian army, books about Kyiv’s alleged “crimes” in the Donbas, as well as other books that align with the Kremlin’s ideology. One of the most prominent orchestrators of these efforts and suppliers of such literature is Russia’s ruling party “United Russia”.

The Institute of Mass Information emphasizes that Russia’s attempts at implementing its system of education in the occupied territories and all the schemes and efforts that serve this purpose should be viewed as part of the cultural genocide of the Ukrainian people. IMI’s study relies on the concept of cultural genocide as defined by Raphael Lemkin, the lawyer who initiated the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. In essence, this concept suggests that the notion of “genocide” can not be reduced to mass murder alone: all aspects of this crime, including the cultural aspect, should be taken into account.

The Institute of Mass Information calls on the Ukrainian authorities and the international community to:

  • Amend the Criminal Code of Ukraine. We need a law that would make Russian educators personally liable for coming to the temporarily occupied territories to force the aggressor state’s identity onto Ukrainians through the education system.
  • Add the Russian persons and entities complicit in the unlawful introduction of Russian education into the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine to the international sanction lists.
  • Take the cultural aspect of genocide into account while keeping track of Russia’s crimes against Ukraine, namely the crimes related to education.

You can also view the lists of persons responsible for the unlawful implementation of Russian education in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, namely:

  • the list of the organizers and abettors of this crime;
  • the list of Russian teachers who verifiably have worked or still work in educational institutions in the occupied territories;
  • the list of collaborators and other perpetrators of the crime.

Follow the link to view the methodology used for the study.

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