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Russian Students Head Back to School, Even in Crimea

About 6.4 million children will attend kindergarten this academic year in Russia.

Students from as far afield as Vladivostok and Crimea groaned a collective sigh on Monday as kindergartens, schools and universities opened their doors for the start of a new academic year.

According to Education and Science Ministry statistics, about 14 million students are expected to attend 43,700 schools throughout the 2014-15 academic year, with about 1.6 million pupils attending school for the first time, the Interfax news agency reported Monday.

Students in Crimea and Sevastopol will also study under the Russian education system for the first time, following Russia's annexation of the Black Sea peninsula from Ukraine in March.

In preparation for the change, Crimea's teachers spent the summer months attending courses on Russian teaching regulations and educational programs, Interfax reported.

Additionally, about 2.5 million Russian textbooks were delivered to Crimea over the summer, the report said, citing publishers. The textbooks will later be issued in Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar, the other official languages on the peninsula, Education and Science Minister Dmitry Livanov was quoted as saying.

About 8.1 million students are expected to attend higher education institutions across Russia this academic year, including 5.6 million undergraduates, 200,000 master's students and 2.3 million postgraduates, Interfax reported.

About 6.4 million children will attend kindergarten this academic year — 200,000 more than have attended in any previous year group.

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