Support The Moscow Times!

NASA Astronaut Sends Message to Russian Boy Bullied by Classmates

Dan Burbank

NASA astronaut Dan Burbank has posted a video in Russian supporting an 11-year-old dinosaur lover from Moscow.

He joins Russian celebrities and thousands of users on the social network Vkontakte who answered the call of Svetlana Stroganova, mother of 11-year old Stepan, to like her son's Vkontakte posts.

"[Stepan] is a little childish, but he is a nice, kind boy. Today, he was humiliated by schoolmates who saw his Vkontakte page. They called him a baby for posting pictures of dinosaurs, tanks and game trailers. 'Nobody likes your posts, you're a loser,' they said," Svetlana complained on her Facebook page Monday.

"Those of you who have Vkontakte accounts, could you please like some of his posts?" she asked.

Her message quickly went viral and thousands of likes and supportive comments appeared on Stepan's page within a few hours. Numerous video messages recorded by celebrities and Vkontakte users from across Russia soon followed.

Within the last few days, the boy has joined renowned Russian television host Ivan Urgant on his Channel One primetime show and visited the offices of both Vkontakte and Russian Internet giant

He has also received private invitations from the Paleontological museum and various other organizations, the news website reported.

"Stepan is worried because there is not enough time to thank everyone," the boy's mother said in an interview to the Govorit Moskva radio station, adding that she never expected such a huge reaction.

Read more

We need your help now more than ever.

Independent media outlets and journalists in Russia are being increasingly targeted with “foreign agent” and “undesirable” labels, threatening the existence of the free press day by day.

Your donation to The Moscow Times directly supports the last independent English-language news source within Russia.