Officials have pledged to help Russian schoolchildren who are forced to carry axes on their way to school in a bid to ward off wolves and bears, according to a statement posted on the website of the Prosecutor's Office in the republic of Baskortostan.
An online video revealed how children as young as 11 in Russia’s remote Burzyansky District armed themselves against wild animals during their 10-kilometer walk to school.
Authorities found that five pupils from the village of Verkhniy Nuhush were forced to make the treacherous journey through the forest to attend classes in the town of Galiakberova.
The children lived with relatives in Galiakberova during the week but made the trip home on weekends to visit their parents, according to a representative from the Burzyansky District authorities. They claimed that the trip was often made using a sled, as buses are unable to use roads in the area during heavy snowfall.
"These children have gone through the woods for the last time,” the official said.