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Russian Authorities Threaten to Take Away Teacher’s Children Over Hunger Strike

Yekaterina Sokolova Personal Archive

Russian municipal authorities have reportedly threatened to take away a local art school teacher’s children after she protested against low pay. 

Yoshkar-Ola art school teacher Yekaterina Sokolova went on a hunger strike in mid-March after her salary was cut by more than half, from 27,000 rubles to 15,000 rubles ($263), the local 7x7 news website reported. Teachers in Russia earned an average 34,921 rubles per month nationwide last year, while teachers in the republic of Marii-El, where the city of Yoshkar-Ola is located, earned 22,387 rubles.

In an interview with 7x7 published Saturday, Sokolova alleged that the school’s new leadership is misusing President Vladimir Putin’s 2012 executive orders promising to increase the incomes of health care, education and research professionals by 2018. 

Yoshkar-Ola city hall officials threatened to seize Sokolova’s two underage children, the RFE/RL news website affiliate Idel.Realii cited the head of a local teachers union as saying Monday. 

The outlet reported that the local human rights ombudsman was unable to solve the disagreement, while the deputy mayor and the school’s director had “simultaneously taken sick leave."

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