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Putin Orders Russian Schools to Appoint 'Patriotic’ Advisers

Vladimir Putin at a meeting with schoolchildren.

President Vladimir Putin has ordered Russian schools to appoint dedicated “patriotic advisers” as part of an ongoing push to instill “spiritual-moral values” in the nation’s students amid the war in Ukraine.

Schools in 45 Russian regions will need to install so-called “advisers on the principals of educational work” from Sept. 1, according to a presidential decree published Sunday.

Schools in another 40 regions will need to follow suit by the start of the 2023 school year.

The advisers will be responsible for instilling patriotism and “spiritual-moral values” in children as part of a new educational program that will replace Russia’s current curriculum. 

Ten Russian regions have already appointed similar advisers as part of a pilot project launched in March 2021, not long after thousands of young Russians took to the streets in support of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.

Experts have criticized the move as redundant and “ideological.”

The move is just one part of an ongoing push to boost patriotism among young Russians.

Putin enshrined patriotic education as part of Russia’s school curriculum in 2020, including it as part of controversial constitutional reforms which allowed the president to extend his 20-year rule into 2036.

Earlier this week, the speaker of Russia’s lower house of parliament, Vyacheslav Volodin, criticized teachers who opposed Moscow's war in Ukraine and called on them to resign.

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