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Russian TV Airs Wartime ‘Patriotism’ Lessons for Schoolchildren

Kirill Zykov / Moskva News Agency

Russia’s main state broadcaster has started airing weekly classes that aim to rally patriotism and support for the invasion of Ukraine among schoolchildren, a website that promotes the service said Thursday.

Russia kickstarted the classes, called “Important Conversations,” at the start of the 2022-2023 school year. 

Now, the Telegram channel Razgovory o Vazhnom has announced that “Important Conversations” will air every Monday on state broadcaster Channel One.

“Both the children who stayed home that day for some reason and their parents […] will be interested in the show,” the channel said.

The first televised “Important Conversations” aired Monday on Channel One’s national morning show.

It featured Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who touted Russia’s ethnic diversity as a feature that made the country “special and unique.” 

The Russian Education Ministry website contains versions of Lavrov’s interview and supplementary teaching materials for students ranging from first graders to high school seniors.

The “Important Conversations” class is among several transformations introduced in Russian schools during the war, including raising the Russian flag and singing the national anthem on school grounds every Monday.

Its materials, which include discussions on the virtue of “dying for the motherland,” have provoked resentment among some parents and teachers who say children should be left out of the state’s political and ideological efforts.

Though the class is not mandatory, parents have reported their children being threatened with expulsion if they fail to attend “Important Conversations.”

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