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Towns in Russian Border Region Scrap In-Person Return to School Amid Drone Strikes, Shelling

School children seen running of to Den' Znanyy celebrations. Alexei Kushnirenko / TASS

Authorities in western Russia’s Bryansk region have scrapped in-person back-to-school day this Friday in towns that face regular drone and artillery strikes.

Each year on Sept. 1, Russian schools open their doors to students, parents and teachers in what is known as Den' Znanyy, or the Day of Knowledge.

Bryansk region Governor Alexander Bogomaz said Wednesday that schools in towns close to the Russia-Ukraine border will hold “remote” Day of Knowledge celebrations this year. 

“In addition, [we are] considering the issue of remote and in-person learning at these schools,” Bogomaz said following a regional crisis center meeting.

Among the options offered to students living in the affected border towns are in-person studies based at recreational campgrounds and sanatoriums, he added on the Telegram messaging app.

Bryansk is at least the second Russian region near the border with Ukraine to partially switch from in-person to remote learning due to cross-border shelling. The Belgorod region was the first to make the switch to remote learning last fall.

At the same time, Bryansk is among several Russian regions near the Ukrainian border to face intensifying drone strikes in the 18 months since Moscow launched its invasion of Ukraine.

On Thursday, Bogomaz reported that Russian National Guard troops shot down three drones over the region's capital city.

Also on the same day, Bogomaz and Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) announced that a Ukrainian sabotage group had attempted to infiltrate the Bryansk region.

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