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Russian high-school textbooks promote war in Ukraine

by Daria Bevziuk August 10, 2023 4:15 AM 1 min read
A recruitment billboard in Moscow is displayed near a building that was hit by a Ukrainian drone. (Photo by Vlad Karkov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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Russia's Education Ministry introduced updated history textbooks that include segments about the war in Ukraine that Russia calls a “special military operation,” the annexation of Crimea, and Western sanctions, CNN reports on Aug. 9.

The recently published textbooks incorporate maps depicting occupied Ukrainian areas as Russian territories, endorsing Russian officials' narrative that Ukrainians and Russians are "one people." Ukraine is also portrayed in the textbooks as an "ultranationalist state" where all things Russian are regarded hostile and persecuted.

The authors also advise students that when seeking information about Ukraine online, they should be aware of a "worldwide sector involved in creating staged videos and fake images and videos."

In September, Russia's Ministry of Education introduced a new initiative titled "Conversations about Important Things" targeted at all school levels. According to a statement by the ministry, the series of lectures is aimed at fostering “patriotism, love and service for motherland” in children as young as six.

Topic covered include the annexation of Crimea, traditional family values, and Russian nuclear security. It also featured video lessons with Russian state officials including Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Patriarch Kirill.

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