The Russian Defense Ministry has urged the country’s schools to take part in the campaign “postcards for the front”: students from all regions have to write greeting messages for soldiers at the front. Formally, the action is voluntary, but, as the parents of schoolchildren say, in reality children are “forced” to take part in it and the letters themselves are censored by the teachers.
Best wishes for Christmas, New Year and for all the holidays of 2023. In Russia thousands of children have written (and continue to write) letters to be sent to the militias engaged in the conflict against theUkraine.
The initiative was promoted by the Russian Defense Minister Sergej Soigu but it went viral thanks to the Web and social media. For example, on Vkontakte (the most important social network in Russia) you can find many testimonials from schools, orphanages and even kindergartens: most of the contents are accompanied by the hashtag #frontovayaotkrytka which means “postcard for the front”.
TO moninonear Fly, a boy named Ivan wrote in his letter thus: «Life shows us that the real heroes are not superheroes but our boys who fight together to protect our country and our future». In the small urban location of Nizhnyaya Poyma the students wish “a happy Christmas period and a return home as soon as possible”. The striking detail is that children stand out in the photos with placards in their hands on which the letter Za symbol that represents the abbreviation of the phrase «for the victory».Sophia, a student of an elementary school of Sevastopolin addition to the letter sent to Russian soldiers sweets, tea and coffee.
But behind this the innocent gestures of the children seem to hide something else.
Victor, the father of some students of a high school Astrakhancontacted Mediazona to shed light on the case: according to the man, teachers force students to participate in such actions.
«It is not the first time that children have told me that teachers force them to write letters to the mobilised. It’s not officially mandatory but it feels like it is! Two or three weeks ago, the class teacher told them: Let’s stay late after school and write a letter to the mobilized, let’s support them. Incredible!”
The father of the pupils pointed out that the teacher literally censored the letters that did not respect the guidelines of the Ministry, forcing them to rewrite: «The children said they wanted to send a message of peace in the world, but the teachers just want us to support the Russian soldiers.”
Principals and teachers of several Russian schools have denied the incident but other episodes have occurred in the country, as the parents of other pupils explain to the news channel Mediazone: «Everything was created specifically to lift the spirits of the mobilized and create the illusion that they are needed in this war».
Even children have their own conscience and not always shaped by Russian propaganda.
In October, Nadezhda Sayfutdinovaa Yekaterinburg activist sued four times for speaking out against invading Ukraine, said a teacher called her son to speak after he called on the Russian military to stop killing Ukrainians in his letter : “Go back, soldier, at home you must not harm anyone. It is better to die than to become a murderer”.
Russia, schoolchildren “forced” to write greeting cards for soldiers at the front: it is controversial