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References to Ukraine and Kyiv being removed from schoolbooks in russia27.04.2022
Employees of russia’s Prosveshcheniye publishing group are removing «inappropriate» references to Ukraine and Kyiv from all school textbooks, three editors told foreign media.
According to the editors, after the start of russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, employees were ordered by the publishing house’s management to reduce the number of references to Ukraine and Kyiv in russian school textbooks to a minimum.
A few years ago, it was recommended that the Ukrainian flag be removed from chapters describing the heraldry of different states, including flags, and replaced with a flag of some other country. Now editors should remove mentions of Ukraine wherever possible.
«We have a task to make it look as if Ukraine simply does not exist. It’s hugely problematic when a textbook simply has no information about a country. A child grows up without any knowledge about this country, it would be much easier for them to believe the TV», – says one editor.
Kyiv is mentioned mostly in the context of Kyivan Rus and the liberation of the city during World War Two. «We are free to describe how the Soviet army saved Kyiv, but independent Ukraine is out of the question»
The management has also told employees to refrain from taking any anti-war stance. Anyone signing petitions, posting on social networks, or participating in protests can be fired.
In early April, the staff received a letter from the management requesting that they remove references to Facebook and Instagram accounts from their work email signatures, and that they also remove mentions of blocked social networks from the textbooks. Mentioning Meta, a company designated in russia as an extremist organization in March, was also banned.
Prosveshcheniye is one of the largest and oldest educational publishers in russia. Until 1991 it was the main textbook publisher in the USSR. In 2011, Vladimir Uzun and Oleg Tkach, the founders of the Olma Publishing Group, privatized Prosveshcheniye with the help of billionaire Arkady Rotenberg, an old friend of Vladimir Putin. In 2013, Rotenberg became the chairman of the board of directors and co-owner of Prosveshcheniye.
Propaganda guidelines for teachers in the russian federation say that the russian soldiers fighting against Ukraine are heroes, that «Ukraine as a state appeared on the world map only in the 20th century», and that russians and Ukrainians are «one nation».
Meanwhile, in temporarily occupied Crimea, the so-called “authorities” are setting up «requalification camps» for teachers from occupied parts of the Kherson, Kharkiv and Zaporizhzhia regions.
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