Russia is using its education system in annexed Crimea as a weapon against motherland Ukraine, said Andriy Parubiy, Chairman of Ukraine’s parliament, at the 140th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in Qatar.
“The children of Ukrainian citizens in the illegally occupied territory are being forcibly indoctrinated and turned into supporters of the Russian imperial idea. Russia, in breach of international humanitarian law, is deliberately training the Ukrainian citizens residing in Crimea for service in the Russian army and for the war against Ukraine. Ukrainians have to kill Ukrainians – that is Putin’s plan,” Parubiy commented.
He emphasized that the Russian authorities’ refusal to allow any international monitoring missions, even the UN special representative, onto the occupied peninsula is direct evidence that “the criminal is aware of his crime”.
“Russia is systematically using education in the occupied territories in order to mentally enslave the local population and undermine the security of its neighbors, including Ukraine. Putin’s government is using education as a weapon against Ukraine. Russia is violating the law on education in one’s native language, systematically degrading the Ukrainian citizens residing in the occupied territories,” Parubiy observed.
The politician drew attention to the Kerch Polytechnic College massacre of 17 October 2018. The Russian authorities claim to have found the sole perpetrator: 18 year-old Vladislav Roslyakov, a fourth-year student at the college. Parubiy observed that Roslyakov had been participating in “patriotic military training exercises” in which he was taught to make explosives and to shoot. The Chairman of Ukraine’s parliament said he was certain that the tragedy would never have occurred “if Russia had not captured Crimea, and the children were not made to desire war and violence”.
Recently a “Youth Army House” was established in Sevastopol, where Russian soldiers will train school children how to use a weapon. The Russian Defense Ministry claims that more than 500 local school-goers have joined the movement.