Russian President Vladimir Putin gives an open class on Knowledge Day on September 1, 2022 in Kaliningrad, Russia. (Sputnik/Gavriil Grigorov via Reuters)

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that many children in eastern Ukraine did not know that Ukraine and Russia were once part of the same country, highlighting the importance of teaching the Kremlin-approved version of history. emphasized.

In a classroom in Kaliningrad, Putin gathers the best schoolchildren from all over Russia to attend the “Talk about what’s important” class at the start of the new school year across the country, protecting the Russian-speaking population of eastern Ukraine. reiterated his claim that he was forced to send troops to

During the hour-long Q&A, Putin explained that children in eastern Ukraine were unaware that their country was part of the Soviet Union along with Russia, and that fixing the record was an important task. He said he was shocked to find out.

Putin has called the 2014 series of protests that overthrew the pro-Russian president of Ukraine a “coup”.

“Today everyone thinks that some kind of attack is being carried out from the Russian side,” Putin said.

“But no one understands that after the 2014 coup, most residents of Donetsk, Luhansk and Crimea were unwilling to recognize the coup,” Putin said. “A war was started against them – and it was waged for eight years.”

Shortly after President Viktor Yanukovych fled Kyiv, Russia occupied and annexed Crimea and backed the rebels who managed to control parts of Luhansk and Donetsk in eastern Ukraine.

Kyiv and its allies reject the idea that the persecution of Russian-speaking people is a baseless pretext for Russia’s attempt to gain further control over Ukraine and overthrow President Volodymyr Zelensky. there is

Putin said it was important to teach a Moscow-approved curriculum in schools in Russia and the Russian-occupied territories of Ukraine.

Since invading Ukraine, the Kremlin has put pressure on schools to be more patriotic.

Putin also chaired the board of a new youth group created by the government, based on the traditions of the Soviet-era Komsomol and pioneers – the Youth Wing of the Communist Party.

The as-yet-unnamed group is the latest iteration of an attempt to build a national pro-Kremlin youth movement. Includes the late “Nashi” (“Our People”).

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