Irina Gen: Russian teacher faces 15-year jail over anti-war speech filmed by students

When speaking to students about the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, the teacher said she has no regrets and that she 'acted properly'


                            Irina Gen: Russian teacher faces 15-year jail over anti-war speech filmed by students
Irina Gen, an English teacher, faces 15 years in prison after one of her students claimed she had a different viewpoint on the Ukraine war. (Credits: Handout)
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Irina Gen, a 45-year-old English teacher from the Russian city of Penza, is facing criminal charges for addressing Russia's conflict in Ukraine with her eighth-grade students. After one of her students reported her, Gen faces a 15-year jail term for telling her students about the situation in Ukraine.

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Gen claims one of the students, who is thought to be the child of an FSB agent, filmed the conversation and made it public. According to prosecutors, this prompted them to charge her with publishing "demonstrably false information about the Russian Federation's military forces. "When speaking to students about the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, the teacher said she has no regrets and that she "acted properly."

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According to a new law imposed by Russian President Vladimir Putin two days after the invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Gen might face up to 15 years in prison.

Gen stated: "I think that I acted properly. I don't regret it. The only problem is that I didn't manage to reach the minds of our students. We have reached a time of denunciations, and we understand that perfectly. I think this all originated with their parents."

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According to RadioFreeEurope, Gen's debate with her class is one of several instances outlining Russian instructors and activists facing potential prison sentences for speaking out against the war in Ukraine.

Vladimir Putin has been stern, and he is retaliating harshly against everyone who criticizes Russia. He had gone so far as to arrest primary school children for participating in anti-war protests. Children were detained in the back of a police vehicle after participating in anti-war protests in Moscow. Thousands of people were startled and enraged when photographs released by Russian opposition leader Ilya Yashin were made public.

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At least three children, no older than elementary school age, sat in the back of a Moscow police vehicle in Moscow, holding flowers and banners, according to images posted by Ilya Yashin. One reporter claims that the kids proceeded to the city's Ukrainian embassy to lay flowers. One girl is seen holding a banner that reads "No War" in Russian and is surrounded by little Russian and Ukrainian flags. The two flags are drawn to the right, followed by a small pink heart and the statement "Russia + Ukraine equals love."

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