Sunday, August 7, 2022

Anti-War Parents Seek to Protect Their Children from Ideological Pressure; Pro-War Ones Apply It Often Brutally Themselves

Paul Goble

            Staunton, July 14 – Putin’s war in Ukraine has divided Russian families, most frequently along generational lines with parents and grandparents being uncritical supporters of “the special military operation” and children, opponents; but sometimes parents who are opposed to the war feel compelled to try to defend their children against pressure from the schools to support it.

            The 7x7 news agency which follows developments in what many Russians refer to as “the provinces” reports that differences over the war have led parents to attack their children as traitors and to break all ties with them (

            But the agency also calls attention to the fact that there are cases where the parents are opposed to the war and seek to prevent their children from being mobilized in support of the conflict. In one case, a mother has chosen to use advice from an American book translated into Russian on how girls in particular can protect themselves against bullying.

            That is interesting because it suggests that at least some view the new ideological efforts of Russian schools to be similar to or even the same as bullying, a problem that has plagued Russian schools as much or more than those in other countries. And it indicates that the best ideas they can find are in Russian translations of American publications on how to resist.

            It will be interesting to see whether the authorities in Russia will conclude that such publications which promote the idea that children must learn how to defend their personal spaces will be among the next to be declared anti-Russian and placed on the chopping block – or whether more parents will view such how-to books as a means of salvation. 

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