Staunton, Mar. 17 – A video clip of a teacher in Kazan demanding that even non-Russians should stand and proclaim that they are Russians has sparked a wave of anger across that Turkic Muslim republic in the Middle Volga. Educational officials have tried to calm everyone down but many remain furious about her actions.
Earlier this week, a teacher in one of the schools of the capital of Tatarstan called on all her students to stand and shout “I am a Russian!” She added that she was aware that some of them weren’t ethnic Russians but insisted that the real issue was whether they are citizens of Russia or not.
If they are citizens, she said in the video clip, each of them should be proud to declare that “I am a Russian!” And if they are not citizens, then the only alternative is for them to leave the country (milliard.tatar/news/v-kazani-razgorelsya-skandal-iz-za-videozapisi-na-kotoroi-skolnikov-zastavlyali-kricat-ya-russkii-3094).
The educational establishment responded to Tatar anger by suggesting that the teacher in question should have chosen her words more carefully. After all, the word for ethnic Russian which she used and demanded her students us is not the same as the word for being a citizen of Russia. Had she chosen the latter, there wouldn’t have been any problem.
But that hasn’t calmed the situation because the school where the teacher in question is employed won first prize in an educational competition as a result of her actions and those of other teachers like her. Consequently, it seems likely that the declaration “I’m a Russian” is going to be something other schools will be demanding as well.
Among those expressing outrage at the teacher’s actions is the Forum of Tatar Youth (idelreal.org/a/32323955.html).