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Daghestani schoolgirl forced to apologise for statement supporting Ukraine

23 May 2022
Secondary School n.11 in Izberbash. Photo via Yandex maps.

In the Daghestani city of Izberbash, a graduating high school student was filmed shouting slogans in support of Ukraine, to the scattered applause of her classmates and teachers. On the same day, Dagestankiye Izvestiya published a video of the teenager making a public apology.

When the student at Secondary School 11, came up to the microphone at the outdoor ceremony she shouted: ‘No to war! Freedom to Ukraine! Putin is the devil!’. 

The video was published on Telegram on 22 May. The same day, Daghestanskiye Izvestiya, a local publication, published a video of the teenager and her mother giving a public apology on Telegram.

‘I am very sorry for the act I committed during the end-of-school holiday. I just wanted to draw attention to myself’, the girl says addressing the camera, after identifying herself as Zukhra Albekova. ‘Lately, I have been worried about the exams, and against the backdrop of all this, I fought with my mother. I admit my mistake and apologise for ruining everyone’s holiday.’

Thereafter, the student’s mother introduces herself and proceeds to apologise for her daughter’s “emotional and thoughtless act’ and cites the stress of exams and problems at home as the reason for her daughter’s anti-war statements. 

‘I fully support the course of the President of the country, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. I am a patriot of my country, and therefore I support the ongoing special operation on the territory of Ukraine’, the teenager’s mother says. ‘I sincerely regret that this happened, that I didn’t look somewhere and missed something important in raising my daughter. I promise this will never happen again.’

According to Kavkaz.Realii, referring to a source in the regional government, the head of Daghestan, Sergei Melikov, called the mayor of Izberbash and personally demanded to look into the incident. Local officials then forced the mother and the girl to apologize.

Ask Rasul, a telegram channel covering news in Daghestan and the North Caucasus,  reported that, according to their source, the head of the Izberbash city education department and the director of the Secondary School 11 were also asked to write letters of resignation by Daghestani authorities.  

Additionally, charges of ‘discrediting the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation’ were reportedly drawn up against the teen. She faces a fine of up to ₽100,000 ($1,700)

An administrative protocol was also reportedly drawn up against the girl’s mother for ‘failing to uphold her obligation’ to ‘to support and educate’ her daughter and faces a fine of up to ₽5,000 ($86).

Authorities in Russia have not commented on the incident.