Students throughout Russia pose in star shape to commemorate the ‘genocide of the Soviet people’

Posted: Fri, 19 Apr 2024 14:32:55 UTC+3
A school in the village of Isakovo in Russia’s Chuvash Republic

Schools and colleges throughout Russia joined in an initiative this week called “Through The Ages,” which entailed groups of students standing or kneeling in the shape of a five-pointed star. The purpose of the campaign was to mark the country’s “Day of Unified Action in Memory of the Genocide of the Soviet People by the Nazis and their Accomplices during the Great Patriotic War,” which schools observe annually on April 19.

The independent media outlet Agentstvo reported finding more than 300 photo reports showing students posing to form Soviet stars. Additionally, students at at least one school formed the letter Z, one of the symbols of Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine.

Insar, Republic of Mordovia

Pautovka, Omsk region

Ekaterininskoe, Omsk region

Usolye-Sibirskoye, Irskutsk region

Troitskoe, Rostov region

The star pictures are part of a project organized by the pro-Kremlin Agency for Social Technologies and Communications and the Russian Search Movement, which coordinates volunteer searches for the remains of Soviet soldiers on World War II battlefields.

In addition to coordinating “Through the Ages,” these groups organize annual lessons for students on the “genocide of the Soviet people.” According to Agentstvo, more than 10 million students attended these lessons in 2023.

The Russian authorities have been talking about the “genocide of the Soviet people” for several years now. Vladimir Putin first used the phrase in 2020, saying that the “crimes of the Nazis and their accomplices — the genocide against the peoples of the Soviet Union — have no statute of limitations.” Less than six months later, a Russian court declared the mass killings of Soviet citizens in the village of Zhestyanaya Gorka by Nazi forces during World War II to have been an act of genocide. In October 2022, another Russian court declared the Siege of Leningrad an act of genocide.

Russia’s most popular pro-war symbol

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