What happened in the city of Bryansk several days ago is both bizarre and very illustrative for the current political situation in Russia. Following the release of Anti-Corruption Foundation’s investigation about Dmitry Medvedev, one of the local graduating schoolboys signed up for the anti-corruption rally in his city and shared the link to the event’s page on social networks. Soon after that he was called up to the police for a talk. The officers tried to convince him to delete the event he’s created and not to attend the rally. The director of his school thought it would be a good idea to hold an emergency brainwashing session for him and his 16-17-year-old classmates. She and some other teachers tried to bombard the poor students with propaganda and convince them that they could not have possibly developed their own opinion yet. In their opinion, the students were simply being manipulated by the evil West into “rocking the boat” and ruining everything Vladimir Putin and his government have spent the last 17 years on creating.
Surprisingly enough, their plan didn’t work out at all. Most of the students supported their classmate. They weren’t afraid to actively defend their position, argue with their superiors, find logical flaws in their line of thought and ask the teachers questions they were unable to answer. One of the students managed to record the entire meeting and uploaded it to the internet. The recording was shared by multiple mass media, and a transcript followed soon afterwards.
In his reaction to the video, Alexey Navalny said: “This really reminded my of my Soviet school. Blatant lies, hypocrisy, cowardice and insolence in every single word. And on the other side — amazing students who call white white and black black and ask simple and direct questions”