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Russian teacher faces 15-year jail sentence for telling students of Ukraine war

A Russian teacher who told her students about the war in Ukraine faces a 15-year sentence after one of the students reported her.

Irina Gen, a 45-year-old English teacher from the city of Penza in Russia, is facing criminal prosecution for discussing Russia's war in Ukraine with her eighth-grade class.

One of the students is said to have recorded the conversation and released it publicly, prompting prosecutors to file criminal charges which say she disseminated "demonstrably false information about the armed forces of the Russian Federation".

The teacher has said she has no regrets and that she "acted properly" when talking to students of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

Gen could face up to 15 years in prison under a new law enacted by Russian President Vladimir Putin just days after the invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

Gen said: "I think that I acted properly. I don't regret it. The only problem is that I didn't manage to reach the minds of our students. We have reached a time of denunciations, and we understand that perfectly.

"I think this all originated with their parents. That is, one child in some conversation mentioned that their English teacher had a completely different point of view.

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Gen's admission and discussion with her class of pupils is one of several reports detailing Russian teachers and activists being slapped with potential jail sentences for speaking out against the war in Ukraine, RadioFreeEurope reported.

The teacher said: "I know that a parent of one student in that class works for the [FSB] (Federal Security Service.) I think they were sent to record me… and 'leak' it to law enforcement. That is my opinion, but I am sure of it 100 percent."

The 45-year-old had worked at the school for a decade before handing in her notice, saying: "It wasn't very nice working in a school where such an unpleasant thing happened."

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