Russia protests school searches in Lithuania

The Kremlin is expressing ire over recent police raids at Russian-language schools in Lithuania whose students attended a controversial post-Soviet youth camp this summer, TASS reports.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich protested what he called the “obvious political underpinning of the campaign” and said he was particularly outraged by investigations into the schools’ teachers and management.

The searches were conducted last week at the Vasily Kachalov and Sofia Kovalevskaya schools in Vilnius, 10 students from which attended the “Soyuz 2014 – Heirs of Victory” camp in Kyrgyzstan last summer. The camp drew teenage participants from across the former Soviet Union for paramilitary training and lessons on Soviet military history.

According to the most recent census, ethnic Russians account for nearly 6 percent of Lithuania’s population of 3 million. Amid the Kremlin’s assertion of a right to safeguard the interests of Russians abroad, by force if necessary, the actions of Lithuania’s Russian community have come under closer official watch.

The Lithuania Tribune reported after the 3 December school raids that the Russian Union of Lithuania questioned the timing of the searches, conducted months after the students’ trip, and accused the government of trying to tar the image of the country’s Russians.

This article was originally posted on Transitions Online.


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