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Drawing of Russian soldiers shocks parents and kindergarten

Armed Russian army soldiers carefully colored in pencil: the parents of a child in one of Rīga's kindergartens received such a surprise gift. The kindergarten's management denies that such material was distributed, Latvian Television reported on January 9.

"It happened in the final days of December. I went to collect my child from the kindergarten. The child then gave me, as is usual, his drawings, which he drew in kindergarten. And I was shocked to notice pictures like this. I believe this is not normal. I see Russian symbols there and it's not acceptable to me. I don't turn to the kindergarten because I am scared that my child will lose a place in kindergarten, and I am also scared that she may be targeted in kindergarten,” said the parents of the child, who chose to remain anonymous.

The kindergarten's management, meanwhile, questions what happened. This kindergarten – Riga's 224th pre-school educational institution – is attended by 220 children in mixed groups, Latvian children together with Russian and Ukrainian children. Kindergarten manager Inessa Sapeško doesn't even allow the idea that pictures of Russian soldiers had been distributed by someone at the facility.

Sapeško said that when she received the question from Latvian Television, she walked around the entire institution and searched for the picture a copy of which she had received.

“I've walked through all the groups, I didn't tell any educators why I was doing it. I went to see all the printouts [..] but I have not seen such anywhere,” said the head of the institution.

Sapeško said that afterward she had searched the internet and found such images in a popular computer game.

“One hundred percent that no teacher has done that. I think it may have been brought from school, maybe a brother or someone else has given it, and it has been colored, that's what I think,” said the kindergarten manager.

Riga City Council's Department of Education, Culture, and Sport, which is responsible for pre-school education, also tends to believe this explanation.

Iveta Nagla, head of the department's preschool unit, said: “It's certainly not normal that a teacher hasn't noticed something like this. Because it is the direct responsibility of teachers to follow what children do during the learning process as well. I would also very much like to think that was not the case [that a teacher would have distributed the material].”

If it were found that the materials were distributed by a teacher, it would be assessed individually, according to the department.

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