Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Russian ministry suggests punishing parents of children who go to anti-Putin rallies

Counter terror chief says falling average age of protesters is 'alarming'

Lucy Pasha-Robinson
Wednesday 18 October 2017 12:10 BST
Supporters of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny attend a rally in Vladivostok, Russia
Supporters of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny attend a rally in Vladivostok, Russia (Reuters)

Russia will consider punishing parents if their children take part in protests against Vladimir Putin's regime, a counter terror chief in the country's ministry of internal affairs has said.

Timur Valiulin said the Government was "concerned" about young people participating in unsanctioned protests and that it would consider holding rally organisers, parents and teachers "accountable", according to RBC.

It follows mass protests across the country in March, organised by opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK).

"We are concerned about young people participating in uncoordinated street actions. The percentage of young protesters is growing. The ever-lowering average age of the participants is alarming," Mr Valiulin said.

"We should think if we could introduce amendments or changes in order to hold accountable both the rally organisers and the parents of the participating schoolchildren, as well as the educators, too"

The Social Policy Committee of the Federation Council's chairman Valery Ryazansky said Parliament had been trying to tackle the problem for some time.

"Just as parents get punished if their child is caught driving a car, they must be held accountable if their children are involved in unauthorised actions," he said.

But teachers should not be held responsible, according to Galina Merkulova, chairman of the All-Russia Education Union.

"Teachers cannot control things that happen outside school. Those suggesting bringing parents and teachers to justice do not know how to do it themselves," she said.

It comes just days after hundreds of protesters took to Moscow's streets on Mr Putin's birthday.

The protests were originally planned for Mr Putin’s home town, St Petersburg, but were extended after organiser Mr Navalny was jailed together with his campaign chief in October.

Police told Interfax news agency an estimated 700 people were present at the protest in Moscow.

A total of 80 arrests were reported during demonstrations in other regions across the country, including 18 in Yekaterinburg, 12 in Tula and 10 in Samara.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in