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Russian Occupation Authorities Close Muslim Schools in Crimea, Citing Their "Anti-Russian Ideology"


In temporarily occupied Crimea, two Muslim schools in Simferopol were closed following reports filed by pro-Russian Crimean Tatar activist Ayvaz Umerov. According to “Crimea.Realities,” Russian authorities raided the schools on July 4, alleging “violations” and the presence of literature banned under Russian law. Subsequently, the educational institutions were shut down. The local branch of the international movement #LiberateCrimea reported that Umerov’s denunciations prompted the closures.

Umerov, currently serving in a Russian military unit formed from incarcerated individuals who signed contracts with the Russian Ministry of Defense, claimed that the schools were "pushing anti-Russian ideology" on his VKontanke page. He noted in a comment that “all information is forwarded to the authorities, and actions are taken accordingly.”

Occupation authorities claimed the closed schools belonged to the “pro-Ukrainian Muslim organization, Tavriyskiy Muftiyat.” Since the onset of the conflict in Ukraine, approximately 700,000 Muslims have fallen under Russian occupation in Crimea, with 300,000 becoming displaced persons, as reported by the Office of the President of Ukraine in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.

In addition to closing Muslim schools, Russian authorities in occupied Crimea are imposing a Russian curriculum and promoting Kremlin propaganda in Ukrainian schools. This action has drawn sharp international criticism, with human rights organizations and global observers accusing Russia of violating international norms by altering educational frameworks in occupied regions. The imposition includes restricting instruction in the Ukrainian language and integrating military training into school curricula.

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