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Russian Hunger Strike Over School Closures Ends

Parents and teachers from Ulyanovsk schools No. 7 and No. 8 at the start of a hunger strike at a tent camp in the city.
ULYANOVSK, Russia -- A weeklong hunger strike by teachers and parents has ended after officials in the central Russian region of Ulyanovsk promised not to close two schools, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Ulyanovsk Mayor Aleksandr Pinkov said today that schools No. 7 and No. 8 -- two of the five that were slated to be closed -- will remain in use when the school year begins.

The city said it had decided to close the five schools due to a severe decrease in the region's population.

Concerned parents and teachers began a hunger strike on June 25 to protest the closures.

Earlier this week, Ulyanovsk's prosecutor-general announced that the closing of the schools was illegal and Governor Sergei Morozov had promised to keep the schools open.

There was no word from officials on fate of the other three schools originally slated to be closed.

Ulyanovsk, famous as the birthplace of Vladimir Lenin (who was born Vladimir Ulyanov), is located on the Volga River and has a population of some 635,000 people.