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Donetsk Separatist 'Minister' Says Schools To Adopt Russian Program

Separatist rebels in Ukraine's eastern Donetsk region plan to introduce the Russian curriculum into schools under their control.

Ihor Kostenok, the education "minister" of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DNR), told a news conference on September 18 that the Russian education system was "recognized around the world as one of the best."

"The vast majority of DNR citizens studied in the Soviet era," he said. "We fully understand that we are returning to a time-tested system that is solidly based on fundamental science and on extremely well-developed material."

Kostenok said all schools in the region will open on October 1, provided a so-called "sanitary zone" of between 30 and 50 kilometers in radius is maintained around schools to protect them from shelling.

The fragile truce between Ukrainian government forces and separatist rebels has largely held despite sporadic fighting.