Russian and Ukrainian media are disseminating a story claiming that a student who asked Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko if he would send his children to fight in the country’s separatist occupied eastern territories was expelled from university.
Russia’s site MIR was the first to publish this claim, followed by such second tier Ukrainian site as Antikor, MZM, Infocenter. Prominent Russian sites such as Life.ru, Lenta.ru and MK followed suit, with Life.RU calling this incident “an apotheosis of Ukrainian democracy”.
Both the Ukrainian and the Russian versions of this story are filled with all sorts of discrepancies. Some claim he is a Kyiv Polytechnic Institute student, while others maintain he is a history student at another university.
The Kyiv National University put out an official statement reminding the media that President Poroshenko met with students from several universities and askded that they refrain from disseminating inaccurate information.
The video of the meeting shows that while students were taking selfies with President Poroshenko, one of them called out a question about the war to the President.
The student in question is Taras Storodubets, a Masters program student at the Kyiv Mohyla Academy and he is not being expelled for asking the President a challenging question.
Kyiv Mohyla president Andriy Meleshevych criticized the media for such “stupidity” and said that claiming that a university would expel a student for challenging official authority shows a complete lack understanding what freedom of speech is about.
“We are proud when our students think critically and have a healthy skepticism about things” he said.