MOSCOW, February 3 (Itar-Tass) —— The information that staff of the state-owned organizations, deputies of United Russia and their assistants are forced to attend the rally that is to take place on Poklonnaya Gora on February 4 is false, First Deputy Secretary of United Russia’s presidium of the General Council and State Duma’s deputy Sergei Zheleznyak said on Friday.
“It is absurd,” he said. “The party is not the organiser of the rally.”
“Nobody can order a deputy and deputy's assistants to exclusively follow the orders of the deputies themselves,” he said.
As for the rumours about the staff of state-owned organisations, Zheleznyak expressed confidence that they are falsified, too.
“Many public organisations announced that the participants who will be there are the people who consider it important to state their positions, and there will not be any forced attendance,” he said. Spreading the rumours of this kind is “beneficial to the opposition, which wants to keep its right to organize all sorts of events.”
At the same time, he would like most of his colleagues “to support the rally of the patriotic forces.”
“Such social consensus is very important for us now,” he said. “It is important not to allow splitting the country and returning to the chaos of anarchy or dependence on whatever outside forces.”
Earlier, Internet bloggers claimed that management of Moscow schools made teachers join the rally on Poklonnaya Gora on February 4 to support the presidential candidate Vladimir Putin. Moscow’s Department of Education disproved the rumours, but the topic is still discussed on the Internet.
The Public Chamber of Russia decided to organise its own investigation into the information and opened a hotline, which may be used by teachers to report forced attendance. As of February 2, there were about 50 calls informing about compulsion to attend rallies, but in most cases it is complicated to verify the information.
“Only seven calls contained detailed information about the number of the educational institution and the name of the official, who orders teachers to attend a rally,” the chamber’s press service said.