Russian soldier back from Ukraine taught a school lesson and then beat up neighbors, officials say

A Russian soldier recently returned from fighting in Ukraine went to teach schoolchildren about Russia's military campaign there before later beating up his neighbors, Russian news outlet Ostorozhno Novosti reported on its Telegram channel. It is the latest report of a fighter from Ukraine returning to commit acts of violence in Russia.

The man from the Saratov region in southern Russia had returned from Ukraine on Nov. 13 to his home town of Atkarsk and visited a school the next day to teach children about the war, Ostorozhno Novosti said.

Later that evening “an outrageously cruel and senseless incident" occurred as a married couple were “brutally” beaten in the courtyard of their home, the head of the local district, Viktor Yelin, wrote on his Telegram channel. Yelin confirmed that the man detained was a soldier.

The soldier — named by Ostorozhno Novosti as Dmitry Kiryukhin — had visited the school to take part in a curriculum called “Important Conversations.” It was introduced by Russia's education ministry after the invasion of Ukraine to ensure children to receive a patriotic education. It has previously used teaching materials that say Ukraine is not a proper country.

Following Kiryukhin's visit to the school, the children learned "real heroes live here, that courage, bravery and love for the Motherland are the qualities of a patriot and a true citizen of Russia,” the local administration wrote in a since-deleted post on the Russian social network Vkontakte, Ostorozhno Novosti said.

That evening Kiryukhin allegedly attacked the couple. Video posted by the Ostorozhno Novosti Telegram channel shows a man — said to be Kiryukhin — beating another man who lies on the floor in a pool of blood. In the video, a woman arrives screaming and tries to revive the man on the floor, protecting him from blows. The video then shows her being attacked.

The Associated Press cannot independently confirm nor verify any of the reports.

Ostorozhno Novosti quoted the woman as saying her husband sustained a head fracture — Kiryukhin, she said, “simply went crazy." The Telegram news channel also quoted neighbors as saying Kiryukhin “often made threats,” even before he was sent to Ukraine.

Yelin, the head of the local district, said the soldier's case will be handled by a military investigation department.

“The streets,” he said, “must be safe for residents at any time of the day.”