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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

'Russian Government Killed Teacher Pavlova'

Izvestia led the paper with the above headline on Thursday.

Teacher Valentina Pavlova was killed by her own country. Teachers from Sosnovoborsk [in Siberia] have not been paid for seven (seven!) months, getting along only on miserly advances. And when Valentina became ill, she could not afford to pay for the medicine that the polyclinic prescribed: 300000 rubles ($53) turned out to be a fantastic amount of money for her. She had no way to come by such a sum and was embarrassed to turn to the school for help.

"She would say all the teachers are going through hard times," recalls Tamara Ovcharenko, the director at Pavlova's school.

Within a few days she was burning up with fever. On Jan. 20., she was taken by ambulance to the hospital. But what was the point? The medical staff at the Sosnovoborsk Hospital was having just as hard a time as the teachers. There was no money, no medicine, no equipment.

Pavlova did get her money, though -- the day after she died. She was owed 4.5 million rubles for the past seven months. In order to get this astronomical sum, Valentina's co-workers first pleaded for compassion and then threatened to strike. This was their only option. They could not even collect small change for her funeral; they had to take Pavlova's money just to give her a decent burial.

The only thing that was left for the humiliated teachers to do was to stop work on Jan. 28, the day of the funeral, and gather together. Marina Kislitsina, a chemistry teacher, said before the Krasnoyarsk television cameras: "To receive the money that you've earned, you just have to die. Then they'll bring it to you as they did with Valentina Vasilyevna."

Izvestia, Jan. 30.