RUSSIAN HATE: Russian language teacher at CU Boulder receives hate messages

BOULDER, Colo. (KDVR) – As the conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues, Russians in Colorado are now hearing hate speech.

Colorado Russian teacher asks people to stop spreading hate.

She said people generalized that all Russians are aggressors and she received hurtful and insulting messages.

For Daria Molchanova, the conflict is not taking place in a distant point on the map – the politicians leading this fight share her home. She is from Siberia, a region of Russia.

She is in state for work and lives in Boulder with her family. She teaches Russian language at the University of Colorado, as well as to thousands of subscribers online through a podcast and YouTube channel.

“[I received] tons of hate. Surprisingly, I guess it was just the instant reaction of being mad at anything Russia-related,” Molchanova said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a Russian restaurant, a local Russian shop or a Russian teacher.”

So she surveyed her students online to see if they wanted to take a break from the Russian language for a while. Several boycotters contacted her personally, however, she said 96% of her students wanted to continue learning.

“A lot of people told me they were done with Russian or weren’t interested anymore,” Molchanova said.

As for those who want to stay the course, she felt relieved.

“Russia is not just its president,” she explained. “Language is about culture, first and foremost, and it should be something like a bridge between people between cultures, not something that divides people.”

She still loves her country and isn’t ashamed to call Siberia home.

“I hope I will never be ashamed of being Russian. I’m ashamed of some things our government is doing now that I’m ashamed of, but being Russian I’m very proud of,” Molchanova said.

She said many of her Russian friends do not support the siege of Ukraine, but unlike America, freedoms there are limited.

“People can’t just go and protest. Even if you come alone and hold a little banner or something like that instantly they take you into this little police chief and who knows what’s going to happen to you,” she said.

She speaks out because she wants the hate to stop.

“We shouldn’t spread more hate there. There is already enough hate in the world and we are seeing the results,” Molchanova said.

She said she had a lot of support from her university students, offering comfort and hugs instead of hate.

Sylvester L. Goldfarb