An anti-bullying charity has pleaded for parents to encourage their children not to victimise Russian-speaking classmates over the invasion of Ukraine. Adding, “It is not their fault.”

Louise Burfitt-Dons, founder of Act Against Bullying said: “I am asking parents to explain the situation between Russia and Ukraine to help them understand the issues.

“There is a large Russian-speaking community in the UK. Just because one or both their parents speak Russian, does not mean that they support the actions of Vladimir Putin or the barbaric atrocities being carried out in his name.  Nor that they want war or agree with what is happening in any way.

“It is hurtful to make jokes or bully Russian-speaking schoolmates who will be suffering their own anxieties at what they see and hear from Ukraine.

“The support which has been extended to Ukrainian families will be undermined unless that compassion is extended to Russian children affected indirectly by the conflict. Now is our chance to express the kindness and understanding towards these children who have made the UK their home.”