On March 18, 2022, a student asked Irina during class why Europe banned Russia from the swimming championship. A conversation started, during which the teacher condemned the Ukrainian “special operation” and expressed views that disagreed with the official position of the Russian Ministry of Defense. One of the schoolgirls recorded the conversation using a recording device, and later the recording ended up
in the media.
Several days later, Federal Security Service officials took the teacher
in for questioning after picking her up straight from her place of work, the Penza Olympic Reserve High School. Soon after that, a criminal investigation was launched
against Irina under article 207.3, part 2, “dissemination of false information about the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation”. Under pressure from the law enforcement officials and her state-appointed lawyer, Irina pleaded guilty
, which did not exempt her from criminal liability.