Russia’s playgrounds are becoming militarized places. In schools from the Pacific to the Black Sea, daycare children wear uniforms and participate in marching practices, while older children are being taught to dig trenches, throw grenades and shoot live ammunition.
In schools across the country, service in the armed forces is being glorified, “volunteer companies” of teenagers are being formed, and the national curriculum is being changed to emphasize defending the homeland.
In short, Russia’s children are being prepared for war.
The militarization of Russia’s public schools has intensified since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, driven not by a spontaneous wave of patriotic sentiment but by the government in Moscow.
The investment is enormous. Education Minister Sergei Kravtsov recently said that there are currently around 10,000 so-called “military-patriotic” clubs in Russian schools and colleges, and 250,000 people participate in their work.
These clubs are part of a multifaceted effort that includes a radical overhaul of the school curriculum. There are mandatory classes on military-patriotic values, and updated history books highlight Russian military triumphs.
In August, President Vladimir Putin signed a law that introduced a new mandatory course in schools: “Fundamentals of Security and Defense of the Homeland”.
Subsequently, the Ministry of Education promoted courses as part of this initiative to include excursions to military units, “military sports games, meetings with military personnel and veterans” and classes on drones.
High school students would also be taught how to use live ammunition “under the guidance of experienced military unit officers or instructors exclusively on the firing line,” according to the ministry.
The program, which is being piloted this year and will launch in 2024, aims to instill in students “an understanding and acceptance of the aesthetics of military uniforms, military rituals and combat traditions,” according to a Ministry of Education document discovered through Russian independent communication Important Stories.
Modern history is also being rewritten. The standard book, “History of Russia”, now has the Crimean Bridge on the cover and a new chapter dedicated to the recent history of Ukraine. There are sections titled “Falsification of History”, “Revival of Nazism”, “Ukrainian Neo-Nazism” and “Russia is a Country of Heroes”.
Putin has repeatedly falsely framed the Russian invasion of Ukraine as a “special mission” to protect Russian speakers from genocide committed by “neo-Nazis.”
A new chapter falsely claims that Ukraine “openly declared its desire to acquire nuclear weapons” and “unprecedented sanctions were introduced against Russia, as the West is trying in every way to bring down the Russian economy.”
The book appears designed to stir a sense of historical resentment among Russian children and expose an existential battle for the nation’s survival, a common theme in state media pumped daily into living rooms across the country.
President Putin personally led the campaign to inject patriotism into Russia’s schools. At an event in the Kremlin this month, he told a group of children about a letter his grandfather had sent to his father, who fought against the Nazis during World War II.
“Beat the scum!” he had told him, according to Putin’s account.
Putin continued: “I realized why we won the Great Patriotic War. People with such an attitude simply cannot be defeated. We were absolutely invincible, just as we are now.”
See images of the destruction of the war between Russia and Ukraine
Source: CNN Brasil
Bruce Belcher is a seasoned author with over 5 years of experience in world news. He writes for online news websites and provides in-depth analysis on the world stock market. Bruce is known for his insightful perspectives and commitment to keeping the public informed.