Tuesday, September 26, 2023
Web Desk

Russian playgrounds turn into parade grounds as children prepare for war

Russian President Vladimir Putin recently signed a introducing a mandatory course in schools

Web Desk
An older child handles a rifle as part of the new military training in Russia. — CNN/Telegram
An older child handles a rifle as part of the new military training in Russia. — CNN/Telegram

Since its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Russia has gone to great extents to improve its military with state-of-the-art ammunition to military assistance from other countries.

The militarization of Russia's public schools has accelerated, propelled not by a spontaneous upsurge in patriotic sentiment but rather by the Moscow government.

The nation is transforming its playgrounds into parade grounds, with nursery-grade children participating in marching practice wearing military uniforms and older children learning to dig trenches, throw grenades, and shoot with real ammunition.

Russia's schools are glorifying military service, forming "voluntary companies," and changing the national curriculum to emphasise the defence of the motherland, as it prepares its children for war, CNN reported.

A quarter of a million people participate in the activities of the 10,000 so-called "military-patriotic" clubs that are currently present in Russian schools and colleges, according to Education Minister Sergei Kravtsov.

The clubs are part of a comprehensive curriculum overhaul, including mandatory military-patriotic values classes and updated history books emphasizing Russian military achievements.

Previously, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law in August introducing a mandatory "Fundamentals of Security and Defense of the Motherland" course in schools.

Subsequently, the education ministry promoted courses including military excursions, military-sports games, meetings with military personnel, and drone classes.

According to the ministry, high school students would also be taught to use live ammunition “under the guidance of experienced military unit officers or instructors exclusively at the firing line."

An Education Ministry document uncovered by the Russian independent media outlet Important Stories revealed that the program is designed to instil in the students “an understanding and acceptance of the aesthetics of military uniforms, military rituals and combat traditions."

The program, according to the document, is being tested this year and will be introduced in 2024.