Russian schools will not only teach adolescents that “there is no fear of dying for the motherland” —as the obligatory activity implanted in this course entitled Conversation about what is important ensures—, but also to kill for it. The government plans to introduce a new compulsory class that will prepare minors for war. It will teach, according to its first sketches, from shooting with assault rifles to treating burns from explosions. The project has the support of both the Ministries of Education and Defense and the parties close to the Kremlin, who see in this subject a job opportunity for tens of thousands of veterans of the Ukrainian war.
The chief of the Russian General Staff, Valeri Gerasimov, responded to Sergey Mironov, leader of Just Russia, one of the Kremlin’s satellite parties: “Taking into account the relevance of the subject under consideration, the proposal to introduce the subject Basic Military Training of compulsory form in secondary education courses is worthwhile and should be supported”. For Mirónov, this class would prepare citizens for future battles, since in Ukraine it has been seen that “many do not have the experience needed to participate in hostilities”, and would also allow employment of “tens of thousands of people who they love Russia and at the same time master the theory and practice of war.”
Mironov’s party also turned to the Ministry of Education. Its head, Tatiana Vasilieva, announced on Tuesday that her cabinet is developing the training course for war, but within a framework of “only” 35 hours spread over five days, the maximum established by current legislation for these extracurricular initiatives. . For his part, Gerasimov considers it “appropriate” that students receive about 140 hours of subject and proposes that teachers, if they do not receive training for it, be recruited from among officers and veterans, with priority for those who have participated in combat actions, according to pick up the diary Izvestia.
These types of courses already exist as voluntary activities and have been promoted within the nationalist campaign that the Kremlin has gradually carried out these years. For example, the Moscow City Council last year built a training center in the Patriot Park, a thematic complex for “military-patriotic education”, with a capacity for more than 600 Moscow teenagers.
“Do you want to learn how to shoot a sniper rifle and throw a grenade? Then you are in Avangard! ”, Says the advertisement on-line of that course, which emphasizes that “it is not a game” and serves to make minors better. “We will expand your skills, boost your morale and improve your physical condition. In general, we will change your life for the better! ”, He adds,“ for a modest price of 5,000 rubles ”, equivalent to 80 euros.
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Full backing of Parliament
Practically, the entire political spectrum of Parliament, whose formations unconditionally support Vladimir Putin in his war against Ukraine, supports this new compulsory subject. Mirónov sent a letter to the Ministry of Defense to demand that it rule on a subject that already existed in Soviet times, and before that it was the populist Liberal-Democratic Party of Russia that proposed the same initiative with the excuse that minors “not only they will learn how to assemble machine guns, but also some necessary everyday skills,” he told the newspaper Izvestia the deputy chairman of the Duma and a member of this party, Boris Chernishov.
The idea of the Ministry of Education is to include the military class in the last two years of school as an integrated module of the Fundamentals for Life Safety lesson. In the first, they would teach students first aid, such as the necessary help to victims of severe trauma, burns and bleeding. In the second, it would be the military training itself, with a module that includes arming and firing AK-47 Kalashnikov assault rifles; launch RGD-5 grenades; the composition of a rifle squad from a BMP armored personnel carrier, or how each student should dig his own trench.
This subject would be complemented by other new “patriotic” initiatives that the Kremlin has imposed in schools. Since September 1 it is mandatory to raise the flag every week in schools, as happens in other countries, although the most striking thing is the creation of the new activity Conversation about what is important, in which it is taught that the love of Russia is above the lives of the students. “Do not spare your strength or your life for the country” and “The happiness of the country is worth more than life” are some mottos of the teachers’ manuals.
The authorities are also preparing a new youth movement that copies Lenin’s Pioneers. This group will be chaired by Putin himself and its objective will be to “promote state policies” among children and young people.
The subject of preparation for war is not new. A school class prior to compulsory military service was introduced by the Soviet authorities after the 1917 Revolution and lasted for several decades, until the social opening promoted during the perestroikain the eighties of the last century.
In addition to promoting warmongering in schools, some deputies have proposed extending the year’s military service that now lasts to two years. However, the idea has failed and the bill will not reach the State Duma after receiving the blessing of neither the Kremlin nor the Ministry of Defense, according to the newspaper. Vedomosti. Putin’s spokesman, Dmitri Peskov, left the decision in the hands of Defense, a department that has rejected this initiative, but approves of bringing the war to schools.
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