Children sworn into youth army onboard world’s largest nuclear sub

Russia’s military-patriotic movement Yunarmiya (Youth Army) now exceeds 270,000 members, including these 45 schoolchildren in Severodvinsk lined up on the hatches of the Typhoon submarine’s ballistic missile silos.
November 14, 2018


Dmitry Donskoy” – the only remaining operative vessel of the Typhoon-class. Famous from Tom Clancy’s book “The hunt for the Red October” and infamous for carrying 20 ballistic missiles each tipped with up to 10 nuclear warheads. The submarine class is likely the worst doomsday machine mankind ever built.

When commissioned in the 1980s, at the peak of the Cold War arms race, none of the kids that this week received their membership in Yunarmiya were born. Today, they were shown around in the 170 meters long giant submarine.

Takes Russia with storm

There are more than 60 detachments of Yunarmiya with about 2,000 children and youth in Arkhangelsk Oblast.

For the first time, children read the promised to serve the youth army onboard a nuclear powered submarine, the Northern Fleet could report on Wednesday. Serving as a test-platform for new weapons, “Dmitry Donskoy” has Severodvinsk by the White Sea as home base, the town where 2/3 of all Soviet and Russian nuclear powered submarines are built. 

About itself, Yunarmiya writes it is “the Russian youth movement, whose main goal is development of comprehensive patriotic education of Russians from 8 years old.”

A goal, the text on the movement’s portal reads, is to “form a positive motivation among young people to undergo military service and prepare young men for service in the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.”

The portal has a ticking counter of all new children that have joined, currently showing 271,597. That is up 100,000 since January this year, when the Barents Observer last time reported about the “military-patriotic movement”.


Some 2,000 children and teenagers are members in Murmansk Oblast, and including Arkhangelsk, the movement has headquarters in all Russia’s 85 regions, each with numerous local branches. 

In Murmansk Oblast alone, there are now more than 72 local Yunarmiya units. Many of them are located in Northern Fleet towns. There are also units in Nikel and Zapolyarny, the border towns near Norway and Finland.

Since the Yunarmiya was established by Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu in late 2015, it has grown into the by far biggest youth movement in the country. 

A Yunarmiya girl from the closed military town Gadzhiyevo on the Kola Peninsula onboard a Delta-IV class submarine. Photo: Press service, Northern Fleet

The movement is directly subjected to the Armed Forces.

With similar color on the berets today as the Soviet Union’s youth Pioneer organization’s red neck scarf, the organization could be named a kind of successor to both Lenin’s All-Union Pioneer group or the Komsomol, wasn’t it for its direct connections with the Ministry of Defense and more intense weapons training.

Members are in the age 8 to 17 years old.

Vice-Admiral Oleg Tregubov, former commander of the White Sea naval base, gave the 45 new children that joined in Severodvinsk badges with the official symbol of Yunarmyia.

Click on the gallery in top of this article to see more photos from the ceremony.



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