Wagner Group might be working on establishment of “youth club” in Kola Peninsula
The advertisement invited local youth to take part in a class of so-called “profession orientation” with representatives of the private military company.
It aimed at school kids and was to include representatives of Wagner’s recruitment unit, as well as fighters with experience from the war against Ukraine.
The warriors were to tell the kids about “heroic histories” from the war, and also introduce them to the mercenary group’s new “Wagner Kids Club.”
If becoming members of the club, the kids will be offered summer studies at the Wagner Group’s so-called education center in the Crimea.
But the add was not long available on the website of the Apatity education department. It was soon removed, and local authorities say that it was posted as part of a hostile hacker attack, news journal Arktichesky Obozrevatel reports.
It is not known whether the classes that was due 13th of March will be organized.
Apatity is located in the central part of the Kola Peninsula and has long had a strong presence of militarized youth organizations. The leader of the Yunarmiya - the Youth Army - in the region himself comes from Apatity and regularly organizes “patriotic” activities including the handling of automatic guns, marching in uniforms and military training.
On 23rd of February — the Day of the Defenders of the Fatherland — Almaz Biktimerov assembled about 30 kids for a session devoted to “young defenders of the fatherland.” Many of the kids involved in the activities appeared younger than 10 years old.
The Wagner Group is a private mercenary armed formation that since its establishment in 2014 has been closely connected with the Kremlin and the Russian Armed Forces. It is controlled by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a man also known for his engagement in Russia’s so-called troll factories and ownership of a big number of online media initiatives that push fake news and perverted pro-Kremlin narratives.
Today, the group is run from a new huge building — the Wagner Center — in downtown St.Petersburg.
The group’s activities aimed at children and youth was officially started early 2023. In February, a youth club opened in the Wagner Center. Its mission is to “vaccinate the young generation with love for the fatherland,” the VK page of the club reads.
The club organizes political debates and events, as well as military-patriotic training and volunteering. Its official name is “Lider”, but it is also called “Wagner Kids Club” (Wagnerenok).
Apparently, it also aims at recruiting youngsters from across the country. In a video shared by TV Rain, a Wagner mercenary speaks to a school class. He wears a balaclava and encourages the youngsters to join his organization.
“We are good guys and we can offer the best perspectives,” the man says.
“Get ready, quit your studies now,” he underlines.