North Russian region of Arkhangelsk wins praise for efforts to militarise its youth
The north Russian region’s efforts to foster militaristic youth patriotism and build military-style training camps for teenagers this week won recognition as First Deputy Head of Yunarmiya, the youth organisation established by the country’s Ministry of Defence, came to town.
“I have traveled a lot around the country, but have never seen better conditions for the development of these activities. Every centimetre, every corner, has been prepared to meet the set objectives,” Viktor Kaurov said.
The youth leader, himself in the mid-50s, had traveled to Arkhangelsk to take part in a forum titled “The system of military-patriotic preparedness: the challenges of time.” The event is attended by representatives from all over Northwest Russia, regional Governor Aleksandr Tsybulsky informs.
During the three-day forum, school teachers are offered training in how to give classes in so-called “primary military preparations.” They are introduced to the regional Avangard training center that was established in 2022 to provide military and patriotic education, and told about how the region is developing its Yunarmiya (“Youth Army”) movement.
The event also offers Yunarmiya kids “a day at the Spetsnaz,” during which the youngsters are given classes in military training and offered a course in drone flying by soldiers with fighting experience from Ukraine.
The state university of Arkhangelsk is a stakeholder in the event. In a comment, head of the University’s Center for Competence Yelena Dotsenko underlined the importance of the activities.
“It is very important that our kids become real patriots, that they turn into real men, that they can offer first aid, and engage in important and practical affairs that are useful in life,” she said.
The forum clearly impressed Viktor Laurov, who said that “Arkhangelsk today serves as an example for other regions.”
“In many regards, you are the best in the class,” the Yunarmiya leader underlined. Kaurov is retired colonel in the Russian Armed Forces and serves as deputy head the Military Brotherhood, a war veterans organisation.
Regional governor Tsybulsky looked proud as he on Thursday received Laurov in his office. The regional leader is himself is a military man with more than ten years of work experience in the Russian Armed Forces. He has over the past years ardently supported militaristic youth organisations and built training centres across his region.
At the core of the regional youth activities is the Patriotism Center in downtown Arkhangelsk. The center includes premises for education activities, courses and practical training. About 100 million rubles are annually allocated to the center activities, an information video explains.
The region also houses the Avangard center in Mirny, the town located near space centre Plesetsk, as well as numerous clubs and groups engaged in military and patriotic training for kids and youth. Among them is the Patriot club in Severoonezhk.
The Patriot Center and local units is actively working with education authorities in the region, and schools are now gradually incorporating military training for youth in their curriculum.
“Patriotism and military training must be included in the school programs,” Governor Tsybulsky underlined in his meeting with Viktor Kaurov.