Holiday camp season is coming to end. For many Russian kids, it has been a summer with weapons training and war propaganda
Across Russia, regional governments and state-sponsored organisations have provided summer activities for kids on holiday.
On the program has been not only playful games, sports and social gathering.
The kids that have spent summer in Russian state camp facilities have all been given a solid dose of patriotic upbringing. Many have also gotten outright military training.
In the Arkhangel Center for Development of Children, several hundred kids and teenagers took part in the three camps organised during summer. According to the organisers, training in bravery is the core of the program.
“Fostering bravery and courage through patriotic upbringing […] helps the youngsters overcome fear, be just and ready to act for the benefit of the motherland. It is a key element in development of national consciousness and creation of a stable and blooming society,” the Center informs on its social media page.
The Arkhangel Center for Development of Children is owned and operated by the City of Arkhangelsk.
Every participant in the program that is branded as a ‘defence and sport tent camp’ will achieve his and her’s personal command objectives, the Center informs.
“Interaction in teams where focus is on ‘one for all, all for one’ helps foster discipline and a feeling of responsibility for oneself and one’s fellow comrades,” the organisers underline.
The Center cooperates closely with paramilitary groups like the Vympel Military Patriotic Club, as well as with organisations such as the Russian Military Historical Society.
The flag of the latter waved high during several of the training sessions.
The Military Historical Society in Arkhangelsk was also closely engaged in military battle training for the youngsters. In a video shared by the organisation, a group of kids are seen ambushing a compound with guns and smoke grenades, opening fire against “enemies” and taking prisoners.
For a country waging an illegal and aggressive war, these are the fighters of the future and the ones that are to uphold the aggressive patriotic spirit of the regime.
According to the latter, elementary military training in recreation camps for children is part of the region’s strategy on patriotic upbringing.
Similar camps are organised also in neighbouring regions like Murmansk. Regional Governor Andrei Chibis is himself the initiator of one of them. In a so-called Center on Patriotic Upbringing, Chibis offers local youth “cultivation of patriotic spirit and civil responsibility among kids and youth.”
“Acquaintance with weapons” is part of the program also in this camp. In addition, the kids are offered education in regional history and tactical medicine, the website of the Center informs.