Russia to revive military training in schools, says UK intelligence

13 November 2022, 05:51 PM
Russian conscripts (Photo:REUTERS/Alexey Malgavko)

Russian conscripts (Photo:REUTERS/Alexey Malgavko)

Russia wants to return military training to the school curriculum, on similar lines to the practice of the Soviet Union, reads a UK intelligence report posted on Twitter on Nov. 13.

One of the likely goals is to strengthen patriotic sentiment and trust in state institutions, UK intelligence analysts say.

Russian Education Minister Sergei Kravtsov announced on Nov. 9 the return of military training to Russian schools from September 2023. UK intelligence noted that it was part of the Soviet-era program and was dropped in 1993.

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In particular, training included how to prepare for a chemical or nuclear attack, first aid, as well as handling and firing a Kalashnikov rifle.

Russian officials had already tried to revive the subject in 2014 after Russia's invasion of Crimea and hoped that such an initiative would improve the quality of recruits' training. The UK Ministry of Defense says little has changed in eight years – and the quality of Russian conscripts remains low, with low morale and limited training.

Russia is now developing a children’s military training program, which will be completed by the end of 2022.

After that, it will go through the approval process. The Russian Defense Ministry said that at least 140 hours of the school year should be allocated to this subject.

“This training likely intends to prepare students with military skills as they approach conscription age and to increase the take-up for mobilization and conscription drives,” UK intelligence said.

“This initiative is also likely to be part of a wider project to instill an ideology of patriotism and trust in public institutions in the Russian population.”

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