The Ukranian Youth and Sports Ministry has supported the initiative of radical organizations to establish the so-called “patriotic stations” on the basis of children’s recreation camps. As a result, the Right Sector, Azov, National Corps, Stepan Bandera Tryzub (all of these organizations are banned in Russia) and other nationalist groups will get control over hundreds of the country’s summer camps.
A few days ago, Dmitry Yarosh, former head of the Right Sector and now leader of the ultra-right Ukrainian Volunteer Army (which is also banned in Russia), announced the setup of a “young commando school.” According to the plan, children aged 12 and up will learn about mining works, use of guns and machine guns and medical assistance in street fights.
“We, Ukrainian volunteers, are training the young generation to protect Ukraine from Moscow,” Yarosh said. “The hardest times for our nation are still ahead, but we will raise universal soldiers.” “Ukrainian-made universal soldiers, who will be trained at “patriotic stations,” will eliminate anyone whose loyalty to the ideas of nationalism will be questioned,” he promised.
Independent analysts believe that “stations” where young boys and girls are taught to use firearms and cold steel will soon become quite widespread in Ukraine.
Professor of the Moscow State Lomonosov University Andrey Manoylo, PhD (political science), told Inforos: “The thing is that every Fuhrer needs a Hitlerjugend. He cannot do without it. This is the process we are witnessing today. Ukraine has resorted to methods that were used by the Hitler Youth. Yarosh, who initiated the setup of such camps, also actively uses the experience accumulated by the Islamic State, which is prohibited in Russia, and other organizations, which have armed children’s groups. Yarosh does not simply plan to raise patriots of Ukraine, he wants to train future commandos. Children-commandos, because children are easier to deceive and brainwash. Besides, people are generally less vigil around kids. So what we are seeing in Ukraine now is a true continuation of the Nazi Germany’s policy, updated in accordance with the ISIS’ experience.”
Shocked relatives of Ukrainian children who have already undergone “training for future defenders of the fatherland,” are sharing their impressions. Vladimir, uncle of a fifth grade school student Misha, filed an application with the administration of a town in the Chernigov region asking for legal opinion about the activities of the local children’s camp Azovets, supervised by the Azov battalion. Upon return from the camp, he says, Misha surprised his family with his new skills and preferences. The boy demanded that his great-grandfather throw away his Soviet orders and medals, called on everyone to stop watching Russian TV channels and suggested that his parents and uncle go to the Donetsk region “to fight darned henchmen of Moscow.”
“Initially, the name of the camp and its owner were not widely advertised,” Vladimir says. “Many parents were told that their children would learn how to survive out in the wild, get trained in orienteering and, overall, would spend time away from computers and gadgets. That sure was an ingenious way to achieve this.”
Misha’s relatives doubt that they will be able to hold the camp’s employees accountable, since such camps are being opened across the country, with permission from local administrations and official Kiev. Today, there is at least one such camp in each of the 23 regions controlled by the Ukrainian government.
Ukrainian radicals use support of their ideological allies from other European for educating the young. One of such allies is Lithuania, where schoolchildren from the Donetsk and Lugansk regions have been invited for summer vacations for several successive years. Apparently, this is done with view to bring their patriotism to the level of Western Ukrainian youths, who showed what they were capable of on Maidan in 2014.
Now, Ukrainian radical groups have the government’s blessing to organize patriotic training for young people and raise “the pure Ukrainian nation.” Children and teenagers are marching to nationalist songs, giving Nazi salutes and chanting ulta-patriotic slogans.
In a few years, graduates of these “patriotic stations” will grow up and take up positions within the government, armed forces, the interior ministry, mass media and business. So Yarosh and his ideological allies have placed their long-term bet on the young. If this radical plan goes through, the new generation of Ukrainians will build relations with Russia and other countries based on nationalist ideology.