These images of Vladimir Putin's new 'youth army' are being compared to the Hitler Youth

Louis Dor
Thursday 02 June 2016 12:00
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Picture: Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation

The Russian defence ministry released photos this week of their 'Voluntary Society of Support for the Army, Air Force and Navy' otherwise known as DOSAAF.

It's a patriotic, military movement of 104 schoolchildren who all partake in studies and preliminary military training.

Picture: Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation

The male and female 'yun-armists' (young soldiers) who are aged mainly between 14 and 18, but some are as young as 10, all swear an oath:

I swear to aim for victories in studies and sports, to live a healthy lifestyle, to make myself prepared for the service and labour for the sake of the Motherland, to cherish the memory of the heroes who fought for freedom and independence of our Motherland, to be a patriot and a dignified citizen of Russia.

Picture: Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation

They will be taught to assemble assault rifles and how to shoot, learn parachute jumping and first aid, and will be taught military history and tactics.

Picture: Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation

General-colonel Alexander Kolmakov said that it it revived an old tradition of patriotic youth organisations:

The Yunarmiya movement, created upon the initiative of the Russian Defence Ministry and supported by the President of Russian Federation, will unite all organisations and bodies that train the citizens before they join the army.

Picture: Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation

Officials say attendance is voluntary (although there have been reports of students being forced to join the programme) and thought to be encouraged by rising nationalism in Russia following Putin's annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Picture: Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation

People on Twitter were quick to take concerns about the militarisation of children one further - by comparing the youth organisation to the Hitler Youth movement of Nazi Germany.

Not to mention some media coverage which had to capitalise a certain word.

Picture: Screengrab

If you're going to make those comparisons, it's not that far off the Reserve Officers' Training Corps in the US or the Combined Cadet Force in the UK.

Then again, as we know, Russia is a big fan of the cult of personality.

We don't know. Ken, what do you think?

Picture: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

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