At least 104 Russian schoolchildren took part in the pioneering batch of revived Soviet military organization Yunarmiya or “Young Army.” Russian President Vladimir Putin is the man behind this military scheme, with an objective to raise Russian youth’s patriotism.
Russian defense officials said that the program aims to develop Russian youths who are able to develop a future for themselves. The project, despite opposition and cynicism, has generated after its launch.
But the same program, officially called the Voluntary Society of Support for the Army, Air Force and Navy, known as DOSAAF, drew mixed reactions from the international community, due to similarities from Nazi leader Adolf Hitler’s “Hitler Youth,” the Daily Mail reported.
According to Russia’s military General-colonel Alexander Kolmakov, the scheme echoes the country’s tradition of engaging youth in social issues and developing social awareness. He added that it aims to the “growing of a generation of citizens who treat the history with care, who are kind and responsive, ready to build a bright future for themselves and for their country.”
Speaking before the 104 pioneering recruits was cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, 79, the first woman to reach space. During the recruits’ initiation ceremony, Tereshkova delivered an inspirational message of encouragement to the Russian youths who took part in Putin’s brainchild program.
“I hope that studies and practical training will give you a chance to join the Russian Army later and to become the true defenders of our Motherland. I congratulate you. I want to hope that our joint work will produce new sportsmen and new heroes. I wish each of you becomes the decent officer of the Russian Army,” Tereshkova was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.