Support The Moscow Times!

Russian Military Training. In Kindergarten.

It's just what every five-year-old kid needs.

The grand opening of the “Reserve” military club for children in the city of Cherepovets. YouTube

If you’re the parent of children in kindergarten, you’ve likely noticed the appalling lack of military training for kids between the ages of five and seven. The people of Cherepovets were fed up,  too, until the recent grand opening of “Reserve,” a “military-patriotic club” that caters to youngsters just out of daycare.

The club was created by staff at a local kindergarten who apparently felt that their pupils weren't getting enough “minefield” training, paper-airplane design, or exposure to “riddles about military topics.”

That, at any rate, is just some of Reserve’s curriculum, says a report by the local news website

The children’s military club has its own charter, emblem, flag, and uniform. According to Olga Migunova, who heads the operation, the kids will meet with veterans, visit army museums, and perform demonstrations on military holidays. Migunova says the children might be taught marching drills, as well.

Speaking to reporters, State Duma deputy Alexei Kanaev said the military club is a good way to avoid what he implies is a lack of patriotism among Russians who grew up in the 1990s. “It’s very important,” Kanaev said, “that we don’t step on the same rake as in the 90s, when there was even the term ‘lost generation of the 90s,’ when children and teenagers were forgotten.”

Shining some light on the meaning of club’s name, Natalia Elifanovskaya, the chairperson of the local community board, told that kids in kindergarten are the “reserves for our soldiers.”

“From the age of eight, children can join the Youth Army [a “patriotic social movement” tied to the Russian Defense Ministry], but parents and children are also interested in patriotic, military training in kindergartens,” Elifanovskaya explained.

The people behind Reserve say they hope to expand the project to other kindergartens throughout the city.

To see a video of the club's grand opening earlier this week, click here to watch on YouTube.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more