The Russian mercenary organization Wagner Group hosted a series of pro-war lectures for schoolchildren in its newly opened headquarters in St. Petersburg, Telegram news channel SOTA reported on Tuesday.
A SOTA video of the event shows a group of bored-looking school children listening to various speeches justifying Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, including some delivered via video link by pro-Russian officials in occupied regions of Ukraine.
Some of the children attending can be seen playing with toys, gaming on their phones and, in some cases, resting their eyes during the event.
In their speeches, different lecturers underscored the role of the West in bringing about the conflict and claimed that the EU and its allies wanted to "destroy" Russia’s future by "killing children."
"We are all [rooting] for the war to stop. That’s why on Feb. 24 the military operation started," one speaker said.
After the lecture, the children were offered snacks and gifted large plastic bags full of candy.
"[The Ukrainians] are taking everything they have from the children [in occupied regions],” one student says after the lecture.
"I’m really sad such people exist and I want them to go away," the schoolgirl added.
The Wagner Center, which opened in St.Petersburg last week, is intended to serve as an administrative hub for the paramilitary group, as well as an incubator for "patriotic" Russian start-ups.