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In Photos: Russian High Schoolers Undergo Basic Military, First Aid Training

Starting in September, Russian high school students in grades 10 and 11 will undergo basic military training as part of changes made to the Russian school curriculum last year following the invasion of Ukraine.

During these training sessions, students will learn to shoot Kalashnikov assault rifles, use hand grenades and administer first aid.

Independent teachers’ unions have called the new lessons “madness,” arguing that the continued militarization of everyday life “destroys” the education process.

Students will also be told about the 2014 Maiden revolution in Ukraine — which will be described as a “coup d'état” — as well as Moscow’s annexation of Crimea, the country’s ongoing “special military operation,” and the effects of Western sanctions on Russia’s economy.

During the Soviet era, basic military training lessons were introduced in schools in the 1960s as a compulsory subject. The program consisted of theoretical and practical sections, covering topics such as combat tactics, protection against weapons of mass destruction and military regulations.

The lessons were gradually removed from the curriculum over the course of the 1980s, and by 1990, the discipline was effectively abolished, being replaced by personal safety courses.

Here is a look at photos from the training courses already taking place in Russian schools: