This post is an English translation of a paper which appeared in an online newspaper “Vlasti.net”
Russian original of the paper: http://vlasti.net/news/232912
DPR and LPR create battalions of children and adolescents
Most young of participants are less than 10 yours
In the beginning of 2016 the Security Service of Ukraine informed that militants of the terrorist group “LPR” (Luhansk People’s Republic) formed a “children battalion” in the occupied city of Rovenky, Luhansk region. This statement was made by Vitaly Malikov who is a chief of the Anti-Terrorist Centre at the Security Service of Ukraine.”The rights and freedoms of children are under the threat, militants engage under-age children into the ranks of the illegal armed groups. In particular, we know about a children sabotage unit named “The St. George battalion” which is located in the city of Rovenky. This battalion includes children which are between 12 and 16 years old,” – told Malikov.
This statement is not a fantasy but a reality. It is a true consequence of the militants’ work in the sphere of ”patriotic education”.
The children living on the occupied territories of Donbas learn to love the Motherland, to hate “Ukrainian fascists”. They are told how to kill them.
The last part of the text of the next photo reads: “The military sport club Russian Bears teached young patriots of Vuhlehirsk disassembling and assembling the Kalashnikov machine gun and Makarov gun. They gave also a lecture on performance characteristics of these weapons.”
The title of the next photo: ”Children’s military unit of the city of Horlivka”. The last part of the text below it reads: “The girls took part in different competitions together with more experienced participants: throwing knives; shooting a traumatic weapon; disassembling and assembling the Kalashnikov machine gun; rope crossing; shooting a grenade launcher.”
The “patriotic education” is being discussed during last year. “Donbass news” published several papers about this.
It should be noted that as much as four different ”ministries” on the territory of so called “DPR” (Donetsk People’s Republic) are engaged in such activity. And the ”patriotic education” on the occupied territories includes not only the glorification of such heroes as terrorists Zakharchenko, Givi or Motorola and not only signing songs about the Motherland under DPR-colored flags.
The ”military patriotic clubs” which were created by following examples of similar Soviet clubs play a big role in such an education. But old-fashion pioneers’ games “Zarnitsa” where children searched alleged “enemy headquarters” in the forest are now replaced by real learning of handling of light and artillery weapons. Russian citizens are often instructors of such a teaching and separatists’ media openly tell about this.
For example, the footage devoted to training camps “Survival in the forest area” of military patriotic organizations shows how children wearing military weapons train to work in pairs and triples, how to use the pattern of terrain for most effectively attacking the enemy. And this enemy is not an illusory “potential enemy” but a real Ukrainian. An instructor from Moscow is leading the process, the chief of the patriotic education center “Brotherhood of nations” Yurii Afanasjev who was spotted before in clashes in Kodor clove, at present the territory of not recognized republic of Abkhazia.
The footage shows both boys and girls running with machine guns under the guidance of another instructor Arnold. The militants say in the video interview that they do not teach to handle weapons but to work in a team and to train physical conditions. But the video demonstrates the converse.
A similar “patriotic education” with weapons in hands exists in Horlivka where girls called themselves Amazons and learned to shoot a grenade launcher. They even showed their skills in Moscow.
A military-patriotic club ”Russian bear” is actively developing in the last times. According to the organization itself, it existed even in “faschist times” (i.e. before the war) as an underground activity. In DPR times it engaged in patriotic education. The chief of it is Oleg Gluschenko, former TVE instructor in a Donetsk metallurgic lyceum. Besides excursions and sport competitions this club provides a training in shooting.
An agitational footage of this club shows even more impressive picture.
It shows how adolescents learn to handle a howitzer D-30 under guidance of men in the camouflaged uniform. In particular, they learn how to impose the target on a goal.
How dangerous are games with weapons?
In 2015, militants of the illegal armed group ”Prizrak” “took care” of a daughter of one of them, Bogdana who is 12 years old. According to the girl herself, she makes a meal to militants, serves them tea and coffee, she learns bandaging the wounded. The girl writes also poetries where she uses such words as “fascist”, “Nazi”, “junta”. She learns also to shoot at “fascists”.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVcO9gK75rQ
The girl speaks at the camera that she does not want to live in Ukraine because “animals, not people live there” and she shoots with pleasure to the side where there are “fascists” according to her instructors.
One can assume that not only Bogdana traumatized by the war and manipulated by adults experience such feelings but also a part of those children who learn to shoot, to crawl with a gun and to love their country through the hate of enemies. The reality of “children sabotage units” seems to be not so fantastic.
An expert opinion
A chief of a voluntary organization “Donbas SOS” Alexandre Gorbatko told as a commentary to the “Donbas News” that the hostilities have traumatised children from both sides of the demarcation line. Such traumas can be characterized by covertness. They can be not manifested during long time and children are used not to speak of them with adults.
In the territory under control of Ukraine such problems are taken into attention, although it is not enough resources to cover large groups of people.
”I strongly cannot accept how the children traumas are handled in the occupied territory. The exercises with battle weapons cannot compensate them. Moreover, an image of enemy is created in children’s heads, an image of a man to whom they turn barrels of guns and cannons. This happens at the same time as they speak about reconciliation and Minsk agreements,” – Gorbatko tells.
Alexandre recalls that there are military-patriotic games in Ukraine also. But they never include handling of weapons, especially by under-aged school children.