Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu are preparing to involve minors aged 17-18 years in the Russia-Ukraine war, Defense Intelligence of Ukraine reports. The teenagers will be selected from the Yunarmiya [Youth Army Cadets National Movement, or Youth Army], a Russian children-youth military organization at the Defense Ministry. It trains kids starting at eight years old and is marked by a radical propagandist education of the Russian youth.
The same practice has been used by Nazi Germany in the Second World War. Starting in 1943, high school students in divisions of Hitlerjugend were involved in the anti-aircraft artillery units.
On 15 March, Shoigu signed an order “On involving members of the military-patriotic civil movement Yunarmiya for launching special operation on the territory of Ukraine. Chief General Military-Political Directorate of the Russian Armed Forces Gennady Zhidko will implement the order.
Russian Youth Army
Yunarmiya, the all-Russian children-youth military-patriotic movement, was created in 2016 “at the initiative of the Ministry of Defense with the support of the President.”
A few years after the organization was set up, Yunarmiya members have been asked to serve as guards at military-industrial plants and be prepared for other services to the government. And today, these services mean participating in the “special military operation” against Ukraine.
There are justified grounds to believe that these teenagers will eagerly do so.
Since its creation, Yunarmiya has not only provided military training for the youngsters but also brainwashed them, further militarizing the consciousness of the young people, and thus, the future society.
As of 2019, Russian schools received instructions on how to operate in wartime. This, coupled with Putin’s order for all major enterprises across the country to be set to transfer to military rails, does even more to militarize the society.
- Read more about Yunarmiya: Moscow plans to have a million youths in its youth army within a year
Isn’t it pointless to involve inexperienced youth?
It is. But has he ever cared about his own people?
The Defense Intelligence of Ukraine explains this decision of the Russian leadership by a critical lack of manpower to continue the offensive in Ukraine.
This assumption is substantiated. According to Western intelligence, Russians are being killed or injured at a rate of up to 1,000 a day in the Russia-Ukraine war. At least 15,000 Russian soldiers have been killed since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, Ukrainian Defense Intelligence says.
Russian soldiers are demoralized and are massively refusing to continue taking part in the war in Ukraine.
As Ukrainian intelligence reports, a large number of Russian invaders are asking their relatives to help them return home. The commanders isolate the “deserters” from other military men and keep them under guard. These soldiers are intimidated by repressions against their relatives.
Many of the Russians’ phone calls intercepted testify they are short of food supplies, discipline, and desire to fight. Cases of self-mutilation of the Russian military in order to evade participation in the Russia-Ukraine war have been recorded, according to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Due to this tendency, Putin asked Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to provide 40,000 militants for Russia’s military activities in Ukraine. He has also mobilized men from the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk.
Moreover, Wagner’s Private Military Company started mass recruitment of mercenaries for the war against Ukraine. Ukrainian intelligence already reported the deaths of Wagner militants on the territory of our country.
But that does not seem enough for Putin. Now, the Kremlin is going further and is engaging children in the war.
It has already sent cadets of military academies and colleges, trainees preparing to become officers, who are between 17 and 21 years old, to fight in the sixth separate tank brigade in Izium, Kharkiv Oblast, Ukraine. Ukrainian soldiers found the cadets’ personal items after targeting their tanks.
All of this makes it probable, yet not any less cynical, that the Kremlin will engage minors in the bloody Russia-Ukraine war.
- Russian Defense Ministry creating a “Youth Army”
- Moscow plans to have a million youths in its Youth Army within a year
- Russian government Internet trolls effective in forming pro-Putin opinion among youth
- Donetsk youth wore pro-Ukrainian T-shirts for meeting with leaders of the “DNR”
- Russian ‘Maxim’ identifies 16 varieties of Russian patriots