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The Yunarmiya [Youth Army] is a bit difficult to categorize. Yunarmiya has assumed some of the socio-cultural functions of the Pioneers (All-Union Lenin Pioneer Organization, established in 1922), for ages 9 to 14, and the Komsomol (All-Union Leninist Communist League of Youth), the organization for young people aged 14 to 28 that was primarily a political organ for spreading Communist teachings and preparing future members of the Communist Party. The upper age for Yunarmiya is 18, at which time members would be expected to join the army. Yunarmiya shares the military orientation of the Hitlerjugend, though with slightly less lurid political orientation. One might be inclined to think of it as "Boy Scouts with Russian characteristics", but the pronounced military training and indoctrination renders is probabaly closers to Junior ROTC.

Due to the lack of manpower to replenish the ranks of the occupying army, the Kremlin leadership considered the possibility of involving 17-18-year-old members of the Russian children's and youth military organization "Yunarmiya" in hostilities. The relevant decree, signed by Russian Defense Minister Serhiy Shoigu, was published 20 March 2022 by the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. The document deals with the preparation of reports on the potential human reserve aged 17-18 to engage in hostilities in the occupying army. The top military leadership of the Russian Federation must submit proposals for the training of these personnel as soon as possible. Gennady Zhidko, the head of the main military-political department of the occupying forces, was in charge of monitoring the execution of the order.

Yunarmiya members are trained to shoot, provide medical assistance, navigate by map. In their free time, the members of the Yunarmiya will keep a watch of memory at the Eternal Flame, engage in volunteer activities, work to preserve memorials, and also take part in other events. In addition, it is planned to involve members of the movement in the elimination of emergency situations, search work in the battlefields of the Great Patriotic War and assistance to veterans.

The Yunarmiya movement, which later formed the Yunarmiya, was born in 1990 on the basis of the youth voluntary public organization "Movement of Young Patriots" (YUP), which was formed by merging the military sports games " Zarnitsa ", "Eaglet", "Gaidarovets", posts at the Eternal Flame of Glory, military-patriotic clubs and others. The motto of the organization was: "For the glory of the Fatherland!". At the same time, the very word yunarmeets (derived from "young army man") appeared back in the USSR. Participants of the games " Zarnitsa " and "Eaglet", as well as teenagers studying specialties related to military affairs in public organizations were called Yunarmists .

The All-Russian military-patriotic movement for children and youth "Yunarmiya" was created in 2016 at the initiative of the Ministry of Defense and with the support of the President of Russia. The Yunarmiya movement unites all organizations and bodies involved in the pre-conscription training of citizens; DOSAAF will provide an opportunity for members of the newly minted movement to study at its base. The distinctive sign of the Yunarmiya member is a bright red beret. The official anthem of the movement is the song "Serve Russia".

At the end of May 2016, the first rally of Yunarmiya members was held in Patriot Park. In all regions of Russia, except for Chukotka, these movements are organized and registered. The head of the department suggested that members of the Public Council take patronage over the schools where they once studied and organize branches of the Yunarmiya there. On 16 September 2016, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in Yaroslavl took part in the ceremony of entry of the Association of military-patriotic clubs DOSAAF into the All-Russian military-patriotic public movement Yunarmiya.

First Deputy Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation Sergey Gerasimov handed over a certificate of registration of the All-Russian military-patriotic movement Yunarmiya to the head of the General Staff of this organization, Olympic champion Dmitry Trunenkov. "In accordance with the law on public associations, on July 29, the All-Russian military-patriotic movement Yunarmiya for children and youth received state registration. From the moment of registration, the organization received its flag, emblem, and became a legal entity," Gerasimov said at the certificate presentation ceremony.

The Yunarmiya movement of schoolchildren does not aim to militarize youth, Shoigu said 19 September 2016. "They say that we are engaged in the militarization of the country, so that we all walk in formation there. This, of course, is far from the case," Shoigu said on Monday during a meeting of the Public Council under the Russian Defense Ministry. "But," he added, "we definitely don't like what is sometimes done in individual subjects with young people and what is shown on TV screens. Therefore, we have set ourselves a number of tasks." According to him, the creation of the Yunarmiya youth-patriotic movement, supported by the president, is "a landmark event for us, and let's not hide it, it is of a long-term, very important nature."

More than 70,000 people have joined the Yunarmiya military-patriotic movement, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said 11 April 2017. "For ten months, regional branches of the movement have been created in all regions of the Russian Federation, and its number has now reached 70,000 boys and girls," Shoigu said at a plenary meeting of the Public Council under the Ministry of Defense.

As of June 2017, the movement had more than 117 thousand people, in September 2017 - more than 160 thousand members. In May 2018, according to the statement of the head of the Air Force Academy, Colonel General Gennady Zibrov, the number of participants in the movement exceeded 230 thousand people. According to Novaya Gazeta, such a rapid growth occurred due to the fact that all schoolchildren were automatically included in the movement, as the school administration received orders to create military-patriotic detachments.

School administrations put all the care for young patriots on life safety and history teachers, most often men. They were not happy: firstly, they were simply confronted with a fact, and secondly, their Yunarmiya activities are not paid in any way. Teachers were supposed to form school youth detachments. They are controlled by district and regional headquarters, and above them is the federal headquarters of the Yunarmiya, directly subordinate to the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. The headquarters is headed by Roman Romanenko, cosmonaut and State Duma deputy from United Russia. The headquarters develops a plan, rules and strategies of the Yunarmiya and monitors the implementation of the developed one. Since the order "from above" was received by all schools, the Yunarmia overnight became the largest youth movement.

The Yunarmiya does not give any special knowledge to schoolchildren, and so far there are no serious preferences for admission to military schools. But from 2020, in 20 civilian universities, points were added to the results of the Unified State Exam. It makes children prepare for war. And schoolchildren grow up with the idea that war is a part of everyday life, that war is here, right next to it, and you should always be ready for it.

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Page last modified: 26-05-2022 20:13:48 ZULU