“Universal Soldier” or Education as the Weapon of Russia in the Occupied South of Ukraine. Monitoring for July-September - картинка 1

“Universal Soldier” or Education as the Weapon of Russia in the Occupied South of Ukraine. Monitoring for July-September

The Russian Federation continues its deliberate policy of destroying Ukrainian identity and militarising children who remain in the occupied territories of Ukraine. The Russian Federation’s actions are aimed at the complete assimilation of the population of the occupied territories and the formation of children’s desire to support the armed forces of the Russian Federation, including voluntary enlistment in the Russian army upon reaching the appropriate age.

The following trends can be identified during the monitoring period (July-September 2023).

  • In temporarily occupied Crimea, continuing the trends of the past year, summer camps and recreation were used as a cover for the militarisation and indoctrination of Ukrainian children.
  • Children from the temporarily occupied South of Ukraine were taken to thematic excursions, events, and “recreation” in camps in the Russian Federation with the assistance of Russian “patron” regions.
  • Preschool children, both in temporarily occupied Crimea and in southern Ukraine are actively involved in flash mobs and celebrations using Russian symbols.
  • There is increasing pressure on children to join Russian youth organisations, which are among the main agents of militarisation and indoctrination of children and youth. President Putin has given a corresponding order to increase the involvement of children from the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine in such organisations.
  • In the new school year, the situation with children’s rights in schools controlled by the Russian Federation is deteriorating. Thus, from 01.09.2023, unified mandatory federal standards in the scope of humanitarian subjects are introduced; forced labour of students in secondary education institutions was actually legalised; in addition to the propagandistic extracurricular classes “Conversations about the Important Issues”, mandatory career guidance classes were introduced every Thursday.

Read details about Russia’s policy of indoctrination and militarization of Ukrainian children in the temporarily occupied territories of the Republic of Crimea and city Sevastopol, as well as in the newly occupied territories of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, in the full text of our monitoring report “The Universal Soldier”:

The monitoring report was prepared by the Centre for Civic Education “Almenda” as part of the project “Steps towards the meeting: bringing youth from temporarily occupied territories closer to reintegration”. The project is implemented with the financial support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic as part of the Transition Promotion Programme. The views expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not reflect the official position of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic.