Russian students will start training with assault rifles and hand grenades under new guidelines from the country’s education ministry, an addition to the curriculum that is reminiscent of the Soviet Union, the UK Ministry of Defense said Sunday.
The “Basics of Life Safety” course, which will become mandatory in secondary schools this September, includes military drills, salutes, and weapons training.
The Ministry of Science and Higher Education also announced plans last month for a “military training basics” program at colleges.
“The initiatives highlight the increasingly mila in wartime Russia, as well as being a (likely deliberate) evocation of the Soviet Union: similar training was mandatory in schools up to 1993,” the UK Ministry of Defense said.
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Russian Education Minister Sergey Kravtsov told the state-run news agency TASS that the curriculum would start being tested in January ahead of the full rollout next school year.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization of 300,000 reservists in September amid heavy losses from its invasion of Ukraine.
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Russian officials are also mulling increasing the age for routine military conscription from 27 to 30 in an effort to bolster the country’s fighting force, according the UK Ministry of Defense.