Drudge linked to an article in The Guardian today about patriotic clubs in Russia that provide martial training for the youth: “The Russian patriotic groups teaching children how to defend their country.” (You may read the linked original Meduza article, “Russia’s Littlest Soldiers”) The article begins with the following:
In a small town outside St Petersburg, a group of children are being prepared for service in the Russian army. Arriving at 7pm, the class – all aged between five and 17 – will spend the evening learning how to fight and handle weapons.
This is St Spyridon the Triumphant Orthodox, a patriotic club aiming to “bring children to the church” through sport and military-style training, says their coach, Michael Lysovskiy.
Thousands of clubs like this exist across Russia, forming an integral part of a nation-wide initiative for the “military-patriotic education of the population”, regulated by the government through a significant programme of financial support.
O Russia, let me count the ways that I love you! The articles also feature a video of a co-ed Cossack camp:
You may also wish to read a post from earlier this year about a similar program in the Crimea: “Boys’ Camp—Cossack Style.”
As Nietzsche noted over a century ago (in Beyond Good and Evil), “[The power to will and to persist] is strongest and most surprising of all in that immense middle empire where Europe as it were flows back to Asia—namely, in Russia. There the power to will has been long stored up and accumulated, there the will—uncertain whether to be negative or affirmative—waits threateningly to be discharged (to borrow their pet phrase from our physicists).” Rather prophetic, given the twentieth century, but then Nietzsche is uncommonly perceptive about the modern world. At any rate, it appears that Russia remains determined to will and to persist, despite the constant refrain in the West that Russia is doomed (see “The Eternal Collapse of Russia”).
O Lord, save thy people and bless thine inheritance.
Grant victories to the Orthodox Christians over their adversaries
And by the virtue of thy Cross preserve thy habitation.