Russian school students to be taught ‘basic military training,’ including use of AK-47s

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Russian teenagers will learn how to use an AK47 assault rifle and study the basics of warcraft in a revival of Soviet-era education.

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Under a nationwide school curriculum published on Thursday, 16 and 17- year-olds will study “elements of basic military training”, which will include lessons in hand grenades and administering first aid on the battlefield.

The move comes amid calls for greater patriotism in schools as Russia struggles to turn the 10-month war in Ukraine in its favour.

In September, Russia’s parliament made changes that would require all schools to follow one mandatory curriculum for humanities including history.

Basic military training was removed from the school curriculum at the end of the Cold War in the late 1980s.

Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, has repeatedly accused the West and Ukraine of “distorting history” and recently criticized education authorities for neglecting how Russian history is taught in schools.

Under the new curriculum, teenagers will learn about the Ukraine conflict through the lens of the Kremlin.

Russia’s 2014 invasion and annexation of Crimea will be reframed as a “coup in Ukraine in 2014” that led to a “reunification of Russia and Crimea”.

Nikita, from Moscow, said he worries for the education of his 16-year-old son, but added: “It’s quite likely that those military training classes will end up becoming a parody of themselves.”