Russian kids are being coerced into manufacturing components for the war in Ukraine. President Vladimir Putin is leading this depressing initiative.
The labor includes making parts ensembled into flying grenades launched by kamikaze drones. To ensure that VOG-17 grenades can reach their Ukrainian targets with more precision, footage emerged of young students in Tatarstan carefully sorting pre-made plastic orange “tails” to attach to the grenades. This is only the most recent instance of Putin’s dictatorship using minors as tools and soldiers of war.
Many youth organizations and after-school programs have produced camouflage netting and tourniquets for the troops since the fighting broke out in February last year. As part of Russia’s education system’s growing militarization, students as young as nine years old at another Tatarstan school have been making crutches and canes by hand for wounded troops on the front lines.
At Aleksandro-Slobodskaya School, after-school carpentry classes have produced over 60 pairs of crutches. Forty have been sent to hospitals, accompanied by handwritten “get well” notes for each patient. Over two thousand trench candles have been made by the same school and sent to the front lines.
To help the injured from the conflict, students in Mozhga, Udmurtia area, were assigned to knit “stump stockings” to be sent to hospitals. This occurred when Putin signed a bill prohibiting students from using mobile devices in the classroom. (An emergency that poses a danger to the health or safety of students or instructors is the only circumstance in which this rule does not apply.)
This news also comes amid the sobering revelation that Russia has suffered losses of 315,000 soldiers, or almost 90% of its active-duty army since the war started. On Tuesday, Putin also signed a bill requiring elementary and middle schools to use Soviet-style “labor lessons” beginning in the next school year. These lessons would teach pupils basic skills like cutting wood, sawing, and fixing things.