Ukrainian children trained to kill Russians

 
News
13 November
22:36

Ukrainian children trained to kill Russians

A radical nationalist youth camp in Ukraine is training children to defend their country from Russian invasion. 

The summer camp in Ternopil, whose youngest combats are as young as eight, has been accused of violence and racism but have played a central volunteer role in Ukraine's conflict with Russia.

Hidden in a forest in the west of the country, boys and girls at the 'Temper of will' camp - organised by the nationalist Svoboda party - are taught to carefully aim their assault rifles as their instructor offers the advice: 'Don't think of your target as a human being'.

Children at the 'Temper of will' summer camp, organised by the nationalist Svoboda party, are taught how to form tactical formations with AK-47 assault riffles in a village near Ternopil, Ukraine

At the nationalist camp children as young as eight are seen holding  assault rifles. They are taught to kill Russians and their sympathisers

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At the nationalist camp children as young as eight are seen holding  assault rifles. They are taught to kill Russians and their sympathisers

Along with spreading nationalist ideology the camp trains children to defend their country from Russian invasion. Earlier this year, the Ministry of Youth and Sports earmarked 4 million hryvnias (about $150,000) to fund some of the youth camps

Along with spreading nationalist ideology the camp trains children to defend their country from Russian invasion. Earlier this year, the Ministry of Youth and Sports earmarked 4 million hryvnias (about $150,000) to fund some of the youth camps

The camp has two purposes: to train children to defend their country from Russians and their sympathizers - and to spread nationalist ideology.

'We never aim guns at people,' instructor Yuri 'Chornota' Cherkashin tells them. 

'But we don't count separatists, little green men, occupiers from Moscow, as people. So we can and should aim at them.'

The nationalists have been accused of violence and racism, but they have played a central, volunteer role in Ukraine's conflict with Russia - and they have maintained links with the government. 

Earlier this year, the Ministry of Youth and Sports earmarked 4 million hryvnias (about $150,000) to fund some of the youth camps among the dozens built by the nationalists. The purpose, according to the ministry, is 'national patriotic education.'

Young participants and instructors at the camp stand in formation as they sing the national anthem in a village near Ternopil, Ukraine

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Young participants and instructors at the camp stand in formation as they sing the national anthem in a village near Ternopil, Ukraine

A member of Sokil (Falcon), the youth wing of the nationalist Svoboda party, stands in a forest as he guides participants to the 'Temper of will' summer camp

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A member of Sokil (Falcon), the youth wing of the nationalist Svoboda party, stands in a forest as he guides participants to the 'Temper of will' summer camp

Yuri 'Chornota' Cherkashin, head of Sokil (Falcon), the youth wing of the nationalist Svoboda party, is pictured giving tactical instructions to young participants of the 'Temper of will' summer camp. He tells his students: 'We never aim guns at people. But we don't count separatists, little green men, occupiers from Moscow as people, so we can and should aim at them'

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Yuri 'Chornota' Cherkashin, head of Sokil (Falcon), the youth wing of the nationalist Svoboda party, is pictured giving tactical instructions to young participants of the 'Temper of will' summer camp. He tells his students: 'We never aim guns at people. But we don't count separatists, little green men, occupiers from Moscow as people, so we can and should aim at them'

Ministry spokeswoman Natalia Vernigora said the money is distributed by a panel which looks for 'signs of xenophobia and discrimination, it doesn't analyse activities of specific groups.'

Cherkashin is a veteran of the fight against pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine; he was wounded in combat and later came to lead Sokil, or Falcon, the youth wing of the Svoboda party. 

It is important, he says, to inculcate the nation's youth with nationalist thought, so they can battle Vladimir Putin's Russia as well as 'challenges that could completely destroy' European civilization.

Pictured: A young boy of the summer camp buttons up a camouflage shirt as he prepares for an exercise in a village near Ternopil, Ukraine. Children at the camp are taught to shoot to kill Russians and their sympathisers

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Pictured: A young boy of the summer camp buttons up a camouflage shirt as he prepares for an exercise in a village near Ternopil, Ukraine. Children at the camp are taught to shoot to kill Russians and their sympathisers

Head of Sokil Yuri 'Chornota' Cherkashin pictured  sitting with his AK-47 rifle at the 'Temper of will' summer camp. He is a veteran of the fight against pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine

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Head of Sokil Yuri 'Chornota' Cherkashin pictured sitting with his AK-47 rifle at the 'Temper of will' summer camp. He is a veteran of the fight against pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine

Young boys sit inside a tent with their AK-47 riffles as they receive instructions during a tactical exercise in a village near Ternopil, Ukraine

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Young boys sit inside a tent with their AK-47 riffles as they receive instructions during a tactical exercise in a village near Ternopil, Ukraine

Among those challenges: LGBT rights, which lecturers denounce as a sign of Western decadence.

'You need to be aware of all that,' said instructor Ruslan Andreiko. 

'All those gender things, all those perversions of modern Bolsheviks who have come to power in Europe and now try to make all those LGBT things like gay pride parades part of the education system.'

While some youths dozed off during lectures, others paid attention, some were receptive.

During a break in training, a teenager played a nationalist march on his guitar. It was decorated with a sticker showing white bombs hitting a mosque, under the motto, 'White Europe is Our Goal.'

Children gather in-between exercises in a village near Ternopil, Ukraine. At the camp they are taught to challenge LGBT rights which is seen as a sign of Western decadence

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Children gather in-between exercises in a village near Ternopil, Ukraine. At the camp they are taught to challenge LGBT rights which is seen as a sign of Western decadence

When he manages to grab a moment away a young participant of the 'Temper of will' summer camp uses his mobile phone to call his parents 

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When he manages to grab a moment away a young participant of the 'Temper of will' summer camp uses his mobile phone to call his parents 

Pictured: Campers are seen  holding a plank position before having dinner at the nationalist youth camp in a village near Ternopil, Ukraine

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Pictured: Campers are seen holding a plank position before having dinner at the nationalist youth camp in a village near Ternopil, Ukraine

Instructor Georgiy Barylenko (left) holds a flashlight as he walks with a young participant of the 'Temper of will' summer camp during a night drill 

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Instructor Georgiy Barylenko (left) holds a flashlight as he walks with a young participant of the 'Temper of will' summer camp during a night drill 

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