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The new school year in Russia began with an updated curriculum, incorporating military skills and pro-Kremlin propaganda on Ukrainian history, the U.K. Defense Ministry said in its intelligence report on Sept. 6.
The new educational guidelines approved by the Parliament last year include "Basics of Life Safety" for senior students, which encompass a military training module. The Russian youth is meant to acquire skills in handling assault rifles, grenades, drones, and first aid, the report said.
The pupils may also be visited by Russian soldiers who have participated in the invasion of Ukraine.
Updated history lessons promote Russia's propaganda narratives on the occupation of Crimea and provide justifications for the full-scale war against Ukraine.
According to the analysis, the new curriculum serves three main goals. Firstly, to indoctrinate students with a rationale for the war against Ukraine. Secondly, to instill them with a "martial mindset," and thirdly, to prepare the students for future mobilization and deployment.
In September 2022, Russia introduced a new school lesson called "Conversations about important things," instilling "patriotism and love and service for the Motherland" for children as young as six. It also featured video lessons with Russian state officials including Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Patriarch Kirill.
During this year's summer, Russia's Education Ministry revealed new history textbooks for high schools, containing maps with occupied parts of Ukraine shown as Russian territory. The teaching materials also promoted the narrative that Ukrainians and Russians are "one people" but Ukraine is currently ruled as an "ultranationalist state."