Russian Youth Army's war games a sinister turn

RESURGENT nationalism expressed through rejuvenated militarism is a growing concern. 

Anyone aware of the role military indoctrination played in Germany and Japan before WWII cannot but be apprehensive at the return of men in uniform, and their world view, to the forefront of public affairs.

US President Donald Trump may make wild-eyed declarations, but Russian President Vladimir Putin has done something far more sinister. Russia is building a replica of the Reichstag at a military theme park near Moscow, so his Youth Army can re-enact the sack of the building after Soviet troops captured Berlin in 1945. Russia’s Youth Army was set up in 2015, so children as young as 10 could get basic military training and “patriotic education”.

Even if you understand that 80 Soviet troops died for every American soldier killed in WWII, this development seems more to do with the future than the past. That this ratcheting-up of hostility always takes on a life of its own, and inevitably leads to tragedy on a grand scale, is a sad reality. This Reichstag theme park is a long way from Disneyland.


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