The Russian Ministry of Education has pushed back on reports that it plans to introduce military training to its curriculum starting next academic year, insisting that the module will be “extracurricular.”

Russian news media reported that the ministry planned to implement a military training module as part of the curriculum that would appear in schools. The ministry quickly appeared to course correct and specified that the module would only appear as an extracurricular, according to RIA Novosti. 

“An extracurricular module on basic military training will be prepared for Russian schools and will be introduced into educational programs from the next academic year,” the ministry said in a statement.   

The proposed module would allegedly include 140 hours of military training over the course of the final two years of study, with battle-hardened veterans teaching the course. The ministry did not specify whether the module would be compulsory for all students. 

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Russia’s Ministry of Defense indicated that the education served a necessary function as the “special military operation” in Ukraine continued to ensure that soldiers have “necessary experience to participate in hostilities.” 

In a school in Khartsyzk in eastern Ukraine on June 17, 2015, teenagers learn the basics of war, as the conflict with Ukrainian forces continues.

In a school in Khartsyzk in eastern Ukraine on June 17, 2015, teenagers learn the basics of war, as the conflict with Ukrainian forces continues. (Andrey Borodulin/AFP via Getty Images)

“The introduction of such a subject in schools will make it possible to systematically prepare citizens for a possible confrontation with the enemy,” said the First Deputy Minister of Defense Valery Gerasimov. 

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The module indicates that Russian military officials expect the offensive to last longer than originally believed – or that further offensives may occur as war with the West continues. 

The Soviet Military Academy Schools on January 1, 1989, in Leningrad, USSR.

The Soviet Military Academy Schools on January 1, 1989, in Leningrad, USSR. (Photo by Patrick Aventurier/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

Rebekah Koffler, president of Doctrine & Strategy Consulting and a former DIA intelligence officer, noted that Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to have fallen back on Soviet-era tactics. She related her own experiences growing up in Soviet Russia and the kind of military training in high school and college that she received, which she said was “the norm.” 

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“We had emergency drills at school, during which we put gas masks on, ran outside shelter in a near-by location,” Koffler told Fox News Digital. “A retired Colonel taught us basic military training, which included timed drills to assemble and disassemble an AK-47. No live fire though. He was always mad and berated us constantly.”

Inside the facilities the children learn to fire a rifle March 5, 1999 outside of Moscow. Russia's children units are made up of kids who were abandoned by their parents.

Inside the facilities the children learn to fire a rifle March 5, 1999 outside of Moscow. Russia’s children units are made up of kids who were abandoned by their parents. (Photo by Oleg Nikishin/Liaison)

The true goal of this training would aim to “normalize war,” she said, arguing that the kind of training he is trying to implement is “unlikely to improve combat readiness.” 

“There’s much more to war-fighting than march in a straight line with your toes pointed and scream responses to commands, but what this training does is it normalizes the war,” Koffler explained. 

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“War in the Russian mentality, given its history, is the normal state of things – you always prepare to repel an aggressor — peacetime is always temporary,” she continued. “This indoctrination makes it easier for the Russian leaders to convince the young generation to make sacrifices for Mother Russia.”

By Umiddoc