In its recruitment drive, the Russian Army in Crimea is engaging with kids as young as 12, enthusing them about de-mining and defusing bombs.
Children from Crimea have been learning how to plant and defuse landmines in a lesson organised by the Russian army as part of its recruitment drive.
"These are useful skills in life, because you never know what you can expect."Student, Yevpatoria School
Accompanied by their parents, around 100 students, the youngest just 12 years old, attended the crash course. Amongst the lessons on the Russian curriculum is a lecture on improvised explosive devices, such as suicide vests and disguised bombs.
Crimea, seen as a geopolitical stronghold for Moscow, was annexed from Ukraine in 2014 — prompting the European Union and US to impose sanctions against Russia over the "illegal" move.
Lieutenant Colonel Evgeny Muslenko, the Deputy Commander of the Regiment explains that the lecture is part of a recruitment drive:
"Primarily we wanted to attract the interest of students in their two final years at school, so they'd join the engineer regiments on contract later."
Dzhafar Idrisov, a final year student at Yevpatoria School, says:
"Actually I liked it all. It was interesting - throwing a hook, then we had the chance to take guns apart. They showed how it was done to those who didn't know already. The guys could also try to find mines using a mine detector. All-in-all it was interesting."
His friend from the year below, Vladislav, says:
"I liked the lecture on improvised explosive devices, taking a mine apart and putting mines into the ground. It was very interesting for me because I dreamt of becoming a de-miner for a long time, and of planting and defusing bombs."
Far from being concerned by the idea of local children learning the arts of modern warfare, local resident Nadezhda Sysoyeva says:
"I think that such classes are necessary, because kids need to develop. After all they should learn something new. They must know how to defend themselves. We should raise children to be patriots."
[This story was updated on 24/1/2018 to include detail of Russian annexation of Crimea]