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Putin’s military cadet academies to get boost

Putin’s specialist military cadet schools for girls are set to get a major boost – teaching youngsters with frilly white bows in their hair to handle rifles and grenades. 

Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu wants to expand the country’s special cadet schools for girls, and aims to open one in Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula his forces annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

Vladimir Putin’s youth army, a separate organisation for boys and girls, has grown massively to 192,500 members since it was founded in May 2016.   

Critics say both groups are a sign of increased militarisation in Russia and have likened them to the Hitler Youth.

Vladimir Putin’s specialist military cadet schools for girls are set to get a major boost – teaching youngsters (pictured) with frilly white bows in their hair to handle rifles, pistols and grenades

Critics say the all-girl academies are a sign of increased militarisation in Russia and have likened them to the Hitler Youth

Critics say the all-girl academies are a sign of increased militarisation in Russia and have likened them to the Hitler Youth

Girls at the academies (pictured) wear frilly white bows in their hair but are also receive daily lessons in handling Makarov pistols, Kalashnikov rifles, and hand grenades

Kitted out in their army-style uniforms the 10 to 17-year-olds (pictured) are taught to march like soldiers

Girls at the academies (pictured) wear frilly white bows in their hair but are also receive daily lessons in handling Makarov pistols, Kalashnikov rifles, and hand grenades. Kitted out in their army-style uniforms they are taught to march like soldiers 

But supporters claim the force is a way of encouraging patriotism and keeping children out of trouble. 

Girls at the academies wear frilly white bows in their hair but are also receive daily lessons in handling Makarov pistols, Kalashnikov rifles, and hand grenades.

Their teachers claim the training will equip the 10 to 17-year-olds for future careers as soldiers or spies. 

From 7am exercises to the evening task of ironing their army-style uniforms for the next day, the accent is on hard work, discipline, dedication, loyalty, impeccable manners, etiquette and aesthetics.

Make-up and mobile phones are banned – except for a few minutes each day when pupils are allowed to speak to their parents.

As well as learning to goose-step and shoot guns, the girls are taught intensively for six days a week.

Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu (pictured) wants to expand the national programme for special cadet schools for girls, and aims to open one in Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula his forces annexed from Ukraine in 2014

Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu (pictured) wants to expand the national programme for special cadet schools for girls, and aims to open one in Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula his forces annexed from Ukraine in 2014

They have lessons in core subjects, as well as being taught how to sew, cook, sing draw, fence and dance.

There are classes in first aid and self defence, foreign languages, and fighting terrorists.

The teaching style is traditional and demanding, with lessons starting so early the youngsters need a second breakfast delivered to their classrooms mid-morning.

They are also given a daily dose of caviar to build up their physical strength.  

A cadet pupil aged 12 at the Moscow school for girls said: ‘I want to be an FSB officer…I’m dreaming about going into the secret services.

The pupils' teachers claim their training will equip the 10 to 17-year-old girls for future careers as soldiers or spies

The pupils’ teachers claim their training will equip the 10 to 17-year-old girls for future careers as soldiers or spies

The teaching style is traditional and demanding, with lessons starting so early the youngsters need a second breakfast

The teaching style is traditional and demanding, with lessons starting so early the youngsters need a second breakfast

One female pupil is pictured at a Russian military cadet school perfecting her pistol skills as she takes aim at her target 

One female pupil is pictured at a Russian military cadet school perfecting her pistol skills as she takes aim at her target 

‘I like working with machine guns. I want to do something for the benefit of my Motherland like all of us here.’ 

Defence secretary Shoigu is seeking the ‘development of cadet education for girls in pre-university military educational institutions in the country’s regions’, according to reports by RIA Novosti.

He is considering an elite military boarding school for girls in the Black Sea naval port of Sevastopol, Crimea.

The general, who often holidays with Putin, said: ‘We have a very elaborate system of pre-university education, and we would like to develop schools for girls in the regions.

‘In Moscow there is a Ministry of Defence boarding school for girls, where some amazing girls study. We will perhaps make the same decision about Sevastopol.’

On a recently trip to mountainous Tuva, his native region in Siberia, he boasted their military academies, for boys as well as girls, are ‘the best in the world’.

He said: ‘In accordance with the instructions of the Supreme Commander (Putin), in the course of the past five years, nine presidential (military) schools have been opened in the country, with about 3,000 cadets studying in them.’

Make-up and mobile phones are banned - except for a few minutes each day when pupils are allowed to speak to their parents

Make-up and mobile phones are banned – except for a few minutes each day when pupils are allowed to speak to their parents

The girls (pictured) have lessons in core subjects, as well as being taught how to sew, cook, sing draw, fence and dance

The girls (pictured) have lessons in core subjects, as well as being taught how to sew, cook, sing draw, fence and dance

One girl who attends the Moscow military cadet academy said: 'I like working with machine guns. I want to do something for the benefit of my Motherland like all of us here.'

One girl who attends the Moscow military cadet academy said: ‘I like working with machine guns. I want to do something for the benefit of my Motherland like all of us here.’

They are heavily oversubscribed with one place for every seven male applicants – and one in 14 for girls. 

Russian cadet schools date back to 1732 under Empress Anna, niece of Peter the Great, based on the Prussian model.

In Soviet times, elite schools were established for orphans training them as cadets in the NKVD, precursor to the KGB.

The aim was that recruits would owe their loyalty to no-one but the secret services.

The first Putin military academy for girls included some orphans but also the daughters of army and secret services families. 

Defence secretary Shoigu (pictured with Vladimir Putin) is seeking the 'development of cadet education for girls in pre-university military educational institutions' according to local media reports 

Defence secretary Shoigu (pictured with Vladimir Putin) is seeking the ‘development of cadet education for girls in pre-university military educational institutions’ according to local media reports 



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