Belarusian authorities are preparing children for war with the EU

In orphanages, schools, and camps, the military teaches children how to handle weapons. The Telegram channels of military brigades explain who the enemy is: Poland and the Baltic states.

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In the photos taken by the Belarusian military, children are focused and attentive, and sometimes smile and even have happy faces. Here is a seven- or eight-year-old boy looking through the sight of a grenade launcher from the window of his school. Here is a younger girl in a red dress laughing happily as she looks at the heavy rifle in her hands.

In the video, teenagers and young children repeat after their peers: "I swear! I swear! I swear!", taking an oath in a solemn Soviet style.

A boy aims a grenade launcher in a school classroom
A boy aims a grenade launcher in a school classroom

These children are covered by the Belarusian state program "Lessons of Courage", which is aimed at the total militarization of the younger generation. They think that what adults in uniform are doing to them, preparing them for war is right.

We found these photos in the telegram channels of Belarusian military brigades. The Armed Forces of Belarus report on their work with children as part of the aforementioned state program.

A girl from an orphanage holds a heavy rifle
A girl from an orphanage holds a heavy rifle

The 5th Special Purpose Brigade (hereinafter referred to as the 5th SPB) is exemplary in its work with children. It visits Russia to receive instructions and has managed to develop its activities in Belarus on a large scale. Having studied all the sources, we decided to use this particular brigade as an example to show how the militarization of young Belarusians is carried out.

"Lessons of courage"

The 5th Brigade of the Special Forces travels to Belarusian schools, orphanages, recreation camps, lyceums, and technical schools, where its lessons are taught. The soldiers bring rifles, machine guns, grenade launchers, and other military equipment. They distribute all of this to the children and tell them how to handle the weapons.

During the "Lessons of Courage" children are encouraged to join the armed forces in the future. Other units of the Belarusian armed forces operate according to this proven scheme.

Are parents asking for permission for their children and teenagers to attend such "educational events"?

This program is mandatory and covers all educational institutions in Belarus. So, the principle of "voluntary-compulsory" applies here.

Militarization of schoolchildren "in an adult way"

Some children are selected by Belarusian brigades to join military-patriotic clubs. These organizations appeared in Belarus after Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. They were created by Alexander Lukashenko's Decree "On the Development of Military-Patriotic Clubs" in May 2022. To motivate parents to send their children there, they are promised that graduates of military-patriotic clubs will receive benefits when applying to military schools and academies.

Children from the military-patriotic club "Black Fox" take the oath

Andriy Sharupich, deputy commander of the 5th Brigade of the Special Forces, explains how the military plans to militarize schoolchildren

The clubs accept children of all ages, from elementary school students to teenagers. The classes teach boys and girls how to shoot, disassemble, and assemble weapons, overcome obstacles, provide first aid, use military equipment, build floors and trenches, and fold parachutes. The children are taken to military units and training grounds, where they are shown military equipment and allowed to practice with weapon simulators. In other words, they are trained almost on the same level as adult soldiers.

The Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Belarus congratulates schoolchildren on a successful tank run-in (an exercise where a tank drives over a person hiding in a trench)

As of March 2024, there were 126 military-patriotic clubs in the Minsk region alone, militarizing more than 3,000 schoolchildren.

The image of the enemy

Against the backdrop of military training, Belarusian schoolchildren are told about the heroics of Soviet troops during World War II and the current allegedly aggressive policies of Belarus' neighbors.

It is noteworthy that military telegram channels publish reports about the allegedly alarming border situation. They raise the threat of a troop and weapons buildup by neighboring countries.

These reports are always structured in the same way. The top countries from which Belarus feels threatened are not Ukraine but Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland. Ukraine is usually mentioned at the very end.

From the telegram channel of the 49th radio engineering brigade
From the telegram channel of the 49th radio engineering brigade

Belarusians are being made to feel threatened by dubious or distorted news from abroad:

"Poland has launched large-scale exercises on the border with Belarus.

Now, columns of military equipment are heading to the border of Belarus. The Ministry of Defense urged Poles not to take pictures of them and not to post them on social media.

(Quote from the telegram channel of the Western Operational Command of the Belarusian troops)

"The Ukrainian military has deployed a 15,000-strong group near the southern borders of Belarus, and NATO forces are closing in on the western side. The armies of NATO countries are actively rearming and modernizing offensive equipment.

Threats to the Union State's military security dictate the need for Belarus and Russia to respond in a timely manner to counter the challenges in this area.

If necessary, the Belarusian army is ready for any developments".

(Quote from the telegram channel of the 72nd Guards Joint Training Center)

Judging by the propaganda, Belarusian youth are being prepared for a war with NATO countries. This is what the Minister of Defense of the Republic of Belarus, Lieutenant General Viktor Khrenin, said in the summer of 2023 at the XI Moscow Security Conference:

"There is no doubt that European power elites are focused on a global war with the East. The goal is obvious: to create conditions for the average European, or, as the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, put it, a resident of the "garden of civilization," to be ready to fight and kill his eastern neighbors.

And it is not for nothing that the creation of a three-hundred-thousand-strong grouping of NATO troops on high alert on the eastern flank of the Alliance is being declared.

It will obviously be intended not for defense, but for a surprise attack and cover for the strategic deployment of the main striking forces of the Western military and political bloc."

Why are Belarusians being frightened and directed to the West? Because Russia's attempts to use Belarusian troops against Ukrainians have failed - this idea was extremely unpopular among Belarusians, both military and civilian.

Now the authorities of Belarus, which Russia effectively occupies, have begun to prepare a new generation for war, copying Russian approaches. Russia has a "Yunarmiya" (a military-patriotic youth organization) and conducts its own "Lessons of Courage." This indicates that it is going to play the long game, increasingly fomenting war in Europe.

Moscow needs an ally that will not only be ready to become a springboard for Russian troops to move into neighboring countries but will also be sufficiently prepared to participate in the subsequent invasion under Kremlin leadership.

The Russian scenario for the "little brothers"

Let's take a look at what Belarusian reports say about Ukraine. On the channels of military brigades, they say that the Ukrainian people are "long-suffering" and are led by the "Nazi elite," and in 2022, Ukrainians had to make the "right decision." Namely, to negotiate, surrender to the Russians, and accept the occupation. And then, they say, it would have been possible to avoid casualties, destruction, and suffering. But the Ukrainians made a mistake, and now they have to turn into cannon fodder or die in their own homes at the behest of their Nazi leaders. In contrast to "peaceful, quiet Belarus, which is doing its job."

In April 2024, Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko described the role of his country to journalists of the BelTA newspaper:

"I once said the day before that Russia now needs such a Belarus - peaceful, quiet, calm, doing its job. I will not tell you in detail what we are doing and so on. I'm not denying that we are 'co-aggressors'. Everyone is doing their job."

russo-ukrainian war eng belarus army europe

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