In Belarus, dozens of “military-patriotic” clubs for children and teenagers aged 7 to 16 operate under the auspices of enforcement agencies. Additionally, approximately a thousand “military-patriotic” associations are active in schools and colleges, involving a total of about 15,000 children. Each year, Belarusian authorities increase the number of young people admitted to these clubs, and they do not conceal their plans to militarize all Belarusian teenagers without exception.

The main aim of such structures is to purposefully militarize, brainwash and indoctrinate the youth. In those clubs, children and teenagers wear military uniform and are taught to obey army orders, handle firearms, as well as learn hand-to-hand combat, the basics of combined arms combat and so on. As far as the military patriotic clubs and summer camps are concerned, which involve about 3000 children, the trainees there live in barracks, follow the military daily routine and are subject to intense brainwashing.

In the result, the following tenets and beliefs are strongly implanted into the heads of the young Belarusians undergoing “training” in such “military patriotic” clubs:

— the authorities are always right; all must obey and execute their commands;

— criticism is not encouraged, orders are not discussed;

— the Republic of Belarus is the most correct country in the world, Aliaksandr Lukashenka is the only president who cares for people;

— Belarus is surrounded by a circle of enemies, the only friend, ally and elder brother is Russia;

— Belarus makes part of the “Russian world”;

— all those who do not agree with Aliaksandr Lukashenka, including other Belarusians, are enemies and they must be destroyed;

— service in the enforcement agencies is the main vocation of a man and his highest virtue;

— any problem can be solved by brute force.

Those tenets and beliefs are easy to spot. About almost two years ago, at the premises of the military unit 3214, a military patriotic club for children “Rys” (Lynx) was founded. The initiator of its opening was Aliaksandr Lukashenka. On the anniversary of the founding of the club, a video about it appeared on the Belarusian TV. Just listen what children are saying and sometimes even shouting: “I love my Motherland very much!”, “We have the best president!”, “I will defend Belarus!”, “The enemy will not pass!”, “Spetsnaz [pecial forces] is power! I will join Spetsnaz!”, “Rys” rules!”, “I will defend my parents!”, “Comrade president, we won’t fail you!”, “Zmahary! Don’t even hope!” [*zmahary – a Belarusian word that means “fighters” applied to people resisting the regime of Lukashenka].

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