*This article is the third part of the co-authored piece Conflicts and militarization of education: Totalitarian institutions in secondary schools and in the system of extracurricular education in Azerbaijan and Armenia, Ukraine, and Russia by Sevil Huseynova, Jafar Akhundov, Eviya Hovhannisyan, Ksenia Babich, Katya Myachina.

**Read the first part of the article on Azerbaijan here. Read the second part of the article on Armenia here. Read the fourth part of the article on Russia here.

The influence of the army has been increasing rapidly in Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia, and Ukraine. A wide variety of youth associations related to this total institution, militaristic volunteer organizations, and groups of nationalists that propagate far-right ideals become more and more vocal (Goffman 1961, 1–124). Militaristic institutes, discourses, practices, and rituals gain momentum and become increasingly more visible in the public spaces. One of the reasons behind these developments are the armed conflicts lingering for years and decades.

In all the studied countries, despite some differences, the army is built around mandatory conscription. Thus, a significant part of youth, especially men, find themselves within the authority of this total institution “where a large number of like-situated individuals, cut-off from the wider society for an appreciable period of time, together lead an enclosed, formally administrated round of life” (Goffman 1961, XIII). However, for many years now militarization of the society is not limited to mandatory army service.

The institutes of secondary education that are under near complete control of the political regimes in the four countries of focus are an ideal channel for dissemination of militaristic practices, military-patriotic discourses, and rituals. As rightfully noted by Seth Kershner and Scott Harding in reference to the United States, “schools are a primary site for socialization into societies that support war” (Kershner and Harding 2019, 191).

All the societies examined in this review have gone through the process of similar “socialization,” although to a varying degree and at different times. Despite some differences, there are many similar trends and strategies of the militarization of the societies in these countries. The strengthening of the army or the increase in military budget is justified by the necessity for defending the homeland. The instigation of the conflict, and the inability to prevent it or reach a resolution, are always blamed on external forces with no introspection. Each political regime insists on own rightness and attempts to divert criticism by labeling it as “antipatriotic.”[1]

The conflicts that persist as a result of this militarization and militarypatriotic propaganda lead to the death of the own citizens of the states: both as military personnel and civilians. Even in the case of conflicts that are considered “frozen” for a long time (for example the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict), the constant causalities along the line of contact have become the expected norm. The killed citizens then become a “resource” that fires up the revanchist and patriotic sentiment and supports further militarist rhetoric and mobilization.

Secondary schools[2] are the most important institutions of primary socialization for all future citizens of a given country. In a conflict context, these schools are turning into institutions that produce militarist and revanchist-minded patriots, future soldiers, and officers who are ready to sacrifice their lives for the theoretical future of their state. Military education, a legacy of the Soviet Union, is a standalone subject that has been reintroduced to secondary schools in one form or another.6 In each of the four studied countries, new strategies for educating “future patriots” from children and teenagers are being developed and put into practice.

Secondary education, which is one of the most important periods of primary socialization of an individual, once militarized can deprive societies of the chance for successful peaceful transformation of conflicts. This review of the situation in the four post-Soviet countries will not only draw readers’ attention to the obvious general trends around this issue but will also enable them to see the specifics of the process of militarization of societies in each country.

Military-patriotic education before “Orange Revolution”

The Ukrainian government’s approach towards the concept of patriotic education changed substantially with the eruption of the military conflict in Eastern Ukraine in 2014. Sharp militarization of the political discourse in the context of the ongoing conflict impacted the education sphere as well. Patriotic education that is saturated with militaristic mottos became an integral part of not only school curricula but also extracurricular activities that were persistently carried out by the government especially in the eastern and southern regions of the country.

Active development of programs and activities of patriotic education started only after events that unfolded in the Maidan and beginning of military actions in Eastern Ukraine. However, the first attempts to introduce military-patriotic and national-patriotic education[3] to the middle school curricula were done already in the 1990s. With every new president, an updated concept for patriotic education was adopted that was in line with ideology carried out by the incumbent president.

In 1999 president Leonid Kuchma issued a decree “On measures of development of spirituality, protection of morals and shaping the healthy way of life for citizens.” Based on this decree the Cabinet of Ministers adopted the National Program of Patriotic Education of the Population, Formation of a Healthy Lifestyle, Development of Spirituality And strengthening the moral foundations of society, which was operational until 2002 (Verkhovna rada 1999).

As part of this program the main emphasis was put on involvement of the youth into the work of cultural institutions, participation in the campaigns targeted to promote healthy lifestyle, support in promoting the increased “moral and spiritual qualities of the citizens” (which entailed elevating the status of the church), and finally preparation of the youth for the military service. In line with this program and with the initiative of President Kuchma the Cabinet of Ministers adopted the “National program for the revival and development of Ukrainian Cossackhood in 2002-2005.” The main goal of the program was popularization of the history of Ukrainian Cossacks (the most important heroic image of soldiers-liberators in the Ukrainian historic discourse), as well as increasing the “youth spirituality” and the level of military-patriotic education (President of Ukraine 2001)[4]. As part of the same program, the “Cossack civilian units” were allowed to organize patrols in the cities, provide assistance to the border guards in safeguarding the border and help the Ministry of Emergency Situations in disaster management. In practice, both programs aimed at spiritual-patriotic and military-patriotic education were designed to elevate the status of church institutions and increase the attractiveness of service in the armed forces.

The “orange revolution”, Ukrainian language and “honoring national memory”

As a result of the “Orange Revolution,” Victor Yushenko, who is known for his right-wing conservative and nationalistic positions, assumed the office. During the years of his presidency significant attention was paid to the status of the Ukrainian language and heroization of the image of the Ukrainian Rebel Army (URA)[5]. A working group on the issues of patriotic education of the youth was established within the Council on National Security and Defense (CNSD). The assignment of this function to this particular institution was justified by framing this type of education as a matter of national security (President of Ukraine 2006). The working group was made up of representatives of different ministries and youth organizations. Its main goal was the development of the concept of patriotic education and a system to introduce it into the education system. The concept of national-patriotic education of the youth for 2009-2015 was adopted only at the end of 2009 (Ministry of Family, Youth and Sport; Ministry of Education and Science; Ministry of Culture 2009). The declared “national-patriotic” vector implied that this policy will go beyond military education and spiritual development. For the first time within the context of the program for patriotic education, there were conversations about the preservation of the Ukrainian language – one of the most important points in Yushenko’s polices. In addition, a concept on “honoring national memory” emerged, which also brought about the first mentions of the “memory of Ukrainian rebels.” From now on URA becomes one of the most important components of Ukrainian historical myth and official narrative. For the first time, there is a suggestion to consider the mass media as one of the institutes whose activities are aimed at promoting “national-patriotic consciousness.”

Yanukovych era

Even though the concept developed by Yushenko was still in legal force, in 2012 a similar document was adopted in 2012 under President Yanukovych – the “Concept of a nationwide targeted social program of patriotic education of citizens for 2013-2017.” This document had a different value orientation. There is no mention of “national” anywhere in the document and it is substituted with term “nationwide” in the title of the document. There is no discussion of the status of the Ukrainian language. Together with the representatives of the URA, the concept of national memory is also taken out of the document. The goals and objectives of the program are spelled out so broadly that they include incitement of almost all “good” values in citizens. The expected results can be reduced to two extremely vague indicators: the Ukrainian of the future should be a “good and conscious” citizen and show a desire to serve in the army. With Yanukovych’s departure, the military educational vector has changed significantly again.

After the “Revolution of Dignity”

After the “Revolution of Dignity” (“Euromaidan” – November 2013 – February 2014), change of power in Kyiv, the annexation of Crimea and the conflict in the Eastern Ukraine, the issues related to patriotic education gained new momentum (Shveda and Park 2016). In 2015, for the first time in the history of post-Soviet Ukraine, a department on national-patriotic education was established within the Ministry of Youth and Sport. It was headed by Mikola Lyakhovich – a former participant of local chapters of the nationalist party UNA-UNSD[6], Maidan activist, volunteer and a participant of the military actions in Eastern Ukraine. In his interviews, he actively supported (and continues to support) the policies of the Ukrainian Institute of National Memory. Established in 2014, this is one of the central institutions of the executive branch and is responsible for “rehabilitation and preservation of national memory” (Ukrainian Institute for National Memory 2019).

Lyakhovich publicly called Ukraine – “Russia-Ukraine”. This construct refers to the ideas of nationalist historians who insist on the direct continuity of modern Ukrainian statehood from the medieval “European” Kievan Rus’. Lyakhovich orientalizes modern Russia and calls it the “Moscow Horde”, thereby emphasizing the conqueror nature of the Russian political regime ( 2019). According to him, the absence of “correct” national-patriotic education resulted in military actions in Eastern Ukraine. He suggests starting normalization of this sphere from “Ukrainization of greetings and addresses during the education process, uniform, internal decorations of education institutions” etc. Lykhovich suggests the phrase “Glory to Ukraine – Glory to Heroes” as a formal greeting, and also proposes to address each other by using the word “druzhe” (Ukrainian “friend”).

At the end of 2015 by the decree of President Petro Poroshenko new “Strategy on national-patriotic education of children and youth for 20162020” was adopted (President of Ukraine 2015). The declared goals of this strategy largely overlap with the program developed during Yushenko time. The document once again highlights the issues of preservation of Ukrainian language, increasing the standing of military officers, healthy lifestyle, and spiritual-moral development of children and adolescents. In addition, this document showcases the government’s attempts to develop a historical discourse as an alternative to the Russian historical discourse. In particular regarding the discourse about the Second World War. The part of the document that describes the urgency of nationalpatriotic education the name “Second World War” is used. In the previous document from the Yanukovich era “Great Patriotic War” was used instead. The authors of the strategy propose including in the education process the heroic examples of the “participants of anti-terrorist campaigns in Donetsk and Luhansk regions,” the “participants of antiBolshevik village uprisings,” “Ukrainian rebel army,” and “Ukrainian rebels in Stalin’s concentration camps.” It is important to note that this strategy was adopted already after the signing of the so-called “Decommunized package” of reforms that included a law on criticizing the communist regimes. Many provisions in both documents are similar to each other (Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance 2015).

Earlier in 2015, almost simultaneously the Ministry of Education and Science adopted its own “Concept on national-patriotic education for educational institutions” (Ministry of Education and Science 2015). In some contradiction with the strategy, this document included more liberal ideas and highlighted the principles of memory politics towards ethnic groups. For example, it proposes popularizing the experience of Crimean Tatars in relation to their cultural ties and military cooperation with Ukrainians. Along with installing “patriotic values in the hearts and minds of individuals” and “fight against Ukrainophobia and separatism” this concept presents the educational institutions with objectives to “develop tolerance and respect towards other nations, cultures and traditions”, as well as “development of humanistic morality[7] as a foundation of the civil society.”

The key components of patriotic education

Mikola Lyakhovich thinks that the organization of summer camps and extracurricular military-sports games should become one of the most important components of national-patriotic and military-patriotic education. In his opinion, the junior military-patriotic game “Jura” (Falcon) should become the central component of this process. This is a pan-Ukrainian game that has four stages and includes a wide range of competitions and events such as thug of war and “putting out the fire,” marching and song competition and “ethno disco party.” A training manual for holding this game explains why Ukrainian pedagogy should be based on the “Cossack” ideology, and also tells what techniques should be used in “Cossack-knightly education” (Transcarpathian Center of Tourism, Ethnology, Excursions and Sport among School Youth 2016). The last discussed national-patriotic education concept enshrines the introduction of the game “Jura” to the extracurricular activity in schools and universities. It is also recommended the organization of these games during summer camps.

Cooperation of the Ministry with civil society is declared one of the goals of the national-patriotic education. In 2018, for the first time, the Ministry of Youth and Sports put out an open call for NGOs and other nongovernmental bodies to implement projects targeting national-patriotic education. One of the requirements of the open call was the panUkrainian focus of the proposed project (at least 14 regions should be included). Four million hryvnias of state funds (150 thousand dollars) were allocated for this grant competition.

Key organizations

The most notable organizations active in the field of non-formal nationalpatriotic education are “Youth Nationalistic Congress” (YNC), scout organization “Plast”, “Ukrainian Youth Association” (UYA) and Youth Corps.

Plast and UYA are the two organizations that were established at the beginning of the 20th century. Their ideology builds on the vision of their founding fathers – the activists of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalist (OUN) of the first half of the 20th century. The founders of the YNC also were the members of the OUN but of a later period – the early 2000s. YNC was initially established as the youth wing of OUN. Among all these organizations the Youth Corps stands out. This organization was established in 2015 by the members of the Azov Civil Corps which in turn developed from the volunteer regiment Azov that was taking part in the military actions in Eastern Ukraine. All these organizations position themselves as youth national-patriotic unions. However, the history of the Youth Corps begins with the militarypatriotic camp the “Azovian.”

National-patriotic camps

“Plast” was organizing educational military-patriotic camps in Ukraine using the scouting system from the beginning of the 20th century. During the Soviet Union era, the activities of this organization were suspended and moved to the countries were many Ukrainians immigrated (USA, Canada, and others). At the same time, the Soviet government proposed its own alternative – pioneer camps, military-sports games “Lightning” and so on. Thus, although in line with a different ideological system, it has essentially preserved the tradition of organizing educational military-patriotic camps.

After independence, the nationalist gradually regained access to the organization of summer camps. “Plast” returned to Ukraine already in the 1990s, and YNC started organizing activities during Yushenko’s presidency. However, despite the visible support on the part of the government21, organization of camps was included in the state program only in 2015 at the initiative of the department of national-patriotic education at the Ministry of Youth. As part of the cooperation program between the ministry and the civil society 380 thousand hryvnias (approx. 15 thousand dollars) of state, funds were allocated to the organization of patriotic camps in different parts of Ukraine (Ministry of Youth and Sports 2019). The “Azovian” is the largest and most popular among all these camps.

The “Azovian” – national-patriotic camp is organized in the Kyiv region since 2015. Initially, the camp was designed for the children of volunteers serving in the Azov regiment and each camp session was able to recruit no more than 10-15 children. During the early years of the camp’s existence children were taught basic military skills: assembly and disassembly of a machine gun, tactical medicine, passing an obstacle course built according to NATO standards. During the past four years, the camp has grown significantly, and each camp session now has up to 90 kids. According to one of the organizers, in 2016 the initial military-patriotic camp was redesigned into a national-patriotic. It is assumed that this innovation will allow for more opportunities to influence the children. From now on it is possible to prepare “real patriots” not only through the use of tactical training but also through Ukrainian history education.

The webpage of the camp state that “Azovian” is a place were “new” (meaning “better” or “more appropriate”) generation of the nation is being educated. According to Andrey Beletsky, the chairman of the “National Corps” party (created based on the Azov regiment), the camp is home to “hundreds of young nationalists for whom honor, loyalty, family, fraternity and the Fatherland are not just words, but the meaning of life.” However, loud statements and nationalistic slogans alone are not enough to influence parents who have to consent and have a desire to send their children to the camp. Therefore, the organizers are trying to enhance the attractiveness of the camp, emphasizing also its rehabilitative functions.

According to the organizers, children in the camp will become stronger and healthier, will spend time outdoors, engage in physical activities and training (based on NATO standards) and will not waste time on the Internet and video games. Training personnel (“vikhovniki”) collect cell phones and other gadgets from children and allow children to use them only 15-20 minutes a day to contact their parents. To the question posted on the website of the Youth Corps: “Why do children in the camp use wooden machine guns?” the officially provided answer is that the essence of these activities is not in creating future fighters, but inciting responsibility in children. It is easy to lose a machine gun.

The main goal of the camp is the development of “the spirit of brotherhood” which entails the popularization of the idea of national unity. To achieve this goal different disciplinary practices that are comparable with the ones used in the army are applied. Each violation is followed by physical punishments (push-ups, sit-ups, sprint). The punishment is applied not only to the violator but also to the entire squad. In some cases, it is applied to the entire camp. According to the camp organizers, these methods incite not only personal but also collective responsibility in children.

The day begins with work out and breakfast. Children can take a seat at the breakfast table only after everyone in the camp are gathered. This is followed by a daily morning solemn ritual. Children dress into similar uniform (T-shirt with Azov logo and camouflage shorts) and line up on the parade grounds. If somebody is late, the rest stay standing and wait for him/her. At the opening, the “bunchuzhni” (the main leader of the camp and the children’s mentor) reads the “prayer of the Ukrainian nationalist.” One of the founders of the OUN, Joseph Mashchak is considered to be the author of this text, created in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Everyone who joined the OUN had to memorize “prayer”. The same rules apply in the camp[7]. Lining up in the early morning on the parade ground, children and teenagers collectively chant:

Ukraine, Mother of Heroes, go down to my heart, come by the winds of Caucasian storm, by the noise of Carpathian streams, by the glorious battles of great Conqueror Father Hummel, by the triumph and loud guns of the Revolution, by the joyous hum of the Sophia‘s Bells. Let my soul revive in You, light by Your glory because you are all my life because you are all my happiness.

Call me with the clang of shackles, the creak of the gallows in a dull morning time, let me hear the cries of those tortured in cellars and prisons, and in exile, to solidify my faith, to grow my zeal, and my strength, so I courageously go into battle as the heroes went for you, for your glory, for your holy ideas; to avenge the shame of slavery, violated honor, the torture of your executioners, the innocent blood of your tortured children, the majestic death of the heroes of the Ukrainian nation and thousands of other unknown to us whose bones are scattered or secretly buried.

Burn with life-giving fire all the weakness in my heart. Let me not know what fear and hesitation are. Strengthen my spirit, temper my will, settle in my heart! Bring me up for bright things. Let me find death in those deeds, a sweet death in agony for you. And I will dissolve in you, and I will forever live in you, everlasting Ukraine, holy, powerful, cathedral! 

(The prayer of Ukrainian nationalist).

During saying the prayer, it is not allowed to make extra noise or get distracted. Such behavior is punishable. Even those teenagers that position themselves as more liberal stressed that the moment of saying the prayer was very important to them.

“These words are so emotional that I had goosebumps every time… You learn about Cossacks from early childhood at school and you develop this enormous sense of pride and when you grow up and no matter how much you try and enlarge your world view and think that there are no nationalities and boundaries, no matter what you still feel pride and connection with your country.” 

Different activities follow the morning ceremony: tactics, first medical aid, going through an obstacle course, history of Ukraine, assembly disassembly of a model machine gun, robotics, kayaking, and others. According to one of the organizers, the 12 days of camp are not enough to give children enough knowledge that’s why the lessons are in essence using visuals and practical demonstration:

“… a variety of disciplines that gives you a choice. … Since it is a national-patriotic camp the most important is to instill them with love towards the country and teach them to think critically. They learn to assess the situation, develop own opinion and draw own conclusions.”

At the same time, the Ukrainian history teacher should not teach the same full course that repeats the school program but rather has to incite curiosity in the teenager to explore and study history on his own, as well as create an environment where the student will “understand why he is a Ukrainian.” Thus, the main goal of the instructors is to “educate good citizens.” For children to grow up as patriots no nominally but with a deep understanding of it they need to embrace…

“…that every step that they take in favor of themselves and the country is a good thing. They need to know that they can pick up the trash and  engage in volunteer activities and do a lot of good even at their particular age.” 

Subjects with a military focus are taught “just in case. It is better to know than not to know.” If in 2015 tactical medicine was one of the subjects taught at the camp, this course was later substituted with first aid course. The content of the course changes based on the age of the students. Organizers stress that they are concerned about children’s psychological well-being. In their opinion, children under 14 should not be taught about death, which is a topic impossible to avoid when teaching tactical medicine.

Based on a similar conviction the camp does not focus on the propaganda of a certain enemy image whether it is a Russian or somebody else. “These are very dangerous games with the child’s psyche,” – say the organizers. During the tactical training children are taught to navigate the terrain, military disguise, and work as part of a team. There are no drills of enemy attacks. Several years ago, as part of a game, a night attack by the enemy was staged. Every child had a detailed role that was assigned to him/her and children had to sleep with a machine gun because the “attack” could have happened at any given night. At the same time, there was no specific description of the enemy.

The organizers claim that they don’t impose hatred towards Russia and just “teach to love Ukraine.” Instructors also mention “that Ukraine is at war with Russia during the last classes on the history of Ukraine.” The topic of war is also covered by veterans who are often guest lecturers at the camp but only with the consent of the children.

Children at the camp can speak Russian but all personnel speaks only Ukrainian. Participants come from all parts of Ukraine – from Volnovakha to Uzhhorod. They also represent all social classes. Among camp participants, there are children of veterans and children of parliament deputies. According to the organizers, the singular “you” address is used in the camp. The organizers insist that “thankfully the children of separatists do not come to us.” But how do the organizers distinguish children of “separatists”? Presumably by excluding the residents of Luhansk and Donbas. Which would mean that many residents of Ukraine are branded as “separatists” and marginalized based on their place of residence.

The militaristic environment at the camp creates competition and defines the nature of gender inequality. According to interviewed participants, the most valued qualities in the camp are power and obedience. For example, the most honorable reward is the right to raise the Ukrainian flag in the morning. This honor is granted to those who behaved well during the previous day (was not late or tardy, succeeded on the obstacle course, helped a friend).

According to one of the participants, there is also a feeling that boys are more important than girls. For example, if someone has a comment regarding how the instructors choose the mode punishment these comments will not be taken into account. “What can you tell them? These are men who behave according to the logic ‘I came back from the war, I know it better!’.” And if the instructor does not apply punishment to his subjects it becomes a topic of mockery on the part of other camp personnel. This squad can be labeled with some humiliating labels (for example “hippie”). Muscular disciplinary activities are one of the most important elements of the education process. According to the organizers, many children are sent to the camp for “re-education,” and for the camp to build a “real man” out of “mama’s boy.” As participants testify, it is really difficult to get used to the camp discipline in the beginning:

“You can’t do whatever you want there. If you do something wrong, the entire camp will be responsible for that.” 

Children do not have a right to refuse to complete an assignment or simply to oppose the will of the instructor. Such behavior will be punished. Within 12 days of the camp, the majority gets used to the strict disciplinary regime. Those who do not get used to it and continue to “live by the wrong rules” are either hazed by other participants because they have to “pick up the slack” for someone else’s rebellion, or their parents take them home before the end of the shift. This happens during every camp session.

The education experience after camp life

The three pillars that support the ideology of the camp are discipline, fraternity, and love towards nation/country and are called to educate a sense of belonging to the collective community of right nationalists. All three pillars are interconnected through the spirit of militarism. Some of the participants described the rules of life at the camp as a preparation for the “army life in the form of a game.”

For many, the experience of Azov camp paves the way for activism. Exactly with this vision the organization of Youth Corps was created – to provide opportunities for the youth after the camp to assume the role of organizers of similar activities during the school year. Many teenagers with the experience of education in military-patriotic camps organize trainings and competitions in the same disciplines that they studied at the camp, lead discussion clubs and excursions, and visit schools with lectures on behalf of veterans. One of the interviewees claimed that “Perhaps they even carry out the function of our schools because they [schools] should be implementing military-patriotic education.” According to him “camps awaken national consciousness: we are Ukrainians, we need to appreciate our culture, traditions, and religion.” He is concerned that the youth doesn’t care about the country. They prefer to spend time with friends and alcohol instead. In contrast, for those who went through the education program at the camp, it is more important to be comprehensively sophisticated and conscious citizens.

At the same time, when I ask him about his future plans, about the importance of “patriotism” he has a hard time remembering. Like many other teenagers, he wants to continue his education at a university and build a career, be engaged in arts. Participation in the activities of the Youth Corps as an activist is important for him first of all because of the sense of belonging to a community of like-minded people. All his friends are engaged in the activities of the organization. Practically, all his family. A volunteer can be working on a wide range of social issues related to the militarization of the camp experience. For example, volunteer at an animal shelter, or participate in city clean up in his hometown.

According to the camp participants who refused to further engage and cooperate with the Youth Corps, the organization has “many good ideas, but they often choose wrong methods of implementation.” For example, they ensure that alcohol is not sold to underage children, however, they do this through intimidation.

Among the main goals of education at the camp is the development of critical thinking skills. However, the applied ways to achieve this goal – superseding of individual needs and desires, intimidation with physical punishment, popularization of physical strength and discipline as the main qualities of a good citizen – rather contribute to the suppression of such qualities.

Concluding thoughts

The increase in popularity of such organizations and educations practices seems inevitable at this point. First of all, the ideals propagated by these organizations completely fall within education discourses dominant in Ukraine already since the beginning of the 2000s (in particular within the school history education). Second, the situation develops in a way that benefits the government to advance the nationalistic agenda among the youth to maintain the “military spirit” and thus continue the militaristic policy that benefits many of the government representatives. It can be assumed that if national-patriotic camps and educational programs were not implemented by non-governmental organizations, then it is highly likely that they would have been conducted directly by the state.


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[1] Different parties to the conflict carry a different level of responsibility for conflict escalation. For example, even with all its complexities the conflict in Eastern Ukraine never would take such a large-scale and bloody turn without Russia’s direct military intervention there.
[2] Including related extracurricular education organizations and practices (summer camps and others).
[3] For more details on memory politics and history politics in post-Soviet Ukraine see: Iekelchyk, 2002; Kasyanov, 2019.
[4] During the World War II URA was operational predominantly in Easter Ukraine and was the military wing of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN). Jumping ahead it needs to be mentioned that many of the ideas introduced by Yushenko gained new life in the later policies of 2014-2019.
[5] Ultra-right party – “Ukrainian National Assembly – Ukrainian National SelfDefense” – UNA-UNSD.
[6] This concept, as well as all others, is full of very vague and unclear categories.
[7] At least during Victor Yushenko’s presidency.
[8] This “prayer” also starts the day for many participants of military actions in Eastern Ukraine.

***The featured image is taken from National Geographic’s story The Many Ways Society Makes a Man. The author of the photo is Pete Muller. It portrays children learning the basics of military combat in the Azov camp.