Any student of history will be familiar with the ins and outs of Adolf Hitler’s ‘Hitler Youth’ program in the 1930s and 40s in Nazi Germany.

The program was effective in indoctrinating young German children into the Nazi regime, whilst simultaneously training them up as soldiers and prepping them to enter the SS.

Now, it can be revealed, that Russia’s own version of this program has grown extensively, with multiple reports claiming over 800,000 Russian youths are now involved in the so-called ‘propaganda army.’

Putin’s Youth?

Russian President Vladimir Putin is reportedly set to unleash his own ‘Putin Youth’ army out the West, with the goal of waging cyber warfare against western propaganda and values.

The army, which is officially known as ‘Yunarmia,’ is growing faster by the day, and was created by Nikolai Patrushev, the head of the Kremlin’s security council.

The Kremlin allegedly demanded an increase of ‘moral, spiritual and patriotic upbringing of children’ in order to counter the threats coming in from the West.

Putin’s ‘youth army’ undertake a ‘fresh impetus’ in ‘military-patriotic work.’

Patrushev is a former head of the FSB counterintelligence service, and is allegedly one of Putin’s closest allies and friends, has now called for the creation of more training centers up and down the country to further expand on the Yunarmia program.

Supporters of the initiative, which was initially set up in 2015, claim that the program, which has been likened to the terrible ‘Hitler Youth’ set up, claim that it helps keep over 800,000 young people, aged 8-18, out of trouble whilst installing patriotic values within them.

According to reports, the children are put through rigorous military training drills, whilst also learning how to wrestle, how to handle Kalashnikovs and parachute jumping.

Patrushev defended the program and the type of training that the kids go through, claiming that Russia needs to ‘counter separatist sentiments’ whilst also combating ‘false information’ that they claim is being spread by western countries and other foreign enemies.

He stated that examples of ‘subversive activity’ had been located in and about Leningrad, St Petersburg, and Murmansk.

His comments regarding the program come after Russia’s relationship with western nations such as the US have been strained over recent months, with many believing Russian-Western relations are now at their worst point since the conclusion of the Cold War.

Only time will tell what impact this ‘propaganda army’ has in the world, but the threat of Russian nationalism shouldn’t be ignored.