'Z'-branded toys and indoctrination in schools: how Russian advertising targets children

Miniaturas de veículos militares com a letra que identifica as tropas russas à venda numa loja online do país

Miniatures of military vehicles with the letter that identifies Russian troops for sale in an online store in the country | Photo: Reproduction

From the first moment, Russia has tried to brainwash its population about the war in Ukraine, repeating the argument that the invasion is a “special military operation” with the objective of “denazifying” the country neighbor; anyone who contests this theory is promptly repressed.

2022 A front of this propaganda war is aimed at children. Over the weekend, social media users from Western countries expressed surprise at the wide variety of toys on sale in Russia with the Latin letter Z, which identifies military vehicles of Russian troops in Ukraine.

2022Miniatures of military trucks, oil tankers and missile launchers are among the options in a Russian online store, with prices ranging from 602 to rubles (between BRL 602 and BRL 100 ).

2022 Indoctrination within schools is the weapon core of this strategy. In early March, a few days after the invasion of Ukraine, the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation released an “open classes” project, with online videos for students to be “informed why the liberation mission in Ukraine is a necessity.” ”.

2022According to a statement from the folder, students are instructed “about the danger that NATO represents for our country, why Russia defends the civilian population of the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk [áreas ucranianas separatistas apoiadas por Moscou]” and also to “distinguish the truth from the lie amid the huge flow of information, photos and videos available on the internet today” .

2022Teachers were informed about a link on the ministry website with “materials” to “conduct an open class in your class”.

Rebekah Koffler, former employee of the US Defense Intelligence Agency and author of the book “Putin’s Playbook: Russia’s Secret Plan to Defeat America” Russia to defeat the United States”), detailed to Fox News what is taught in these classes.

“This is a special peacekeeping mission. It’s not a war. The aim is to contain the nationalists who oppress the Russian-speaking population. And we are protecting the people of Donbass from genocide. That’s what the Russians are saying,” said Koffler, who is of Russian origin and grew up in the Soviet Union – she described the “open classes” as indoctrination in the “Soviet mold.”

2022Child brainwashing has not started to be implemented now by Vladimir Putin’s government and is not restricted to Russia: after the annexation of Crimea, in 2014, young people from the Ukrainian peninsula underwent an intense process of “political education” with the aim of cutting ties with Ukraine and imprinting a Russian identity on its formation.

A report from May 2022 from the Ukrainian Weekly, the Ukrainian community newspaper in the United States, revealed that since 2016 the Russians had invested more than 100 million rubles (the equivalent today of R$ 7.2 million) in a program to transform children in the region into “new citizens” and “patriots of Crimea”.

2022 )Iryna Sedova, a member of the Crimean Human Rights Group, told the newspaper that the initiative covered seemingly harmless events, competitions, concerts, camps and special classes, but which would actually focus on the “military-patriotic education” advocated by Putin, in violation of the terms of the Geneva Convention.

2022This indoctrination, allied to Yunarmia, a youth army that “recruits” children from the age of 8, made many Crimean children grow up with the dream of joining the Russian forces.

2022“They think they are voluntarily joining the invaders army, but in fact they have no choice, with all around them saying that it is good to serve Russia and that they have to defend it with weapons in their hands”, lamented Sedova.

Back to top button