Cover Osteuropa 12/2022

In Osteuropa 12/2022

Raised to Hate
The Militarisation of Childhood in Belarus

Yuliya von Saal

Deutsche Fassung


In response to the mass protests against the Lukashenka regime in 2020 and 2021, which were largely carried out by young people, the autocrat decreed a “new start” for the Belarusian education system under “military-patriotic” auspices. State institutions are inoculating children with an ideology that, under the guise of “loyalty to their homeland”, incites hatred of internal and external “enemies”. Drawing on models from the Soviet Union and Russia, young “defenders of the fatherland” are being cultivated. In premilitary classes, “military-patriotic clubs”, and summer camps, the security organs are introducing schoolchildren to military service with promises of adventure and community. Through indoctrination, drill, and intimidation, they are seeking to mould them into loyal, docile subordinates.

(Osteuropa 12/2022, pp. 127–142)