Russian Schoolchildren to Undergo Combat Drone Training

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Russian schoolchildren will learn the basics of combat drone flying as part of military training classes starting this fall, a senior lawmaker said Friday.

Basic military training, which was abolished after the Soviet collapse, will become part of the curriculum for Russian high schoolers in grades 10 and 11 as part of curriculum changes following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Starting Sept. 1, Russian high schoolers will learn “terrain reconnaissance and enemy unmanned aerial vehicle combat methods” in addition to general knowledge about drones, according to a Defense Ministry statement quoted by the state-run news agency RIA Novosti. 

“The program has been approved by Russia’s Education Ministry and will be implemented in education institutions and youth military-patriotic education centers in September,” said the Defense Ministry statement.

“The current army is not just a Kalashnikov assault rifle, but also advanced unmanned vehicles,” said Senator Artyom Sheykin, who proposed the drone training courses.

Around 30,000 university students in Moscow and St. Petersburg are already taking courses on drones, the Vedomosti business daily reported in March, when industry players urged the government to include the subject in Russia’s school curriculum.

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