Nationalities Papers – Elisabeth Sieca-Kozlowski, “Russian military patriotic education: a control tool against the arbitrariness of veterans”

Elisabeth Sieca-Kozlowski, “Russian military patriotic education: a control tool against the arbitrariness of veterans”, Nationalities Papers, Volume 38, Issue 1 January 2010 , pp. 73 – 85.


The military had been concerned about military patriotic education for a long time when Putin’s Patriotic Education Programme was published. As soon as the collapse of the Soviet Union occurred, followed a few years later by the creation of the Russian armed forces, they had already been developing patriotic education programmes aimed primarily at youth, aided by veterans of local wars, both volunteers and recruits. The aim of this article is to show that the military version of patriotic education aims openly to encourage military service, and that the Russian state will try to enlist veterans of the Afghanistan and Chechen wars in activities linked to military patriotic education and its spread in military and civilian spheres. Our hypothesis is that the determination to bring veterans together around a common project has two aims: (1) to federate veterans around the authorities and (2) to channel a population that escapes government control and some of whose excesses on their return to civilian life (violence towards the population in the context of their function, for veterans of the Interior Ministry in particular) have darkened the image of the ministries known as the “power” ministries.