The Young Guard of United Russia (MGER) and the Volunteer Company have begun training volunteers in Moscow to be sent to Donbas and other Russian occupied territories in Ukraine, Anton Demidov, head of the MGER, said in a press release on Thursday.
Russian youth movement
"For several months now, we have been providing assistance to residents of the LDNR. We receive a large number of applications from those who want to go to the Donbass as volunteers, so we decided to open a volunteer training center," Demidov said.
"Volunteers from different regions of Russia will be trained in several areas: first aid, psychology and physical training. We will definitely conduct special testing at the end of the course. It is important for us that people not only listen to lectures, but are really ready for hard work," Demidov added.
On May 7, the "Young Guard of United Russia" opened its first official representative office in the Donetsk region, Anton Demidov, chairman of the MGER told RIA.
"This is a significant day for us. The representative office was opened, first of all, to help restore the republic [referring to the pro-Russia separatist Donetsk region], to include young people in development programs implemented in Russia and establish a peaceful life," Demidov said in a press release.
"Together with the active, caring youth of the DPR, we will help people and implement interesting useful projects. Now we have already begun to do this - the Young Guards are working on the territory of Mariupol, where they provide assistance to people. Soon we will multiply and strengthen this assistance precisely thanks to the opening of the MGER representative office in the republic," Demidov added.
Since March 30, a detachment of volunteers from the Young Guard of United Russia and the Volunteer Company have been stationed on the territory of the DPR, according to the movement.
The detachment works at temporary accommodation centers in the village of Volodarskoye, the village of Bezymennoye and Mariupol.
Russian for “young guard,” Molodaya Gvardiya shares its name with a World War II anti-fascist Komsomol organization. In its current iteration, Molodaya Gvardiya takes up largely pro-Kremlin causes with the goal of instilling “patriotism and pride” in young Russians.
“The streets belong to us. United Russia is huge and the rest of the parties are tiny,” Sergey Khristenko, 27, a member of Molodaya Gvardiya told the world.
The streets belong to us. United Russia is huge and the rest of the parties are tinySergey Khristenko, Molodaya Gvardiya member
In March, the GUR claimed to have obtained a document signed by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu that called for the assessment of the possibility of attracting members of Unarmia movement aged 17 to 18 years to join the "special military operation on the territory of Ukraine after conscription for military service."
The Intelligence Directorate compared the recruitment to the enlistment of Hitler Youth by Nazi Germany in World War II.
While GUR alleged that this would constitute enlisting minors to participate in the war, the potential recruitment of Russian youth would occur in the spring and autumn of 2022, when they would already be 18 years old or older.
Michael Starr contributed to this report.