Shocking development: 11-year-old joins Russian army

Jakob A. Overgaard

Oct.01 - 2023 11:51 AM CET

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Photo: Twitter, @belsat
Photo: Twitter, @belsat

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In a tale that might seem like a concoction of propaganda, the truth stands stark and surprising.

An 11-year-old boy from the Belgorod region has enlisted in the Russian military, specifically in the territorial defense unit named "Stal". The decision, astonishingly, was backed by both his parents who believed that the nation's army, currently engaged in warfare, is an apt place for their child.

The narrative raises eyebrows and prompts several questions about the motivations and circumstances that led to such a choice.

What drives parents to believe that a war-engaged army is a suitable environment for a child? Is this an isolated incident, or does it reflect a broader sentiment among certain sections of the population?

The enlistment of such a young individual in the military also brings to the forefront the topic of child soldiers. Globally, the use of children in combat or military activities is condemned and considered a violation of human rights.

The reasons behind such enlistments often range from socio-economic conditions, cultural beliefs, to outright coercion. In this case, with the parents' endorsement, it adds another layer of complexity to the issue.

Russia's military structure and its approach towards recruitment have been subjects of discussion in international forums. The nation has a conscription system, where young men are mandated to serve in the military for a specific period. However, the enlistment of an 11-year-old is not a common occurrence and certainly deviates from the norm.

Much of the information reported by Russian media and officials is likely not true. Such reports may be part of an information war from the side of the Russian Federation.