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Russian government more than doubles funding for ‘patriotic education’ amid ‘geopolitical competition’

The Russian government has approved its next five-year plan for “patriotic education.” The program takes effect this year and runs through 2020. Instilling patriotism in Russian citizens for the next five years is expected to cost at least 1.7 billion rubles ($23.3 million). Most of this money is being allocated from the federal budget. 

The program's objectives are raising civil responsibility for the fate of the nation, and increasing the “level of social consolidation.” Specifically, the plan seeks to boost the prestige of service in Russia's armed forces, “form in the youth a moral-psychological and physical readiness to defend the Motherland, and loyalty to one's constitutional and military duty,” and “develop in the next generation a sense of pride, and a deep respect and reverence” for Russia's flag, the state coat of arms, and the national anthem. 

The government's plan notes that this education process should be directed at “forming a Russian patriotic consciousness in the difficult conditions of economic and geopolitical competition.”

The main state agencies tasked with implementing the plan are the Ministry of Education and Science, the Ministry of Defense, and the Ministry of Culture. Rosmolodezh (the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs) is responsible for coordinating projects.

Russia has implemented programs for “patriotic education” since 2001. The previous plan, which was in place from 2011 until 2015, cost an estimated 777 million rubles ($10.6 million, by today's exchange rate).