Military cadet plan to counter Russian propaganda camps

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The Latvian government on Tuesday approved a report that maps out the future role of the 'Jaunsardze' or 'Young guard', effectively the nation's military cadet body.

A cabinet meeting approved a Ministry of Defense report which outlines the plans for the Jaunsardze from 2015-2024.

The Young Guard development plan envisages that by 2018 around 9,500 young people will have the opportunity to participate, which will be present in every municipality in the country.

It is also planned to involve Young Guard and national defense training as an optional subject in schools for up to 16,000 young people.

The plan envisages a significant expansion of the Young Guard's activities as currently around 6,500 young people aged from 10 to 21 are included in its ranks.

It promises at least €1m in funding per year for the first three years.

There will be a new emphasis on organizing camps, getting new equipment and making instructors available, the Defense Ministry said.

"Providing professional and accessible nationwide patriotic youth education is particularly necessary in relation to both recent geopolitical developments in the Eurasian space and efforts to involve young Latvian people - particularly from minorities - in military and ideological camps outside the European Union," the statement said, flagging up fears that young people from the Baltic states are being indoctrinated in overtly nationalistic paramilitary youth camps in Russia. 

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