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Inside Ukrainian nationalist camp where kids train to kill Russians



young participants of the young participants of the “Temper of will” summer camp, organized by the nationalist Svoboda party, practice tactical formations with AK-47 assault riffles in a village near Ternopil, Ukraine.Associated Press

The campers, some clad in combat fatigues, carefully aim their assault rifles. Their instructor offers advice: Don’t think of your target as a human being.

So when these boys and girls shoot, they will shoot to kill.

Hidden in a forest in western Ukraine, they are at a summer camp called the “Temper of will,” which was created by the country’s radical nationalist Svoboda party.

The nationalists have been accused of violence and racism, and this summer camp endorses white nationalistic rhetoric against LGBT rights and Muslims.

Nationalists have played a central, volunteer role in Ukraine’s conflict with Russia — and they have maintained links with the government.

Earlier this year, Ukraine’s Ministry of Youth and Sports earmarked 4 million hryvnias (about $150,000) to fund some of the youth camps among the dozens built by the nationalists. The purpose, according to the ministry, is “national patriotic education.”

The “Temper of will” camp has two purposes: to train children to defend their country from Russians and their sympathizers — and to spread nationalist ideology.

Here’s what it looks like inside.

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