New militant youth organisation opens center in Murmansk

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Regional government ministers and representatives of the Northern Fleet on the 16th of April took part in the official opening of the military training center run by VOIN (“Soldier”) in Murmansk.

The center is the 13th of its kind in Russia.

Its opening was announced in September 2023 by Director of VOIN (“Fighter”) Nikolai Yazynin.

The region of Murmansk has major importance for the Arctic and all of Russia, he explained.

“This is where the Northern Fleet is based. Under the northern light of the Arctic we will together with the regional government of Murmansk join forces in the education of a young generation of patriots,”  Yazynin underlined.

The VOIN was established on an initiative from top Kremlin official Sergei Kirienko and developed in cooperation with Chechen hardliner Daniil Martynov. The first 12 centres opened in 2023.

Leader of the Murmansk center is Aleksei Chufyryev, the 49 year old man that until recently headed the local militant youth group Vympel – Polyarnye Volki (“Pennant – Polar Wolfs”).

“This is a new page in my life,” Chufyryev says in a comment on his VK social media page.

 

Aleksei Chufyryev is leader of the VOIN center in Murmansk. Photo: vk.com/crvsp51

 

Aleksei Chufyryev has won high-level recognition for his efforts to militarise local children and youth. In December 2023, he was awarded a signed Letter of Gratitude by Vladimir Putin. The Vympel – Polyarnye Volki will from now on be headed by Chufyryev’s son Andrei.

It is believed that many of the teachers and trainers at the VOIN centres have undergone training at the Spetsnaz University in Chechnya. The VOIN center in Chechnya is among the most active in the organisation. It is located in the premises of the Spetsnaz University.

 

Valentin Kovtun (left) and Dmitry Ivanov are among the instructors of the new VOIN center in Murmansk. Photo: vk.com/crvsp51

 

In September 2023, Russian Ombudswoman for Children Maria Lvova-Belova paid a visit to the Chechen center. In a video, she is seen testing weapons and praising the Chechen military training.

The VOIN centres first of all train teenage boys in the age 14-18 for service in the Armed Forces. Secondly, they train reservist men aged 18-35 for combat in the war of aggression against Ukraine.

At the opening ceremony of the center in Murmansk were Deputy Governor Yelena Dyagileva, regional Minister of Sports Svetlana Naumova, as well as Deputy Commander of the Northern Fleet Yuri Tripolsky.

They reportedly all expressed words of gratitude to the leaders, instructors and young men at the center.