At a summer camp created by one of Ukraine’s radical nationalist groups, campers as young as 8 years old practice using assault rifles. They are taught to shoot to kill Russians and their sympathizers.

In this July 28, 2018 photo, participants of the
In this July 28, 2018 photo, participants of the “Temper of will” summer camp, organized by the nationalist Svoboda party, hold their AK-47 riffles as they receive instructions during a tactical exercise in a village near Ternopil, Ukraine. Campers as young as 8 years old practice using assault rifles. They are taught to shoot to kill Russians and their sympathizers. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
In this July 27, 2018 photo, young participants of the
In this July 27, 2018 photo, young participants of the “Temper of will” summer camp, organized by the Svoboda party, walk to a campsite in a village near Ternopil, Ukraine. The camp has two purposes: to train children to defend their country _ and to spread nationalist ideology. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
In this July 28, 2018 photo, young participants and instructors of the
In this July 28, 2018 photo, young participants and instructors of the “Temper of will” summer camp, organized by the nationalist Svoboda party, stand in formation as they sing the national anthem in a village near Ternopil, Ukraine. Earlier this year, the 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. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
In this July 27, 2018 photo, a member of Sokil (Falcon), the youth wing of the nationalist Svoboda party, stands in a forest as he guides participants to the
In this July 27, 2018 photo, a member of Sokil (Falcon), the youth wing of the nationalist Svoboda party, stands in a forest as he guides participants to the “Temper of will” summer camp in a village near Ternopil, Ukraine. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
In this July 29, 2018 photo, Yuri
In this July 29, 2018 photo, Yuri “Chornota” Cherkashin, head of Sokil (Falcon), the youth wing of the nationalist Svoboda party, gives tactical instructions to young participants of the “Temper of will” summer camp in a village near Ternopil, Ukraine. “We never aim guns at people,” Cherkashin tells his students. “But we don’t count separatists, little green men, occupiers from Moscow as people, so we can and should aim at them.” (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
In this July 27, 2018 photo, a young participant of the
In this July 27, 2018 photo, a young participant of the “Temper of will” summer camp, organized by the nationalist Svoboda party, buttons up a camouflage shirt as he prepares for an exercise in a village near Ternopil, Ukraine. Campers as young as 8 years old practice using assault rifles. They are taught to shoot to kill Russians and their sympathizers. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

The camp, hidden in a forest in western Ukraine, was visited by The Associated Press.

In this July 29, 2018 photo, Yuri
In this July 29, 2018 photo, Yuri “Chornota” Cherkashin, head of Sokil (Falcon), the youth wing of the nationalist Svoboda party, sits with his AK-47 rifle at the “Temper of will” summer camp in a village near Ternopil, Ukraine. “We never aim guns at people,” he tells his campers. “But we don’t count separatists, little green men, occupiers from Moscow as people, so we can and should aim at them.” (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
In this July 28, 2018 photo, young participants of the
In this July 28, 2018 photo, young participants of the “Temper of will” summer camp, organized by the nationalist Svoboda party, sit inside a tent with their AK-47 riffles as they receive instructions during a tactical exercise in a village near Ternopil, Ukraine. The camp has two purposes: to train children to defend their country _ and to spread nationalist ideology. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
In this July 27, 2018 photo, young participants of the
In this July 27, 2018 photo, young participants of the “Temper of will” summer camp, organized by the nationalist Svoboda party, gather in-between exercises in a village near Ternopil, Ukraine. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
In this July 28, 2018 photo, a young participant of the
In this July 28, 2018 photo, a young participant of the “Temper of will” summer camp, organized by the nationalist Svoboda party, uses his cellphone to call his parents in a village near Ternopil, Ukraine. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
In this July 28, 2018 photo, young participants of the
In this July 28, 2018 photo, young participants of the “Temper of will” summer camp, organized by the nationalist Svoboda party, hold a plank position before having dinner in a village near Ternopil, Ukraine. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
In this July 29, 2018 photo, instructor Georgiy Barylenko, left, holds a flashlight as he walks with a young participant of the
In this July 29, 2018 photo, instructor Georgiy Barylenko, left, holds a flashlight as he walks with a young participant of the “Temper of will” summer camp, organized by the nationalist Svoboda party, during a night drill in a village near Ternopil, Ukraine. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
In this July 29, 2018 photo, a young participant of the
In this July 29, 2018 photo, a young participant of the “Temper of will” summer camp, organized by the nationalist Svoboda party, takes position with her unloaded AK-47 riffle during a night exercise in a village near Ternopil, Ukraine. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

The camp has two purposes: to train children to defend their country and to spread nationalist ideology.

In this July 28, 2018 photo, young participants of the
In this July 28, 2018 photo, young participants of the “Temper of will” summer camp, organized by the nationalist Svoboda party, receive instructions in a village near Ternopil, Ukraine. The camp has two purposes: to train children to defend their country _ and to spread nationalist ideology. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
In this July 28, 2018 photo, a young participant of the
In this July 28, 2018 photo, a young participant of the “Temper of will” summer camp, organized by the nationalist Svoboda party, plays a guitar decorated with a sticker depicting bombs hitting a mosque, as others sing around a bonfire in a village near Ternopil, Ukraine. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
In this July 28, 2018 photo, a young participant of the
In this July 28, 2018 photo, a young participant of the “Temper of will” summer camp, organized by the nationalist Svoboda party, grabs his AK-47 during a tactical exercise in a village near Ternopil, Ukraine. “We never aim guns at people,” instructor Yuri “Chornota” Cherkashin tells campers. “But we don’t count separatists, little green men, occupiers from Moscow as people, so we can and should aim at them.” (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
In this July 29, 2018 photo, Mykhailo adjusts his AK-47 riffle after bathing in a river during the
In this July 29, 2018 photo, Mykhailo adjusts his AK-47 riffle after bathing in a river during the “Temper of will” summer camp, organized by the nationalist Svoboda party, in a village near Ternopil, Ukraine. At 18, he is the oldest of the campers. “Every moment things can go wrong in our country. And one has to be ready for it,” he said. “That’s why I came to this camp. To study how to protect myself and my loved ones.” (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
In this July 28, 2018 photo, Mykhailo, 18, center, leads other young participants of the
In this July 28, 2018 photo, Mykhailo, 18, center, leads other young participants of the “Temper of will” summer camp, organized by the nationalist Svoboda party, as they stand in formation singing nationalist songs in a village near Ternopil, Ukraine. Mykhailo is the oldest of the campers. “Every moment things can go wrong in our country. And one has to be ready for it,” he said. “That’s why I came to this camp. To study how to protect myself and my loved ones.” (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
In this July 29, 2018 photo, instructor Georgiy Barylenko, holds a flare as he instructs young participants of the
In this July 29, 2018 photo, instructor Georgiy Barylenko, holds a flare as he instructs young participants of the “Temper of will” summer camp, organized by the nationalist Svoboda party, during a night drill in a village near Ternopil, Ukraine. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

The nationalists have been accused of violence and racism, but they have played a central, volunteer role in Ukraine’s conflict with Russia — and they have maintained links with the government. Earlier this year, the 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.

Source: The Associated Press

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