What a name: The Moscow Boarding School for National Pupils! It stands for an unusual type of school for girls in Russia’s capital. The cadet school is attended by girls who would otherwise be in grades 5 to 11. The school offers a very special variety of learning contents: in addition to regular classes, the girls learn the art of military drill, weapon expertise, military exercises and basic medical knowledge.

Of no less importance are ballet and sports, handicraft lessons and singing in a choir. Discipline and patriotic attitude are also highly rated. The main event of the year for the cadets is the Winter Ball. It is one of the rare opportunities to meet members of the opposite sex from the Moscow Boarding School for Cossack Cadets, and to use grace and charm to ensnare them.

The fact that both female and male cadets today are praised by the official bodies as ‘little protectors of the Russian fatherland’ is one of the reasons why Russian photographer Sergey Kozmin, born in Moscow in 1979, has addressed this topic.

Curriculum Vitae: Sergey Kozmin

Sergey Kozmin

I was born in Moscow in 1979.

I studied cinematography in the Russian University of Cinema but then my interest changed to photojournalism. I started work in Epsilon magazine, weekly supplement of the Greek newspaper Eleftherotypia. I made some reports in Russia and former republics of the Soviet Union, travelling to remote parts of Siberia Kalmykia and Uzbekistan.

In Moscow a large body of my work was about left and right youth movements, because it is the young people in Russia who are becoming more active politically and socially nowadays. In the Soviet Union there existed many children organizations, all the children members of the Pioneer Communist organization (similar to the scout movement but with more emphasis on communist ideology).

Today the authorities in Russia are concerned with the decline of patriotism and the Girl's military boarding school (which was the subject of my report) was created
during the Putin years to bring up patriotic youth.

Today I'm a freelance photographer and contributor with a German agency Focus Pictures, Hamburg.


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