Russia Opens ‘Military Disneyland’ to Instill Pride, Nationalism

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Russian President Vladimir Putin’s latest project, Patriot Park, has just opened–an amusement park designed to help boost patriotism as the country’s relations with the West continue to fall.

Translation: Patriot Park. International Military Forum Army-2015

Translation: Patriot Park in the suburbs. New facility for tourists and travelers.

There are no clowns, roller coasters, or character animals who roam the grounds. Instead, children “play with grenade launchers and clamber over heavy weaponry.”

Translation: Patriot Park opened.

Translation: The military asked people to shoot a grenade.

Putin officially opened the park in June along with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Putin told the crowd about new developments in the Russian military, including new tanks and 40 nuclear missiles. Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov insisted “that the west was ‘provoking an arms race’ with Russia.”

Translation: Patriot Park. Army 2015.

Putin ally Alexander Zaldostanov, leader of the biker gang Night Wolves, toured the park on opening day.

“When I look at all this stuff it makes me feel proud of Russia and realise that we have something to answer the Americans with,” he said, adding:

They wouldn’t dare to press the button. In Soviet times the army was a distant, faraway thing, but now we all feel closer to the army. The army is being romanticised and I see that as a good thing. If we don’t educate our own children then America will do it for us … like we have seen in Ukraine.

Translation: Today we visited Patriot Park! Powerful, nice, and neat!

The park romanticizes the army with different demonstrations of famous battles of the past. Visitors will witness displays of the power of the latest Russian equipment. Others can sign up to join the military and participate in training exercises.

“I think this park is a gift to Russian citizens, who can now behold the full power of the Russian armed forces,” said Russian Orthodox priest Sergei Privalov, adding:

Being here gives you a sense of internal self-sufficiency and makes you confident we can defend our territory. Children should come here, play with the weaponry and climb on the tanks and see all the most modern technology, which they would not have known about before.

Russian Vladmir Kryuchkov manned one of those stations. He showed spectators the systems control missiles and grenade launchers. He hopes his stand remains at the park because it could help influence young boys to join the army.

“Boys are geared towards the army from birth by genetics,” he explained. “All males of all ages are defenders of the motherland and they must be ready for war, whether war comes or not.”

Visitors can also purchase fun souvenirs such as “magnets depicting Putin, Joseph Stalin and Lavrenty Beria, one of Stalin’s most notorious henchmen.” Shops sell merchandise plastered with Putin’s face.

The park will cost the government almost $370 million when it is finished in 2017.