Throughout the last decade, the Belarusian authorities have managed to restore and develop a system of military training and military education which in many ways can be seen as a continuation of the Soviet tradition.
In fact, this system is rather typical of militaristic societies which require outstanding operating proficiency, appropriate ideological orientation and mobilisation against external as well as internal enemies.
The system of military education is made up of several levels, including pre-draft training, specialised military secondary education, military education at civilian higher educational institutions as well as specialised military education at higher military educational institutions.
Importantly, the system exceeds the needs and expectations of today’s Belarusian society and instead serves the interests of the incumbent regime, which uses the military education system for obtrusive propaganda and as an ideological influence on students and military cadets at all stages of the education system. Undoubtedly, under the conditions in which the Belarusian society has become intensely digitally connected, ideologization and propaganda have not brought the desired results. Nevertheless, this process continues to play an important role in ensuring political loyalty among security, defence and law enforcement personnel.
Moreover, the Belarusian Armed Forces play a vital political role in ensuring the stability of the authoritarian system and is one of the main pillars of the Lukashenko regime.
In general, the system is built in such a way as to nurture certain political and ideological dispositions in citizens.
Adherence to the old Soviet methods and attitudes as well as maintaining close ties with the Russian military educational system underpin the structure, content and ideological substance of the Belarusian military educational system (this does not refer to technical military skills). Therefore, military personnel involved in military education have a highly Russified and Sovietised mindset and worldview.
That said, it is important to note that the Belarusian authorities have made some attempts to arrange their own, autonomous training of military technical staff and senior officers in order to limit Belarusian dependence on the Russian Federation. This task is fulfilled by a number of civilian higher educational institutions that have so-called ‘military faculties’ as well as specialised military education institutions such as the Military Academy and Border Guard Service Institute. Nevertheless, Russia remains the main basis for specialised military education offered to Belarusian officers.
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Материал доступен на русском языке: Военное образование в Беларуси