Vladimir Putin is preparing schoolchildren to fight on the frontline as the war in Ukraine rages on.

Pupils will take on military training in their last two school years in the hopes of having more trained recruits ready to send to the front lines, the Mirror reported.

This comes following reports that conscripted troops were being "sent to die" as they're shipped off to the frontline with just two weeks of training.

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Russia's Ministry of Defence First Deputy Minister Valery Gerasimov said: ”With the beginning of the special military operation this issue became especially acute.

“Even many volunteers do not have the necessary experience to participate in hostilities.

“The introduction of such a subject in schools will make it possible to systematically prepare citizens for a possible confrontation with the enemy.”

The pupils will do 140 hours of training which won't simply involve combat skills – first aid and communication skills will also be taught to help youngsters survive on the battlefield.

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However disturbing images have emerged showing schoolchildren holding assault rifles.

The development has fuelled fears that Russian officials are expecting the fight in Ukraine to last for years to come – and that a war may be launched against the West.

Reports claim that security officials in Russia are ordering and testing air-raid sirens and underground train stations are being turned into bunkers, further sparking worry.

A UK defence source said: “All of this has little practical use other than to turn this invasion into a 'people’s war' and encourage support on the home front.

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“Mass casualties from defending so-called loyalist areas in the east may garner sympathy, proving in some twisted way that Putin’s invasion was a righteous one.

“And all these supposed preparations for an attack on Russia, whilst ludicrous, offer a sense of alarm and make people believe there is a genuine threat from either Ukraine and or NATO.

“The Kremlin is operating in a truth vacuum and trying to con citizens into believing Russia’s war against Ukraine and possibly against the west eventually is a righteous defence against a threat.

“But there is no actual threat."

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