Originally posted at 18:15.
MOSCOW, September 18 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s top defense official has announced plans for a smorgasbord of patriotic projects designed to boost the Russian people’s love for their nation through film, music and museums, Vedomosti newspaper reported this week.
First up is a state-supported movie production company, which will produce patriotic feature films, animated movies and documentaries, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu was cited by the daily as saying at the ministry’s public council meeting Tuesday.
“The main task is to return to the roots of our history and patriotic upbringing,” Shoigu said.
An unnamed defense official said it’s still too early to estimate the cost of the project, but that the company will be an offshoot of an existing Russian film studio and receive financing from Zvezda, the Russian Armed Forces broadcasting company, Vedomosti reported.
Shoigu was also cited as saying that the Defense Ministry will begin to publish collections of patriotic songs on a regular basis, and that the first disc is already ready.
Last but not least, the ministry will sponsor the creation of a “large patriotic park” in Kubinka, a town in the Moscow Region to the west of the capital, the newspaper reported.
The park will house three museums – staffed by retired army officers – dedicated to aviation, tanks and artillery, Shoigu was cited as saying, and will be “a major project where people will actually be allowed not just to watch, but also to ride, fly, shoot, parachute jump and much more.”
Aerobatic teams will be based in Kubinka, and a tank stunt team is currently being formed and trained, he said, adding that the park’s basic design should be worked out by November.
It was not clear from Shoigu’s comments how the park construction plans would affect the tank museum that already exists in Kubinka.
The Defense Ministry is also in the midst of sponsoring a nationwide movie script competition running from May 9 to November 15 this year. Contestants can write or create their own patriotic movies – which must be themed on the Russian military – to compete for a 400,000 ruble ($12,000) prize in each of four competition categories.
Though the majority of Russians still consider themselves patriotic, their number has been declining over the last several years. Eighty percent of Russians said they were patriots in a December 2012 poll by state-run surveyor VTsIOM, compared with 88 percent back in 2008.
Updated to clarify that Shoigu's comments were originally reported in Vedomosti.
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