Russia's defense minister says a replica of the German Reichstag will be built at a military-theme park outside Moscow so that young cadets can emulate their Red Army forebears who seized the iconic building in the 1945 Soviet offensive on Nazi Berlin.
Sergei Shoigu said on February 22 that the ministry would build the scaled model at Patriot Park, which the Russian military opened west of Moscow in 2015 in order to "foster civic education, create an attractive image of the armed forces, and develop a feeling of love and respect for the Motherland."
"Not full-size. So that our young cadets can storm a specific building," he was quoted by the state-run TASS news agency as telling federal lawmakers in Moscow, referring to members of a military youth group founded in 2015 under his ministry.
Shoigu denied in September that the organization was aimed at "militarizing the country."
The Soviet Red Army's 756th regiment was the first to seize the Reichstag building in 1945 during the Battle of Berlin.
A staged photograph of Soviet soldiers raising the hammer-and-sickle flag above the building after it was seized remains one of the most iconic photographs to emerge from World War II, known in Russia as the Great Patriotic War.
Under President Vladimir Putin, Russia has prioritized military modernization and supported youth-cadet movements.
With reporting by TASS and Izvestia