July 15, 2015
Translated by Kristina Rus
Today Preobrazhensky regiment was visited by unusual guests. Ministry of Defence invited the children of the fallen Syrian soldiers.
The Preobrazhensky Regiment, was one of the oldest and elite regiments of the Imperial Russian Army, and in 2013 was recreated for the Russian Armed Forces. Along with the Semyonovsky Regiment, the Preobrazhensky Regiment also served as a gendarmerie unit for the state Secret Chancellery in the 18th century, headed by the Prince Fyodor Romodanovsky.
Syrian schoolchildren were acquainted with the service and lifestyle of the honorable guard and now they are on to vacation in Crimea.
Syrian schoolchildren watched the exercises of Preobrazhensky regiment. Special attention was paid to the demining group. For many years of war they are familiar with the consequences of explosions.
This is their second day in Russia, and they are shown the most interesting things.
“I want to get to know the Russian people and their traditions.”
15 kids are all children of Syrian military, who died on duty. Now they live and study at a specialized boarding school in Damask. Ilya Skhalaly is from a Christian town of Maaloula, which suffered a lot. He tries to visit his native town despite the danger. In a year his is graduating and wants to continue his studies in Russia. He wants to pursue the aviation career.
“I am grateful to Russia for this opportunity to visit and get to know the Russian culture. To learn about the history of Russia, the Russian army, the history of Preobrazhensky regiment, traditions of military culture.”
To show the atmosphere of life at the Preobrazhensky regiment, the kids were taken on a tour of the barracks and fed in the soldier’s cafeteria.
During the tour the kids were shown the entire line up of military uniforms of Preobrazhensky regiment from the imperial to our times.
In memory of their visit the kids presented a scarf of a Syrian flag and a coin with a symbol of the armed forces.
The idea to invite the children of the fallen Syrian soldiers first appeared during a visit of Russian politicians to Syria. This is their second trip.
“We held a contest of drawings, where kids drew war and peace as they understand it, and the winners of this contest came with this delegation. Yesterday we visited memorial events in the Moscow region.”
Tomorrow the kids are going to Crimea, where they will have a chance to mingle with other Russian kids in a youth camp.
Together with the Russian veterans from the “Battle brotherhood” a group of Syrian students was brought for vacation in Russia – students of boarding schools for the children of fallen Syrian soldiers.
However, a vacation is not quite the right word. More precisely, the Syrians not only relax but also study, including the Russian language, meet their peers from Russia and Novorossia. And overcome difficulties, as after a visit to Moscow, they came for a week to the camp-forum of “Battle brotherhood” in Crimea. Now, three days later, our Syrians are quite at home with camping amenities, participate in games and training, learn to swim, and also took first place in the contest with an electric national dance. Now they are collectively asking for shifts in the kitchen from which they initially wanted to be exempt))).
One of the guys said yesterday confidentially: “Now I understand why Russians always win.”
The main thing we wanted from this trip was achieved: the Syrians are spending time with our kids. And those who came from Novorossia just took them under their wing. It is clear that they understand each other: when they watched a video edited by the kids about the events in Donbass, Syrian girls were crying, and the boys were close to it.
They communicate in English, but also Russian, which they started to learn at school and at camp, I hope, will soon be in use.
We will keep you posted about this trip. Next week, combined teams from Syria and Novorossiya we will go to Sevastopol.