BERLIN – German officials are criticizing plans announced by the Russian military to build a replica of Berlin's Parliament building as a target for teenagers to attack at a patriotic theme park near Moscow.
The Russian Defense Ministry said Wednesday the replica would give members of the Young Army, a program to teach schoolchildren military skills and encourage patriotism, the opportunity "to storm a specific location, not something abstract."
Government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer said Friday the plan was "surprising and speaks for itself."
"We wouldn't build something like that for the education of German youth," added Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer.
The Reichstag Parliament building was the scene of bitter fighting in 1945 between the Red Army and Nazi troops.
Images of Soviet soldiers hoisting their flag over the building are iconic.