Kristen Joy Watta, Lens
They prepare for classes and make their beds together, gently setting a teddy bear and a stuffed crocodile on pillows. They look intently at themselves as they fix oversize white bows, meant to symbolize purity, in their hair.
And they wear gas masks for training drills.
They are “the Little Spies of Putin” — or at least that’s what a French publication called them in a piece that inspired the photographer Sergey Kozmin to document them for his series “Girl Soldiers.”
They can “strip down an AK-47 Kalashnikov in the time it takes most kids to send an S.M.S.,” Mr. Kozmin said.
The young students attend the Moscow Female Cadet Boarding School No. 9 — which Mr. Kozmin calls “one of the elite military academies in Russia.” It is a state school, free to all who attend, though the competition to be admitted is intense.