Never Trust [Name] Youth Movement

I have had sort of half an eye out toward news reports relating to the disturbing formation of a consolidated “Youth Movement” around Vladmir Putin. This blogger brings me to this.
To Nashi, young people are neither the lost generation of the turbulent 1990s nor the soulless consumerists of Generation P (for Pepsi) imagined by the writer Viktor Pelevin in 2000. They are, as Nashi’s own glossy literature says, “Putin’s Generation.”

“Why Putin’s generation?” Nashi’s national spokeswoman, Anastasia Suslova, asked at the group’s headquarters. “It is because Putin has qualitatively changed Russia. He brought stability and the opportunity for modernization and development of the country.” […]

Nashi’s platform is defined by its unwavering devotion to Putin and by the intensity of its hostility toward his critics, including his former prime minister, Mikhail Kasyanov, the former chess champion Garry Kasparov and a nationalist writer, Eduard Limonov. Nashi’s members denounce the opposition leaders as fascists with a fervor that can be disquieting.

One of Kuliyeva’s applicants to Nashi’s summer camp – two weeks of sports and ideological lessons beside Lake Seliger outside Moscow – noted that in Russian the first two letters of each man’s name spelled out the past tense of the verb to defecate.

[…] Although Kremlin officials have tried to portray the groups as independent players, Nashi and the others owe their financing and political support to their status as creations of Putin’s administration. They are allowed to hold marches, while demonstrations by the opposition are prohibited or curtailed. Their activities are covered favorably on state television, while the opposition’s are disparaged or ignored.

More ominously, opponents say, Nashi has conducted paramilitary training in preparation for challenging those who take to the streets to protest the Kremlin. Ilya Yashin, the leader of the youth wing of Yabloko, the liberal political party, said the goal was “direct intimidation of opposition activists,” citing an attack attributed to Nashi supporters against the headquarters of the banned National Bolshevik Party, led by Limonov.

No. I’ve got nothing.

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