Putin’s Militant Youth

Maksim Mischenko, leader of the “Young Russia” movement, is assuming authority to combat the Other Russia. This he announced this on October 3rd, during an appearance at a rally in Moscow of the pro-Kremlin movement, “Everything is Going as Planned!”

“We are fighting with a dragon. The dragon wants to tear up the country from the inside out. This way he’ll have lots of sustenance – oil and blood. This dragon isn’t growing by the day, but by the hour. His name – “The Other Russia.” I am assuming authority to defeat him. Consider this my pre-electoral program!”

The meeting had about five thousand participants, who came from nearly all of Moscow’s neighborhoods as well as the outlying cities. Most were schoolchildren.

The “young guardsmen” of one Moscow region, Yuzhnoe Butovo, told press that they were taken out of classes to attend the demonstration. Movement leaders from the Izmailovo neighborhood of Moscow announced that they had come to the meeting of their own free will, although they were hard pressed to explain what “Putin’s Plan” really means.

“Putin’s Plan” was a name first introduced in May 2007 by Boris Gryzlov, leader of the United Russia party. The party uses the term to refers to its strategic development plan for Russia, as laid out in Putin’s messages to the United Russia Federal Congress. Though highly hyped, and discussed widely in public, few party leaders have elaborated on specific policies or directions that the plan contains.

Kremlin youth movements have harassed and intimidated opposition activists in the past under the open protection of the government. Nashi (read more here, and here) in particular, has used violence against many opposition protest marches and movements.