‘Heavily Compromised’ Nashi May Be Disbanded

Vasily Yakemenko. Source: Nashi.ruThe radical pro-Kremlin youth group Nashi may be liquidated following an announcement by its founder Vasily Yakemenko, who reportedly told a meeting of the group’s leadership that the history of the group in its current form is over, Gazeta.ru reported on April 6.

According to a source close to Yakemenko, “Vasily announced that the structure of the Nashi movement is being disbanded and that he says ‘thank you to everyone, you’re all free to go,’ and that something will be formed later but for now nobody knows what it’s going to be.”

Yakemenko allegedly explained his decision as the result of the fact that “the movement was heavily compromised before the elections and there’s no point in continuing it in this form.”

One source said that in Nashi’s place there will be a different organization to be headed by Artur Omarov, former head of the Stal movement. Stal was the group responsible for a controversial display of Russian opposition figures juxtaposed with Nazi symbolism at a Nashi summer camp in 2010.

Sources close to Yakemenko in Russia’s youth affairs agency, Rosmolodezh, told Gazeta.ru that there was talk of either a total freeze on the Nashi project and a cessation of funding or possible restructuring of the movement. The sources agreed that Nashi’s brand image will be cast aside and did not rule out the possibility that a political group based on the movement might be formed.

A public announcement of this decision is expected to be made in about two weeks.

Another source added that Nashi employees are concerned that they may not be paid for pre-electoral projects that have already been completed: “The organization’s equipment might be inherited by Vasily Grigorievich’s [Yakemenko’s – ed.] new organizations, but the organization’s debt won’t be taken up by anyone.”

Gazeta.ru had previously reported that Yakemenko might step down as the head of Rosmolodezh since his influence has drastically fallen with the recent reassignment of Kremlin ideologue Vladislav Surkov.