Nashi


Nashi
   Political movement. Known in Russian as Molodezhnoie demokraticheskoie antifashistskoie dvizheniieNashi,” the Youth Democratic Anti-Fascist Movement “Ours!” is a government-funded youth movement established at the behest of senior members of the Putin administration. Modeled on the Soviet-era Komsomol youth organization, the group’s membership, aged between 17 and 25, numbers in excess of 100,000.
   Nashi grew out of the “Walking Together” movement, which was established in 2000 as a post-Soviet version of the Komsomol’s Young Pioneer movement. Reacting to Ukraine’s Orange Revolution, the group’s founder, Vasily Yakemenko, envisaged Nashi as a bulwark against any youth-led color revolution in Russia. While its origins were influenced by the threat of Western influence in Russia’s domestic affairs, Nashi is equally opposed to pro-Nazi and right-wing groups like the National Bolsheviks, which it labels “enemies of the state.” Despite its vociferous denunciation of fascism, many internal and foreign commentators have expressed concern that Nashi is itself a proto-fascist organization abetting a personality cult for Putin, hence the pejorative nickname, the Putinjugend (“Putin Youth”). Nashi members have engaged in street battles with their political enemies on a number of occasions; members gain military training during Nashi’s annual summer camps, which also serve to indoctrinate new recruits to the group’s statist ideology. The group has also made its presence felt in international affairs, particularly during the 2007 Estonian Cyberwar. Since 2007, the threat of a color revolution in Russia has abated, resulting in the Kremlin’s decision to scale down its support of the group in favor of consolidation of political power via United Russia. Many of Nashi’s older members have moved on to government positions in the Dmitry Medvyedev administration or the State Duma.
   See also Neo-fascism.

Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation. . 2010.

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