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Università di Bologna  
 
Monday December 06, 2021
 
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East, rivista internazionale di geopolitica
 
European Regional Master's Degree in Democracy and Human Rights in South East Europe
 

Molodaya Gvardiya: The Young Guard of Russia's elite

In this paper, I will try to describe the main characteristics of a new player on the Russian political chessboard, the youth movement Molodaya Gvardiya ("Young Guard"). Political youth organisations have gained more attention in Russia after a youth movement, Pora ("It's time"), played an important role during the Ukrainian "orange revolution". A number of pro-presidential and opposition youth organisations appeared in early 2005, with Nashi ("Ours") and Oborona ("Defence") being respectively the most famous results.
 
But already in late 2005, it was clear that the opposition had not any chance to gather enough support to become a destabilising factor, while Nashi, thanks also to the support it obtained by the presidential administration and consequent massive financing, had not only established local branches in most of Russia's regions, but already staged some of the biggest demonstrations Moscow has seen since the collapse of the Soviet Union. By all evidence, at this point, leaders of Russia's main party and PR experts supporting president Putin, started to feel the need for something qualitatively different.
 
Not simply a mass youth movement strong enough to defend the Kremlin in case of unlikely massive demonstrations staged by the opposition, but a youth organisation capable of bridging the evident generational gap (social, ideological and political) that present day Russia inherited from the 1990s; a unitary movement, less dogmatic in its ideology but faithful to the governmental line; a group of people interested in promoting a coherent and unifying "national idea" and caring about its country; and crucially, a network of people coming from all regions of Russia willing to be involved in politics, and ready to become the cadres of a new Russia.

Paper's framework

  • Introduction
  • Where does Molodaya Gvardiya come from?
  • What is Molodaya Gvardiya's main asset?
  • What are Molodaya Gvardiya's ideals and aims?
  • Some final considerations
  • Bibliography
  • Internet Resources
 

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