Scenarios youth policy
The development of the relations of the protest of the Russian youth power can go in three different scenarios, according to the study “Generation Y and Generation Z finding their own places under the Sun” Fund “the Petersburg policy” (have). The authors of the report relied on the work of sociologists, research consulting companies and materials of the discussion “Generation Z: political attitudes and values”, which took place April 7 at the Sakharov center.
The scientists timed the report to the rallies that took place on 26 March in the Russian cities. Their creation was initiated by the politician Alexey Navalny, most of the activities took place under the anti-corruption slogans. Experts and participants of the meeting noted that among the protesters there were a lot of teenagers. This is confirmed by the estimates of the “OVD-info”, according to one of the coordinators of the project Alla Frolova, 7% of detainees — 75 of 1043 — were minors. “These are unprecedented numbers,” she said .
The reason for Navalny rallies on 26 March was the lack of reaction to his film-investigation about the possession of the Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. The protests were coordinated in only 24 cities out of a hundred declared. Navalny announced another protest rally on June 12: this day is celebrated the Day of Russia.
In the first scenario, members of generations Y (born in 1980-e and 1990-e years), and Z (the generation of the 2000s) are looking for contacts with the seniors, and that gives both generations the opportunity to negotiate, said the President of “Petersburg politics” Mikhail Vinogradov. If this “romantic” scenario comes true, the authorities will have to take “more serious and not the usual symbolic actions” like youth forums and Patriotic concerts. Will have to abandon ideological courses in schools and universities, restrictions in social networks, and encourage self-expression of youth “to offer on the streets below on creative and energy-political action was comparable to the political ones,” explained Vinogradov.
Under the second scenario, if the government will make appropriate efforts, young people are easily distracted from the claimed Navalny’s anti-corruption agenda. “The ideologues in the government will try to divide the youth. There are always mass points at a pressure which can force this integrity to disintegrate. For example, to try to provoke a conflict between generations Y and Z,” — said Vinogradov.
Photo: Sergey Savostyanov / TASS
The Kremlin will choose which of the two scenarios will use a closer by the summer of 2017, says the analyst. “The first scenario is logical from the point of view of the desire to build some positive agenda. But you need to overcome the shortage of persons able to create expectations of romance around yourself,” he said. The second scenario, he said, for the authorities intuitively closer, but he questioned the strategy of “70 to 70” (the Kremlin’s plan to ensure 70 percent support Putin in the election with 70% turnout). With the failure of the scenario there are risks, “deep inter-generational divide,” says the analyst.
There is a third scenario — “destructive”. According to him, Russian youth can be the generation that were not successful nor socialization, nor in search of work. “In this sense, the Russian youth can be the generation that will come to a standstill, and then the government, realizing its weakness, will not spend efforts in order to agree with her,” — said the expert.
Authorities at the fork
Chairman of the state Duma Vyacheslav Volodin, in early April announced the meeting in the state Duma in mid-may, devoted to youth policy. There will be defined methods of work with protest youth, suggested in a conversation with the Director of the Center for youth studies Elena Omelchenko. The scenario of “Petersburg policy” is unlikely to fall in the agenda of the meeting, said Omelchenko. “It is important what opinion will prevail — panic or adequate. If panic will prevail, it [the government] will implement mobilization through Patriotic education”, — said the expert.
If they win the supporters “more appropriate” youth policy, the government will focus on festivals of subcultures and the development of quests with Patriotic bias, suggested Omelchenko. “But the teenagers who grew up in social networks, used to obtain answers to their queries. And now they want the answer to why around lies and injustice,” she said.
“The authorities are much harder to negotiate with the teenagers than with the older generation, because she doesn’t know what they want,” said commentator Boris Grozovsky. He agreed with the mayor that at the end of March pupils and students came to the rally against corruption, but in reality they were protesting against injustice and restrictions of freedom.
“They should be allowed to read and watch what they want,” said Grozovsky. He disagreed with the fact that the modern Russian youth is “lost generation”. “They [teenagers] will still create the problem of power, but I think not now, but in the long term,” he predicted.
The contract does not
Youth will continue to enter the area until the authorities seriously begin to fight injustice and corruption, political analyst Nikolay Mironov. “Youth protest is not positive attitudes, they are not “for something”, they are against Putin. On the streets, adolescents who see that they have no money, a bright future waiting naive and nothing is going to change,” he said in an interview with .
Mironov’s opinion, the authorities will not be able to “brush off” from a protest of young Russians. “They don’t want [the system] the opposition, which then agrees with the Kremlin, then don’t agree and not ready for serious action,” he said.
From the government’s youth policy has been the Federal Agency for youth Affairs, which is supervised by the Ministry of education, and the Kremlin is responsible for this direction of the Deputy chief of Department of internal policy Timur Prokopenko. Earlier he was the head of “Young guard of “United Russia”.
In 2015, the Federal Agency for youth Affairs announced that it is developing a large-scale Federal target program “Youth of Russia”, the volume of which is estimated at 2.5–4 billion rubles the Previous Federal targeted programmes in the sphere of youth policy adopted in 2000. It ended in 2005, three years before the creation of the Federal Agency for youth Affairs.
Participants of the rally on Pushkin square on March 26
Photo: Anton Sergienko /
After the March meetings work with young people interested in the Duma. In early April, deputies from several factions have prepared a draft law “On the Patriotic education in the Russian Federation”. According to the document the main element of Patriotic education should be the honoring of national traditions, to perpetuate the memory of soldiers and respect for military service.