Mars der Tevredenen

garde1.jpgTsja, nu mag de Jonge Garde dus een Марш согласияe houden op het Poesjkinplein zaterdag. Weer een vertaalopdracht. Mars der Tevredenen? Mars der Conformisten? Enfin, zij mogen dus wel betogen, de Ontevredenen van Kasparov niet.

Wie zijn dat, de Jonge Garde? De jeugdbeweging van Kremlinpartij ’Verenigd Rusland’.  Alexander verwijt me dat ik een link leg tussen deze jeugbeweging en de Stalinistische Jonge Garde, bekend om hun strijdkreet: Кровь за кровь! Смерть за смерть! (Bloed voor bloed! Dood voor dood!) Maar het is toch juist de bedoeling dat we ze associëren met de jonge helden van Loegansk?  ’Ik zweer dat ik zonder vragen elk bevel van een oudere kameraad zal uitvoeren’  

garde2.jpgDe Jonge Garde treedt minder op de voorgrond dan Nasji met zijn paranoïa-light en dure stunts. Toch zag ik de Jonge Garde in december veel agressiever optreden bij de eerste Mars der Ontevredenen van Kasparov. Ze verstoorde die met Bengaals vuur, spandoeken en Russische vlaggen. De politie moest ze van het dak halen, waarbij de radicale jeugd van Kasparov tot hun schande applaudiseerde!

Onder de vouw heb ik een interview met de leider van de Jonge Garde uit Argumenti i Fakti gepakt, overgenomen van de Johnson List. De heer Ivan Demidov geeft de bekende ‘we willen onze eigen, souvereine democratie’-riedel en bevestigt dat zijn jongens zich bewapenen want ‘op straat spelen ze geen schaak’. Vrienden van het Kremlin hebben nu dus al vier bewapende jeugdbendes op straat gebracht: Nasji, Jonge Garde, Mestnije, Eurasiatische Jeugd … Nu maar hopen dat ze zich beperken tot kerstmannetje spelen.

Argumenty i Fakty
No. 15
April 11, 2007
An interview with pro-Kremlin youth movement leader Ivan Demidov
Author: Sergei Osipov
[Ivan Demidov: "Fifteen years from now, the young people who are
starting their political careers in Young Guard or Our Own will be
at the helm of state. And they won't have to spend time reaching
agreement with each other, because they will have reached
agreement on everything in their younger days."]

Continuing our series of articles about Russia’s youth
movements, we present an interview with Ivan Demidov, leader of
Young Guard (Molodaya Gvardiya) - the youth wing of the United
Russia party.
Question: United Russia is the largest party in Russia, and
Young Guard is something like its Komsomol [Communist Youth
League]. As everyone knows, United Russia is managed by the
Kremlin. But who manages Young Guard?
Ivan Demidov: We are managed by the party. On the other hand,
both United Russia and Young Guard have very close contacts with
the political part of the presidential administration. Our
activists meet regularly with Vladislav Yurievich Surkov. Not
every week, of course, but fairly often.
Question: Does the presidential administration tell you what
to do?
Ivan Demidov: Its wishes can be summed up in a few phrases:
provide assistance to talented young people, use your heads, and
play an active role in politics. So the Kremlin doesn’t tell us
who our friends or enemies are. We can figure that out for
Question: Speaking of friends… there’s your Young Guard,
and Our Own (Nashi), and the Locals (Mestnye), and the Eurasian
Youth. You’re all patriots, you’re all pro-Kremlin, you’re all
anti-American. Isn’t this field getting crowded?
Ivan Demidov: What’s so bad about several youth movements
holding similar views? Fifteen years from now, the young people
who are starting their political careers in Young Guard or Our Own
will be at the helm of state. And they won’t have to spend time
reaching agreement with each other, because they will have reached
agreement on everything in their younger days.
Question: And who are your enemies?
Ivan Demidov: The two branches of the opposition outside the
system. On one side: the National Bolshevik Party, the ultra-
nationalists, the skinheads, the neo-Nazis. On the other side: the
Other Russia, Garry Kasparov’s supporters, Mikhail Kasyanov’s
supporters - the conglomerate of petty liberal organizations with
their standard assortment of “common human values” and “human
Question: What have you got against those “values and
Ivan Demidov: Remember what it was like in the 1990s. Russia
wholeheartedly opened its doors to those Western values. We
sincerely believed that those liberties would make our dreams come
true. And where did this lead? Private property rights turned into
impoverishment for entire cities, while a small minority of “new
Russians” got rich. The right to free speech turned into
television wars between a few oligarchs.
That kind of democracy proved to be no better than the Soviet
system. So these days we’re working together to find some new kind
of democracy, which Surkov has described as “sovereign democracy.”
Question: Rumor has it that the Kremlin has advised you to
form a militant wing.
Ivan Demidov: If you’re going to participate in street
politics these days, you have to be able to defend yourself. Young
Guard, like other youth organizations, has many members who are
involved in various sports and sporting clubs. Obviously, they
don’t just play chess there. But we’re not setting up any militant
organizations. Then again, if our guys who keep the peace at
demonstrations decide to organize themselves at the local level,
I’d have no objections to that.
Question: Young people do tend to be rebels, if only because
of their age. But you’re positioning your organization as an
elevator: jump in now, and if you work well, ten years later
you’ll emerge at a senior level in state administration. Is Young
Guard a movement for young conformists?
Ivan Demidov: Of course not! We’re a fairly oppositional
organization. Young Guard’s demonstrations are often aimed against
local authorities. By the way, we have 60-70,000 members.
Question: But local authorities are usually controlled by
United Russia as well. Doesn’t this give your organization a split
Ivan Demidov: No. Membership of the party doesn’t let anyone
off the hook. Besides, when we march in the streets we’re not
criticizing our party comrades, but holders of state office. I
assure you, there’s no need to start riots in order to make local
authorities attend to their direct responsibilities: roads, water
supplies, heating supplies. Besides, most young people take a
rather pragmatic view of things these days. The young people of
today prioritize education, careers, and families. So our
“elevator” is largely a response to public demand.
Translated by Elena Leonova