It seems the Nashi (translated as Ours, “Our Kind”), a Russian youth group, must finally suffer the consequences of its aggressive behaviour.
Recently the Estonian Government issued an “immigration black list” targeted primarily at Nashi members. The ban not only impedes entry into Estonia, but the majority of Europe also, thanks to Estonia’s recent induction into the Schengen visa free area. That agreement effectively removes most border regulations between Estonia and the member states within the European Union.
This obviously poses quite an obstacle for those on the list, which amounts to approximately 2000 individuals.
“They are not admitting activists who are voicing their civic positions,” said Mariana Skvortsova, a member of the Nashi leadership, as she and some 300 Nashi protested outside the European Commission’s office in Moscow dressed in Soviet WWII uniforms.
If only their reputation wasn’t questionable.
The Nashi youth group was founded in March of 2005 as an independent democratic anti-fascist movement intended for youth ages 17 to 25. By 2007 membership was 120,000 strong.
The organization is officially funded by pro-government benefactors from the private sector. But on more than one occasion allegations containing the words “Kremlin” and “subsidies” have arisen. The government aid comes as no surprise. President Vladimir Putin and his top advisors have met with Nashi Commissars (leaders) and spoken at larger assemblies as well.
Many go as far as to draw comparisons to the Hitler Youth of the late 1930’s, and are right in doing so.
Nashi hold a two-week training camp 200 miles annually outside Moscow. The camp is attended by 10,000 “ideologically appropriate young men and women” who, alongside attending lectures, completing rigorous physical training and participating in a variety of other activities, are encouraged to procreate for the benefit of “the Motherland.” They are provided a designated area for sex entitled “Love Oasis;” no condoms are supplied.
One Kremlin advisor went as far as to tell Nashi youths attending the camp they “lacked brutality”, that they “must be prepared”, he went on, “to break up fascist demonstrations and prevent with any force attempts to overthrow the constitution.”
With a growing reputation of recruiting ruffians and even skinheads for intimidation purposes, it does not seem farfetched for some analysts to state that the Nashi’s “true function was as a personality cult for Putin, whose job was to intimidate, bully and harass his opponents.”
That statement certainly rings true considering the Nashi -among others - have been accused of initiating the violent riots and looting during the relocation of a prominent Soviet war memorial in Tallinn this past April. The aftermath left one dead, dozens injured and millions of dollars in damages.
The Nashi furthered their reputation as aggressive agitators with their barricading of the Estonian Embassy in Moscow during the conflict. The embassy was forced to close due to the security threat they posed.
As if that wasn’t enough, Konstantin Goloskokov, a Nashi member, accepted responsibility for perpetuating the infamous cyber attacks which crippled the Estonian government, new agencies, communication companies and banks.
The frustration of Nashi is understandable. With a western understanding one might even experience an instant of empathy towards them while they levy for their rights to travel through Western Europe, a region they despise. Only an instant, mind you. It seems the Nashi will not cease to supply us with ample amounts of rhetoric and jargon with regard to their ideology and beliefs. They will continue their fight against fascism, even as Putin’s power continues to manifest itself and grow, and defend “democracy” to the bitter end (the recent Russian elections need not be mentioned). As the old Estonian saying goes: oma vitsad peksavad.
What is Ours is not Yours (1)