As a few of us discovered yesterday, the website for the pro-Kremlin youth organization Nashi is blocked for users with non-Russian IP addresses. Entering www.nashi.su into your favorite browser will turn up a “403 Forbidden” error. I’ve had limited success getting around this block using Russian proxy servers. While it happens that some websites and blogs are blocked by some countries (as Nathan Hamm at Registan.net recently discovered), I assume it seems less common that a site will block access to readers outside the host country.
Then again, one wonders if the problem has deeper meaning. According to a report from February a number of Russian nationalist sites have been blocked by the authorities. Hackers have retaliated with targeting pro-Kremlin sites.
The websites might also be out of service because of hackers’ back-to-back attacks on behalf of the nationalist and anti-fascist movements in
. Websites of the youth Nashi and Molodaia Gvardiia movements had also been out of service for some time. Russia
At the moment the Molodaia Gvardiia site is accessible and working. This brings me to believe that Nashi has blocked access to their own site. Kinda gives a whole new meaning to “Our own.”
If anyone has any additional information or theories, please pass them along.
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By Sean — 11 years ago
Nashi has officially hit the American mainstream. On Sunday the NY Times published an expose of the youth organization. Unfortunately, the article doesn’t say anything that hasn’t already been said before. In fact it is clear that the media has nothing new to add to what Nashi is except for repeating the fact that it is a Kremlin tool. I would figure that this is quite obvious. I’m more interested in how the organization actually functions on the ground. That said, I think the best statement was from Yabloko youth leader, Ilya Yashin. He told the Times,
“The authorities may face serious problems because all the young people whom they teach today, in whom they invest, whom they teach to organize mass actions, may find themselves in the real opposition when they see that their interests are violated. Today they are loyal, but tomorrow they may become the opposition. And this may not be the young Red Guard’s Cultural Revolution, like in China, but something much more serious.”
I think he is right on. Such is the dilemma of arousing and then having the audacity to think you can actually control populism.
But what really struck me is how the article opened. It reads:
Yulia Kuliyeva, only 19 and already a commissar, sat at a desk and quizzed each young person who sat opposite her, testing for ideological fitness to participate in summer camp.
“Tell me, what achievements of Putin’s policy can you name?” she asked, referring to Russia’s president since 2000, Vladimir V. Putin.
“Well, it’s the stabilization in the economy,” the girl answered. “Pensions were raised.”
“And what’s in Chechnya?” Ms. Kuliyeva asked, probing her knowledge of a separatist conflict that has killed tens of thousands and, although largely won by Russia’s federal forces and Chechen loyalists, continues.
“In Chechnya, it’s that it is considered a part of Russia,” the girl responded.
“Is this war still going on there?”
“No, everything is quiet.”
Ms. Kuliyeva is a leader in the Ideological Department of Nashi, the largest of a handful of youth movements created by Mr. Putin’s Kremlin to fight for the hearts and minds of Russia’s young people in schools, on the airwaves and, if necessary, on the streets.
I sure wish the Times would have questioned this obvious charade. I doubt your average Nashi member has such ideological prowess. In fact, Kuliyeva’s question and answer session reminded me of a document I found in the Komsomol archive. Such ideological questioning was common in Komsomol admissions and expulsion trials. Mine comes from an expulsion trial. I believe it is probably more indicative of not only your average Komsomol member at the time but also even symbolic of your average Nashi member’s ideological awareness.
The document dates from 1926. On trial was one Klishin, born in 1904, an unemployed peasant, and joined the Komsomol in 1923. Klishin was also charged with neglecting his studies, playing ill to get out of them, and for “rowdiness and drunkenness.” Here is what the Moscow Raikom expulsion commission asked Klishin to determine his guilt:
Were you drunk in the washroom?
What kind of work did you do in the Komsomol since 1923?
I was a member of the cell bureau.
What did you do as a bureau member and what was your responsibilities?
They didn’t give me any responsibilities.
What else did you do?
I did literary work, gave reports on Komsomol activism.
How do you express your Komsomol activism?
I encourage worker youth to join the League.
When was the 14th Party Congress?
I don’t know.
Which Party Congress was in 1925?
What is KIM (Communist Youth International)?
Dictatorship of Komsomol.
What newspapers do you read?
I read but I haven’t for a month.
Who is Stalin?
I don’t know.
The last one was the ringer. To say the least, Klishin was expelled from the Komsomol. I wonder is Nashi has its own expulsion process to deal with their riffraff.
By Sean — 12 years ago
Kommersant reports that Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov made a trip to
. Apparently Kadyrov was so impressed that he invited Nashi to set up shop in Camp Nashi . Chechnya
Kadyrov took a tour of the camp, beginning with the central alley called
Sovereign Democracy Avenue. Then he saw an imitation of Eternal Fire monument, and Yakemenko reminded him that the slogan “ for Russians” might lead to a civil war. Russia
Kadyrov met some Chechen young people among Nashi activists. He hugged them and talked Chechen to them, and his only words in Russian were “We [Chechens] have fallen behind. Now we should become first.”
Then Kadyrov’s attention was diverted to some tents with banners “Our Army”, where Nashi activists are trained for fighting against the humiliating treatment of juniors in Russian armed forces. While Nashi activists were admiring Kadyrov’s Hermes shoes, a frightened man showed from the tent asking not to enter yet.
Kadyrov went on in the meantime, noticing a tent on the outskirts of the camp with the banner saying
. “Ethnic” ghetto of young Uzbek activists suddenly gave an idea to Kadyrov—that Nashi camp should be organized in Tashkent as well. Chechnya
Then Kadyrov was invited back to “Our Army” tents to watch a theatrical show. Around ten young men clad in military uniform simulated troop movements, crawling in the dust, lighting land pots and dragging gun dummies behind them. Kadyrov praised the show and began taking photographs with Nashi activists.
Will Chechen youths be attending any lectures on the “Ideology of Ramzan Kadyrov” anytime soon?
By Sean — 8 years ago
I’ve been going through Komsomolskaya pravda for 1928 collecting articles on whatever I find interesting. And there’s a lot–1928 was a tumultuous year. Articles about the spread of fascism in Europe, particularly in Germany and Poland, and an increasing numbers of communist victims in Mussolini’s Italy were plastered across its pages. The war scare of 1927 spawned a rush of military preparedness among youth in the summer months of 1928. I can’t count how many articles about komsomols marching around Moscow with guns in hand conducting war games. War was in the air.
The firing ranges and marching columns of ersatz soldiers were just the beginning of the war games. The entire Komsomol organization was transformed into a virtual army as it shifted into high gear with the adoption of campiagnism. The targets for their operations, however, were not the fascists abroad, but society itself. There were Komsomol campaigns against illiteracy, campaigns for grain, campaigns for culture, campaigns against alcohol, campaigns against bureaucracy, and campaigns for this and campaigns for that. Komsomolskaya pravda‘s militaristic tone gave all these “fronts,” “battles,” “armies” and “cavalries” against the ills that plagued the Soviet social body a dire sense of desperation. In retrospect, all of this faux civil war rhetoric would prove to be a prelude to the real civil war against the countryside the next year.
Anxiety over the enemy without had its parallel for the enemy within. The Shakhty Trial and its “lessons” ignited the hunt for more wreckers and masked enemies. The Komsomol intensified its hunt to weed out the sons and daughters of Nepmen, priests, and kulaks and the generally corrupt and debauched from its ranks. The slogan fueling this hunt was samokritika, or self-criticism. Namely, this was the “rank and file” exercising “democracy” through the denunciation and expulsion of its leaders for their “immoral” behavior.
While the wave of denunciations shed light on the increasingly authoritarianism within the Komsomol, such acts, as the following short article from Kom pravda shows, were not without comedic elements
Two from the District Committee
“Mama won’t stand for it”
The extraordinary plenum of the Kupian district committee LKSM was alerted.
“To what affair? What happened?”
The question was soon answered. The secretary of the district committee, cde. Efanov reported that on these days the deputies of the organizational department and agitation and propaganda were fired and removed from the buro.
“For what reasons?”
Cde. Popov, the deputy of the org dept., an old komsomol and member of the Party, bragged to komsomols about his relations with prostitutes. Another member of the buro, Kashevatskii, on the contrary, preferred Komsomol girls. A fleeting relation and then abortion characterizes this district “Lion.” Doctors refused komsomolka B. an abortion. [Kashevatskii] had to marry her. But he found the words to explain his refusal:
“Well, how can I marry you? Think of it: I’m a Jew and you’re Russian. My mama won’t stand for this.”
His mother’s interests won out. B. decided to get an abortion. Sometime after, she became deranged and finally committed suicide. But Kashevatskii’s mother profoundly believes in the dovelike purity of her son.
The district plenum drove the rotten from the committee, and Kashevatskii from the League.
Komsomolskaya pravda August 28, 1928.