For those interested in Nashi, I recommend listening to this interview with Dr. Regina Heller from the University of Hamburg Institute for Peace and Research (a recent article of hers on Nashi can be found here). I think Heller’s discussion serves as as good primer for understanding the many aspects to the pro-Kremlin group. I find it puzzling that the interviewer is surprised that the state is mobilizing youth for support. She seems to think that youth are somehow inherently against the state and for change. This must be some kind of post-1960s myth because historically youth have more often than not been used for rallying nationalist and pro-government support. Groups like the Boys’ Brigades, Boy Scouts, Wandervogel, Hitler Youth, and Komsomol were not known for their anti-government rhetorics.
One issue Heller timely takes up is whether Nashi’s days are numbered since it’s “served its purpose” and is now “politically obsolete” for the Kremlin. I don’t agree with this. Nashi may be in crisis (interestingly not unlike like the Komsomol was after the Russian Civil War) and is searching for its role in Medvedev’s Russia. I think I would count on its death anytime soon. Especially if Lyndon is correct and “colored revolution” continues to be a specter that haunts the political elite.