Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The Putin Generation

Karol Józef Wojtyła was elected pope five years before I was born, and took the name John Paul II. I was twenty-one years old when he died. His papacy was the first I ever knew and had a formative impact on my life. Thousands of Catholics who grew up under the Polish pontiff fondly call themselves the John Paul II Generation.

A frightening parallel exists in Russia today. The first generation of post-Soviet youth are coming of age, and they are calling themselves the Putin Generation. The Nashi movement is one of several pro-Kremlin youth groups that foster Putin's cult of personality. The New York Times ran a story this summer about the group, but I think the video images are most stunning, and so I include several for your viewing pleasure, or horror, as the case may be.

The Putin Generation (Part I of II, by the NYT)

The Putin Generation (Part II of II)

Наша армия, a Nashi military recruitment video

(This video is in Russian, but the images and message are clear enough for anyone to see.)

For a scholarly consideration of the origins of Nashi, see Douglas Robert Buchacek's thesis, NASHA Pravda, NASHE Delo: The Mobilization of the Nashi Generation in Contemporary Russia.

1 comment:

Aaron said...

Oh, and they encourage procreating for the Motherland at their summer camps. (See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=471324&in_page_id=1770) Didn't someone in Germany try this sort of thing a while ago?