2009 is the “Year of Youth” in Russia. The Year of Youth is brought to you by the State Youth Affairs Committee, which is chaired by Vasily Yakemenko, the Sturmbannführer who previously hatched the Nashi movement. What is more on the mind of today’s ultra-cool Russian youth than tolerance? The Year’s official website explains:
Outsiders come to study in Russian institutions of higher learning, although they cannot speak Russian clearly. Having arrived in our country as guests, they consider themselves the hosts. And in those places where they are visibly fewer they simply take our jobs. Ethnic conflicts arise.
But we won’t solve these problems by grabbing a baseball bat. We beat them today in Moscow, and tomorrow they drive us out of Kazan, from the Caucasus, from the southern regions of our country. And the day after tomorrow we will be living in a country without oil, gas, territories, history.
We have to solve this problem constructively!
In February 2009, a concert by the US group Strike Anywhere, organized by anti-fascist activists at the Moscow club, Plan B, became something of a bummer when the cops surrounded the place and began shaking down the estimated crowd of five hundred misguided music lovers.
After a similar recent raid at the Arctica Club in St Petersburg, the city’s human rights ombudsman, United Russian Igor Mikhailov, told a gathering of stunned journalists that “police have the right to check people’s IDs, search and detain them, and take their photographs and fingerprints.”
In order to make clear his total contempt for the rights he is supposed to uphold, he added: “We all watch with pleasure when [the police] check the IDs of migrant workers.”