This article titled "Cults and Politics Propagandizing Russia's Youth" from the Harvard International Review written by Michael Jaskiw (2007) deals with the usage of propaganda by a Russian government-sanctioned group called Nashi. This group is much like a cult and is located in Russia. Russia is going through a very tough political time right now where they are losing their democratic values. The government of Russia is also trying to get its youth to be more of nationalists through the usage of propaganda. One of the ways they are doing this is by starting groups like Nashi which is for 17-25 year-olds who are major, even cult-like, supporters for President Vladimir Putin. The group consists of hundreds of thousands of young adults who share similar beliefs in support of the president and against other groups who oppose them. This group also has a great hatred for Western society saying that it trying to keep Russia down as a country. A major tactic they use is to characterize all other opposing thinking as fascism in order to destroy their arguments.

Nashi, which was created in 2005, employs much of the way of thinking and government recruiting as the youth groups from the communist era did. This group is more of the government trying to control people than a political activist group. A hopeful member must recite all of the government's stances on issues without question or falter. Once they are in the group, though, they are given priority for government jobs so there is an even larger allure.

Michael Jaskiw believes that this group could be a real problem for Russia and the rest of the world, especially America. They have such anti-American views that it could instill the same hatred that led to the Cold War. Some, that he quotes, even draw ties between this group and the Nazi Youth. He finishes with saying that there is really not much we can do about this problem. If America and the rest of Western society try to tell them to stop then they are fueling the argument of the Nashi, proving that they are trying to force our ideals on them. He does say, however, that there are ways to help combat groups like this because of The West's increased trade with Russia, and therefore increased influence over the country.

Wow-- what a great find, Gabe. Excellent choice of quality article here and good summary work here. As I read, I wondered: Does Nashi have a robust online presence? Who else has written about this group besides this author? Is there any kind of critical discussion of this group inside Russia? I wonder if you might be able to interview a native Russian about this issue....

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