Speaker of the State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin.
Photo: Mikhail FROLOV
Moscow region. Central Russian nature – river, birches, pine trees. And – a complex of buildings, similar to the retro-futurism from the Strugatskys’ “World of Noon”, with soil instead of the usual metal sheets on the roofs: this is such an innovative coating, in the summer there is grass on the top of the houses, it cools and saves heat.
Here, on the basis of the corporate university of the largest Russian bank, a meeting of the new composition of the Youth Parliament under the State Duma is taking place. More than two hundred boys and girls (all under 35 years old) communicate with older comrades – already successful Okhotskaya Ryad soldiers. Learn management and self-control. Strengthen horizontal connections with colleagues from other regions.
Here is a guy from one faction flirting with a girl from another; she turns him off:
“Maybe you’ll already apply to join our party, since you want to communicate with me so much?”
He jokes in response:
— To ask you to marry, you don’t need to submit an application to the party.
— There is not a single female deputy in your party in the Duma! — the girl delivers a crushing blow. Knockout…
Photo: Edward CHESNOKOV
But previous iterations of the “youth parliament” did not evoke youthful enthusiasm, but rather sadness. For example, as the leadership of Okhotny Ryad noted with surprise, among the young men of that advisory body there was no one who had served in the army. Therefore, on the initiative of the Chairman of the Duma Vyacheslav Volodin, the project was rebooted in the spring of 2023:
“The practice when “assistants and assistants of deputies” went to the Youth Parliament is becoming a thing of the past,” Vyacheslav Viktorovich said then.
But now the Youth Parliament has clear selection mechanisms. From each of the 89 regions of the Russian Federation – a representative of local Dumas and municipal assemblies. And also the best students and the most active social activists. And, of course, participants in youth movements under parliamentary parties. Total – 292 people from all over Russia.
The tasks of this structure under the Duma are clear: to promote legislative amendments for the social protection of young people (of which there are 40 million in the country); to help integrate new regions into the all-Russian space, including in the field of youth policy.
On the first day of the MP’s work, September 17, 2023, the heads of the Duma factions speak to the boys and girls. Here is Gennady Zyuganov from the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (remembering how good life was under the Soviets), unexpectedly, as young people say, “gave away his base”:
— I don’t want to offend anyone, but Russians are a state-forming people. The disappearance of the Russian nation means the disintegration of these gigantic territories – there will be no one to hold them.
And his colleague, “Socialist Revolutionary” Sergei Mironov, reminds: among the new composition of the Youth Parliament there are already eight veterans of the Northern Military District, almost all of them have military orders. Including from their party.
“The main thing now is to achieve victory at the front.” After this, we will be able to solve problems within the country. Everything will be cool! – says one of them – Alexander Kasaurov, deputy of the Council of the Alchevsk City District (LPR) and holder of the award “For Military Merit”.
Photo: Edward CHESNOKOV
And then the main guest appears – Duma Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin. He is greeted with applause.
— You like to give out advances with applause. Do not hurry! Maybe later you’ll say: “It would be better not to clap,” Vyacheslav Viktorovich comes in with a joke.
And he immediately invites young people to start with questions.
And a question arrives – a serious one, about the Northern Military District.
In response, Volodin says the obvious: that in Ukraine we are fighting not with Ukrainians, but with NATO, and that our army is strengthening every day:
— You see, a reserve is being formed, volunteers are coming every day. Today there are about 300 thousand people. We need to win! This is a conflict that should ensure both peace on the planet and security for our country.
Photo: Edward CHESNOKOV
Volodin outlines the youth and the international situation:
— 80% of the world’s population supports our country. […] It is extremely important for us to defend justice. The world must be structured differently, it must be multipolar.
The Chairman also recalls how the planet has changed over the past ten years, when many of those present were still teenagers:
“We used to think that the achievements of the West would make the world a better place all over the Earth. But now we see: the United States uses its resources to maintain hegemony, be it the dollar or international payment systems… Previously, they were presented as “systems for the entire globe, not related to politics”; but as soon as sanctions began to be introduced, we began to be disconnected from these systems… And the first thing that was done was that we created our own national payment system: the Mir card,” Volodin gives an example.
According to him, the result of the transition to a sovereign policy is obvious: today our country has become the largest economy in Europe.
— [В этом созыве Молодёжного парламента] For the first time, the principle was used: to invite those who have already established themselves to work. Democracy is about procedures, norms and rules! – Volodin sums up.