In other words, according to the Old Russian tradition of forgeries and Potemkin villages they used the administrative resource and money from the budget. They sent an order to schools and universities: send students to a one-day trip to Moscow. For free. The students from the regions gladly accepted the trip. The invited veterans, as Kommersant explains, were fooled: “Actually, they didn’t know that they are taking part in an action of the Nashi movement. The Nashi federal commissar Alexander Gorodetsky explained the political meaning of the action to the journalists: ‘We gathered here to show that the neo-fascists under the NBP flags will never be able to march on the streets of Russian cities.’ ‘And the Yavlinskys won’t either,’ someone from the veterans supported the young man. ‘Exactly, only us,’ the commissar assured.
Such a gloomy mockery of good sense is possible only in Russia. Meanwhile the media continued to investigate the Nashists. On 07.13 Gazeta.ru wrote in the article “They love soccer”: “The Nashi movement, into which all the leaders who headed the first pro-Putin youth organization went after the Walking Together collapsed, present a special interest considering the informational inaccessibility. The figure of Vasily Yakemenko himself is secondary because more interesting are the informal leaders who brought with them the participants of Moscow’s largest fan groups first to the Walking and then to the Nashi. Already five years passed since the time Walking Together was created and until the opening of the Nashi camp on Seliger in 2005, five years during which Alexey Mitryushin became the Nashi’s unofficial regional leader, pushing aside less successful leaders. Today Alexey Mitryushin holds the modest post of technical director of Nashi’s Moscow department, simultaneously heading Gallant Steeds, one of the largest informal associations of CSKA fans. Initially forming a separate unit in the Walking, headed by Mitryushin the fans went into the Nashi and now hold regular training exercises on the OMON training bases in the Tver region. (Governor Zelenin turned out to be useful! - E. L.)
Mitryushin himself does not deny his soccer fan past, but declares that this was a long time ago. However his organization took part in a mass battle on the Kitay-Gorod subway station in March 2001, which resulted in 11 people sent to reanimation and in a large confrontation between delinquents on May 10th 2004 in Moscow on the Prospekt Mira station. The paradox of this situation is that in both cases the confrontations happened between the delinquents of informal organizations of CSKA and Spartak fans and from both sides there were leaders of first the Walking Together and then the Nashi movement. For example, Roman Verbitsky who is responsible for the regional development in the Nashi and Vasily Stepanov who directed the security service in the Walking Together and then transferred to work in the White Shield security organization (By the way this is a racist name! - E. L.) that provides security service during the actions of the Nashi movement, they both simultaneously head the Gladiators, the largest association of Spartak fans in Moscow. All the leaders, Mitryushin, Stepanov and Verbitsky were present on the meetings of the Nashi commissars with the head of Kremlin’s administration Vladislav Surkov and they all figure in the special files of Moscow’s 5th police department that works with soccer hooligans and skinheads.
The Nashi prefer not to speak about the soccer component of their leaders’ life. ‘Even though a few years ago Alexey Mitryushev was a soccer fan, this was a long time ago and he left this, the movement’s press secretary told Gazeta.ru. The press service did not comment Vasily Stepanov and Roman Verbitsky’s involvement in the movement, confirming the information that Mitryushin is presently one of the leaders of the camp on Seliger. According to the information obtained from the editors of NBP-Info, both Verbitsky and Stepanov were arrested by the police in one of the raids on the NBP headquarters in Moscow and criminal cases were opened against them.”
As we remember Vasya Yakemenko promised the summer camp already on February 10th. On July 11th 2005 he kept his promise: the Seliger-2005 all-Russian youth camp was opened on Seliger Lake on the lands of governor Zelenin. It closed on July 25th. Over 3 000 young people from 45 Russian cities took part in the activities of the camp. A journalist of the Moskovskie Novosti testifies on July 22-28th 2005. “However we discovered those whom the Nashi leaders intend for Russia’s intellectual and administrative elite. They mostly look like 12-16 years old girls and young men a little older. There are adults of course but the general membership of the Nashi is extremely young. During an informal conversation it appeared that a part of them arrived simply on vacation and ‘also to hear those we see on TV’. The gentlemen who looked more severe are the camp’s security. Actually they don’t annoy the residents of the camp with their presence. Outside the Nashi’s settlement the keen eye of the paparazzi notices scores of vehicles with tainted windows and antennas. There are cars and microbuses and we can only guess at what hides behind these tainted windows. /…/ The workday of the Seliger camp’s commissar is saturated and versatile. There are conferences given by political technologists and trainings on various directions: political leadership, psychology, organization of mass actions, public relations, electoral technologies, etc. There is choice between sports clubs, master classes on journalism and many other things. /…/ Hundreds of sport bikes and dozens of motorboats and kayaks, a few yachts, an Internet-center for 30 computers, in the evening there are shows of pop stars such as Uma Thurman, Zemphira, the Animals, etc. I have to say that the journalists who heard enough passionate stories about the poor people were wondering: why is all this magnificence available only for 3 000 selected individuals and not children from orphanages, for example?”
Among other things the Nashi – Seliger-2005 Center says: “In 14 days the commissars and supporters of the Movement have listened to 870 hours of conferences, taken part in over 400 master classes, seminars and trainings. They were lectured by: Anatoly Utkin (deputy director of the USA and Canada Institute), Tatyana Evgenyeva (Moscow’s State University’s professor), Vyacheslav Sherbin (professor of the highest school of economics), Gleb Tyurin (expert of the European association for the development of the civil society), Alexander Solovyev (MSU professor) – in all over 70 teachers from the best universities. /…/ The representatives of the country’s modern intellectual elite were sharing their experience and knowledge with the commissars /…/ (Gleb Pavlovsky, Sergey Markov, Vyacheslav Nikonov, Vyacheslav Igrunov, Alexander Tsipko, Andrey Parshev, father Vsevolod Chaplin, sheikh Muhammad Karachay and others) as well as State functionaries of the highest rank (Vladislav Surkov, Dmitry Zelenin, Alexander Tkachev, Andrey Kokoshin, Mikhail Margelov and others).”
On July 25th the camp on Seliger closed and on July 26th president V. Putin has personally met the Nashi. The Nashi informational center has announced the same day: “Russia’s president to the Nashi: you can influence the situation in the country. The text: ’56 commissars from 20 Russian cities who have demonstrated the best results in their specializations (social, economical, informational, analytical, Intellectual Club, Mass Actions, Rallying Events) have met the RF President Vladimir Putin during the all-Russian gathering of commissars and supporters of the Nashi youth democratic antifascist movement Seliger-2005 on Tuesday, July 26th. The meeting took place in the Zavidovo residence (Tver region) and lasted two hours. After they thanked the President for his attention and moral support the Nashi commissars asked Vladimir Putin over 20 questions on diverse subjects. /…/ ‘I am certain that if you will not be too organized, if you won’t think in clichés, you could help, not the country’s administration, but society and the State,’ The RF President said. According to him the question is about solving urgent problems, especially among the youth, such as alcoholism, drug addiction and the fight with all sorts of phobias and attitudes in the sphere of international and inter-religious relations. ‘Doubtlessly you can influence the situation in the country. I’m counting on it,’ Vladimir Putin said, adding that the active work of the NASHI is one of the signs of a functioning civil society. The president also thanked the Movement’s commissars for the actions they already held, in particular for the numerous events dedicated to the 60th anniversary of the Great Victory.”
I cited this Nashist prose on purpose. On the meeting with the Nashists the president was wearing black jeans, black sneakers and a dark shirt with thin white squares – actually it is the typical uniform of a soccer hooligan. You can admire it in the July 27th issue of the Kommersant.
Following the president’s advice “not to work in clichés” soon the Nashists “got the opportunity to influence the situation in the country”. This is what they did and in such a way that now the president will have to distance himself from the Nashi at best. I am talking about the August 29th attack. And he is already taking his distances. And apparently Surkov, who drew Putin in this story, is having a bad time. It does not mean that the president felt ashamed. After all he was not ashamed of the tragedy of the Center on Dubrovka or Beslan. Simply on July 26th he was forced to meet a criminal gang and a month later this gang demonstrated to the entire country how it is carelessly criminal.
What caused the August 29th attack on the NBP meeting? On August 26th the Supreme Court decided not to liquidate the NBP. Yakemenko was very saddened. Here is the statement he made on the same day: “We weren’t surprised by the appeal of the Supreme Court’s decision about the cancellation of the NBP liquidation by the Prosecutor General. We believe that good sense has to triumph, since the presence of legal fascists in Russia is monstrous. Today we are forced to watch how Limonov’s fascist sect’s members are trying to spit in the face of all our people who saved the world from the brown plague in the XX century. This low farce will last until all of us, the society, say ‘Enough!’ The NBP shamelessly continue to use fascist symbols and fascist rhetoric. This is why the Nashi young democratic antifascist movement will continue to say that the NBP is a fascist sect that represents, like any other fascist organization, a real social threat for our society. It is sad that our legislation does not allow our courts to judge the fascists because they are fascists. Maybe, finally, the time has come for our deputies to pay attention to this and to protect Russia’s citizens from the fascist threat in a legislative way.”
The demagogy is absolutely shameless, demonical, if we consider that at least for five years now the NBP keeps talking about the restoration of the climate of political freedoms in Russia (destroyed by Putin), calls for free elections, to a multiparty parliament and a coalition government and a black hammer and sickle appears on the NBP red flag from the very foundation of the party. Hammer and sickle. Hammer and sickle.
On August 29th, three days after the decision of the Supreme Court, at about 8 o’clock PM, the CPRF office where Moscow’s NBP organization was holding a meeting was attacked by scores of unidentified people in masks and white gloves. They beat seven nazbols who were guarding the entrance with baseball bats (they broke the bones on both arms of Dmitry Yelizarov), shot at them from traumatic guns, tried to put on fire the Sobol car that belonged to NBP with three nazbols who were inside with fire crackers (like white gloves, fire crackers are the best equipment of soccer fans). Then the attackers tried to escape on a PAZ bus. “The bus was arrested by the police when it was entering Lefortovski Tunnel, Kommersant writes on August 31st. The young people who were inside warned the police inspector that by arresting the bus “he’s making a big mistake’ and ‘most probably will pay for it’. Then they started to make cellphone calls. /…/ The bus with the passengers was brought to the Danilovsky police station. /…/ As the police officers of the Danilovsky police station told Kommersant, first things unfolded according to the standard scheme in such situations. The policeman on duty registered the coordinates of the arrested. Then the investigator had to make them write an explanation about the events. ‘We received a call from above ordering to release the arrested,’ one of the police officers told Kommersant. ‘These guys have honestly warned us that we shouldn’t bother because they will soon be released.’ However they were not released immediately, because the police station was already encircled by journalists and members of left-wing radical parties who were attacked. Then the police officers tricked them: they brought out the arrested from the police station by groups of three and left them a few blocks away. Kommersant obtained a list of 25 names of those who were brought to the police station (the list follows). The police officers added that there was a 26th young man whose name was Verbitsky, who, supposedly, was driving the bus. ‘He was convincingly promising to fire us,’ the police officers told Kommersant. ‘We remembered his face but didn’t put his name on the list. According to the nazbols’ lawyer Dmitry Agranovsky, a certain Nikita Ivanov, employee of the president’s administration, arrived to the police station and released the arrested.”
On the following day Yakemenko declared: “This is not the first beating of NBP and other radical organizations’ activists by non-established individuals. The accusations addressed at Nashi commissars are totally baseless and most probably are a poor attempt made by these structures’ leaders to hide their internal squabbles that are taking these monstrous, violent forms. When NBP members are being beaten, stabbed in the neck, etc. – it is a natural process of NBP’s criminal, underground existence. It is obvious that they need to finance their underground fascist activities in some way. It is obvious that the NBP activists need to pay for their actions and this money is of a very dubitable origin. The basic principle of the Nashi movement is nonviolence.” And so forth, in the same incoherent manner.
Nevertheless the criminal wild attack of August 29th has caused such a rare unanimous indignation of the Russian public, and numeral protests of State Duma deputies from CPRF and Rodina, and even the condemnation by some official structures, and the unanimous condemnation by the mass media, that there were signs of a possible decline in Mr. Yakemenko’s career and possibly of the Nashi movement. Here are some of them. The media published information that the Kremlin is creating Grom, a new organization called to replace Nashi. The protest against the rapprochement of Yabloko and NBP (I only went to Saint Petersburg where I spoke in the office of the Yabloko department) near the office of Yabloko’s central office on Pyatnitska Street in Moscow was not held by the Nashi, but already by an organization called Young Russia. The United Russia party is creating an organization called Young Guard. A Nashist, a student from Tula, Julia Gorodnicheva was not admitted to the Public Chamber although the Nashi were boasting about her admission to the Chamber in advance. She was admitted in the second mandate but she is already representing the Walking Together movement. Besides four criminal cases on the mass beatings of nazbols were reunited into one and the investigation is coming to an end. Confrontations were held in the Main Department of Investigations of Moscow’s Prosecutor General’s office. Despite the pressure of the Kremlin they will have to take this case to court. And then these Romas the Prickly and Vasyas the Killers will probably receive a sentence, at least a suspended one. And most importantly their role in the Nashi movement will be made public. And with them, probably, Vasily Yakemenko’s star will wane and maybe, I hope, that of Asik Dudayev, the schemer and creator of fake parties and movements. (At the same time there are signs that the Nashi affair is still living. Thus, in September 150 Nashi “commissars” went to study in the Highest School of Management, where they will be taught by G. Pavlovsky, M. Leontiev, V. Solovyev, A. Karaulov, A. Tsipko and S. Markov). And what about the president? The president will come through unscathed. Although he “took the risk” to give the permission and the financing for an organization that beats up people with baseball bats and metal wires. Today it is November 9th and I was informed that the Sobol vehicle, the nazbols’ vehicle they tried to put on fire during the August 29th attack, was put on fire this night.