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The Nashi Are Ready to March

This bit comes from Zygmunt Dzieciolowski at OpenDemocracy:

Alexei Levinson is a highly respected sociologist from Moscow’s Levada Centre, who has studied Russian society for decades. He is concerned by the gradual elimination of democratic values from Russian life and politics. Yet to some degree his view of Nashi’s future is similar to those of hunger-striker Kostya Goloskokov. He too thinks that even after the election season Nashi will not simply vanish. What worries him most is that nobody seems concerned about the movement’s future. “(Nashi) is an important vehicle for the current administration to win the 2008 election. What will be its role and function in the future I don’t know.” Levinson think that Nashi members are like soldiers: they can’t just train, march and rehearse for months and end up inactive. “If you have thousands of people who are on alert to do something for years and then find they have no task to perform, it’s dangerous. They have their roles, their positions, they are already organised. Nobody can just say to them, ‘goodbye Nashi, thank you very much, perhaps we’ll see you next time.” If Alexei Levinson is right – and many Nashi supporters would agree – the future of this movement may hold a surprise or two.