The administration of Vladmir Putin has copied many Soviet era approaches such as creating youth organizations which appear on cue to echo their love and support of the supreme leader. In this case, it is their father, Vladmir Putin. A new youth movement, Mishki which is geared toward 8-15 year olds and will serve as a complement to Nashi, an older group which is often used by the Putin government to intimidate young people with independent minds. At a recent rally in Red Square, a few thousand Nashi youth shouted, “I love Mishki, I love Russia, I love Putin,” but for some reason there wasn’t a single member of Mishki in sight. Ironically, many of the Nashi youth held teddy bears(hopefully, none with the name of Muhammad) that were to be given to the younger children– if they ever appeared.
The use of youth to further totalitarian aims was common in Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. Putin apparently can’t shake loose from his Soviet training and wants to engender a love of himself among young people. Perhaps, he is dreaming that one day the entire young population of Russia will appear in Red Square to beg him to become their Leader For Life.