Saturday, December 26, 2009
The Russian government is planning to allow pro-Kremlin volunteers to set up a nationwide youth militia by recruiting 100,000 destitute 17- to 25-year-olds to patrol the streets in return for food and shelter.
Behind the proposed militia is the Nashi, a pro-Kremlin youth movement which has already been criticised by liberals for recruiting skinheads to "patrol" opposition marches.
Set up in 2005, the movement is considered an initiative by President Vladimir Putin and it remains faithful to the current prime minister. On 3 August, they announced their proposal to the government to nationalise youth patrols.
Evgeniy Ikhov is a member of the Russian movement "For Human Rights".
These squads would be used only against the opposition and immigrants, and those people are already under attack.
Inspired by the Iranian Basij?
Various Russian Web users have compared the initiative to Iran's violent Basij militia. Here are a few examples: