West Now Focusing on Young People to Change Russia a Decade from Now, Federation Council Report Says
(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, March 6, 2018)
Foreign governments are seeking to change the attitudes of young people everywhere in hopes “of transforming them into an instrument for undermining national political systems and realizing scenarios of ‘color revolutions’ and the overthrow of existing governments,” according to a report prepared by a special commission of the Federation Council.
The classified report, a copy of which the RBC news agency obtained, says that in the case of Russia, these foreign governments seek to create such a possibility 10 to 15 years from now and “transform both the foreign and domestic policy [of the country] to correspond to the interests of foreign paymasters” (rbc.ru/politics/06/03/2018/5a9d55c69a794753c16d1ccb).
The authors of the report told RBC that they believe opposition figure Aleksey Navalny is the harbinger of this effort; and they note in the classified segment of the report that “Washington ‘and its traditional allies including from the south’ are artificially stimulating problem areas in Russia in inter-ethnic and inter-religious relations.”
In the open part of the report, the commission says Moscow will “struggle with threats of negative ‘foreign influence of an anti-Russian direction in the sphere of culture,’ views sanctions as an instrument of foreign pressure” against “the financial-economic sovereignty” of Russia” and will study “the intensification of the consolidation of forces of the world community to oppose the illegal policy of interfering in the sovereign affairs of UN member states.”
Senator Andrey Klimov, the chairman of the commission that prepared this report, said in a speech before its release that the US is seeking to present the upcoming Russian presidential elections as illegitimate by suggesting that any level of participation above 45 percent shows officials have falsified the outcome (graniru.org/Politics/Russia/Cabinet/m.268104.html).
He added that his commission has received “reliable reports that in practically all federal districts of Russia, various means from the outside for stimulating various kinds of interference in the upcoming elections” and that the groundwork is being laid for protests that may in fact take place to “rock the boat” and delegitimize the vote in the eyes of Russians.
Another commission member, Senator Konstantin Kosachev, says that Western efforts in this regard are focusing on an ever younger target audience. “Today this consists not only of students but of pupils and not only those in the upper grades” (graniru.org/Politics/Russia/Parliament/Sovfed/m.268118.html).
Thus the battle has been joined not just regarding the results of the March 18 elections but over “the outcome of future elections and not just over the children but even the grandchildren raised on social networks and videogames.” Adults are not always able to understand what is going on and counter it.
The most intriguing message of this report is that the West has already concluded that it can’t affect the March 18 re-coronation of Vladimir Putin but instead is looking far into the future, that it has a long-term plan to do so, and that the Russian authorities must counter that plan lest it succeed.
[Article also appeared at windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2018/03/west-now-focusing-on-young-people-to.html]
[featured images are file photos, not directly related to article subject matter]