Nashi and Lyudmila Alexeyeva
Russian youth organization Nashi (meaning "Ours"), affiliated with Vladimir Putin, has listed Lyudmila Alexeyeva, a former Soviet dissident, as one of their enemies.
My response to them is: How low can you go?
I met Lyudmila Alexeyeva in 1988, when my family moved to America. She looked about 70 years old at that time, which would make her over 90 years old by now. And my question to Nashi remains, How low can you go if you make an enemy of a 90-something woman?
I am reminded of when ex-president Richard Nixon visited Russia to meet Boris Yeltsin. When Nixon met with Yeltsin's political rivals in the Russian Parliament, Yeltsin went into a rage and refused to meet with him - nevermind that Nixon had convinced George Bush Sr. that Yeltsin was a good bet for Russia. Nixon's spokesman said to the effect, "What a man Yeltsin thinks he is to be attacking an aging statesman." What Nashi is doing in seeing Lyudmila Alexeyeva as their enemy is far worse than anything that Yelstin had ever done.
Really, what kind of an nonsense is this? Young Russian men and women are told that they should hate and attack a woman in her 90s. My grandmother is in her 90s, do you also want to attack her?
Russia has a tradition of respecting the elders. In America, even as a young person, I had a lot more respect for my elders than did most people my age. And what do we see here, a Russian political youth organization militating against someone in her 90s?
This is beyond despicable.
There are plenty of real problems that need to be solved, and plenty of real causes that need people to fight for them. Attacking a woman in her 90s is not one of them. Russia does not need to have its youth attacking Lyudmila Alexeyeva. Russia needs to have its youth solving Russia's problems. And these are plenty to be found without needing imaginary enemies or people who can't talk back to them to attack.