Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

“International Friendship Youth Movement” Established in the LNR

00 Peoples' Friendship University of Russia. 10.02.15


LNR College students started a new public interest group, the International Friendship Youth Movement. Anastasia Valdamirova, a co-chairman of the new organisation, stated that she filed relevant statutory documents for state registration with the LNR Ministry of Justice (Minyus), “We have applied to the Minyus to register the International Friendship Youth Movement. We have about 70 members… Africans, Azerbaijanis, Uzbeks, Indians, Transnistrians, Belarusians, and, of course, Russians and Ukrainians. The organisation has a board with three co-chairmen with equal rights, of Ukrainian, Belarusian, and Azerbaijani background. It’d be difficult for one person to keep track of and control everything… besides, it’d allow us to make better decisions. I’d head up project implementation, Foud Saidi would carry out our public relations, and Igor Ibik would take care of educational and cultural affairs. We’re modelling our organisation on the example of the Soviet-era International Friendship Club (KID)”.

Despite the fact that it isn’t yet a formally legal entity, its activists are already taking part in the activities of the Luganshchina* Youth Association (AML), the umbrella organisation for most LNR youth groups. Valdamirova noted, “We’re involved in all AML actions and events, but we’re also preparing our own activities in cultural exchange, and we’re developing an ideology of equality, asserting the equality of all peoples, and seeking equity for all, irrespective of their national or racial background. Another challenge confronting our group is the task of helping foreign students adapt and integrate into the LNR outside of classroom hours, but this will be beneficial for everyone concerned. Today, times are hard for everyone in the Republic, but it’s even harder on those who came to us from abroad, there are about 300 of these, they’re completely disoriented and don’t seem to know what’s going on. We have the task to show that we’re just ordinary folks, and try to engage them in our general youth culture. In addition, this is a kind of breakthrough the information blockade… when the students go back home, they’d be able to tell their compatriots about the real situation in Novorossiya, as they saw it themselves”.

  • Luganshchina: “Area ruled by or influenced by Lugansk”. In Russian, the suffix “shchina” indicates “ruled by” or “rule of”, therefore, “Lvovshchina” is the “area ruled (or “influenced”) by Lvov” and “Yezhovshchina” means “era ruled (or “influenced”) by Yezhov”.

Denis Miroshnichenko, Deputy of the DNR Peoples Soviet and head of the AML, added, “Right now, any group that’s for the Republic is good in my book. The fact that we now have an international association in Lugansk can only help us. As we seek recognition for the LNR on the international level, young people have an opportunity to assert their point of view, including through this organisation, so, I find this a welcome move”.

17 June 2015

LITs Lugansk Information Centre


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