My reflections in no way claim to be true, this is just an attempt to figure out what happened and what to do.
Gennady Prokhorychev, Commissioner for Children's Rights in the Vladimir Region
In Vladimir, as well as throughout the country, on January 23, protests were held in support of the opposition politician Alexey Navalny. According to preliminary data, the number of participants was about one and a half thousand people. 90% are young people from 17 to 35 years old. The number of schoolchildren, according to my observations, was no more than 3 - 5%, and, as a rule, these are children who came to gaze or, passing by, became interested in what was happening. A fairly large number of students from the Vladimir colleges attended.
So, the inspector on affairs of minors in the city of Vladimir for identification purposes, 16 teenagers were delivered to the police strongholds, of which 11 are college students. Without drawing up protocols, everything was subsequently transferred to the parents. This speaks of the fact that these teenagers were not participants in an opposition protest action. The inspector on affairs of minors behaved politely and correctly towards minors.
According to preliminary data of the Commissioners for the Rights of the Child in the constituent entities of the Russian Federation, where the protests were held, there are also a small number of detained minors. There are about 300 people throughout Russia. Protocols on participation drawn up are insignificant. The small number of protocols drawn up on participation in the action does not allow us to assert that our children represented the leading military unit in the hands of "soulless adults" and cannon fodder of the protest Saturday.
All children who attended the protests can be divided into three categories:
1. Onlookers. They passed by and became interested in the event - up to 20%.
2. Party people. They always go to such events. Thirst for adrenaline, thrill. They are not interested and do not understand what is happening - up to 70%.
3. High-principled. The smallest group. Interested in politics. They know why they are going. Understand the consequences and risks. They know the legislation well - up to 10%.
When the "hysteria" began on federal channels about a massive attack on our children inviting them to rallies on January 23, we are in quietly conducted their monitoring of social networks and media. Our children are, as we understand it, mainly on Tik-tok, VK and Instagram. Hundreds of videos on Tik-tok and informational posts on VK and Instagram were viewed. Yes, a lot of memes, banter and information about the upcoming action. But there were no direct calls for schoolchildren to come to the rallies.
Of course, we can say that the indirectly large audience on Tik-toke is teenagers, so this information was intended for them. And we can probably agree with this. But, in this clearing (social networks) different political forces are working, provoking each other, and this must be taken into account. Perhaps invitations to attend the rally were transmitted in closed public places and groups, but this is again an assumption, similar to the creation of conspiracy theories about secret communities. There must be concrete evidence and performers found. Perhaps there were examples of inviting children to a rally, but they were rather unsystematic and disorganized.
Information about the upcoming protest actions was everywhere on social networks, but no less, and maybe more, came from the federal media, statements of state authorities, heads of factions of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, and public figures.
There is still no need to talk about a real massive and systematic advertising campaign inviting schoolchildren to protest actions by the opposition, which took place throughout Russia on January 23, 2021. Perhaps there have been isolated cases that law enforcement agencies should objectively deal with.
It all started with Navalny's arrival in Russia and his detention, then an exit court and arrest for 30 days. In the best traditions of the Soviet period, the topic became top and hot at the first meeting of the spring session of the lower house of parliament, where they stigmatized “an unknown and unnecessary blogger”. The event was very similar to a meeting of the elders of the Politburo, reprimanding their party colleague, who went the wrong way and lost course. All these actions led to a lightning-fast reverse effect, which is known to all students studying the basics and laws of advertising. Its name is "BARBARA STREYSAND PHENOMENON”, in which there is a sharp surge of interest in some information after it was decided to be removed from public access, prohibited or denied (https://ru.wikipedia.org/).
Perhaps, in order to change the situation, an attempt was made to correct it at the expense of a child's question (assumption). For us adults (for many, but not all, of course) children are the most important thing we have. Federal media began hysterically to build up momentum and report on the alleged involvement of minors in the protest actions on January 23 and putting them in front of the protesters as cannon fodder, citing social networks popular with teenagers and appeals from the parent community. Then the situation became even more aggravated with the distribution of leaflets, which indicated the date of the protest and prescribed recommendations to parents on how to jointly ensure the child's leisure on that day. All this went down to parental chats of educational organizations throughout Russia (in some cases, it even came parents of preschoolers), thereby ensuring the multi-million dollar circulation of information about the upcoming protest actions.
What was it - stupidity or a well-prepared, layered "special operation" to recognize the protest politician with the help of state media, federal agencies, political and public figures, you can judge, but one thing I can say with certainty, the result is stunning.
Children are in the midst of the political life of society. Pretending it is not is like saying that the earth is flat. Any political force, regardless of its goals, wants to use the immature consciousness, offering its own development paradigm, thereby subsequently increasing the number of its supporters.
It's simple. We teach our children not to lie, not to steal, to help their neighbors, to be tolerant of other people's opinions, to love their homeland, etc. All this must be remembered by ourselves - adults. Otherwise, then there is nothing to blame that we have young people some not like that. Children are a litmus test. Everything that happens in the world of good and bad adults automatically flows into the world of childhood. Adolescence is a period of protest, maximalism and a desire to be involved in something necessary and important. You need to understand this age, but most importantly, to be able to work with it. It is important to teach children to work in the format of a civilized dialogue, expressing their opinion, to respect a different point of view and opinion others. Without adequate youth policy, WITHOUT POLICY, in accordance with modern realities and demands, taking into account and calculating all the risks of growing up, it is impossible to change possible negative trends in the youth environment.
Unfortunately, such formats as the Russian Movement of Schoolchildren, Youth Army, Territory of Smyslov did not fully meet the expectations assigned to them, because they are geared towards motivated young people. And who will work with the informal, inconvenient, who have their own position that does not match the official one. It is necessary to look for other formats and meanings, covering as many adolescents and young people as possible with different interests and views.
I really want our children to live in a country where there are no poor and disadvantaged. Where are decent wages and pensions. Where there is no corruption, lies and meanness. Where old people and children are under the protection of the state. Where people of the profession of teacher, doctor, cultural worker are respected and are the highest property of the nation. Where the priority is not the accumulation and improvement of weapons, but affordable, high-quality and free medicine. Where parents do not collect money on the central federal channels for operations, medicines and rehabilitation for their sick child. Where all the conditions for harmonious development of children, incl. with restricted abilities. Where children's rest is affordable and comfortable in accordance with the realities of the 21st century. Where are the PALACE SCHOOLS, and food for all children is free. Where the opinion of children and youth is respected. Where, Education, Culture, Health, are the priority of state policy, not in words, but in deeds. Where the Constitution "has supreme legal force... and is applied throughout the territory of the Russian Federation".