February 26 – March 3, 2024
Belarus-Russia relations

Let’s Bring the Youth Back to Our Youth

The situation got worse
Let’s Bring the Youth Back to Our Youth
Фото: Юрий Лизунов

Belarusian and Russian authorities are stepping up efforts with the youth, which was “lost” (as it turned out in 2020). In addition to constructing an “academic iron curtain”, serious efforts are being made for the patriotic upbringing of young people.

The World Festival of Youth has started in Russia. It takes place from March 1-7 on the federal territory of Sirius (a settlement in Krasnodar Krai, where an educational center is located). To give the event a “worldly” atmosphere, the organizers announced the participation of 20,000 Russian and foreign young leaders from various fields, as well as teenagers representing children’s organizations and associations. Representatives from allegedly 180 countries of the world (out of 197 known) are participating in the World Festival of Youth (WFY).

Predictably, the delegation from Belarus is the most representative – 630 people. The Republic is represented by patriot organizations: mainly members of the BRSM, pioneers, young scientists of the NAS, and others.

In terms of content, the youth festival symbolizes a nostalgic regression to the “good” Soviet times.

The agreement on the creation of a Union Youth Squad is one of the most important outcomes of the WFY. The document was signed by the BRSM and the Youth Chamber of the Union State. It is expected that participants of the Belarusian-Russian union construction squad will be used at the All-Belarusian Youth Construction Site in the Brest region and in the construction of the Republican Center for Patriotic Education as conditionally paid (or free) labor force. Other projects are also planned. For example, the creation of a common youth digital platform of the Union State with information about terribly tempting projects for the younger generation.

Parallel to the WFY (March 1-3), an International (essentially Belarusian-Russian) exhibition “Education and Career” took place in Minsk. It is claimed that about 40 universities from Belarus and Russia participated in the exhibition (most of which are provincial and off-the-beaten-path). Each educational institution tried to present its services as brightly as possible and showcase specialties, as well as to astonish the youth with unimaginable future opportunities.

Within the framework of the Union State, young people from Belarus and Russia can receive education in either of the two countries. Moreover, Belarusians can study under quotas of the Russian government at the expense of the federal budget – this year, 1300 places have been allocated. Admission on this basis provides an opportunity for free education in Russian universities, a scholarship, and a place in a dormitory. This opportunity can be seen as favorable for those who do not have the means to join Western education programs.

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Once a week, in coordination with a group of prominent Belarusian analysts, we provide analytical commentaries on the most topical and relevant issues, including the behind-the-scenes processes occurring in Belarus. These commentaries are available in Belarusian, Russian, and English.

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