These days young Russians are apolitical, according to a recent survey published in the Russian daily newspaper Izvestiya. The VTsIOM survey reported that only 17% of young people from the age of 18 to 25 'would absolutely' go and vote in the upcoming State Duma elections. Moreover, 58% said that they 'were not at all interested' in politics.
Director of the Agency of Applied and Regional Politics Valery Khomyakov said in an interview that these facts were, however, positive. 'It's good that modern young people are not longing for politics and political parties. They have different problems: get a good higher education, make a career, make money,' he said. Khomyakov also said that today, however, the number of young people in political parties is a matter of pride and a sign of activity; therefore, there is an intense battle for young personnel in political parties.
Nevertheless, the leading political parties in Moscow have only attracted approximately 4-4.5 thousand young members. Young members are divided into two categories: permanent or non-resident for special projects. However, several parties are trying to blur over the difference. According to the youth division of Yabloko, the party has 80 permanent and 250 non-resident members. Other leading Russian political parties including SPS, Yedinstve and KPRF have a total of 1.3 thousand permanent and 300 non-resident members.
Party of Life does not have a youth division but does have a strategic partner in the all-Russian youth society movement Life Energy with which the party is not legally connected. Life Energy came about after the merger of several small Moscow and St. Petersburg youth organizations. 'We decided ourselves which party we were going to support. We could have supported the Communists or SPS, but ideologically we are closer to Party of Life,' said Life Energy Vice Chairman Yuri Lopusov.
'Today no one and everyone are engaged in the problems of young people,' said Director Sergey Vostretsov. He said that there are hundreds of federal programs for young people, and the programs have different results. However, none of the federal money reaches the regions. Therefore, Life Energy has come out for passing a federal law on young people and organizing a Ministry for Youth Affairs.
Of course, in this way the situation won't be corrected overnight, but we will create a system where it will be possible to solve problems of young families, patriotic education, and many other problems, said Vostretsov.