Monday, May 16, 2005
I missed Nashi's Our Victory rally itself but spent a few hours walking around as the kids were boarding the buses to go back to their home towns.
Sixty thousand kids and lots of buses - from places like St. Pete, Voronezh and Saransk, in addition to Moscow. It was taking them forever to gather everyone and take off, and I heard a few kids curse like adults: they were exhausted and hungry. Many were smoking, many sat on the sidewalks, eating canned food, many (both boys and girls) were taking trips to the nearby bushes to pee...
If I had a kid, I wouldn't want her/him to be there.
But overall, they didn't appear aggressive or political at all. I had expected them to be somewhat like those paranoid Yanukovych supporters - but they are just a huge herd of kids who'll soon turn into a huge herd of adults.
The rumor is most of them have been paid $5 to attend the rally - plus a free t-shirt with the text of the Russian anthem on the back...
Masha Gessen's old Moscow Times piece on the Nashi bullshit movement is here, on her livejournal page.
"Official" pictures from the rally are here, at Nashi website.
I've just posted 51 photos of the Nashi kids on my photo page - more than anyone would ever need...