Vanguard of Red Youth
Vanguard of Red Youth (Russian: Авангард красной молодёжи or Avangard Krasnoi Molodyozhi (AKM)) is a radical Russian communist youth group. Its website describes it as an "independent youth organization, entering the all-Russian public political motion." Its "territory of action" is Russia, which it insists is still the heart and soul of "the republic of the USSR." The AKM's ideology is Marxism-Leninism and it forms part of the Left Front alliance. The unofficial leader of the AKM is Sergei Udaltsov (Сергей Удальцов), who has been arrested several times for protesting against Vladimir Putin's regime.
The name of the organization is the backronym of AKM, a model of the well-known Kalashnikov assault rifle. Its organizational structure uses military terminology: battalion, brigade. Most cities will house an "отделение" or squad of AKM, with several squads forming a battalion. Currently battalions exist in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
The group entered on to the world scene by being the indirect subject of a November 2005 ZMag article dealing with the annual November 7 demonstration commemorating the anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution, and also addressing the civil unrest in France.
In the article, Boris Kagarlitsky of the Institute for Globalization Studies describes the AKM as "[the] Russian equivalent of [the] Western Black Bloc . . . surrounded by the police and strictly controlled."
Kagarlitsky quotes a young AKM radical as shouting: "We will turn Moscow into Paris!" It is unclear how much support the AKM currently has from other organizations in Russia, or whether it truly plans on becoming a vanguard party.
On March 3, 2007, the AKM took part in the Saint Petersburg March of the Discontented, one of the biggest demonstrations of the opposition in recent years. It has also organized dozens of smaller rallies, and has participated in many protests including violent clashes with the police.
- "Russian Police detain activist Sergei Udaltsov," demotix (22/07/2010)
- "Opposition activist Udaltsov to remain in custody until Monday," RiaNovosti (12/02/2011)
- Kagarlitsky, Boris (20 November 2005). "A Return of the Proletariat". Zspace. Retrieved 28 August 2011.
- Dimitry Babich, "The Voice of the Left," Transnational Institute (October 2008).
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