Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree to form a new department – the Department for Public Projects. The department should cultivate patriotism in people and study to be proud of the homeland. Deputy head of the presidential department for interior policy Pavel Zenkovich will become the head of the department. The experts believe that this is the forming of a broad “support group” for the state authorities.
The department can set several guidelines, including public projects in the humanitarian policy (education, culture), public and patriotic projects, information, youth and regional projects, the Kommersant daily reported. The department will promote the allocation of grants and state prizes within its authority. Meanwhile, a final structure of the department is not defined yet, the newspaper noted. The matrix staff of the new department will make 30-35 people.
The Kremlin noted that the new department was formed at Vladimir Putin’s personal initiative. He voices concerns over falling public moral values for a long time.
A source well acquainted with the situation explained to the newspaper that before cultivating the love to the Motherland in the Russians sociological surveys will be conducted and the foreign experience will be studied. The Russian state authorities already have the intentions to study the US patriotic programs. Two target audiences – young and elderly people were selected, because the middle-age generation grew up in the hard times of the collapse of the Soviet Union.
“Since the times of the secretary for ideology in the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union nothing like that existed in the Kremlin,” a high-ranking Kremlin official told the RBC daily. Dmitry Badovsky, the director of the Institute of Socio-Economic and Political Studies and the adviser of first deputy head of the presidential administration Vyacheslav Volodin, confirmed a new role of management. “Today the system of state power does not have a common centre, which would develop the sense and logic of the patriotic work, the work to raise the young people, and would develop a relevant policy and major cultural, humanitarian projects related with it,” Badovsky said. According to the experts, the department will be a moderator of cooperation between the state authorities and public organizations.
The Kremlin sees the danger in the street opposition, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily cited chairman of the department of the Centre of Political Technologies Boris Makarenko as saying. “The struggle for minds, particularly the minds of young people, because the ruling party fails to have the support among the young people strongly. The creation of the department is an attempt to smooth over the current situation,” he said. The expert believes that this measure is related to future elections, “The task is formulated in the simple way – Putin has quite high ratings, and United Russia does not show such indicators. This means that this gap should be narrowed in all possible ways.” To what degree is this task attainable? Since the Soviet years the time came forward, “The Internet has appeared. The Kremlin is seeking to get advantage of these opportunities, but the approach is essentially remains absolutely Soviet,” he noted.