It was likened to the Communist cub scouts, a place for installing socialist ideals, and a crucial part of for CV for any young person wanting to get ahead in the Soviet Union.
Now the Komsomol and the Pioneers may be making a comeback – under a different name, and without overtly socialist values.
Several Russian MPs have publicly appealed to Vladimir Putin to create a nationwide, state-sponsored youth movement to “unify the nation’s youth”.
While the details are so far hazy, the idea appears to be to recreate something along the lines of the Komsomol and Pioneers – the state run youth movements that almost all Soviet children were obliged to join between 1918 and 1991.
“The leaders of all four party factions have appealed to Vladimir Putin to create a children’s and youth organisation,” Andrei Makarov, an MP for the ruling United Russia party said as he announced the move on Tuesday.
The Rodina plan would see young children enter the “Dobryata” (roughly “the goodies” or “the kind ones”), while school children between fourth and ninth grade would be “druzhiniki” (“companions” or “friends,” but also a reference to a form of medieval military force called a “druzhina”).
Teenagers would enter the “volunteers,” where they would be instilled with values of “courage, duty, and action,” while particularly distinguished young adults would over 21 could become “derzhavniki” – an archaic and not entirely translatable term roughly meaning “servant of the state.”
Possibly better to call them, in order, the Voki, Vovki, Vladimiriki and Putiniki.
The really big question being which age group gets to wear the black footie bags.