Prior to the meeting, Vladimir Putin toured an exhibition at the Mashuk Knowledge Centre – the national centre for training awareness-raising and management teams in the sphere of education, youth policy, and educational work. The project is implemented jointly by the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs (Rosmolodezh) and the Znaniye society.
The President was briefed about the centre's landmark educational programmes, including Your Hero, Defenders of the Fatherland, Ticket to Mashuk, and PROdialogue. He was shown the Knowledge Library – a new space for exchanging experiences and ideas, and the Mentor Wall stand.
In the second part of the exhibition titled “Year in Movement,” the President was informed about the key projects of the Movement of the First national child and youth movement.
Since it went operational in July 2022, the number of its participants has exceeded 4 million, and 89 regional branches have been created. The main activities of the movement include mentoring, creating equal opportunities for well-rounded development, self-actualisation, and creative and civic engagement of children and youth.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues, friends,
I am pleased to welcome everyone to the Mashuk Knowledge Centre. I have been planning to come here with my colleagues for a long time now; I have been invited to come here for quite some time as well, and indeed, there are things to see.
All of this was created for the Movement of the First. It has now become a good educational centre, which, as I see, is being actively used, and my colleagues will say more about it. I hope it has something to show for these efforts.
As you know, the Movement of the First was created quite recently: the initiative was first put forward in April 2022, and the movement was initiated by young people themselves. I cannot but express satisfaction with the fact that the movement itself is an accomplished fact, and the centre was created as a place to pursue the goals of the movement. But as I understand – and the centre's leader just made it clear – its scope of activities is much broader than originally planned.
Today, the movement has brought together more than 4 million people. It is a huge number. The movement members just showed us the core projects of the movement. I was pleased to see the revival – in a new modern form – of forgotten formats, which were very popular in their time: Zarnitsa as a military theme and the young naturalists movement are in high demand. All these good, old traditions are undoubtedly helping young people in the 21st century.
Such continuity of generations and ideas is very important. In order to be able to create and to make progress, it is surely necessary to take all the best from what we had and to move forward.
It is also very good that this movement supports young people in their striving to be useful right now – to write letters (I saw them on the stands), to collect parcels for our military, to be able to administer first aid, and take part in volunteer initiatives.
Someone just said that the most important thing is the desire to help, it’s true but the skills are also important. If there is a desire to help, but a person has no skill, the desire alone is obviously not enough. Here they can teach them how to do this, and it is very helpful.
In general, there are many projects, and they are very different, from what I see. Everyone can find what he or she likes here, and everyone receives an education here whether it’s science, theatre, or something else. The main purpose of the movement, let me reiterate, is to help children, teenagers and young people discover their abilities, their strengths, find their own way in life. And this is the key to a successful future in our country. We just talked to a young lady who showed us around. I asked her, “Do you want to be a doctor?” Because she mentioned something about medicine as we toured the exhibition. So, I asked her, “Do you want to be a doctor?” “I am thinking about it, exploring,” she said. That’s great! This is the right place to explore and look for options. This is an extremely important choice for every person. Maybe, this is one of the most important decisions in life – to find your own path, to choose your future profession.
I have no doubt that such a large programme is designed to become one of the key parts of the entire Movement of the First, to become essentially its foundation. We are now paying increasing attention to the important role played by a child’s upbringing in the family, at school and in the education system as a whole. Importantly, projects and areas that children are involved in in their free time should also help them acquire reliable life guidelines.
It is important for them to feel from their childhood that they are part of this huge country with its rich history and great culture – a country with timeless values that have been a pillar of support for people in all eras and, of course, a country with modern, broad space for personal fulfilment.
In this regard, it is crucial to make sure that the opportunities provided by the Movement of the First are accessible everywhere, in large cities and small communities alike and, of course, for young people from Donbass and Novorossiya. They are present in this audience, and I am very pleased to see that people from these regions come here and obtain the necessary support. Indeed, much needs to be done there.
We need to join our efforts and overcome the destructive legacy of the creeping and then overt policies of aggressive nationalism pursued by successive Kiev governments who introduced Russophobia and fake history into curricula and sowed discord. They deliberately warped the minds of young and old people alike.
I would like to make a point that the training system for the movement’s mentors is of paramount importance. I think professional background and personal qualities are a key requirement. They should not only share knowledge, skills, and experience with young people, but also encourage and motivate them by their own example as well. And there are quite a few mentors like that here, as the centre's leader just told us.
I would like to note one very positive trend. Children and their parents are participating in many of the movement’s projects, which is great.
I would like to remind you that 2024 was declared the Year of the Family. This work is a significant contribution to strengthening the values that unite our society.
I expect that today we will discuss the future of the movement. Its key principle must remain unchanged: children, teenagers, and young people should be part of all decision-making. The movement should be built around things that they find important and interesting, while the adults should ensure the necessary support.
It is a good thing that our young colleagues are also participating in our meeting and the work of the supervisory board. I hope you will provide your assessments of the accomplishments and share ideas and proposals for the future. I would also like to thank the Russian business leaders and all colleagues who promptly joined the board of trustees of the Movement of the First.
Let us discuss all the topics on the agenda.