MOSCOW | Lyudmila Ioudina, 81, speech-language pathologist at retired and supporter of Vladimir Putin, faces for weeks, and his two grandsons, opposed to the constitutional reforms desired by the Russian president.
Terms for the leader of Russia in the last 20 years, faith in God, refusal of marriage for all, patriotism: the amendments submitted to the Russians on July 1, reveal the first break generational since the fall of the USSR, according to sociologists.
“I explained (to my grandchildren) that there is nothing criminal in these amendments, that this is the first president which we should not have shame, he is firm and knows how to defend our country abroad”, says Lyudmila, after a lunch with family on the terrace of their dacha at Andreevskoïe, 50 km from Moscow.
But, she says, “the new generation is committed, unfortunately, in favour of the West rather than to preserve the specific values of russia.”
The grandmother is also seeking his words to explain to Ivan, 19 years old, and Ilia, 20 years, that the article reserving the right to marriage to couples of a man and a woman is intended to defend “the true family”, who regards homosexuality as “a game mode in each, and a pathology, among others.”
Ivan made him note that “it is the young who will have to live with this Constitution” and that he does not want a Russia that is “always more conservative, totalitarian, showing off his strength”.
Ilia, a student at the prestigious Moscow State university, enrage him against this reform of the “front” and whose “main purpose” is to guarantee Putin in power until 2036, the year of its 84 years.
For him, the former are conditioned since the soviet era by the official speeches and propaganda relayed by the media to the public.
The case does not appear isolated. Polls show that a majority of Russians aged 18 to 24 years say they are dissatisfied with the policy, the sociologist Alexei Levinson.
However, this same age group there has been only one president: Vladimir Putin.
A study of the independent institute Levada-Centre shows that 61% of 18-24 year olds believe that “Russia is not going in the right direction” and only 33 % support the amendments to the Constitution, against 45 % who oppose it.
At the opposite end of the pyramid age, 65 % of Russians over the age of 65 consider the country on the right path, 71 % are in favour of the amendments and 11 % are against.
“The new generation has a preference for the freedom of the individual in relation to traditional values, and she does not like this power unchanging,” says Mr. Levinson.
One of the spokesmen of this generation is the star of the web Yuri Doud, a 33-year-old, who was known for his documentaries online. The one in February, addressed to the youth, garnered 18 million views in telling the story of the ravages of the V. I. H. in Russia and denouncing the indifference of the authorities.
On 20 June, he was denounced on instagram “a referendum shameful” intended only to extend the reign of Putin. The publication has raised more than a million “likes”.
Svetlana Khokhlova, 50, a former conservative member of parliament in the district of Istra, near Moscow, believes that this opposition of the youth to a main cause: “the propaganda of anti-Russian”.
To reach young people who inform little via the traditional media, the militant orthodox mission is to explain on the social networks the importance of going to vote.
“It is simple: those who today are against the Constitution of Putin have not known the USSR as a superpower and they have not known the disaster that was the early soviet years”, she explains to AFP.
“I have three grandchildren ( … ), and I do not want my great-grandchildren become persons without gender, or nationality or homeland,” says the lady, with tears in her eyes.
It can however be reassured, the opposition of the youth should not prevent the adoption of reforms with a large majority on 1 July.
The new version of the Constitution is on sale in bookstores in moscow since mid-June.