The 16-Year-Old Russian Who Joined the Anti-Putin Movement

Until last year, 16-year-old Vitaliy Smitienko, a high school student in Moscow, wasn’t interested in politics. But after watching one of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s anti-corruption videos on YouTube, he became an opposition activist.

Fear is the main weapon that the government uses against us. We must not show that it scares us.

Vitaliy represents part of the new younger generation of activists in Russia who are changing the face of the opposition movement. Now that Mr. Navalny is barred from running in the presidential elections for a criminal conviction that he called politically motivated, these young Russian activists are boycotting the election, even though many of them are still too young to vote.

This video tells Vitaliy’s story and how he became an activist in Russia, despite the crackdown on critical voices.



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