The history of Scouting in Russia is marked by a modest foundation among the narrow strata of middle-classs Russia and then the horrors of World War I and Civil War. After a brief period of toleratiion by the Bolsheviks, Scouting was brutally supressed in the Stalinist purges. The only youth group permitted in Russia was the Communist controlled Young Pioneer movement. The National Organisation of Russian Scouts, however, then went into exile to almost every continent of the world. Not withstanding the destruction of scouting in Russia. Russian scouting continued within the large Russian emigre communities abroad. Scouting in Russia itself was not revived again until the fall of Communism in the early 1990s. The disolution of the Soviet Union opened the way for Scouting in Russia. Scouting began to re-emerge in Russia in 1991, with various factions competing for recognition.
The history of Scouting in Russia is marked by a modest foundation among the narrow strata of middle-classs Russia and then the horrors of World War I and Civil War. After a brief period of toleratiion by the Bolsheviks, Scouting was brutally supressed in the Stalinist purges. The only youth group permitted in Russia was the Communist controlled Young Pioneer movement. Scouting was not revived again until the fall of Communism in the early 1990s. We do not know much about Scouting in post-Communist Russia. As far as we can tell, it is a realitively small movement.
The Bolsheviks recognised the value of the Scout movement and created the Young Pioneers and Komsomol Youth League. The Communists borrowed slavishly from the Scouts. The Pioneers even adopted the Scout motto "Be Prepared." Of course religion was removed being replaced by Lenin and the communist party. Russian boys had to participate in the Pioneers. The Scouts and all independent youth groups were outlawed. This ban continued to the years before the disolution of the Soviet Union. As recently as the 1980s the secret police would harass Russiand trying to organize Scout groups.
We have only limited information about Russian Scout associations at this time. We are unsure about the original Scout organization in the years before the Russian Revolution. Scouting was banned after the creation of the Young Pioneers. Membership in the Scouts during the Great Terror was dangersos, even earlier participation. Scouting disappeared in the Soviet Union for several decadeds. Thre are also Russian emigre Scout groups in several other countries. After the disolution of the Soviet Union, scouting was revived. As far as we know there is only one Russian Scout association.-- the Federation of Scouts of Russia (FSR).
We have ver little information about Russian Scout unigforms at this time. The fitst Russian Scout uniforms we notice before the Revolution seems to be the basic uniform of the early Scouting era, influenced by Baden Powell's English Scouts. We note Russian Scouts wearing tan/khaki shirts and green short pants in 1993. I'm not sure if this was an official uniform. The RFS Association may not have decided on a uniform at this edarly stage. Most images I have notef show Russian Scouts wearing tan shirts and blue shorts. We also notice that orange neckerchiefs are commonly worn. I'm not sure what the significance of the orange neckerchiefs is. Our information is still very limited so we are not at all sure about official uniforms yet.
We have very little information about Scouting in modern Russia. We note an expansive website maintained by Russian Scouts. The material begins in 1994 suggesting that this was when the movement was getting off its feet. The site is mostly in Russian so we can't make out much about the movement. We would be interested in anything that HBU reader might make out. Scouting is of course associated with the West. President Putin is moving Russia away from the West on a series of matters including democracy, the rule of law, and private enterprise. It is not yet clear where Russia under Putin is headed, but this almost certainly will affect the Scouting movement as it is n independent youth movement.
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