Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Russia’s Problems Now Result of Dominance of Generation that Came of Age in 1990s, Yurchenko Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, January 9 – Konstantin Yurchenko, an economist at the Urals Federal University, has sparked controversy by suggesting that the generation born between 1965 and 1975 who came of age in the 1990s and assimilated the values of that decade is the major source of Russia’s current problems.

           Yurchenko says that during that decade “they learned to steal, kill, deceive, take and give bribes,” all values that they have passed on to the next generation. Now, they are the dominant age-group among managers and officials and until 80 percent of them pass from the scene, Russia will have problems (ura.news/news/1052319106 and ura.news/articles/1036273498).

                His “macro-economic” observations delivered in a lecture in Yekaterinburg might have remained an intriguing but obscure curiosity had it not been for the fact that Moscow television host Vladimir Solovyev (DOB: 1963) picked it up and denounced it in his program and online (ura.news/news/1052319106).

            Solovyev was furious, taking personal and generational affront at Yurchenko’s observations and sparking debate in various places in Russia. The anger of members of this powerful generation has become so great, the economist says, that while he hasn’t had any problems with his job yet, he expects “conversations” in the near future.

            According to the economist, he drew his conclusions on the basis of research into management styles and offered it to the public in the hope that Russians will rely on older generations who remember things before everything went off the track in the 1990s and on younger generations who have grown up in different times.

            But if he is right, the youngest members of what might be called the generation of the wild 1990s won’t pass from the scene until the middle of the 2030s, leaving them ample time to cause more problems for Russia and making it even more difficult than many imagine to turn the corner.

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