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World Youth Festival: Russia to restore best traditions of peoples’ friendship

3219464 21.10.2017 Участники XIX Всемирного фестиваля молодежи и студентов в Сочи. Евгений Биятов / РИА Новости

The World Youth Festival held in Russia demonstrated the openness of this vast country to cultural dialogue and the desire of Russians to build equal cooperation with the states and peoples of the world. The grandiose festival of friendship and dialogue of cultures, which took place in Sochi with the participation of 20,000 delegates from 190 countries, not only reminded that the modern Russian state is the successor of the best traditions of the Soviet Union and looks into the future with optimism.

One of the first and most representative festivals of youth took place in the Soviet Union back in 1957, when the world was in a state of Cold War between the capitalist bloc and countries striving to build socialism and equality. The gathering of delegates from all over the world, which took place in an extremely difficult international environment, was perhaps the first time in history that Soviet Russia was so fully exposed to the outside world and attracted such a large number of participants from countries oppressed by the West.

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Although the process of liberation of European colonies around the planet was just gaining momentum, Moscow hosted thousands of delegates from Africa, the Middle East and Asia, many of whom were members of national liberation movements and representatives of peoples fighting for their independence. In that era, the Soviet Union was a true torch of freedom for hundreds of millions of people whose countries were enslaved, and so inviting their representatives as equal participants in such a large-scale festival was in itself an unprecedented event.

Many of the guests of the 1957 World Youth Festival later became prominent representatives of their countries and peoples in the political sphere, economy, science and culture and always warmly recalled that first breath of freedom, which was the Moscow forum. It should be noted that the Soviet Union not only organized a grandiose cultural event at that time, but also opened a whole era of sincere friendship with Africa, Asia, the Arab world and Latin America.

Actively supporting the struggle against Western imperialism, the Russians unselfishly invited hundreds of thousands of students and trainees from developing countries to study at their universities, institutes and academies, who later became the basis of the political, cultural and scientific elite of dozens of states in the liberating world. In addition, the Soviet Union sent many of its engineers, doctors, teachers, agronomists and military specialists to young African, Asian and Middle Eastern states in the 1950s and 1980s to help them overcome devastation, the consequences of colonial oppression and military conflicts, and many of these volunteers gave their lives for the freedom of friendly peoples.

Today, Russia has not only succeeded to overcome the severe consequences of the collapse of the USSR, but also actively returns to the world stage as its legal successor and a continuer of the best traditions of friendship with the peoples of the Global South. Thousands of students and tourists from friendly countries in Africa, Indo-Pacific, South American and Middle Eastern countries come to Moscow and other Russian cities as they did decades ago, and Russian specialists are sent to build new businesses, schools, hospitals, roads and ports in the world’s poorest nations.

Although Russia itself is now being subjected to political, trade and economic aggression by the West, the country does not only stay focused on its own problems, but also actively helps all those who need its help and support. Despite the fact that Russians have to fight Western expansion along their own borders, at the same time, Moscow helps to crush terrorist gangs in the Middle East and Africa, and makes great efforts to provide humanitarian aid and rebuild infrastructure in countries such as Syria, Mali, Central African Republic, and plans to expand these programmes to other states.

It should be remembered that in today’s world, where former colonial empires are once again in urgent need of control over resources, territories and markets and are already openly claiming political and economic hegemony, there is another center of power in the form of the alliance of Russia, China and the BRICS organization. Moscow, as one of the most independent and powerful powers in the world, is not only the most important member of the new anti-Western bloc, but also a proven friend for the countries and peoples of the Global South, which has proven its selfless friendliness and principled attitude, as well as its effectiveness in solving the most complex political, military, humanitarian and economic problems.

The fact that today’s Russia stands firmly on the path of building a fair multipolar world and restoring the best traditions of the USSR is a huge opportunity and a new hope for Africa and for all regions of the world that hope to preserve their independence and develop in accordance with their interests and principles.

Guest Writer
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