The amount of hate, these obstacles and difficulties led to a lot of people leaving the Fridays For Future movement – they are burnt out and lack the energy to continue fighting. And the pandemic has not helped: since 2020, campaigning has become even more difficult. Unapproved protests of more than one person are generally forbidden, as are most forms of protest before the age of 18.
Vlada told us: “Even a single picket is illegal. We live in the absence of freedom of speech, and some activists of our movement have already been repressed. Therefore, each of our actions must be carefully considered and all consequences calculated, which is why our work is now almost paralyzed.”
A key aspect of Vlada’s activism is related to information sharing, as she believes that the things she reads and learns should also be shared with others. Especially in Russia, where people do not know much about climate change because there is barely any education about it in schools, this is crucial. At FFF, she reports that a multitude of topics has been discussed in the past, but she wants to shift focus to local topics in Russia now.
The topics she thinks are especially relevant are the consequences of Russian colonialism, how fossil fuel companies are destroying indigenous lands, and how the very existence of these peoples is threatened due to climate change. She hopes that by focusing on topics close to their hearts, more Russians will get involved and overcome their fears of acting.
“(…) in my opinion, it makes sense to talk more about the problems and consequences of the climate crisis specifically for Russia – but this doesn’t mean that we will engage in isolationism and ignore world problems. It’s just that what is happening in Russia is more closely perceived by our citizens, and we need to use this fact.”
To achieve a better world, Vlada sees negotiation as a key step to be taken.