Social Projects Directorate to allocate presidential grants?

A Social Projects
Directorate has been formed within the structure of the Presidential
Administration of the Russian Federation. 
This subdivision has been created as part of improvements to state
policy on patriotic education.  On 20
October, President Vladimir Putin signed the relevant decree “On the
improvement of state policy on patriotic education”.  The Social Projects Directorate will be headed by Pavel
Zenkovich, former deputy director of the Presidential Administration’s Office
for Internal Affairs.  According to the
document, the Directorate has been created with the goal of strengthening the
spiritual and moral bases of Russian society, improving state policy on
patrotic education, and cultivating and realising meaningful social projects in
this area.


Darya Miloslavskaya, a
member of the Public Chamber and director of the Russian NGO Legal Support
Programme at the International Centre for Not-for-Profit Law, has suggested
that this Directorate will deal with presidential grants.  “At present, “presidential” grants are
allocated not directly, but through intermediaries”, said Miloslavskaya in an
interview with an ASI correspondent. 
“There is perhaps a sense that the Directorate should take on this
function”.  In this way, there would be
no intermediaries between the recipients of grants and those allocating
them.  Miloslavskaya points out that
different people have their own notions of how to define patriotism, and that,
possibly, the authorities “will see any difficulties
Russia comes up against” in the realm of patriotic education in this way.

Vyacheslav Bakhmin, a
consultant for the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation in Russia, remarked in an
interview with ASI that “everything depends on how this structure begins to
work”.  But he thinks that “going
through the presidential structures is not the best way to achieve patriotism
in this country, and moulding citizens by administrative methods does not
produce results”.  In his opinion, such
initiatives should come from public organisations.  Bakhmin believes that the creation of this structure will not be
directly reflected in the activities of existing non-profit organisations:
“There will most likely be no repressive measures, but an attempt at creative
ideas and a variety of patriotic projects.”



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