The “FES Youth Studies” is an international youth research project dedicated to the study of young people’s opinion. It has already been carried out across Eastern and Southeastern Europe, for instance in Ukraine, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, and Russia. In the coming years, the project will cover more of Eastern Europe, but also Central Europe, Baltic countries, as well as the Middle East and North Africa. The main goal of these studies is to identify, describe, and analyse attitudes of young people and patterns of behaviour in modern societies. The youth study of Russia, “Russia’s Generation Z – attitudes and values” is the most recent outcome of the project.
Young people’s social outlook and political involvement in and beyond post-Soviet countries are diverse and sometimes contradictory. Some enjoy the opportunities of a globalised and borderless world, while others stay put, nostalgic for a past they have never experienced. Young faces are emblematic of the protest movements we witness in countries such as Ukraine, Russia and Belarus. At the same time young people are mobilised in official movements aimed at regime stabilisation. This report sets out to assess our knowledge of young people’s political and social attitudes by drawing on data obtained by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) from young people in Ukraine from July to August 2017 and in Russia from May to June 2019 as well as on several surveys undertaken by the Centre for East European and International Studies (ZOiS) and other institutions.