Russia votes to create patriotic youth movement

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Russian lawmakers approved legislation on Wednesday to create a patriotic youth movement in a move reminiscent of Soviet-era youth organizations.

President Vladimir Putin will be asked to head the supervisory board of the movement which will seek to streamline and champion government efforts to enhance patriotic and Russian values among children and the youth.

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In the USSR, children were taught Soviet values through three main youth organizations – the Little Octobrists, Young Pioneers, and the Komsomol.

Putin sent troops into Ukraine in late February and has threatened the West with nuclear arms.

Authors of the legislation, which was approved on its third and final reading on Wednesday, appear to have been inspired by the youth organizations of the Soviet era.

The bill was passed on the 133rd day of Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine.

“An all-Russian movement of children and adolescents is being created,” parliament’s lower house, the State Duma, said in a statement, adding that its members will themselves pick a name for it.

The organization will be open to all children from the age of six and will be financed by the state. Regional governors are expected to be closely involved in its work.

Participation in the movement will be on a voluntary basis.

The government will hand over to the organization youth camps and various education facilities to “facilitate the development of the child,” said 28-year-old Aryom Metelev, who chairs the committee on youth policies at the State Duma.

“The state must create conditions that contribute to the comprehensive spiritual, moral, intellectual and physical development of children, to the learning of patriotism, civil responsibility and respect for adults,” the authors said.

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