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Presidents Gather At Ukrainian Youth Camp

18 August 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Four presidents and a number of regional celebrities are expected to join some 3,000 children today at Artek, Ukraine, to help celebrate the 80th anniversary --> of the former elite camp for Young Pioneers.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. and Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus are due to be joined by celebrities from Russia, Ukraine, Latvia, and Moldova in the festivities that will culminate a summer-long celebration of the once-famous camp.

Artek has become a "normal" summer camp since the fall of the Soviet Union. But after it was established in 1925, it grew to be the place where the best students and children of the Communist Party elites from all across the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc spent their summer vacations swimming, singing songs, and learning to be loyal Communists.