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'Protecting Children's Morality'
July 02, 2008 10:56 GMT
Photos by ITAR-TASS, epa, and AFP
Russian lawmakers are considering legislation aimed at protecting the country's young people from immoral influences.
If approved, the package of amendments would tighten restrictions on alcohol and impose a 10 p.m. curfew for school-age children.
Supporters of the act are also seeking bans on tattoos and body-piercings.
Members of youth subcultures such as goth and emo, perceived as socially subversive, would face additional restrictions.
Schools would be barred from celebrating Halloween and St. Valentine's Day, seen as Western influences "inappropriate to Russian culture." This demonstrator protests against both Halloween and narcotics at once.
Critics say the sweeping bans offer no solutions to more pressing problems like homelessness and drug and alcohol abuse. The number of children living on Russia's streets has soared since the end of the Soviet era.
Others say the purported moral agenda is actually intended to suppress budding dissent. Here, young people wearing antifascist logos demonstrate to demand a quick investigation into the murder of Kremlin critic Anna Politkovskaya.
The Kremlin leaves no doubt as to its preferred model of youth behavior. It actively supports pro-government youth groups like Nashi, shown here, or Mishki, a patriotic group for children as young as seven.
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