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Russian City Cancels Valentine's Day, Halloween

The southern Russian region of Belgorod has reportedly canceled official Valentine's Day celebrations due to concerns about its impact on young people.

Under a decree reportedly signed by Deputy Governor Oleg Polukhin, authorities should not allow celebrations of St. Valentine's Day and Halloween at educational, cultural, and other institutions.

Reports say the university in the town has banned festivities on February 14 -- including concerts and discos.

The local zoo also has canceled discounts for couples.

Belgorod's regional governor said the holiday went against Russian cultural traditions.

Grigory Bolotnov, a spokesman for the governor's office, was quoted as saying the holiday "has nothing to do with our traditions."

Bolotnov added, "We could just as well have introduced a Vodka Day."

compiled from agency reports