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Ruling Class Camp

It seems that the 20,000 teenagers who visit Russia’s pro-Kremlin camp Seliger every summer know who they need to impress if they want to climb the social ladder.  At least, that’s what this L.A. Times profile piece on the camp suggests.  Along with documenting some of the political skills taught at the camp (‘how to keep secrets from journalists, how to be active on the Internet’) and its particular paraphernalia (such as a group of photographs of ‘Losers of the Year’, including political prisoners and opposition politicians), the report sketches out a social portrait of some of its campers.

Alexander Vasenkov, a 19-year-old student from the city of Yaroslavl, acknowledged that he hoped to get “a social lift” here and improve his prospects. “I hope that being maximally active here will help me to climb up the social ladder and reach my goals faster,” he said.

Taken to its logical extreme, one might divine that these Seliger campers are not just Putin fanatics – they are also the future ruling class.  Click here to read the full piece.