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Hold the Mayo for Seliger Camp

Teen campers at this year's summer camp at Lake Seliger will be treated to a $3.4 million program that includes a training program on the evils of the political opposition and meals with honey and wild rice — but no mayonnaise.

The camp, the government's main youth policy event, will cost taxpayers at least 100 million rubles ($3.4 million), Novaya Gazeta reported Wednesday, citing state tenders on the web site Zakupki.gov.ru for bidders to plan events and provide training programs and catering for 11,000 attendees.

The training program tender requires inviting more than 200 professional researchers and 42 prominent media figures to speak at the event's programs, including one titled "What if not treachery? Faces of the opposition in modern Russia."

The catering program spells out a menu that bans mayonnaise and ketchup but offers instead honey, berries and wild rice, citing a bid to promote a healthy lifestyle.

State-funded Seliger camps have been held annually since 2005, first by pro-Kremlin youth groups and now by the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs. The political opposition has repeatedly accused organizers of using the camps for political indoctrination.

The political agenda, however, has taken a backseat to innovation programs after Dmitry Medvedev became president in 2008.

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