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Russian Children's Rights Official Calls for Iron Curtain

A Russian children's rights official has called for the country to be sealed off with an "Iron Curtain" to preserve traditional values and block Western influences, a news report said.

At a conference on Russian family values in the Urals city of Chelyabinsk, Irina Medvedeva, an official from the office of the children's rights ombudsman, also lashed out at the juvenile justice system, describing it as a breeding ground for political dissent and a way to strip parents of control over their children, the Novy Region news agency reported.

It was not immediately clear whether the target of her objections was the judicial system that deals with crimes committed by minors, or social services that protect children from parental abuse.

"Juvenile justice is a typical form of fascism, it's evil, atrocious. It is a way of turning normal children into Janissaries [rebels] and future leaders and extras of Maidan," she was quoted as saying, in a reference to the focal point of street protests against the administration of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

Medvedeva, who is also the director of the Public Institute for Democratic Security, also launched a scathing attack on Western values and proclaimed her support for Russian isolationism.

"The most positive thing now would be, of course, an Iron Curtain," she was quoted as saying. "The West is a terrible garbage dump, even though it smells of various delicious things."

Calls for protecting Russians from supposedly pernicious Western values have intensified in the wake of the protests that toppled Yanukovych's Moscow-backed administration and Western sanctions over Russia's takeover of Crimea.

The Foreign Ministry recently warned Russians against traveling abroad and on Thursday the State Duma passed in its first reading a bill that would require Russians to tell the authorities if they have dual citizenship. The government has also moved to reign in freedom of speech on the Internet in a series of measures that security analyst Andrei Soldatov has described as having brought Russia "one step away from the Great Firewall of China."

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