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Russian Officials: New Laws Needed to Stop Youth Pro-Suicide Trend

Russia's Investigative Committee has formally proposed the introduction of criminal punishment for those "promoting suicide" among the country's youth, a statement published on the Committee's official website Wednesday announced.

The Committee believes that social networks are one of the key factors behind growing numbers of teen suicides in Russia, the statement said.

"Government bodies should be constantly monitoring social media groups which attempt to "promote child suicide as some kind of a fashionable trend," said the Committee's official representative, Vladimir Markin. Internet provides and operators should also develop mechanisms which would stop minors from dangerous content, the statement said.

Russia's Novaya Gazeta newspaper published a report in May which claimed that some 130 teenagers across the country had killed themselves while under the influence of pro-suicide groups on Russia's most popular social network, VKontakte.

Russian consumer watchdog Roskomnadzor launched a large-scale probe into the country's social networks following the story's publication.

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