Update: Putin signed this legislation into law on July 14.
Russian lawmakers have approved the creation of a modern-day youth organization in the style of the Soviet pioneers.
Children as young as six could join the new group, which was laid out in a bill passed Wednesday by Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma.
Artyom Metelev, the bill’s co-author and chairman of the Duma Committee on Youth Policy, said that the all-Russian movement would "reach the absolute majority of schoolchildren and college students and help millions of children find a purpose in life.”
The bill was introduced on May 17 2022, the centenary of the original Soviet Youth Pioneer movement.
Lawmakers originally planned to name the group Bolshaya Peremena, (or “big break” in Russian) but the decision wasn’t finalized. Legislators ultimately decided to give the task of naming the group to the organization’s future members.
Putin previously tried to establish a similar organization, the Russian Schoolchildren's Movement, back in 2015. The group was created by a special decree signed by the president on the 97th anniversary of the founding of the Soviet Union's Young Communist League, otherwise known as Komsomol. However, the initiative struggled to gain momentum.
The Soviet Pioneer movement was founded in 1922 and included children aged 9 to 15. It was one of the first steps of integrating citizens into communist ideology.