Girls posing in front of a huge poster of the President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Seliger 2009, the Putin Youth

Thousands of young Russians are spending part of the summer at a camp dubbed the "Innovation Forum" run by a pro-Kremlin youth group northwest of Moscow. On the surface, this summer camp looks like any other – campers kayak on the nearby lake Seliger or enjoy a game of volleyball. But in the backdrop are large posters of Putin and Medvedev, and participants are required to attend lectures proclaiming Russia's greatness. Some of the state-controlled companies have set up tents where recruiters offer internships to the politically loyal teenagers. The idea of the camp represents an effort by the Kremlin to emulate the old Soviet bosses, and channel the energy and enthusiasm of Russian youth to the service of the state.