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Young at heart: Russian politician says citizens should be considered ‘children’ until they are 30, as ‘they don't know anything’

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By the time your grandparents were in their 20s, they were married with kids and had fought two world wars, or so they always said. Now, one Russian politician is supporting the idea that youngsters have a lot of growing up to do.

Veteran MP Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the leader of Russia’s right-wing LDPR party, announced his bold new policy at a meeting of the national parliament on Tuesday, held to coincide with Children’s Day.

“Let’s extend the age: those under 30 will be considered children,” he said. “They don’t understand anything until they are 30, so they are all children.”

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He added that everyone over 70 could be counted as part of the older generation, while those between the two are “the most golden.” He called on them to “work, comrades who are over 35 – all hope is on you.” In Russia, the age of majority, when citizens can vote and marry freely, is 18.

Zhirinovsky, a bombastic populist, is no stranger to sparking controversy. In 1995, the politician came to blows with the late Boris Nemtsov in a Moscow TV studio, with both men throwing glasses of juice at each other while taking part in a panel discussion.

While most of the world celebrates International Children’s Day on November 20, Russia, like many former Soviet nations, has marked it on June 1 since 1949. President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that the country “sees as a priority the strengthening of family values, educating the younger generation, improving the demographic situation and supporting children in difficult life situations.”

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