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BBC Monitoring
Putin Wants Rising Generation to be Free and Independent
Source: Channel One TV, Moscow, in Russian 0600 gmt 5 Jan 03

Presenter: Russian President Vladimir Putin will have a number of working meetings in Magnitogorsk today 5 January , president's press secretary Aleksey Gromov has said. Putin came back to a skiing resort near Magnitogorsk after his brief visit to Ufa.

During his visit to Bashkortostan's capital city the president held unofficial meetings as well - he met students and teachers of Ufa State Oil and Gas Technical University and visited the city's cultural centre. Correspondent During his stay in Ufa, President Putin first visited Ufa State Oil and Gas Technical University, one of the country's leading higher educational institution in the sphere of oil and gas.

He had a meeting with Bashkortostan President Murtaza Rakhimov at the rector's office. The presidents discussed the social and economic situation in the republic, particularly, timely payment of wages and pensions...

Then Putin held a meeting with teachers and students of the university. Mainly urgent problems were discussed at this unofficial meeting. One of the first questions addressed to Putin was about the moral education of the rising generation - what values, in the president's opinion, should be developed in young people.

Putin: I would like to single out the development of a feeling of independence and freedom in young people as an urgent task for us today. Moses needed 40 years to get rid of the past and to form new people, but 40 years is a very long period. It is too long for us.

We should remove all the negativity of the past years linked with the one-party monopoly on power, totalitarianism and the lack of freedom. It is an extremely important task to educate people who are independent and free in the wide sense of the word...

Video shows Putin speaking at the meeting with students, his meetings with Murtaza Rakhimov and mufti Talgat Tadzhuddin, and his visit to the city's cultural centre

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