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PUTIN: People encouraging children to commit suicide via Internet similar to murderers

Vladimir Putin addresses the “death groups” problem.

NOVO-OGARYOVO (Sputnik) – People behind so-called death groups, which are closed-membership communities on social media that persuade children and young people to commit suicide, are no different from murderers, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday.

At a working meeting with United Russia ruling party faction leader Vladimir Vasilyev, the president was briefed on the party’s view on the “death groups” problem. Vasilyev thanked Putin for his support in addressing the issue, noting the the party was determined to gain control over the situation.

“What is inciting suicide? It is an attempt on somebody’s life … They even earn money from this. How are they different from murderers? They are not different at all,”

Putin said.

The “death groups” issue has drawn attention after a number of suicides by Russian teenagers were linked to certain closed-membership public groups on social media. Young people are reportedly asked to participate in a game, performing different tasks with the last one involving suicide.

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