Barbie, videos get the vote of young Russians


MOSCOW - Moscow's children are turning into Western-style consumers faster than their parents could ever imagine.

Moskovsky Komsomolets -- once the newspaper of young Communists -- reported yesterday on the capitalistic aspirations of the city's youth with a poll of 498 second-graders.

Forty percent said if they could, they would travel to the United States and buy that queen of kid culture -- Barbie dolls. Another 40 percent said they would settle for "lots of bubble gum with stickers."

Eighteen percent said their American dreams are full of "videos, motorbikes and luxury, which means having a private village and yacht."

But, just as among adults, the old guard still holds on. Four percent of the children said they "would like to have a Kalashnikov machine gun and an arsenal of revolvers and pistols." Two kids said they would like to become tank drivers and pilots "to defend the Motherland."

These sentiments apparently have not gone unnoticed. One boy said that he wanted a tank "to protect me against the commies."

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